Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hollywood out of step with American morals: poll

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - A majority of Americans say Hollywood doesn't share their moral values, according to a poll commissioned by the Anti-Defamation League, a group that fights anti-Semitism.

Sixty-one percent of those surveyed said that religious values in America are "under attack," and 59% agreed that "the people who run the TV networks and the major movie studios do not share the religious and moral values of most Americans."

The poll, titled "American Attitudes on Religion, Moral Values and Hollywood," was conducted by the Marttila Communications Group, which surveyed 1,000 adults nationwide. It was released Friday at the ADL's annual meeting in Los Angeles.

"These findings point to the challenges that we face in dealing with issues of religion in society," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL national director. "The belief that religion is under attack underlies the drive to incorporate more religion into American public life. Disturbingly, 43% of Americans believe there is an organized campaign by Hollywood and the national media to weaken the influence of religious values in this country."

Among the survey's findings:

-- 61% of respondents agree that "religious values are under attack in this country," while 36% disagree with that statement.

-- 43% said that Hollywood and the national media are waging an organized campaign to "weaken the influence of religious values in this country."

-- 63% disagree with the statement that "the movie and television industries are pretty much run by Jews," while only 22% agree with that point. When ADL conducted its first survey on anti-Semitic attitudes, in 1964, nearly half of the respondents believed that the television and film industries were run by Jews.

-- Nearly 40% support the notion that "dangerous ideas should be banned from public school libraries," and nearly the same number disagree with the statement that "censoring books is an old-fashioned idea."

-- Nearly half of those surveyed -- 49% -- believe that the United States is becoming "too tolerant in its acceptance of different ideas and lifestyles; 47% disagree with that statement.

The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

And that, my friends, is an article I stumbled on this morning. What do you think? If the pollsters polled you, where would you weigh in?

1 comment:

The Storyteller said...

Talk about a loaded poll!

1. I'd have to first inquire that is meant by 'religious values.' The definition of what is valued, by what religion(s), and whether or not these values are even valid must be addressed before I could decide if they're under attack.

2. When it comes to banning dangerous ideas, part of the issue is to again define what is meant by 'dangerous.' Is 'dangerous' simply another way of saying 'different?' And either way, banning dangerous ideas would mean the end of our social and intellectual evolution as a species; without 'dangerous' ideas we'd never learn anything new and we'd end up trapped in outmoded ways of thinking (consider Copernicus, Galileo, and Einstein).

3. 'Too tolerent... of different ideas and lifestyles.' Isn't that a little arrogant? To say that we have all the answers to life and the way it should be lived, so anything else that deviates from the norm is automatically wrong and shouldn't be tolerated? I would say that a strong sense of empathy and humility must be present before any such statements are made - including the admission of the fact that we don't really know anything, and what we think we know is subject to change at any moment.

This was longer than I thought it would be. ;) In summary: the idea of American religious values is a puzzling one, and the report itself seems to paint American religion as a closed-minded entity that doesn't like change and anything different from itself.

I would say that American religion must judge itself by the same standards that it judges everything else. Universal Truth must apply to everyone, otherwise it is not universal.