I recently went to see the ‘Deadpool’ movie and I thought it was a very entertaining film. Sure there was loads of crude humour and foul language but the story seemed to hold very well.
And then someone told me that Christopher West wrote a blog post that frowned upon the movie. Why does that matter? Because I really respect that man. Christopher West is a lecturer on St. John Paul II’s magnificent work, ‘The Theology of the Body’. I attended one of his lectures and was blown away by what Catholicism ACTUALLY teaches about sexuality and the human body. So when I heard that he wrote an article, I knew he had a very good reason for the post.
And he did. Surprisingly, he focused on what was literally a 5 second clip of the entire movie. At first I thought Mr. West was blowing things out of proportion and the sex act he was writing his post about was just something you saw in movies or in television all the time. But then I reflected on that very thought and realized two things:
- I had become so desensitized to the perversion of the sexual act and
- I knew (relatively) about the Theology of the Body than your average Catholic.
The first point is alarming because it signalled to me that I had become used to what Hollywood put out on the big screen and expected scenes that were (more or less) pornographic. Watching ‘Deadpool’ didn’t make me cringe or feel uncomfortable at the sex scenes because every other movie or TV show I had watching up until this point had similar scenes.
The second point is a testament to preparedness. When I learned about the teachings of the Theology of the Body, I was able to look at the human body and sex in a more beautiful light – what it was meant to be. And it is fantastic! What it also did for me was that it gave me a sort of compass to know what was right and wrong. So when watching ‘Deadpool’ I was able to immediately filter out the raunchy sex scenes and think “That’s not for me.”
Even though I was able to maintain the moral compass in my own mind, what about the young kids or people watching this movie who didn’t have that. Therein lies the subtle problem. As movies push what makes a ‘normal’ scene in a movie, the more young adults and Catholics (who aren’t Catechized) well, will believe that what they see in media is what is normal in real life.
The point here is this: I was not aware of what I was watching. Sure I understood what was going on during the movie but I wasn’t cognizant of the fact that I had implicitly ‘accepted’ the sexual perversion on the screen by failing to feel uncomfortable. In our present time it is imperative that Catholics be aware of what the Church has to say about sexuality. The risk of not knowing is to have one’s own mind and soul corrupted by what’s on the screen.
I had to take a step back and remind myself of the Church’s teachings through reading Scripture, books and Christopher West’s blog so that I could reset my mind on what was ‘acceptable’. I had to REsensitize my DEsensitzed mind so that I could have the right perspective to see the world and other people. Reset your mind from what the world thinks is normal to what God thinks is normal.