Monday, October 25, 2004

Fighting the Good Fight

Last year I joined the Columbia House DVD club--you know, one of those deals where you get 6 videos for a penny and in exchange you buy 3 more over the next 3 years. Seemed like a good deal at the time.

Last week, I received an e-mail from Columbia House announcing their new selection of "mature" DVDs--in other words, porn. I was really pretty fired up about it and promptly wrote letters to the CEO and to the President of Columbia House expressing my anger over the addition of porn to their collection of DVDs and requesting that my membership be cancelled immediately. Now, I had not yet fulfilled my obligation to buy more DVDs, so I really had no legal grounds to terminate my membership. But I felt like this was something I needed to take a chance on.

After I mailed the letters, one of my friends, also a member of the Columbia House club, made a comment that she felt somewhat hypocritical to voice complaints about CH selling porn, but not objecting when they sell movies that feature graphic violence or bad language. That really made me think--how many times have I compromised my values, allowed myself to watch or listen to something that pushed the envelope of morality but didn't quite cross my imaginary line? Was it wrong for me to even join a movie club that I knew sold violent movies, for instance, as long as I didn't buy them? How far do we go in fighting the good fight, standing up for what we know is right? Some things get so murky; it's easy to take a stand against what we know is overtly wrong, but what about those gray areas?

Good news to report: today I received a letter from Columbia House granting my request to cancel my membership and waive any obligations I had to purchase more DVDs. I was excited to hear that, especially to get that kind of response so soon. But does it change anything? Did my letter touch the hearts of anyone who read it, made anyone think that maybe they shouldn't peddle porn? Should I ask everyone I know to send letters of protest to Columbia House--and if they did, would it even make a dent?

Lots to think about...


Jon said...

Good for you on speaking your mind! While I don't believe one person will turn the tide, at least they know that a certain section of society doesn't approve of their choice to add porn. Columbia House is just exacerbating an already poisonous issue in our society.

They realized that the porn industry is a multi-billion dollar market. So, from the $$ standpoint, why not tap into it--typical worldly thinking? Well, I hope it leads to the loss of market share~not to mention additional customers and respect.

Keep up the good protest letters!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but I disagree with your friend. While I certainly don't encourage mindless violence in movies, especially to be viewed by children, violence (arguably) can be used to illustrate certain truths of life. Some films use violence to show that evil will always be defeated or spotlight fundamental unfairness in our world. Would "Schindler's List" be as heart wrenching without the honesty of the violence inflicted on Jews? What about "The Passion of the Christ"?

On the other hand, pornography is never used for good or the betterment of society. It is always used as a tool of Satan to encourage the acceptance and embracement of evil. Repeated exposure lowers our outrage that we abuse a beautiful and private gift from God.

I applaud your stand on the "mature" video selection. Even if it never affects Columbia House, it has made you stronger.