Like the rest of the nation, I was horrified by what happened at the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado last Friday. And like the rest of the nation, my heart and prayers go out to the families who lost loved ones and to those who were injured.
One thing I want to make perfectly clear right from the start is that I am not blaming anyone other than James Holmes for what happened.
However, I am questioning the discernment of parents who took their young children to see The Dark Knight Rises. To begin with, it is a PG-13 film which means that parental discretion is advised for anyone under the age of 13. Whether due to violence, language or sexually suggestive scenes, I would not think that such a film would be appropriate for young children.
Yet when I was watching the news last Saturday, they interviewed one young mother who said that she was frightened when she got separated from her daughter. Judging from the young age of the mother, I would not expect her daughter to more than 6-8 years of age. Before I could react to the news, my wife turned and asked me what kind of parent would take a young child to a dark movie like that, especially at midnight.
I recall when our girls were just starting school and my wife took them to a wedding in New York with her parents. I was unable to attend. When my wife found out that one of the relatives had taken the girls to see Ghostbusters, which had just come out, she was furious. Neither of us thought it was an appropriate movie for young children. Plus both of our girls had nightmares after watching the movie.
Following Scripture, we have tried our best to teacher our kids not to be of the world but to be of Christ and to fill their minds with things that are good, wholesome and uplifting. Young minds are so impressionable that we felt it to be our responsibility as parents and Christians to protect those young minds and train them up in the way of the Lord (Deut. 6:4-9).
Then when I saw the news account of the youngest victim of the theater shootings, it made my heart ache for the family and for the young life that was ended too soon. Six year old Veronica Moser was identified as one of the twelve who died Friday at the hands of James Holmes. Veronica’s mother, Ashley Moser, who is pregnant, was shot three times in the massacre. Only by the grace of God did the bullet that ripped through her abdomen, miss her unborn child.
Again, I don’t want to place any blame on the Moser family, but I can’t help but think that if they had protected their children’s minds from movies like this, Veronica would not have been at the theater and the beautiful little girl would still be alive and smiling.
All I can really say at this point is to tell parents to protect their children not just from physical harm or abuse, but from mental and emotional harm as well. Remember that what goes in to their minds cannot be deleted like a computer file. It’s there to stay and to possibly affect them for years to come.