There has been some concern about the crass humor displayed at the Oscars last Sunday. I did not watch the Oscars, but I have read enough of what was said to know it was a moral debacle. When even children are the subject of coarse jesting, it becomes even more troubling. When a culture treats sex as a joke and uses lewdness to attract attention, it is a sign of that culture’s weakness. Why does an emcee at a major media awards event feel it is appropriate to make comments about a young actress’ sexual appeal to George Clooney? It is because our culture has lost its moral footing.

Hollywoodoften expresses outrage at the very things it promotes. Violence, sexual licentiousness, the objectification of women and children, and bullying (especially the “Christian right”) were all part of what was celebrated and joked about at this year’s Oscars, yet all are things Hollywood would argue against in other contexts. When will the moral decay in media cease? Perhaps, it will cease when Americans stop paying for it at the box office.

What would I do to encourage peace, love, the honoring of women, and the protection of our children in media? I would recommend adopting the Christian moral ethic that treats sex and marriage as sacred and that admonishes us to love our neighbors as ourselves. It may be called old-fashioned, but it is exactly what our culture needs.