I was bothered. I felt it was a little intense for that age group. It further bothered me when the entire first row of little kids gasped and put their hands over their eyes (my daughter included). We are very careful about what we let our kids watch. Their exposure to television is very limited and we certainly don't let them watch shows with graphic, violent content.
At the end I approached the Pastor, who in general I feel is a very nice man. However, his response today was very disappointing. In a very non-confrontational way I told him that I was a bit concerned about the graphic nature of the video as that is not something I would choose to show my children. His initial response was that because it happened that way in the Bible he does not believe we should alter, modify, water down, change, etc. the specifics. I pointed out that, while I agree that the stories shouldn't be changed, I didn't think it was then necessary to show the visual reenactment of something that could possibly be upsetting to young children. I stated that while my children knew the details of Jesus' crucifixion I wouldn't go home and show them Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ until they were older and it was more age appropriate. He disagreed. My response was that when I was teaching in a public HIGH SCHOOL I would not have been allowed to show that clip (and not because of the religious nature, but because of the graphic content). I further pointed out that any clip I did want to show had to be approved by the principal first and then I had to send out permission slips that gave parents the opportunity to opt their child out. I explained that I felt like we should have been given some notice that this type of video was going to be shown.
His “solution” was that tomorrow I could put my 1st grader in with the 3-4 year olds because they watch a cartoon version. I just wanted him to understand that while some kids are exposed to that or aren't bothered by that, I KNEW that this was something that was going to bother my daughter. He dismissed that concern. There was more, but essentially he disagreed, which is fine, but also completely dismissed and invalidated my concerns about the content and the fact that he made a decision about what he felt was appropriate for my child to view without giving me the opportunity to have any input. Further there were some very patronizing “solutions” offered.
My daughter, who had no knowledge of my conversation with the pastor, came and found me and the first thing she told me was about this “terrible movie where this bad man whipped Joseph and his blood went all over.” She was very bothered and has talked about it ALL day. Further, she drew a picture for my grandmother depicting a man getting beat. She explained, “This is Joseph. He's getting whipped and this red part is his blood going all over.” Not really something I am happy about.
While the showing of the video bothers me, the Pastor's response bothers me even more. He could have said, “You know, I made a judgment call. I felt it was appropriate. I'm sorry if it offended you. Next time I will ask.” End of story. Instead he made excuse after excuse and pretty much tried to make me feel like it was ridiculous that I would be concerned about the content.
So, I am curious about your take on this? Mainly, is this content that would bother you if your child viewed it and what is your take on the Pastor's response to my concern?