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The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

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Letter to the Editor
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Secular influences: No need to fear

From books to TV to movies, secular media have become everyday parts of our lives. In light of their pervasiveness, many have questioned the influence of secular works on our thoughts and behavior.

On one side of the spectrum lie those who have utterly abstained from consuming secular media, and on the other stand those who relish in nonreligious material. While some media may further negative mindsets, the overall benefit of mainstream works is too great to disregard.

In English classes, for example, students read a vast number of novels — The Plague, To Kill a Mockingbird, Great Expectations — almost all of them secular. Although some themes may not be in harmony with religious doctrine, the novels nevertheless present ideas that can help students to form more accurate outlooks on life or that can give insight into others’ experiences.

Like literature, TV and movies can provide valuable messages. Though many may object to the content of FOX’s hit TV show, Glee, the series teaches positive lessons on self-esteem and individuality that, to some, make up for its questionable aspects.

Although the content of a work may seem objectionable, it can still be worthy of artistic or critical merit. The films Avatar, The Dark Knight and Inception, to name a few, feature stunning visuals that cannot be found in any faith-based production. Rather than shun these movies for their nonreligious focus, people should be able to appreciate the creativity and talent that went into making them.

Through reading, watching or listening to a work, students can be introduced to alternative perspectives. Regardless of whether they agree with these ideas, examining them helps students to refine and evaluate their own. By consuming secular media, students engage in opportunities for education and application; they learn to be critical thinkers who can analyze different worldviews and weigh them against their preconceived notions.

As Aristotle writes, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” If we block out secular media, we diminish our ability to think critically about the opposing viewpoints we encounter in everyday life.

In short, the messages of secular media can be beneficial and valuable, even if they’re not biblical. While parents should still exercise some control over what their children are exposed to, they should be careful not to judge a work unacceptable simply because it is secular.

For more opinions from The Feather staff, read the October editorial, Standardized testing: A strategic approach.

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    Sharon ScharfFeb 21, 2011 at 12:02 am

    It was cold – very cold – but we got to spend lots of time with our family – because you couldn’t do anything else! So, the snow was a blessing in more than just for the beauty of it all.

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