The Mute Button

muteNinety-nine percent of homes in America contain at least one television and most fundamentalists own a TV just like everyone else. The television watching experience in a fundy household is unique, however. For father (or sometimes mother) holds the remote in an iron fist and the mute button is his weapon of choice against the combined forces of bad language and worldly music.

Rock music is not to be tolerated in the fundamentalist home and the opening theme to the A-Team is no exception. With a flick of the thumb this temptation of the flesh is banished. Songs that are too peppy meet the same fate. No fundamentalist child ever makes it all the way through any Disney movie since Robin Hood without at least one song being either muted or fast-forwarded.

Likewise, bad language must be dealth with in the harshest of terms, lest children be tempted to say words such as “golly” and “dagnabit.’ Some fundamentalist go so far as to construct a “bleep book” complete with timestamps of the exact moments to mute and unmute the dialog. Purity must be maintained not matter what the cost to the plot.

One may be tempted to ask why fundametalists bother to watch shows at all if they find so much in them worthy of censoring.  But you’ll have to ask it later, we’re almost back from commercial break and the TV is about to regain its voice.

15 thoughts on “The Mute Button”

  1. Interesting observation. I remember a missionary who once lent me a DVD copy of the film Time Changer (Soon to become a perennial watch night service favourite, if it isn’t already!) and told me that I should turn the volume off during one scene in the film (The comedic scene where the protagonist, Russell Carlisle, becomes acquainted with the modern world while cheezy dance music plays). However, despite admonishing me to mute the music, he did state the music was in that part of the film “for a reason.” Very peculiar. He was a nice man, though.

  2. what about the G-box or whatever it’s called that automatically censors out the profanity – one of my classmates had one, lol

  3. I’m part of the 1% of household that doesn’t own a TV. Does that make me super-duper fundy or just plain weird? Of course, we watch DVDs on the computer and don’t mute anything in Robin Hood. Perhaps I’m a back-slider.

  4. I attended an IFB Bible College, and MUTE was burned into the television screen in the student center because they muted all commercials. Watching the Super Bowl sure sucked! But at least we got to watch t.v. at all …

    1. Haha me too!

      My last semester I couldn’t go home hardly at all because of work. You know what? I actually MISSED commercials!

      They didn’t just mute it thought. It would be paused or the channel flipped. And we are HOW old?

  5. My younger sister had told me that when she was attended a local IFB school (I had already graduated by then), she had mentioned a similar muting of the music while her softball team was watching a DVD while on a road game (though in this case, the movie was “Facing the Giants”).

  6. my mother loves her tv guardian. it automatically mutes any bad language and uses closed captioning so that you’re not missing any important dialogue. guess how long it took to figure out that “hugs” was the replacement word for “sex”.

    1. I used to have one that substituted “clown” for “dick”. So a “Dr. Dickson” came out “Dr. Clown.”

  7. My dad made it easy . . . he just muted ALL the commercials! But he loved to watch football games, complete with all the beer commercials, which seems awfully worldly to me.

  8. We didn’t get a TV until I was 14, and then there was a very limited list of shows we could watch. And we had to turn down the volume (this was an OLD TV, no remote) during “inappropriate” scenes or commercials. But we had to change the channel during beer commercials. Apparently they were so evil, they were even dangerous with no sound!

  9. Am I the only one who thinks that most Fundy Pastors need a mute button? Or, better still, an On/Off switch?

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