The Motion Picture Association of America, the group of parents who assign ratings to movies, is facing criticism from political leaders for being too lenient, from filmmakers for being too inconsistent, and from parents for being too uninformative. The pressure has led the MPAA to now require the reasons for a film's rating to appear on its promotional materials.

But the ChildCare Action Project might have more to offer Christian parents concerned about content. Its Web site offers an at-a-glance, thermometer-style gauge of a movie's objectionable material in six categories, and leaves to parents the subjective decision about what their children should watch.

"The MPAA system seems to decide for the parent and grandparent at what ages children may be exposed to the various issues of sinful programming," says Thomas A. Carder, president of the ChildCare Action Project. The PG-13, R, and NC-17 ratings denote specific age levels that movies are appropriate for, "thereby creating dissonance between righteous parents and their kids who want to be like everybody else who get to see every movie ever made.

The CAP model leaves that decision with the parent/grandparent and makes no 'permissible' age distinctions as does the MPAA. The CAP model simply gives parents and grandparents tools ... to make an informed decision."

Carder says he never imagined that he'd have such an interest in parenting. "I remember telling my wife, Barb, when we were dating, that I, being the wild and virile hunk I was, did not want anybody running around calling me 'daddy.'" But God led him, like Jonah, where he least wanted to go. "I think God is still chuckling," he says. "Since that espousing of a proclamation of independence and freedom, 23 kids have called ...

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