Poe’s Law: an axiom suggesting that it’s difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish between parodies of religious or other fundamentalism and its genuine proponents, since they both seem equally insane. (Wikipedia)
ChildCare Action Project has been and continues to be a constant thorn in the side of serious film buffs. For years, CCAP has acted as a sort of moral watchtower, bringing us so-called “reviews” that seem less like true cinematic analysis and more like personal vendettas against the godless fruits of the Hollywood machine.
One look at the cheap looking website should be more than enough to convince any intelligent individual to move on, but as with all other train wrecks, it is near impossible to turn away from the onslaught of extremist evangelical hilarity that the site offers.
ChildCare Action Project, or http://capalert.com, is owned and operated by a pastor and runs almost entirely on donations. If you want the good people at CCAP to review a certain film, you simply send in a donation, and one of the “reviewers” will watch the film and build a “CAP report”. A CAP report is an exhaustively detailed summary which outlines the “objective” content in the film, and is followed by poorly interpreted verses of Scripture, which are provided to support the “reviewers” claims that the films in question are inappropriate for children and adults alike. Context is never considered, nor are the artistic and technical achievements of the films which are listed in the “reviews”. And there are many of those.
Every film is measured on the CAP Numeric Analysis Model, which weighs the amount of supposedly objectionable material on a scale of 1 to 100. The lower the score, the more acceptable the film. PG-13 films that earn higher scores are considered R-13 films, and are some of the worst offenders on the site. Many of the “reviewers” walk out of the films that they have been paid to review mid-screening, which ultimately deems the review useless, as the film has not been viewed in its entirety. NC-17 films are off-limits, as no reviewer will subject him or herself to the extreme adult content within.
The individuals who run the site are convinced that they are doing the Lord’s work, and therefore any attempt to reason with them is futile. They do not see film as an art form, but as a threat – a manipulative tool of the “evil one”. One could be tempted to cite CCAP as a prime example of Poe’s Law; however, considering the meticulous nature of the so-called “reviews”, it seems highly unlikely that the site is satirical.
CCAP is highly representative of the extreme moralistic stance of the ultra-conservative religious right, in regards to Hollywood and the arts, in general. From CCAP to Movieguide to Pluggedin, these sites merely act as legalistic tools which are doing nothing to bridge the ever-widening gap between modern Christianity and intellectualism. This generation is far more progressive and open-minded than any other. If the church continues to follow this puritanical stance against all things which stand apart from its safe little bubble, its numbers will continue to decline.
As it stands, serious fans of cinema look upon CCAP as a constant source of entertainment. It is a fascinating curiosity that will be loved and hated, mocked and reviled for decades to come.