The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has considered the blasphemous use of the names "God" and "Jesus Christ" to be "suitable for all."
In the new BBFC guidelines for film certification, a section on what language may be allowed for the different age categories includes a variety of words ranging from mild insults to explicit profanities, according to the Christian Institute (CI).
Regarding films with the lowest age classification, referred to as "Universal" or "U," the guideline says that "infrequent use only of very mild bad language" is allowed, which includes the abuse and misuse of God's name.
According to the guidelines, "U films should have a positive overall tone. We think carefully about what very young children already know, what might scare, confuse or upset them, and the lasting impression the film might have."
It continues, "Words you may hear in a U rated film or TV show may include: 'damn', 'hell', 'God', 'Jesus Christ'. We know that some people find these words particularly offensive, but our research shows us that the majority of parents are comfortable with their children hearing them in U rated films."
Nonetheless, since "every child is different," the guideline advises that before showing a Universal (U) film to their children, parents should verify the film's rating information on the website.
BBFC also offered several examples of well-known films that included "infrequent use of very mild bad language." "Monsters Inc.," "Onward," "Soul," and "Back to the Future" were among the films listed.
It's worth noting as to how the BBFC listed the name of God and Jesus Christ alongside other words that were deemed offensive such as "jerk" and "butt," as if the God of the Bible's names are swear words.
Ciarán Kelly of the Christian Institute believes that the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBFC) is failing in its duty as a judge of standards.
It is, in his words, a "slap in the face for Christians. The BBFC recognizes that using the terms 'God' and 'Jesus Christ' in an irreverent way is deeply offensive to many people but will allow it anyway. It knows the role it plays in influencing society. By allowing films containing blasphemy to be shown to even the youngest children, they are desensitizing impressionable minds."
Emmanuel Holloway's blogger and vicar, Reverend Liz Clutterbuck, spoke to Premier Christian News about how Christians should react to this.
She said that knowing what is on the list allows parents to devise a plan for how they would respond to it. Because of the way British culture is structured, she believes that many people do not find the words offensive.
"I think that's probably something that Christians and the church needs to accept, even if we do find them offensive, "she said.
She said that on the list, the terms have been referenced so that Christian parents are aware that, if they hear anything in the film which they find offensive, they could use that as a teaching opportunity for their children.
"[it's about] explaining it to a child as to why that character might be saying, 'Oh my God', but we don't say that home and we don't say it in public and this is the reason why - which is exactly what you would do if your child came home from school, and said words that you didn't like and you considered offensive," she elaborated.
She also highly recommended that parents and guardians double-check the content before viewing it as a family together.