The last board of movie censors in the United States was out of business as of July 1, 1981, dissolved by an act of the Maryland Legislature. It is very likely that its demise went unnoticed except perhaps in that state. The residents there, most of whom did not even realize it was still in existence, were informed by local papers that while the censor board had permitted only soft-core pornography to be shown in the movie theaters, a deluge of hard-core films could now be expected to pour into the state.
The debate goes on. Censorship on one side. Freedom of choice on the other. Both concepts take on even deeper significance when we consider the essentially mental nature of existence.
When we begin to recognize that what we think largely determines what we experience, we become increasingly alert to choose the kind of thoughts that will bless and to resist what obviously will not. This is freedom of choice, and censorship, in the highest sense. Every individual has the freedom and the right to be selective in his thinking. He also has the ability to censor, or shut out, whatever thoughts he does not wish to entertain.
Christ Jesus was emphatic in his stand on the censorship of one's thinking: ''I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.''n1
n1 Matthew 5:28.
Christian Science, in accord with Jesus' teachings, shows the importance of guarding thought - not only against sin but against all forms of discord, including sickness. ''Stand porter at the door of thought,'' Mary Baker Eddy n2 writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. ''Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized in bodily results, you will control yourself harmoniously. When the condition is present which you say induces disease, whether it be air, exercise, heredity, contagion, or accident, then perform your office as porter and shut out these unhealthy thoughts and fears."n3
n2 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.
n3 Science and Health, p. 392.
The Bible implies that God is infinite, omnipresent, omniscient Mind. And because man is the image of God, as the Scriptures state, each of us, in reality , expresses the one Mind. The demand is to prove this spiritual truth moment by moment for the benefit of ourselves and humanity.
The kind of thinking that obviously could not proceed from the divine Mind, from the source of all good and only good, is a product of the mortal or ''carnal'' mind, to use St. Paul's term. The thoughts of this supposed mind have neither origin, basis, nor cause. In fact, the carnal mind itself has no real existence. It is an illusion - a deception. Because God is the only Mind, it has no actual source, power, activity, or identity.
Each of us has God-derived dominion over the kind of thinking we accept into our consciousness. We all have the right and the ability to ''refuse the evil, and choose the good.''n4
n4 Isaiah 7:15.
The more we learn of God's power and infinite goodness, the easier it becomes for us to recognize the thoughts that come from the divine Mind and to accept them as our own. By the same token we become less deceived by the carnal mind with its suggestions of fear, disease, lack, and sin. The more we learn of God's power and infinite goodness and how they directly relate to us, the more willing we become to reject ungodlike thoughts.
We find some excellent instructions in the Bible on accepting the thoughts that will bless: ''Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; . . . think on these things.''n5
n5 Philippians 4:8.
In a way, the last censor board hasn't been dissolved by act of legislature. The ability to distinguish true from false, purity from impurity, remains, and is always available to spiritually enlightened human consciousness. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. I Thessalonians 5:5, 6