by Edwin L. Carpenter – Editor, The Dove Foundation
Local resident Tom Mejeur and his family are representative in many ways of the visitors to our website, people who consult our reviews before deciding to see a movie or rent a video. Tom decided some time ago that he didn’t want any unwelcome surprises in the content of rented films. An educated man and a man of principle, Tom recently agreed to be interviewed by The Dove Foundation to explain how our website has aided himself and his family.
Tom is currently the School Chair of the Computer Aided Drafting and Design department at ITT Technical Institute in Grand Rapids.
“My wife and I both have master’s degrees,” said Tom. “She’s an elementary school teacher with twenty four years of teaching experience.” On the home front, Tom said, “We have two boys. Andrew is sixteen, the youngest. And the oldest, Chad, is twenty one.”
We asked Tom when he started looking at The Dove Foundation’s website and reviews. “First of all, I became aware of The Dove Foundation by hearing an interview on Focus on the Family, ten years ago. Then to find out that it was locally based, in Grand Rapids, was very interesting. Of course it is a national website. We as a family do not attend the theater and we don’t watch a lot of movies at home but as our children are growing up they have to learn to make their own choices. As we’ve tried to guide them, it’s been very difficult to make those choices without appropriate information.”
“I visited the Dove website recently; it was Saturday evening. Our youngest son wanted to watch a movie and we needed to have a higher authority,” Tom laughed. “We needed to have a source we could trust and set as a standard for movies that we had not seen. I said, ‘If we find a movie that is on the Dove website that meets our criteria, then that would be one that we would choose.’ We researched it and we agreed that ‘Night at the Museum’ was an appropriate movie that we would allow to be played in our home. We went to the local rental place. Unfortunately they were all out temporarily, and I went up to the counter and I said, ‘Do you have any other films that are on the Dove list?’ And she was aware of Dove. So at that moment I just decided that from now on, it’ll be the Dove list we use as our standard. “
We asked Tom what appealed to him about our reviews. “Dove has the criteria that we feel is important to our family. There’s more than one source that you could go to, but I think Dove has the credibility. The listings are more comprehensive so we know what Dove bases their decisions and recommendations on.”
“Each family has its own criteria of things that are important to them, and so instead of just grouping it into a broad category, we know exactly what those subsets are.
We asked Tom what his overall impression of the entertainment industry is today. “I think parents as a whole have less control. In general, the industry does not hold the values that we do, particularly our household, and so we have a very limited scope and need to be very, very selective. I find that I’m incensed by just the visual effect of going into the store.”
“To know that we have The Dove Foundation and we can go to the counter and ask, ‘Where are the Dove approved movies?’ makes the process easier and we don’t have to be floundering. That night when we went and our first choice was not available, that is a very uncomfortable situation—trying to hold up standards when you don’t have the material in front of you. I think what I’ve learned from that experience is that I will have second and third Dove choices.”
Tom agrees that there are some good entertainment choices available but not enough. We asked him if he had hope that things will improve in the entertainment industry. “Oh absolutely,” he said. “I think The Dove Foundation has helped identify the market for family-friendly entertainment. I think a segment of the industry is actually trying to meet that, and those producers who have that goal, are being reinforced and supported by organizations like The Dove Foundation.”
We at The Dove Foundation take it as a serious compliment that a man with principle such as Tom Mejeur consults our website because he trusts us to give him the information he needs to make good entertainment choices. Thank you, Tom. We will try not to let you and your family down.