Calvanist Elements to the Movie "Footloose"

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  • Topic: Footloose, Dance music, Music
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  • Published : March 18, 2013
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“Footloose” Calvinist Elements

The movie “Footloose” is about a town that has laws that do not allow music and dancing. This law was made in the town with the help of Reverend Shaw Moore. He is the minister of the small town community and also the father of a young High School girl. These laws were made due to the death of his son. His son died and he had blamed it on the music and dancing. So, Reverend Moore, thinking he is above everyone else, showed his Calvinist beliefs and turned a once lively town, into a sad one.

Some quotes from the movie show how the Reverend was Calvinist

“If our Lord wasn't testing us, how would you account for the proliferation, these days, of this obscene rock and roll music, with its gospel of easy sexuality and relaxed morality? “

“Even if this was not a law, which it is, I'm afraid I would have a lot of difficulty endorsing an enterprise which is as fraught with genuine peril as I believe this one to be. Besides the liquor and the drugs which always seem to accompany such an event the thing that distresses me even more, Ren, is the spiritual corruption that can be involved. These dances and this kind of music can be destructive, and, uh, Ren, I'm afraid you're going to find most of the people in our community are going to agree with me on this.” 

The first quote shows how he feels about obscene rock and roll music—this is a Calvinist element. The second quote above from the movie, Reverend Shaw is telling Ren, his daughters friend, how liquor, drugs and dancing is destructive and promotes spiritual corruption. This is another view of the Reverend being Calvinist. In another part of the movie when Ariel is alone with her father, Reverend Moore, she asks him about the music he is listening to which is classical music. She asks him if that kind of music is ok. And he says back to her “It doesn’t confuse people’s minds and bodies”.
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