Am I the only one who thinks that these kinds of people are a Vocal Minority? I went to a Christian school as a child and I can't count the number of times when I heard other children talking about a PG-13 (sometimes R) rated movie. Granted the one that was talked about the most was a Disney movie and most of the others were based off of comicbooks.
Not the only one. Seriously, most organizations that decry the [insert offensive thing] in media usually simply recommend that you ought not to see it.
Well, considering everybody gets swept up in the bullshit, it can be very annoying to people with common sense.
They're not a Vocal Minority. It's just that the media portrays them as such. Yes, there are many people who let their kids see things that aren't tailored to their age group. However, like you said, the film talked about the most at your old school was a Disney film, which, when people hear that word, they think "made for kids" and "family friendly", regardless of the rating. Also, how many of your classmates went to see the movie without their parents? You have to take that into account, as well. Not to mention that the Culture Police and the Politically Correct, both forms of moral guardians, are everywhere, as well.
Depends on the media being spoken out against. Moral Guardians for any particular issue are a Vocal Minority. However, there are a lot of people out there with different tastes and personal definitions of what is suitable. Coalitions of them may agree in a general sense, but rarely agree on the particulars.
It also depends on the particular issue and how it's being spoken out about. It's pretty safe to say that a group of Moral Guardians who believe that, say, Harry Potter movies should be banned because they promote witchcraft, Satan-worship and will be corrupting people's souls and sending them to hell are probably in a minority, but if you were to look at the general sense of movie ratings then you probably wouldn't find many parents who don't think that some kind or ratings system designed to help them whether the movie they planned to take their kids to see was appropriate for them (in that it didn't contain sex or gore or anything like that) is a good idea. Technically both are Moral Guardians, except that one occupies a fringe and the other is more accepted by the mainstream.
Perhaps one of the reason Moral Guardians are so annoying is merely because they are more organized than their opposite numbers(which you probably couldn't call the immoral guardians). People don't march outside movie theaters with signs saying 'Death Killers 3 will not lead to criminal behaviour!' or go on news programs where they express their opinion that the newest video game will likely not encourage underage drinking. The Vocal Minority is simply louder and have the ears of more people that those who don't care or don't think the new media is evil.
This happens with a lot of these sort of conflicts, where the Vocal Minority is only paid attention because of their superior organization. Some of this may tie in with a bit of psychology - read The Authoritarians for an idea of what I mean.
Doesn't this backfire? Telling kids constantly not to do things because they aren't old enough or what have you just makes them want to do it more. Who remembers the glee when you watched an R rated movie or a mature show behind your parents' backs as kids?
So, is the idea that being a moral guardian a bad thing come from the idea that morals are not objective?
No it comes from the idea that Moral Guardians find everything offensive. Everything.
It's also their relentless pushiness, their refusal to live and let live, and their general assumption of their own Incorruptible Pure Pureness, coupled with the hypocrisy one often finds in these groups.
By opposing them you aren't choosing to live and let live either. It goes both ways. Its a bit hypocritical.
Wait, who said anything about "opposing" them? You asked what the nature of a Moral Guardian was and why it's a generally negative trope. Finding them obnoxious isn't opposing them. Opposing them would be wanting to censor or otherwise dissolve the organization.
You know, I've always wondered: When the Moral Guardians were children and teenagers, what did they watch, read, listen, and play? Bland, vapid stuff? Strictly educational things? Religious stuff? Absolutely nothing? Surely many, if not most, had consumed something in their youth that they would turn around and object to now.