part of the problem

I can’t imagine the grief among the families waking up in Connecticut this morning, and I pray for the comfort of Christ to envelop them. It is for mornings like this that we are Christians, because if you don’t know Jesus, then really, what can you say or do for these poor people?

I’m sure we’ll learn there are many contributing factors to the killer’s rampage, but I wonder if this isn’t one of them. It’s telling that Paramount Pictures is postponing its latest Tom Cruise movie because of a graphic sniper scene. When we watch violence as entertainment, we shouldn’t be surprised when one kook–and all it takes is one–decides to imitate what he sees.

Does art imitate life or does life imitate art? Probably both. If you think about the sin that permeates our culture–violence, murder, sexual immorality, and greed–they all have been glamorized by Hollywood. I’m not blaming movies and television entirely, as you could make the case that they are simply picking up on what already exists in the culture, but I’m confident this is not a coincidence. Paramount apparently agrees, which is why you won’t be able to catch their new movie tomorrow. But wait a week, and you probably will.

5 Comments

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  1. I have noticed that when I go to a movie store that if you really pay attention to any wall or section of the store such as New Releases, I would say that at least 70-80% of the movies are either sex, violence, or worse- very demonic themes. It is for reasons such as this that I do not have cable tv in my house and am very aware of what both myself and my daughter watch. Same goes for music too.

  2. Of course, a religious lunatic could imitate one of the violent or perverted sequences he read in the Bible instead of something he saw in a movie. As a theology professor, what is your opinion as to which Paramount picture most influenced Cain and Lamech? Because if there is one thing history proves, it is that violent people are innocuous when deprived of media.

  3. Please read more carefully. My thought is that our entertainment choices influence our behavior, something a Parent Journal should probably understand. I never suggested that violence didn’t occur until the 20th century and the advent of film.

  4. Without touching your conclusions at all, I think you’re missing the reason Paramount would not release that Tom Cruise movie right in the wake of a shooting. It’s not because they “agree” that their movie might inspire another killer. It’s because they want their movie to make money and nobody’s in the mood to watch a shoot-em-up action flick in the midst of national mourning over something like this.

  5. Wow. How sad that you are probably right! I can feel myself becoming cynical

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