Tag Archives: Violence

Outrage Culture; Christian response?

We’ve all experienced outrage culture in some form, haven’t we?  If you’ve been on any type of social media it’s kind of hard to ignore.  The term tacks on “culture” to the outrage because it is so pervasive.  A person shares an opinion and suddenly people are compelled to jump on them, and in a flurry of hastily typed words there’s the equivalent of a slap fight.

But it can be more than that; road rage anyone? How about our sporting events, like the latest headline grabber; Kassian vs. Tkachuk in some hockey action. The thing is this culture grows with “views.”  How many people are watching, what do people want to see, how far can it go?  Take the hockey incident; hockey is one sport where people watch the matches expecting to see a dust up.  We go on Facebook or Twitter and are on the look out for some verbal sparring, or we post something that we know might stir the pot.  How many likes can we get, how do we react to that little laughing emoji, do we push people’s buttons because we actually believe it can make them change?

What are we, as Christians, called to do about all of this?  Anything?  Where is the line drawn since we are to be in the world but not of it?  Also, I’m not doing as some and suggesting that people shouldn’t share their opinions on important topics like politics or religion… obviously not since that’s kind of what this blog is about.  We are taught directly by Christ in scripture to turn the other cheek.  So, if someone is simply goading us or insulting us then perhaps we should be more inclined to let it slide vs. Christ’s example of turning over the table of the money lenders in the Temple.

With sports as well; it is better that mankind work out some violence with sport than with war, but what of violence within sport itself?  Do we, as believers, support more violent pastimes, or find our entertainment and exercise elsewhere?  I don’t think a particular sport, such as hockey or boxing, is inherently evil, not at all, but perhaps we should expect more from participants of our chosen sport.

Words are better than physical wounds, but we also know that the tongue has the power of life and death (Proverbs 18:21), so maybe a Christian response is more one of thoughtfulness than silence.  If people would take a second and ask themselves if what they are trying to add to a conversation is actually productive, perhaps that would help.  It’s also true that we can simply put an informed opinion out there without then engaging in a meaningless back-and-forth for the fun of it.  Every now and again, we should listen more than we speak.

Matthew 12:36 informs us that we will give an account of every idle word on the day of judgement.  For those of us who believe such things, it should give us at least a moment’s pause.  I’ve been “guilty” of the pull of outrage culture, and that verse in Matthew does spring to mind but perhaps not often enough.  We’re called to be peacemakers with truth and love, never at the expense of either.  Just something to ponder.

 

 

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Filed under Christianity, Musings, Religion and Politics

Video Games and Morality…

Christian.  Female.  Gamer.  I have to be in the vast minority (anybody else out there?).  I’ve been interested in, and played video games before the wonderful old atari system came out; on old (Apple) computers of course.  So obviously I don’t think playing video games is wrong.  What I would like to discuss, just because I find it interesting, is what about morality within the context of the world of a game?

For example, in one of my favorite games of all time; Knights of the Old Republic, which is based in the Star Wars universe, you can choose what kind of Jedi you become.  Do you stay a good Jedi, or start embracing the teachings and/or action of the Sith (“evil” Jedi).  Of course if you choose the Sith side of things, you aren’t a very nice person in the least.  So (some of you must be wondering) why would you ever choose to play the villain of the piece?

Well, you see, that is interesting too.  To get the fully story in a game, you play both sides, as each decision often adds to the storyline, and fills in gaps.  So, it’s the programmers who are really the immoral ones! 😉  To get all the details that you buy and play the game for, you must play both storylines; good and bad.  Some people cannot do it.  They can’t force themselves to even be verbally mean to a group of bratty kids (in game)… let alone turn traitor and kill a member of your own party.  Others of us don’t really have much of a problem with it, although there are things I absolutely will not do even in video games.

It’s just a fascinating concept to me.  No one mistakes a video game’s world with the real world, but we do know that even “fantasy violence” can disturb people, leave an impression, and give people ideas.  Now, there are games that are built solely around violence, such as the Grand Theft Auto games; and I definitely stear clear of those; however, many people gloss over the fact that even if you play the good side, the good storyline, you still wind up (usually) killing people, or at least other living creatures.

So what does anyone out there think?  Does your morality impact how you play a video game, the choices you make within the game?  Or, can you shut off your real life morality in order to complete the game?  and if you can, should you? For me, it is changing.  With youtube so accessible, everyone puts the “bad” storylines up where you can see the ending without having to actually play as a bad character.  If I have a chance to fill in the details without actually playing through the game as a “bad” character, I’ll take that choice.

One of the latest games with a clear good/bad choice that I’ve played was BioShock.  Without spoiling anything, there is no possible way I could have played the character as evil/bad…so I did indeed go to youtube and watch the ending.  Cheating?  I don’t consider it so, since I did beat the game as a “good guy.”  Now, if you would like to comment, would you kindly refrain from game spoilers?

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Filed under Of Interest, Sacred Secular, Theology