Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! [Isaiah 5:20]*
Woe to those who decree unrighteous decrees, who write misfortune, which they have prescribed…. [Isaiah 10:1]
But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
Woe to the world because of offenses [enticements to sin]! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes! [Matthew 18:6-7]
The U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that states cannot restrict the sale or rental of video games to minors, a decision which, according to them, reinforces both the First Amendment protection for interactive games and the free expression rights of children.
This makes no sense. One may rightly ask: “What WERE they thinking?” But the truth of the matter is that basically, they weren’t even thinking at all. They were playing a political game with the spiritual well-being of our children with an almost Pollyanna-like naivete that no harm has been done, so it must be OK.
In the first place, comparing violence in an unillustrated written form such as Grimm’s Fairy Tales with graphically depicted violence in video games such as Grand Theft Auto, which leaves little, if anything, to the imagination is comparing apples with ugli fruit. It’s not an accurate comparison and therefore irrelevant to the issue.
Moreover, the court’s rationale that violent video games do not affect behavior is simply not true. The whole intent and purpose of such games is to desensitize the user to violence in any form as an acceptable means to resolve differences. That is why the military uses such games to train soldiers. While psychologists made findings that exposure to television violence did not affect behavior, those findings were made over 40 years ago, when the violence depicted was much less graphic, and there was a stronger moral framework which did not glorify violence as a means to an end except as a last resort and only then in defense of those unable to help themselves or in self-defense. Games such as Grand Theft Auto, on the other hand, glorify aggression against others, while a moral code decries any use of force except only what is necessary to repel or eliminate the threat or use of aggression and only to the degree necessary to accomplish that end. Moreover, there is a clear and distinct difference between the gratuitous, graphic, almost realistic, CGI animation in such visual and spiritual filth as Grand Theft Auto and Assassins’ Creed when compared with the totally two-dimensional non-reality of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Wile E. Coyote vs. Roadrunner.
If such images are not an inducement to violence as supporters of such filth claim, why did the courts agree with health advocates that Joe Camel should be banned because use of that image might induce young people to take up smoking? Nobody argued that the tobacco companies had a First Amendment right to use Joe Camel. Moreover, if graphically depicted violence does not affect behavior, what does that say about all the cute little animated characters hawking breakfast cereals on Saturday morning (Snap! Crackle! Pop! Cap’n Crunch, Toucan Sam, the Trix Rabbit, Lucky the Leprechaun, Tony the Tiger, etc.)? Do those icons not induce children to eat foods which are not healthy? The logic should be applied consistently. In this case, the supreme court is not applying logic or consistency in either its thought or application. Moreover, the there is gross hypocrisy, when those who claim images in advertising alter consumer beliefs and behaviors, while graphic depictions of violence in CGI games do not..
The court has ruled that because of the youth and inexperience of the targeted audiences, the First Amendment rights of the tobacco and cereal companies must be restricted.
Why is that not true here? The current crop of violent video games glorifies, revels in, and rewards violent aggressive behavior without any moral restraints and the whole goal in such depicted violence to make the depictions as realistic as possible. The marketing of these games is not oriented to adults. The targeted audiences are children 12 and up, children who more than likely have not fully formed a moral code yet, and given the current social, educational, spiritual, and political milieu, appear to be unlikely to ever do so.
Is this a parenting issue? As a former candidate for vice-president would say: You betcha! But most parents are not supervising their children 24-7. Unless those children are being home-schooled, or schooled in a conservative Christian school, the educational and social stimuli those children are exposed to are not morally or spiritually supportive. At best, they are derisive toward Christian values. More often than not, those influences are antagonistic and hostile toward Christian values. And, given the fact that most of the child’s waking hours are spent away from the home [unless home-schooled], is it any wonder that more and more children educated in a public school are lost as they grow older? Moreover, it appears many parents have passively abdicated their god-given responsibilities and obligations — is this due to fear that their children won’t like them, laziness, or simply apathy towards the spiritual condition of their children? Such parents have sown the wind and will reap a whirlwind of disrespectful, arrogant, violent, self-absorbed children. [Hosea 8:7]
We now live in a society where children are being caught bringing weapons to school with the express intent to use them. When a ten-year-old boy and an eleven-year-old boy bring a gun and a knife to school with a list of seven other students they intend to kill and have threatened to kill the person who saw the weapons and turned them in when they are released from whatever penalty is assessed [http://abcnews.go.com/US/graders-charged-murder-conspiracy-danger/story?id=18878460], the slide down the slippery slope which was prophesied almost 2000 years ago gains more speed:
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:
For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
unloving [in the Greek, astorgeo–utterly void of any natural affections], unforgiving [lit. irreconciable], slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,
traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such turn away! [2 Timothy 3:1-5]
* Unless otherwise noted, all Scriptures are from the New King James Version. Copyright ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.