"There exists in this country a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people."

Text of NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre’s Speech

In a race to the bottom, media conglomerates compete with one another to shock, violate and offend every standard of civilized society by bringing an ever-more-toxic mix of reckless behavior and criminal cruelty into our homes — every minute of every day of every month of every year.

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christian cerna's picture


Aaron Blumer's picture


For what it's worth, I don't really get the "culture of violence" thing. That is, I'm aware of some extremely violent video games and gratuitously violent TV/movies. What I don't know is...

a. Whether these contribute at all to massacres. Correlation is not causation.

b. Why we call this "glorifying violence" 

Admittedly my exposure to the industry is probably pretty limited, but most of the violence I've seen depicted is bad guys being stopped by good guys. Seems to me that in that situation it is not violence that is being "glorified."

On the other hand... yeah, I've heard of games where there is no "right" and you just "win" by engaging in endless indiscriminate slaughter. I'm still not sure what's being glorified there... but it's clear what's being indulged.

My theory on why these massacres have increased: Human nature. It was only a matter of time before someone was evil/crazy enough to commit a mass random shooting. From there, media coverage would increase awareness and now every homicidal guy who wants to go out taking a crowd with him knows how easy it is. The more this happens, the more the idea of doing it is front-burner for the sorts of individuals who are inclined to do these kinds of things.

And they know how easy it is.

I'm not sure we need a social or cultural explanation any more complex than that.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Jim's picture

Jack Reacher - If you’re still haunted by the Newtown shooting, do not see this movie. (Don’t see it anyway.)


The film ... begins with a lone gunman preparing for mass murder: lovingly hand-milling his own bullets, driving into a Pittsburgh parking garage, setting up his sniper rifle. And then we get an agonizingly long shot—I recall it as more than a minute long—viewed through his rifle’s scope, as he tracks potential victims along a riverwalk. The audience I was with audibly gasped as the target settled on a man in a suit, a woman holding shopping bags, a nanny walking with a child. Then he fires, fires, and fires again, and soon five victims lie dead on the sidewalk.

Steve Davis's picture

A member of our church, Dr. Chuck Williams, professor at Drexel University, appeared on O'Reilly Factor last week. He also works with the Center for the Prevention of School-Aged Violence. You can hear him in this video (about 50 seconds in) discussing the correlation (not causality) between violent films and violence and how those who are already emotionally fragile can be pushed over the edge. BTW, it's a blessing to have a brother like this at Grace Church.


Huw's picture

It would be difficult to adhere to Philippians 4:4-9 when watching violent movies or playing violent games. Approval of an act or the imagining of an act carries the same guilt as committing the act.

A friend once told me that every vile and disgusting act that was ever carried out is available in the home via a TV. The scripture says, '' It is impossible that scandals shall not come: but woe through whom they come!'' Those that deliver the scandalous TV shows are already condemned.



Jim's picture



... what Hillary Clinton said at an industry gathering in Los Angeles, in the autumn of 1999.  It was not long after the school shooting at Columbine, and the 15 dead.  Rocked by that tragedy, the then first lady and soon to be senate candidate called together her friends and supporters in Hollywood and, as one of them later said, gave them something between a little psychotherapy and the riot act.

The gathering was private, but a friend with a tape recorder was there.  Meeting with Mrs Clinton were all the heads of the big TV and movie studios, all the titans and moguls.  Harvey Weinstein was there, Jeffrey Katzenberg of Dreamworks, David Geffen, Rupert Murdoch of Fox, Sumner Redstone.  Sherry Lansing of Paramount was there, and Amy Pascal of Columbia.  Ron Meyer of Universal, Jeff Bewkes of HBO, Howard Stringer of Sony and Edgar Brongman of Universal also attended.  They met in Michael Eisner’s beautiful hillside home.

And this is what Hillary said:

“I want to be candid with you, for candor is a compliment, it speaks of trust and assumes good faith.  And I’ll never speak of this meeting and what is said, and I hope you never do, either.  I want all of us to keep it private.

“We have a problem with our culture, as we all know – particularly those of us who are parents, and who have one night walked into the TV room and seen our kids glued to the tube watching something that is violent or darkly sexual or disturbed.  Or if you’ve ever read the lyrics to the songs they’re listening to, you know what’s up.  And you know we’ve all talked about this before, but I think it bears another look…

“Let me tell you my thoughts.

“First of all, I know what you know, and what any thoughtful person knows:  Hollywood is always fingered as the culture’s central culprit, but Hollywood is not The Culprit. It is A Culprit.  If all of Hollywood started making shows with no violence and no obscene content and no bad messages tomorrow, the country would still be in a mess.  There’s plenty of blame to go around.

“But you know as I do that Hollywood is part of the problem.  And a significant part.  You make our movies and TV, and we are a nation that loves its movies and TV, that almost invents itself each day through what it sees and absorbs and internalizes from our media.  You make the images that live in our minds, that prompt us…