The Hunger Games and Christianity

April 23, 2012

I saw the hunger games last weekend on a date night with my wife and then again this weekend with my daughter.  Even though I haven’t read the book yet, I had seen the previews and it looked interesting and full of action.  It did not disappoint, and I enjoyed the movie both times.

WARNING: If you haven’t read the books or seen the movie yet I want to warn you that I might be sharing some spoiler information that would ruin your plans to enjoy it first.

The movie overall seemed to be making a statement about control and power in life.  It would be interesting to look up the author, Suzanne Collins and see what her views were about different subjects in politics, religion, and life.  I wonder what kind of statement she is attempting to make about our current culture.  I think there are several angles at which you can take the scenes and lines and interpret them a certain way.  You could make an argument for the voice of the media today, perhaps a political statement, you can draw a parallel between the different economic classes, and a few other topics I’m sure.  Today I want to address the Hunger Games and my Christian faith, since I relate everything to my own personal relationship with Jesus Christ why not relate a movie and see what conversations we can stir up.

The first thing I want to bring up is the general idea for the Hunger Games all together.  The idea that one day in our future we might find ourselves in some similar situation with a twisted goal of survival to the death as a reality game seems so foreign to me, but then I question, could we find ourselves as a culture doing something like that in the future?  Will Survivor go into its 50th season with a shocking new twist?  I hope not!  Pondering the Hunger Games I think that this type of behavior that we credit back to the gladiators of Rome, but I have to say that I don’t think we as humans, still value life much more than we did thousands of years ago.  Sure our war habits have changed into more modern practices, but the 20th century has been one of the bloodiest centuries since recorded history.  In David Berlinski’s book “The Devils Delusion” Berlinski spends 3 pages totalling up the amount of deaths in just the last century. 1    Dare I even mention the issue of abortion and that since the Roe. v Wade Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decision in 1973 there has been an estimated 50 million abortions in the US alone.   Yes, I went there.  The right to life is one of the single most important issues for many Christians today.  There is also something to be said about how the tributes are paraded in proudly before the masses weeks before their own deaths.    I’m curious, where do you think we are as a nation, a planet with the value of human life?

The second things that caught my eyes and ears was a conversation that Peeta has with Katniss the night before the games begin.   Petta says

“I don’t want them to change me in there  Turn me into something I’m not.  I’m sure I’ll kill just like everyone else… only I keep wishing I could think of a way to… show the Capital that they don’t own me, that I’m more than a piece in their Games.  If I’m gonna die, I still want to be me.” 2

As a Christian I often think that we are in a battle not to compromise what we hold to be TRUTH in life and no matter what the rest of the world does or deems acceptable we strive to live our life for God no matter what everyone else does.  There are so many scriptures that speak to this challenge.

Ezekiel, one of God’s prophets warns the city of Jerusalem that they have fallen into a compromise with the nations around them and because they have failed to follow the Lord, the Lord himself will be against them.  (Ezekiel 5:6-8)  Would we rather have it our way, like Burger King or have Almighty God against us?    There is the more-widely known Romans 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” and a few chapters later we are told whom we are to conform to.

“For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” – Romans 8:29

Mind you that, I am not preaching this blog from some state of perfection.  The process to conform to the likeness of the Son, Jesus is a life-long journey.  One filled with many traps and snares that I have fallen into before.  I am a nobody, just trying to help anybody find the peace and joy in life on the way to eternal life with God.  I am thankful for the help that God gives me in the journey.  He doesn’t just leave me to my own.

1 Corinthians 10:13 the Bible promises us “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a wayout so that you can stand up under it.”

The last thing I will mention is this post is at the very beginning of the movie where the tributes are chosen in the Reaping.  All the teens that are of the appropriate age are herded to the Reaping where a boy and girl of each district are chosen by the people of the Capital.  Katniss has a sister named Primrose who was chosen to represent the 12th district and in a move of compassion, Katniss runs forward and volunteers to take her place.  According to the law, someone had to be chosen as a tribute from each district, and it was strictly enforced every year, for the past 75 years.  No doubt you can see the great parallel between mankind and God.  God is Holy and Just and must punish sin.  It is His law.  As Jesus stepped forth and left His Heavenly home to volunteer His own self to be willing to die for all of mankind.  I would encourage you to grab you Bible and read Philippians 2:3-11.  It is a great picture of what Jesus Christ did for us.

There are more things I would love to bring out, perhaps in another post later.  If you have some other thoughts relating the Hunger Games to the Christian worldview or your faith, please feel free to add them.  As always questions, comments, and discussions are welcome.

End Notes:

1. Berlinski, David – The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretenses, pages 22-24

2. Collins, Suzanne – The Hunger Games, pages 171-172

Healthcare Ranting

March 22, 2010

It’s been a while since I posted a blog.   I had to stay away for a while because the only thing really on my mind was political stuff that just moved me to angry and that was not good.  I’m still upset with what the Democrats in Washington have done, but I have a better perspective to handle it now.  As the votes came in Sunday,  I saw the writing on the wall begin to take form slowly as the news media began to announce 1 by one those who would now vote yes for the bill in question.    I will share a view thoughts I’ve had over the last few weeks and them share the last and final thought that gives me peace about the situation no matter what.

First, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a country so upset with a leader or party as I have now.  I know I’m rather young and have only paid attention to politics over the last 15-20 years of my life.  Perhaps my older more experienced friends could add some thoughts to that opinion.  Regardless, for me the healthcare reform that passed late last night has 10’s of millions of people very upset.  It will be interesting to see what will happen over the next months with the people.  Will people remember in November what took place in March, we have a tendency to lose steam and allow time to heal wounds, but this issue is too big to ignore or to let it fade away.  We will see come November, when the people get to speak for themselves instead of  a few hundred in power.

It will also be interesting to see what happens to costs, taxes, and medical care over the next few years to 10 years.  It’s to bad that we can’t track that with some degree of absolute certainty.  When costs and taxes go up the Democrats will say it was for some other reason, I’m sure.   It’s also too bad I can’t bill my insurance premium increases to the 219 “yes” voters when things do change.   Some may not be in power anyway after November.

Secondly, I noticed the last democrats to switch from no to yes were the group led by Michigan  Representative, Bart Stupak.   This group of Pro-Life Dems wanted to see in writing how Abortion would not be supported in any way by Federal monies.  They finally gave in to an agreement by Obama that he would write an executive order to back up the already fuzzy legislation.   It was this last group of switch voters that enabled the vote to pass.  There were anywhere from 4-8 dems who would not vote yes until their Abortion issues were handled.    If Obama had not written an executive order they would not have passed the bill, because they only had 219 votes and the minimum of 4 representatives would have turned the vote the other way.  As a strong supporter of life and against abortion  I was only mildly satisfied with this solution.  The reason being that an executive order is only as good as the president makes it and if the next person to take the office of president can change it with the stroke of a pen.  In addition to that, Any court that hears cases based on the issue of abortion is bound by the law and not the executive order, it in effect means nothing.  I use the example of trying to catch a baseball using a wet piece of toilet paper, it’s not going to happen.

This is another government entitlement program that will expand over the next decades and eventually become too bankrupt to work much like the social security program that was started years ago and that I will probably not see one penny of.  I love the sign I saw on a protester on TV last week.  “Equal rights, not Equal Stuff.””  We have come so far from the desires and beliefs of the past country founders and it’s not looking pretty where I stand.  It’s a proven fact: The more handouts you give, the more people are going to take.  The more they take, the less they will want to work for and earn for themselves.  If I’m a student who makes bad grades, of course I would want the class average for a grade rather than my own grade of D or F. 

Last, the one thought that gives me peace in all the frustrating times is that, God is still in control.  Even when things don’t go our way or when bad things happen to you.  God is still in control.  Yes, things will start to change and bad stuff will always be around to rain on your parade, but God is still charge and there is NOTHING that happens that he does not permit to take place.  HE took care of you for years now and he will also take care of you in the next years to come.  When you think about all the stuff that gets you upset and moves you to action, it may be good, but also keep in mind that one day this will not matter anymore and those who have a relationship with Christ Jesus will spent eternity with Him in Heaven.   I am reminded of the old Audio Adrenaline song “You Can’t Take God Away from Me.”   It was big back in the 90’s when schools were under fire for not allowing Christian clubs to meet on school grounds.   The chorus says the following:

You can’t take God away from me, you take my life, my land, my liberty.  You lock me up, I’ll still be free, because you can’t take God away from me.

Government is not the answer to all our problems.  God is the answer to the issues at hand.  If we search the Bible and ask God what he desires for us to do and how to live our lifes we will find an answer.  The Bible does speak on the issues and if we will listen and not turn away from His rules desires for our life I know that He will guide us through every step of the process.

Superbowl Commerical Recap

February 8, 2010

You're playing like Betty White

Well, another year of great Superbowl commercials has come and gone.  I enjoyed the game and the commercials both this year.   For years, the beer commercials have had the market for the most funny commercials, but this year I think they have stepped aside and made room for several new winners.  This years commercials seemed to want to stick it to the guys more than usual.   Between the Dove, Dodge, and FloTV commercials I felt a little more manly after watching them.  I thought to myself, “At least I don’t do that!” 

We have also gone from the “Pant’s on the Ground” to “wearing no pants at all” in two of the commercials. (Dockers and  My daughter happened to be walking by the TV when both commercials came on back to back and she exclaimed ” They’re not wearing any pants! Gross!!”  I thought to myself, “but it’s supposed to be funny.”

I think my favorite commercial of the night was Snickers staring Betty White.  It was funny and nice to see the “old gal” can still bring the laughs.  She is a good sport and showed the world that she is not done making you laugh.

Focus on the Family – Tim Tebow Ad @ Yahoo! Video

Tim Tebow vs.  Well, I was looking forward to seeing the Focus on the Family Ad staring Tim Tebow and his mom.  It was highly criticized by many women’s rights groups for weeks before anyone actually viewed the ad.  As a strong pro-life person and against abortion I was excited that they took the opportunity to celebrate life.  Doctors are not prophets.  My wife and I have personally experienced when the doctor recommends “terminating a pregnancy” and then we trust God for the results and we now have a happy 9-year-old bundle of joy who I can’t imagine life without. 

Focus on the Family led by James Dobson is a great organization and  much of the hate they receive for standing up for their beliefs comes from people who don’t know them and what kind of people they are.  I heard so many lies about James Dobson in the weeks before the ad.  One person called  Dobson a “homosexual hater” and others made him out to be a loveless preacher of God.  They simply don’t know what they are talking about.

I think the woman’s right’s groups should be more upset with the commericials than the Focus on the Family ones. shamelessly used the woman (Danica Patrick and others) as sex objects and not view them as women with standards and of the 21st century.  I’m sure that the website had several million hits last night to see the rest of the commercial that teased millions of men.  SEX SELLS.   After all was said and done last night I hope the women’s right’s groups noticed how much they over-reacted and took note of the comercials like I did.

You can leave your comments or take the poll below to cast your vote for your favorite commercial.

Get your hands off my Doritos!!