by Bil Aulenbach

Violence, Violence, and More Violence

Annie and I recently returned from a trip to Scotland, Wales, England and Ireland—the lands of our ancestors.

In Dublin, I read a news article that is almost unbelievable yet ever so believable in today’s world.

About two years ago, two thirteen-year-old boys brutally raped and murdered a fourteen-year-old girl. All were from wholesome families and seemed to lead normal lives.

Everyone in Ireland kept asking, “What happened?”

As I read the story, I mused that such violent behavior is not surprising given the preponderance of vicious video games, social media, porn, and weird cults in modern culture. The end of the article revealed that one of the boys had over twelve thousand images of animal porn, child porn, and violent sex on his electronic devices.

Have you gone to the movies lately and tried to find a wholesome movie without violence, brutal murders, fights to a gory death, graphic sex, heavy cussing (today’s films use the f word like a comma), or world-ending battles? It’s hard to find a movie, television show, or movie trailer without violence.

On our ten-hour flight home, I watched a movie entitled Booksmart about two bright high school seniors who decided to learn how to party before they went off to college. The film was full of sex, drugs, and profanity that would make a Marine Corps drill sergeant blush. Is this really what high school is about? That movie could lead people to believe so.

Another article in that Irish newspaper talked about the ubiquity of the internet and social media in children’s lives. One fourteen-year-old girl told the author that she had received three graphic images before 8:00 a.m. on the day of their interview.

I remember when the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre took place, many people believed that incident would put an end to gun violence. That tragedy happened on December 14, 2012. Today, nothing has changed. We have become so numbed by mass shootings that they no longer seem to affect us—“Oh, another massacre today. Any interesting news?”

As I wrote this blog post decrying violence on November 14, 2019, another mass shooting occurred at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California. Three died.

Once again, our leadership’s response is thoughts and prayers.

We all know nothing will change as long as the National Rifle Association is allowed to buy off elected officials and as along as gun advocates believe that the Second Amendment is about purchasing semiautomatic guns.

Maybe we are born violent (thanks to survival-of-the-fittest evolution) and have to learn nonviolence rather than the other way around. I’m reminded daily of how violent the Bible and the history of Christianity are.

The silence of the institutional church about this plague of violence is deafening.

Many people have stopped caring because social media is unregulated, our leadership defends the NRA, school psychologists are almost extinct, and bullies prevail.

What’s your take on violence?

 

Image courtesy of Comfreak from Pixabay

5 Responses to Violence, Violence, and More Violence

  • An important blog, Bil. Now to get people to read it and truly consider what it says.

  • I believe the abundance of violence portrayed in our everyday lives in video games, movies and on TV plus the wars we seem to have romanticized in our world, has desensitized us to violence. I blame the NRA for promoting it and our congress for accepting their bribes.

    If anyone reading the second amendment opens their mind to what it really says and puts it in the culture of the day, they would realize it is talking about a militia,. In that day there was no standing army and no police forces so a militia was the only way to protect communities against hostile Indians and British soldiers or other invaders.

    And as long as we have a president that uses profanity like a second language and those (who for some strange reason) admire him, he also is a bad example.

    But mostly I blame today’s parents for not instilling respect and responsibility in their children. Most of today’s children seem to be growing up like topsy,,,without any family rules or family chores to learn to do, and no respect for authority .

  • Fear, however one defines it, keeps most folks silent. Either the fear of embarrassment for speaking out or of remembering what happened to Gandhi, Bonhoeffer, and King. (as if someone will seek out an ordinary citizen)

    Besides that, I have to attend a rally about yah de yah de yah…all my friends are going,. I certainly do not want to miss anything or yah de yah de yah. Oh and I forgot, there are the three rallies next week, I just can’t remember what they are against.
    Oh Well, back to my knitting.

    Keep rolling Bil.

  • I agree with many of the comments above. My background is in media and English, and I worked for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation for many years. We used to say that people are becoming de-sensitised to violence. Then I started teaching at universities. I gave my first years the essay topic, ‘The impact of media violence on developing minds’. Their research was staggering: Most young people now see 20,000 murders on TV (mainly in film), so they become very passe about it. Plus the effects of social media exacerbate this, too. We do know from the latest research that the majority of parents simply want to ‘keep the peace’ with their children, and so old-fashioned values of kindness and so on have gone out the window. Women are writing horrible (pornographic) books which makes the problem worse. Just take a look at the thrillers on TV and the ‘forensic’ evidence shown (e.g. CSI). No wonder young people have difficulty reconciling all of this. But is we censure anything we are taking away people’s democratic rights! And we don’t want to become police states.

  • I agree with many of the comments above. My background is in media and English, and I worked for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation for many years. We used to say that people are becoming de-sensitised to violence. Then I started teaching at universities. I gave my first years the essay topic, ‘The impact of media violence on developing minds’. Their research was staggering: Most young people now see 20,000 murders on TV (mainly in film), so they become very passe about it. Plus the effects of social media exacerbate this, too. We do know from the latest research that the majority of parents simply want to ‘keep the peace’ with their children, and so old-fashioned values of kindness and so on have gone out the window. Women are writing horrible (pornographic) books which makes the problem worse. Just take a look at the thrillers on TV and the ‘forensic’ evidence shown (e.g. CSI). No wonder young people have difficulty reconciling all of this. But if we censure anything we are taking away people’s democratic rights! And we don’t want to become police states.

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