Months back when the first rumblings about The Hunger Games began I wanted to first read the books and if they were enjoyable, I would go catch the movie. Suzanne Collins wrote a compelling story. It moved forward violently at times. Douglas Wilson already wrote about the moral dilemma intrinsic in the gladiatorial Hunger Games (read it here).
Some have found fault with his logic but they missed the point. Wilson is not arguing against killing in war or for corporeal punishment. He’s arguing that killing in a forced entertainment game is wrong. I think he’s right. There is a moral conundrum. You can hear it when Gale and Katniss are talking about the games right before Katniss is being taken to the Capitol.
“Katniss, it’s just hunting. You’re the best hunter I know,” says Gale.
“It’s not just hunting. They’re armed. They think,” I say.
“So do you. And you’ve had more practice. Real practice,” he says. “You know how to kill.”
“Not people,” I say.
“How different can it be, really?” says Gale grimly.
Collins, Suzanne (2009-09-01). The Hunger Games (p. 40). Scholastic Books. Kindle Edition.
The games themselves kept grating me and I couldn’t put my finger on it. As I watched the movie Monday night, it came to me. The Hunger Games are frightening because it’s real. We’ve already seen these kinds of gladiatorial games back in Rome. And Collins combined an historically horrific reality with a present American obsession, reality TV. Is The Hunger Games then so unimaginable? I don’t think so. The right circumstances. The right compulsion. And this could be us.
And Christians have already shown their fortitude and willingness to die in the coliseum. Christians have been put in a similar situation and they chose death. Therefore, brothers and sisters, be vigilant. Read discerningly. And walk in obedience to the gospel amongst the most difficult circumstances.
|Jean-Leon Gerome (1824–1904), The Christian Martyrs' Last Prayer|
Mathew Sims is an average Joe who works a 9 to 5 and blogs on the side. He is an editor and writer for Grace for Sinners. He lives in Simpsonville, SC and loves spending time with his two daughters, Claire and Maddy, and wife of seven years, LeAnn. He has a BA in English/Creative Writing and attended Geneva Reformed Seminary for two years completing nearly 40 hours hours of an Mdiv program. He and his family serve and are members at Grace Church. He loves reading, writing, the outdoors, music, cooking, and is an Apple fan boy. You can find him on twitter @GraceforSinners and Facebook. Please email me with any questions or comment below.