When I See Pictures of Victims

To be sure, a cityscape is not made of flesh. Still, sheared-off buildings are almost as eloquent as bodies in the street.

-Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others

A photograph of refugees streaming out of war-torn Yarmouk introduces an online article. A humanitarian advertisement displays a malnourished dog, mostly skin and bones, on the brink of death. A Facebook friend posts infrared photographs of helicopter pilots firing rounds into a group of footsoldiers.

Violent images inundate my daily world.

Which is disturbing. Infuriating. I can’t tell you how many things I’ve seen that I would rather not see. Maybe should not see. My gut reacts and screams these pictures should not exist!

But another part of me thinks that they should. Read more “When I See Pictures of Victims”

The Cure For “Racial Tensions?”

Answers in Genesis emailed me ten days ago. They claimed to have found the cure for “racial tensions” (and yes, they used quotation marks).

“Racial tensions” manifested by the likes of street demonstrations in Ferguson, use-of-force inquires, the shooting of unarmed black men, and the less than equitable media coverage of these events. Read more “The Cure For “Racial Tensions?””

Remembering Differently: Memorial Day

If my Facebook newsfeed is any indication, Americans do not approach Memorial Day in a uniform way. Some Americans barbecue, party, and celebrate their day off work while others lament the national disconnect with “what the holiday is all about.”

So there’s these two sides of the conversation: Read more “Remembering Differently: Memorial Day”

The Definitive List of 2014’s Attacks on Christianity Which, Um, Aren’t That at All.

1. Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.

Noah Surely Aronofsky’s adaptation of Israel’s adaptation of Babylon’s adaptation of a great flood story is an affront to God. Read more “The Definitive List of 2014’s Attacks on Christianity Which, Um, Aren’t That at All.”

Talking About War: American Mass Media and Christian Theology

This project centers on mass media portrayals of military and warfare in the United States and seeks to reflect upon them through the application of practical theology.  Elements of the Christian theological tradition will serve the current project as a norming influence[1] and ground subsequent proposed responses to the proliferation of speech, warfare depiction, and entertainment that spur militarism.  This project does not intend to determine whether or not war is ever justified; it focuses on the depiction of and speech about warfare in the American media.

Mass Media Portrayals of Warfare

I have compiled the following series of videos, images, and messages produced by the entertainment industry, United States government, and various news outlets.  Examination of these case studies will reveal thematic language, tropes, and characteristics of warfare depiction. Read more “Talking About War: American Mass Media and Christian Theology”