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”

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Government Shuts Down, Church Realizes God Isn’t American

The nation’s press erupted on Tuesday in the aftermath of a U.S. government shutdown. Commentary on possible ramifications quickly surfaced and speculation about everything from the future of the economy to the fate of the beloved San Diego Zoo Panda Cam filled the air.

Many feared the loss of benefits for veterans and the inevitable boredom following a temporary closure of national parks.

Church Sanctuary

The unfolding crisis, however, seemed to hit one community harder than any other: Church on the Sovereign Rock in Kern County, California. Read more “Government Shuts Down, Church Realizes God Isn’t American”

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It Isn’t Barbarism When We’re Giving Kudos

This week’s GOP presidential debate showcased an eruption of applause for Governor Rick Perry and his state’s track record of 234 more inmate executions than any other state, “more than any other governor in modern times.”  Barbaric? According to Perry, absolutely not.  Americans simply “understand justice.”

Fun Fact:

Between 1973 and 1995, the Senate Judiciary Committee found the “overall rate of serious reversible error in capital cases” to be 68 percent of almost 4,600 cases studied.1

But I can see how one wouldn’t lose any sleep at night over such problems; after all, the real Americans are clapping.

[1] Gushee, David P. and Glen H. Stassen. Kingdom Ethics. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2003, p211

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Create Your Own Caption: Nifty Gifty U.S. Military Crosses

Nifty-Gifty Military Crosses
Nifty-Gifty Military Crosses

The irony here is strong.  In order to explore the depths of meaning behind these souvenirs recently discovered at a shop in Gorman, California, we’re having a caption contest.  Create a caption for this picture and leave it in the comments.  Good luck and in hoc signo vinces!

UPDATE/DISCLAIMERThere is no disrespect intended by this post, or the subsequent comments, toward the members of our military.  One must realize, however, how crazy the idea of a cross imprinted with the seal of the United States military is.

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Addressing Our Heart Warming Practice of Self-Interest in 300 Words or Less

We respond to a discussion starter in 300 words or less each week in our Christian Ethics class.

This week’s topic was particularly beautiful, so I thought I’d share it: Read more “Addressing Our Heart Warming Practice of Self-Interest in 300 Words or Less”

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Boogity Boogity Boogity, Jesus.

I’m not a Nascar fan.  I’m sure many people have many great reasons to love the (sport?), so I’m glad this pastor did his Nascar invocation-thang for the crowd last week, even though it’s one of the most awkward prayers I’ve ever heard. Read more “Boogity Boogity Boogity, Jesus.”

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