Focus On The Family-Endorsed Game Gives Kids Brain Damage ?
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Wed Dec 13, 2006 at 03:10:32 PM EST
Outbreaks of self contradiction and moral relativism, or perhaps moral atrophy, continue at the powerful "family values" organization Focus On The Family. First came Vice President Tom Minnery's surprising concern - "I fear that we're in a society in which you will be held to the standards which you claim." (see full story). Now, a Focus On The Family website has both enthusiastically endorsed a video game - that lets players command forces to convert to fundamentalist Christianity or kill all the residents of New York - as "the kind of game that Mom and Dad can actually play with Junior" and highlighted findings from researchers at the Indiana State School Of Medicine indicating frequent playing of violent video games can cause parts of children's brains to atrophy.
One retort to this might be the claim " 'Left Behind: Eternal Forces' isn't that sort of game ; they probably were researching the impact  "first person shooter" games had on kids' brains and the "Left Behind: Eternal Forces" is a game of grand strategy where players control armies and not individual soldiers." But such distinctions may break down in actual game play, and an otherwise enthusiastic reviewer writing about the LB:EH game for Wired Magazine wrote, in reference to a game feature called the 'prayer button' that recharges the spirits of game fighters after they kill :  ""....In the thick of a really hectic Left Behind battle, I'd click the prayer button so instinctually that I pretty much forgot I was, well, praying."". Such decriptions indicate the distinction between the "Left Behind: Eternal Forces" game may be blurry.

Moral positions at Focus On The Family seem a bit blurry of late as well :

Since the Foley Scandal a sort of institutional Tourette's Syndrome (that one commentor called "mendacity as performance art") has broken out on the Christian right in repeated displays of hypocrisy and apparent moral relativism. In early October, in "Help, Help! We've fallen Into Moral Relativism and We Can't Get Up !" I described a Focus On The Family radio broadcast featuring James Dobson and Focus On The Family Vice President Tom Minnery, in which an obviously angry Dobson wondered what the Foley scandal had to do with him and Tom Minnery aired a rather suprising concern : "I fear that we're in a society in which you will be held to the standards which you claim." : scary indeed for those guilty of a wide gulf between words and deeds.

Moving along - from Minnery's concern about being held to publicly professed standards and James Dobson's tacit agreement with that worry - to the antics of "Plugged In Online" :

Early this December the Focus On The Family website "Plugged In Online" has enthusiastically endorsed the "Left Behind : Eternal Forces" video game allowing players to wage religious warfare against non-fundamentalist Christians on the streets of New York City as " the kind of game that Mom and Dad can actually play with Junior" [I characterized the product as a 'Satanic Role-Playing' Religious Warfare Video Game]. Plugged In Online now appears to have attacked its own endorsement by highlighting research showing that violent video games can cause brain damage in children, causing areas of their brains involved with self control to atrophy.

In "Video-Game Violence Studied", Plugged-In Online staff wrote:

Research confirms what many experts have concluded for years.

After brain-scanning kids who frequently play the games, researchers at the Indiana State University School of Medicine have found an increase in emotional arousal, and a decrease of activity in the area of the brain involved in self-control.

Dr. Karl Benzio with the Christian Medical Association isn't surprised by the study results. He told Family News in Focus the brain's response to violent video games is similar to not exercising -- if you don't, your muscles atrophy.




Display:
that are damaged.  The saddest part is the emotional and spiritual damage done.  This is the video equivalent of that "Jesus Camp", which I believe closed under the weight of public light and judgment.  Hopefully, the same will happen with this.  Forgive my 'preachy-ness' but this is soooo anathema to the revelation/teaching of One who calls us to love enemies and to not fear.  Gee, maybe this mushy moderate will dare to say something this Sunday!  It could happen. :-)

by Don Niederfrank on Fri Dec 15, 2006 at 12:11:56 PM EST


WWW Talk To Action


Short Takes -- Taking Action Edition
Banned Books Week is being celebrated this year from Sept. 21-27.  Yes its time for the annual celebration of the Freedom to Read, sponsored......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Archbishop Schnurr Throws Cold Water on the Ice Bucket Challenge
The Ice Bucket Challenge has been an outstanding success in raising both awareness and research money needed to find a cure for Amyotrophic lateral......
By Frank Cocozzelli (1 comment)
The Secret Antigay U.S. Money Behind The WCF and the Global Evangelical War on LGBT Rights
[note to readers: this is an excerpt from my first installment in a Twocare.org/Center Against Religious Extremism series that will examine extensive ties -......
By Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Race as Religion
Reading Edith Beer's book, The Nazi Officer's Wife, I ran across an interesting account of her fake marriage license.  She married a Nazi officer......
By wilkyjr (2 comments)
Dark Discussions on the Christian Right
The Neo-Confederate movement has been trying to jump start itself of late.  It has been an especially heady few months for the League of......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Oath Oaf: Religious Right Columnist Calls For Religious Tests In Military
Bryan Fischer, the director of issues analysis for the American Family Association (AFA) is like a demented, right-wing geyser: You can count on him......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Deeper Background on Dominionism -- Revisisted
In the Fall of 2011, there was an extraordinary -- and extraordinarily scurrilous -- wave of criticism aimed at those of us who had......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Fall From Grace: What The Religious Right Should Learn From The McDonnell Scandal
Leaders of Religious Right groups are fond of telling us that if we elect more fundamentalist Christians to office, we'll have less corruption. Biblical......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
A Visit To The Reality Community: Americans Have Sex. Americans Use Birth Control. Let's Move On.
Over the weekend, Americans United Senior Litigation Counsel Greg Lipper took part in a panel discussion about the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision at......
By Rob Boston (3 comments)
Thomas DiLorenzo's Rebel Yelling
I have written a great deal in the past few years about the odd phenomenon of Catholic Neo-Confederatism.  Let's add one more name to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
Censorship Challenge: Texas Pastor Seeks Restrictions On `Dangerous' Library Books
Back in the 1990s, some Religious Right activists in Virginia got the bright idea to begin attacking America's public libraries. The idea was to......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Suspended St. Louis County Officer Dan Page Made Rounds on Rightwing Radio Shows
St. Louis Police Officer Dan Page drew national attention when he shoved CNN's Don Lemon during a broadcast of the protests in Ferguson, and......
By Rachel Tabachnick (1 comment)
Cop Who Shoved CNN Host Don Lemon Lassoed in Another Conspiracy Rodeo
Rachel Tabachnick broke an important story this evening showing that the rant by Officer Dan Page that got him suspended from the St.Louis County......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Exile Excitement: Some Fundamentalists Seek Escape From Decadent Society
OK, now we've done it. Those of us who advocate things like separation of church and state, secular government, LGBT rights and self-determination when......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
Controversy Over White Nationalist GOP Candidate Still White Hot
The 2004 Constitution Party candidate for president Michael Peroutka's current race for County Council in Maryland -- as a Republican -- it is still......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)

Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (2 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (3 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Yes, that's right. We have totally lost our religious freedom in Mississippi and it must be restored by our legislators. ......
COinMS (1 comment)
Bill Gothard accused of harassing women and failing to report child abuse
Surprised no one's mentioned this, but one of the longest-standing leaders of the religious right is in a world of trouble.  Bill Gothard has been active in the fundie movement for over half......
Christian Dem in NC (1 comment)
Eugene Delgaudio may lose his day job as Virginia county supervisor
Surprised no one's noticed this, but one of the nation's most virulent homophobes is in a fight to keep his day job.  Eugene Delgaudio is best known as the head of Public Advocate......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents
This caught me by surprise. I guess times are a changin in Dixieland. ------------------------------------- Cross posted from the HRC blog. Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents January 21,......
COinMS (0 comments)
Robert Knight: Running against evolution could potentially be a winner for the GOP
In one of the starkest instances yet of how far gone the religious right is, one of its leading activists thinks that he's found another potential wedge issue that could drive more people into......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
First Catholic official convicted in child sex abuse scandal has conviction overturned
Last year, Monsignor William Lynn, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's secretary for clergy, was convicted of reassigning a priest whom he knew had molested a young boy to a parish that had a school attached......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Quotes From Sarah Palin 'War on Christmas" Book v. Quotes From 1920s Anti-Jewish Propaganda
The point of this comparison is not to cast Sarah Palin as a Nazi. Rather, my intent is to underline uncomfortable similarities between contemporary "war on Christmas" talking points propagated by elements of the......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Francis sets up commission on how to deal with pedophile priests
Late yesterday Pope Francis announced--apparently after some prodding--that he will set up a panel to advise him on how to deal with child abuse by priests. The announcement was a forthright acknowledgment by the......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
John Hagee: Jews will make deal with Antichrist before End Times
When John Hagee opens his mouth, you expect to hear lunacy.  An appearance earlier this month on TBN was no different.  On Friday, People for the American Way stumbled on a special prophecy-focused edition......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Doug Phillips Resigns From Vision Forum over "Inappropriate Relationship"
Doug Phillips resigned as president of Vision Forum earlier this week, citing an "inappropriate relationship."   Phillips posted an announcement on the Vision Forum website, stating, There has been serious sin in my life......
Rachel Tabachnick (2 comments)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.