We went to a sold-out 10:30 a.m. showing of The Hunger Games today. Apparently this is a popular movie. My wife is a librarian and likes to keep up with young adult literature. I haven’t read the books or any reviews of the movie, so what I’ll offer here may have completely missed the point (that tends to happen when I analyze anything artistic — remind me to tell you about my paper on a poem back in freshman English and how much my professor . . . er, uh . . . loved it.)
Without offering any spoilers about anything not shown in the first 60 seconds of the movie, it was a bit like The Lottery by Shirley Jackson. Kent Brockman of The Simpsons summarized that in a pithy way: “A chlling tale of conformity gone mad.” People are randomly selected to die to offer some sort of benefit for the greater good of the community. Hey, what could go wrong with that?!
Side note: I had a fun 10th grade English teach that had us recreate the killing from The Lottery, only with wads of paper instead or rocks. One person was randomly selected from each row, then one of those people was picked to stand in the corner while everyone threw paper wads at her. Good times.
Back to the movie. I assume that it was some sort of cautionary tale about what might happen. But I didn’t see it as futuristic, but historical (think Roman gladiators and feeding Christians to the lions) and contemporary (think video games, movies, ultimate fighting and, to a lesser extent, pro football).
One of the main mistakes any society makes is to ignore the reality of original sin. They think we’ve evolved, when we’ve done no such thing. Exhibit A: The ancients who wrote the Hippocratic Oath knew abortion was wrong. It was only in our “enlightened” times that we’ve rationalized away the immorality of killing innocent but unwanted human beings. Hey, even Planned Parenthood used to be pro-life.
So I didn’t see movies like The Hunger Games as warnings about what we might do. We are already doing all sorts of horrific things and are blinded to their evil.
The only reason we haven’t descended further into mayhem is that we are running on the fumes of Christianity, but those are dissipating as I write this. No matter how hard they try, secularists cannot ground morality in their molecules-to-man worldview.
Everyone knows moral laws exist (see Romans 2-3) but so many people deny God in their rebellion against him (see Romans 1). When you reject God then, as the saying goes, everything is permissible. People may deny Christianity, but if they understood history they would realize it under girds the few moral truths they have left (even though they wildly misinterpret those truths).
My prayer is that believers will abandon the prosperity gospel, theologically liberal (read: fake) churches and other falsehoods and man up to share the truth of the real Gospel in love.
P.S. I enjoyed the movie. Good acting and story line. Now we need to see October Baby and I will have fulfilled my quota of two visits to the movie theater per year.
P.S.S. I have now read a couple reviews of the movie. Good review of the movie from a Christian perspective here. Warning: Plot spoilers. I also noted from other reviews that the movie works better if you’ve read the books. I realize that is sort of a “duh” statement, but some of the criticisms of the movie wouldn’t apply to the book.