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Charles Chaput: Denver Archbishop's attack on video-game ruling bugs Gamer Nation (VIDEO)

Categories: Media, News, Videos

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Charles Chaput.
Denver-based Archbishop Charles Chaput better watch out next time he plays Call of Duty online.

Why? A lot of gamers are gunning for him in the wake of an editorial in which he criticized the U.S. Supreme Court for striking down a California law meant to protect minors from violent video games. And no wonder, since Chaput uses the 1999 shootings at Columbine High School to bolster his argument.

In the essay, "Violent Video Games and the Rights of Parents," originally published by FirstThings.com, Chaput recalls testifying before a Congressional committee on the topic of marketing violence to children weeks after the Columbine massacre. At that time, he said:

The reasonable person understands that what we eat, drink, and breathe will make us healthy or sick. In like manner, what we hear and what we see lifts us up -- or drags us down. It forms us inside. Pornography degrades women. It also coarsens men. I don't need to prove that because we all know it. It's common sense... The roots of violence in our culture are much more complicated than just bad rock lyrics or brutal screenplays... But common sense tells us that the violence of our music, our video games, our films, and our television has to go somewhere, and it goes straight into the hearts of our children to bear fruit in ways we can't imagine -- until something like [Columbine] happens.

Chaput then goes on to criticize the Supreme Court majority's view that violent video games can be viewed as protected speech under the First Amendment when it comes to kids as well as adults. He writes: "My point here is not that video games are bad. My point is that when we too readily stretch an individual's right to free speech to include a corporation's right to sell violence to minors, we collude in poisoning our own future -- and tragedies like Columbine are the indirect but brutally real proof of what I mean."

These views didn't initially make much of a stir. But then yesterday, Kotaku, a widely read national video-game site whose editor in chief is former Rocky Mountain News gaming columnist Brian Crecente, republished the column under the headline "The Archbishop of Denver Tells You about Violent Video Games and the Rights of Parents."

Predictably, the comments on the Kotaku piece thus far aren't dominated by attaboys. Here's the take of a reader who goes by the name Damios: Smitten with the Green Fairy: "This man is a moron. There's no point in combing over this tripe bullshit with a fine-toothed comb when I'm sure any commenter here who can read and has half a brain could pretty much pick this apart into oblivion with ease."

Even nastier is the following video, which questions Chaput's credibility by bringing up the abuse of children by priests.

Damn you, First Amendment!

More from our Follow That Story archive: "Leeroy Jenkins in the Army: Military bases Iraq strategy on World of Warcraft misfit."


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10 comments
Dcoy3546
Dcoy3546

What hurts children more; video games or being raped and disgraced by the Church? I'd worry about my own sink before point out others dirty dishes.

NervousPilot
NervousPilot

How about the nation that's are bombing crap knows how many countries RIGHT NOW? Oh, and responsible for 46.5% of all military spending globally. Ridiculous.

If you've played CoD; why the hell would you want to put yourself in the middle of that for real?! There's something really wrong with your brain if you think it's a good thing to go to war. This is a social pandemic in a lot of militant countries. It comes from an abundance of unfounded national pride and extreme hatred. Social problems, borne of a sick international blood cult drip fed to the masses by the M.I.C. If anything, playing the likes of CoD or Battlefield will only help you survive if you are stupid enough to sign up for duty.

Maybe it's just me, but I know guns aren't toys and people don't respawn. You've got one life, don't spend it ending others. If kids are learning from their community, their teachers and their parents, then video games could hardly be called the root of any sort of violent tendencies.

starviego
starviego

Columbine was a CIA-style covert operation.  There were at least seven active participants, not just Harris and Klebold.

Michael V.
Michael V.

Violent video games affect and hurt far more children than the number of abused at the hands of clergy.  More children are abused by teachers and officials in U.S. public schools than in the churches, but the NEA won't let you hear about that.  And thus far the Democratic Party has been willing to cover up the public school abuse crisis.  But it won't last forever especially when there is no more money for the Department of Education and the NEA's special interests protectors there in the civil service.  Of course with the Democrats bombing more and more nations and outright killing innocent children in those countries -- all without the consent of the Congress, with the media's deliberate collusion with the Dept. of Homeland Security, and with the general ignorance of American citizens, this nation is so close to toast and is overdue for the most incendiary of blowbacks.  The real message is that if you have children, take them and run as far away from US American civilization as you can.

Cronniss
Cronniss

You're absolutely correct, NervousPilot.  Guns are not toys and people do not respawn.  However, signing up for duty or joining the military is not stupid.  There are many benefits, in fact, in doing so.  True, you do risk your life - and hopefully it would be for something honorable and in the defense of our nation.  And if you do see any action, it is probable that you would not survive (the odds are against it); but it is not stupid.

I was lucky in that I did not see any action during my time within the military; tho I almost did.  (If 'Desert Storm' had lasted 30 minutes longer - minutes, not days - I would have been sent over to Kuwait.)  And I will stand beside any person that would put themselves' in harms way to defend our nation and it's core beliefs (The Constitution, The Bill of Rights, etc.).  It is these people that fight and die (both past & present) so that we can have this type of discourse that allows anyone to freely speak how they feel about the military.    ;)

And anyone that does go to war (or almost does) *usually* do not think that war is a "good thing."  We may believe that it is necessary - but we don't think that it is good.  There are those *FEW* that do think it is good - and there *IS* something wrong with them.  I, in fact, have a cousin that was in the Marines (Infantry) who served 3 tours in Iraq.  He was stationed in Kentucky after his third term to be an instructor for his particular skillset - because he was very good at what he did (killing people).  The problem was, he liked it too much.  He went for a 4th tour - they ended up sending him back for PTSD.  But I still honor what he has done for our country.  I think he needs serious help still - but I am still proud for his service.

Our Servicemen (and women) may not always be 'fighting for our country,' but they are trying to improve the world we live in.  You (or anyone else) may not agree with what they do or their decision to do it - and that is your right, and you have the freedom to express that in any way that you choose (as long as it does not cause physical harm or incite other people to cause physical harm).  But please remember that while you are speaking out against those people, they are the ones that fight and die for you to have the right to do so.  (I am not saying that you're wrong...I am just asking for people who feel that others are "stupid for signing up for duty" to take a moment and be grateful to those that do so you can express that feeling.)

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Strong post, NervousPilot. Appreciate you weighing in.

Cronniss
Cronniss

I honestly can not tell if you're joking or if you're serious.      O.o

Chris
Chris

Yeah but I have the problem of a 14 year old brother who wants to join the Army because he is good at CoD. We have discussed it and it seems that there is no other reason that can be identified. I am not going to fault video games but I have to agree that we are building a country of jingoistic nationalists and it is pretty frightening.

Also, can we stop with the "We can talk like this because some kids are willing to die for it" type of talk? Those days are long, long over. Our military has not been used to protect our constitutional rights for as long as I can remember. In fact, we are losing our protected rights while we are spending gigantic amounts of cash enforcing colonial corporate policies the world over. Enough of the propaganda speech. I am doing my best to teach my kid brother that he needs to think for himself without listening to the high school recruiters and you aren't helping.

Cronniss
Cronniss

Well, you at least proved you were serious.  O.o

However the link you provided is not real evidence of what had happened in regards of Columbine.  It was a posting by a "reader" who is saying what "other people had seen."

And to top it off, I don't see how this is a point towards the article.  Yes, the Archbishop used the Columbine incident as an argument for legislation.  The problem is that is going to be the case every time - proponents for such legislation will always use that.  "Oooo, they played games.  The shot people.  Games made them do that!"

Well, I am sure that those involved with Columbine also breathed oxygen, drank water and ate food.  Did breathing, eating and drinking cause them to shoot people?   OMG!  Eating, drinking and breathing causes people to shoot others!  We all need to stop eating, breathing and drinking!  (Now, I will admit that doing so would resolve a lot of problems for everyone...it just would be unfortunate that there would no longer be anyone of everyone left.)

I would suggest that if you're going to post "facts" to support arguments that you use actual facts and evidence instead "something someone said."  (And yes, I know for a fact that the government does hide information and activities from the public.  I can support this as fact as I am prior-service with one of our military branches and during that time I had a high level of security clearance. Because of that clearance I was privy to information that was not public knowledge.  But I still require actual evidence to be provided for me to believe such information.)

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