Have you seen the video games children are playing now? You probably know there is some ruckus over violent gaming, but if you dare look into it, you will be horrified. A five-minute Internet search of “violent video games”—if you can make it that long—will leave you feeling sick and sad.
You will read of stalking, abduction, murder, torture, dismemberment, decapitation, impaling, ethnic cleansing and rape, all taking place in realistic worlds populated by hit men, drug lords, psychopaths, zombies, school shooters, war criminals and worse. You will find out that millions of children are immersing themselves in realistic games that not only allow but encourage them to become killers, sadists, mutilators and monsters—human and otherwise—striking with flamethrowers, scythes, meat grinders, syringes, chainsaws, cattle prods and human shields.
It’s bad enough just reading that list. You don’t want to sear your eyes by even glimpsing a screenshot of one of these blood-spattered games—let alone seeing moving pictures of one.
But teenagers and children by the millions are doing far worse. They’re saturating their minds in this stuff, hour after hour after hour, using high-tech processors, advanced controllers, vivid screens and even motion sensors to transport themselves from a Wednesday evening at home to active participants in evil story lines that don’t belong in print.
Some games run commercials depicting disturbed parents reacting to these graphic scenes, the purpose being to entice young people into rebelling against Dad and Mom, buying the game, flipping the switch, and scarring their minds—all for another $34.50 plus tax.
This demonic world caused parents and other sane people to fight back against the multibillion-dollar video game industry, eventually winning passage of a law in California. The law prohibited the sale of certain games to minors without their parents’ consent—games that give players the option of graphically “killing, maiming, dismembering or sexually assaulting an image of a human being.”
Standing to lose money, the justice-loving Entertainment Merchants Association appealed to California’s infamous Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which struck down the law as unconstitutional in 2005. Then, last Monday, the highest court in the land weighed in on the matter and established “justice.”
The Supreme Court sided with the gore merchants, 7-2.
In his majority opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia said he was protecting the First Amendment rights of children to access “free speech”—the blood-and-guts deluge pouring out of millionaire video game companies.
Let freedom ring.
Justice Stephen Breyer, one of only two dissenters, exposed the double standard this decision creates. We acknowledge the need to protect our youths by prohibiting 13-year-olds from accessing sexually explicit content, he said. Why pretend that violently explicit content should be any different?
But the heart of the decision wasn’t about the games themselves or even about safeguarding children’s minds. It was about parents’ authority to govern their children.
According to the Supreme Court, the government needs to protect children from parental authority.
That is the stark reality of the Court’s twisted reasoning. These justices feel they must beat back parents who are trying to deprive their own children of material that will distort their thinking. They feel obligated to protect young people’s right to go behind their parents’ backs and give sunken-eyed video store clerks their money in exchange for immersive visual bloodbaths. In their morally upside-down view, it is more important for children to be able to disobey their parents than for their parents to have the power to restrict their access to murder orgies.
The other dissenting opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas, accurately identified the crux of the issue. He said that “the history clearly shows a founding generation that believed parents to have complete authority over their minor children and expected parents to direct the development of those children.”
But in the world today, as in the court chambers, Thomas is in the minority. Parental authority is under attack. Something sinister is trying to get between parents and their children. Examples in society abound. Like the true nature of violent video games, it is everywhere around you: Just open your eyes and look.
At the mall, it’s written on the T-shirts: “Parents for sale.” You hear it in school hallways: “Parents are lame.” “Don’t let anyone tell you ‘no.’” In the classroom, teachers are ignoring parents’ preferences. Sex ed is foisted on younger and younger kids before parents can or will teach it to them themselves. Activists are pushing for girls to get underage abortions and not have to notify their parents. It goes all the way down to televised cartoons that are filled with the anti-parental authority message. Even the world’s foremost international body, the United Nations, upholds a “Convention on the Rights of a Child,” which requires signatory nations to enact laws guaranteeing children the “right to privacy” in their own homes, as well as “freedom of thought, conscience and religion.”
This attitude isn’t coming from the Supreme Court. It didn’t originate in the UN. Believe it or not, the world’s political, legal, commercial and creative minds are actually pawns—video game characters, if you will—of a much greater power.
That power is the very real Satan the devil. He is, in fact, the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4) and has deceived the whole world (Revelation 12:9). He is the mastermind that is pushing not only the horrific carnage to be found in those video games—but also the spirit of rebellion against parents that hangs like a stench around both those games and the Supreme Court’s decision.
This is why the trend against parental authority is everywhere, and why it is so overwhelming. And it was revealed in your Bible thousands of years ago.
In fact, the Bible gets even more specific on how this attitude would manifest itself in our day: “[T]he child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable” (Isaiah 3:4-5).
Children possess no inner compass for wisdom. Left to himself, would he ever go to school? Would he ever save a dime? Would he even learn to ride a bike? When he is left to himself, he causes shame (Proverbs 29:15)—and, in today’s world, will likely experience some horrors along the way. Children do not know right from wrong from birth—or when they turn 13, or 16. They must learn it—ideally, from their parents!
Let this Supreme Court decision be a wake-up call for your parenting. Realize that no judge or politician or teacher or video game manufacturer is going to teach your child right from wrong. It must be you!
Spend time with your teen. Train him in the way he should go. Develop your relationship, so that when he is standing in the electronics aisle, he completely ignores God of War II. He recognizes your authority and has learned to avoid such trash. And he’s got far better ways to spend his time, and far better things on which to set his mind. ▪