Warning – a Biblical Review of The Hunger Games ?

hunger game books     “This know also . . . that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy . . . without natural affection (toward parents, spouse or children), trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent (without any self-control), fierce . . . . despisers of those that are good !”     II Timothy 3:1-5

THE HUNGER GAMES is a dark movie where viewers literally watch children kill each other in bloody fashion. With its humanist worldview, THE HUNGER GAMES has no depiction of God or the supernatural world. It’s all up to the movie’s heroine to win the game, but she has to lie and hurt other people to win. Based on a popular book, THE HUNGER GAMES is a science fiction thriller with a big budget. That means even more young people will see it. THE HUNGER GAMES is one movie that parents might want their children to avoid.”
The Hunger Games: Dehumanizing Humanism MovieGuide.org

Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness . . . full of envy, murder (hatred – Matthew 5:21-22 & 15:19), debate, deceit, malignity, whisperers, backbiters, haters of God . . . proud, boasters, inventors of evil things . . . .

Who knowing the judgment of God . . . . that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same . . . but have pleasure in (enjoy watching) them that do them !”   Romans 1:29-32

A Review of The Hunger Games
(from a Christian parent’s perspective)

In 2008, Scholastic published a young-adult novel called The Hunger Games by screenwriter Suzanne Collins. Buzz for the book was intense even before it hit the shelves, and only intensified further in 2009 and 2010 when the sequels appeared. Now, with a movie version opening Friday, the buzz is a roar. The three novels were one, two, and three in book sales last year, across all ages and genres—a true publishing phenomenon.

(Excerpt from worldmag.com – The Hunger Games: Welcome to dystopia)

A Parent writes: Recently a Christian middle-school that my daughter attends featured an article in their newsletter encouraging parents to have their children read the book The Hunger Games. The article stated that despite some violence, The Hunger Games was a well written novel and that it addressed many ethical issues.  I was surprised to see that the school would promote such a non-Christian book and so decided to check it out a little further.  After doing so, this was the response I sent to the school (school name and other references edited out).

Dear (School Administrator),
In the most recent edition of your school newsletter, there was an article recommending a book called The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I’m not sure how familiar you are with this book, but personally I do not believe that it is something that your school should be encouraging it’s students to read.

The Hunger Games is part of a three part trilogy of books which are very controversial even with non-Christians.  They center around a futuristic tournament in which 24 young players (called “tributes”) are forced to fight each other to the death.  Even the supporters of The Hunger Games admit that it is excessively violent.  For reference, below are a couple of excerpts:

“A boy, I think from District 9, reaches the pack at the same time I do and for a brief time we grapple for it and then he coughs, splattering my face with blood.  I stagger back, repulsed by the warm, sticky spray.  Then the boy slips to the ground.  That’s when I see the knife in his back.”
“It takes a few moments to find Cato in the dim light, in the blood.  Then the raw hunk of meat that used to be my enemy makes a sound, and I know where his mouth is.  And I think the word he’s trying to say is please.  Pity, not vengeance, sends my arrow flying into his skull.”

The main character is a beautiful teenage girl named Katniss and during the book . . .

– Katniss forms an alliance with Rue, who is then killed by someone else.  So Rue is murdered.

– Katniss is angry at Rue’s killer and so slays him out of vengeance.  So Rue’s murderer is murdered.

– Katniss and her friend Peeta accidentally poison Foxfire.  So Foxfire dies.

– Katniss does kill Cato as a mercy killing after wild animals get to him.  So Cato is murdered.

– Katniss kills two other competitors by dropping a beehive on them.  So two more are murdered.

All the other players kill each other.  So all the other competitors are murdered.

     I understand that “ethical issues” can be found in almost any book.  And I understand that people, especially young people, have a desire to read or watch exciting books and movies.  But I don’t believe that any school, especially a Christian school, should support the reading of a book like The Hunger Games whose main story line is focused on death and murder.

One reviewer noted that this trilogy of books:     “contain disturbingly graphic scenes of violence, torture, and war, as well as futuristic mutated animals, bred to kill”.

Another reviewer warned that:     “at the end of book three, we learn some of the victors of the Hunger Games were routinely forced to choose between selling their bodies for sexual use, or witnessing one of their loved ones die”.

Are these the thoughts and images that we want to ingrain into the minds of young Christian students?  

Philippians 4:8 states Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things“. (KJV)

According to internet articles, even many parents from secular schools are shocked at the violence within Suzanne Collins trilogy.  Should not parents and teachers within Christian schools be even more concerned?  If you would like more information, place the words “Hunger Games Too Violent” or the like in a search engine and see what comes up.  

This trilogy of books has been compared to “1984”,  “A Clockwork Orange”, “Harry Potter“, and “The Twilight” novels.  It will probably be the next mega box office hit in the secular teenage movie world.

I hope that you will consider the contents of this e-mail and research into The Hunger Games further on your own.  My main concern is that if some parents read the recommendation of this book in your newsletter, they may allow their children to read The Hunger Games (or see the movie) without really knowing what it’s content is.

Please free to pass along my comments as written to others if you wish.

A Concerned Christian Parent

Special thanks to Caryl Matrisciana for posting this article online.
source: http://www.carylmatrisciana.com/articles/focus-pages/5-the-hunger-games-focus

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