Don’t Be Gamed by Game of Thrones

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Religious conservatives are an interesting lot. One minute we rail against the entertainment industry for debasing “Christian values,” the next we whore those values out by consuming whatever piece of Godless trash they shove in our face.

We demand better role models of our celebrity class, and by that I mean we set a bar as low as demanding they not openly fantasize about assassinating our President, and the next we slap down $15 at the box office, and even more for a cable subscription, so that said celebrity can go on being a celebrity and donate a slice of their fortune to candidates not-too-friendly to our “Christian values.”

Our blood boils as week after week we read of mega-business empires demanding our daughters urinate alongside Caitlyn Jenner, but our response is as Kevin Bacon in Animal House: “Thank you, sir. May I have another?”

Take the latest craze in pop culture Game of Thrones for example, a nihilistic, overproduced Skinemax soft core porn dressed up in Tolkien fantasy drag, whose dialog and sumptuous production values tickle our senses just enough to distract us from its cold black heart. If Tolkien saw Middle-earth as analogous to modern times, then GOT is Grima Wormtongue; the ugly, jealous servant colluding with Saruman to corrupt the good King Theoden through lies and deceit. To watch GOT is to watch cruel-minded adults smear blood on the walls of a children’s playroom.

Despite all the sex, despite all the nudity, despite that Pornhub experiences a lull in traffic on nights GOT airs, often I hear my religious conservative friends go on ad nauseam about why it’s God’s greatest gift to television, and how I’m a loser if I don’t black out my schedule for the next week to binge-watch all six seasons. Not once, however, have they not included this nifty little qualifier: “The sex and nudity are difficult at first, but you’ll learn to look past that.”

Will I now?

Not going to lie: I watched Games of Thrones previously, so I got sucked in to it as well. But I stopped watching recently, and I have no intention of re-starting. And part of the reason that I stopped watching stems from what the author said above.

First, for a Christian, the problem with Game of Thrones is not the sex, or the nudity, or the violence, for all these things are part of life and need to be included in fiction from time to time. In fact, there is not even anything necessarily wrong with prolonged nudity and horrendous violence in fiction and film. The problem is that the nudity and violence in Game of Thrones is gratuitous and unnecessary to the story. That is the problem. The purpose of the violence and nudity is nothing except to show more nudity and violence. The show revels in the nudity and the violence. And that is what is–or should be–a problem for a Christian. After all, I have no problem with an explicit rape scene if seeing it is necessary to give a show the emotional push it needs, but when you are watching your 20th rape scene, then that is clearly unnecessary, and thus you are watching something that should indeed offend your Christian sensibilities.

Second, why waste time watching something that potentially undermines Western Civilization. Instead, do something useful. Workout. Write a chapter from the book you want to write. Do something productive. After all, I can guarantee you that on your deathbed, the one thing you won’t be wishing you did more of is watch Game of Thrones. But if you fail to write that book you always wanted to write, you will regret that! And an hour a week is a good amount of time to use towards something productive.

Third, one of the only ways to hit back at these people is through our pocketbook, so do not give them your time or money. Check out free YouTube Videos instead. Or read. But do not fund the very people that aim to undermine you. That is insanity. Even if your monetary effect is minor, at least you are doing it, which is a great first step.

In the end, whether you, as a Christian, decide to watch Game of Thrones or not, that’s actually fine. But the point is:  be smart and ruthless with your time, your money, and your mind. Do not waste any one of them on useless things or on things that undermine your worldview. And so if Game of Thrones does that, then drop it today. You will be a better man for doing so.

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