June 02, 2006

Schadenfreude Friday: Onward Christian Soldiers

The topic for today's entry comes from Shash who was kind enough to send me this head's up yesterday.

In October 2006, Left Behind Games (yes, that Left Behind) will unleash Left Behind: Eternal Forces, what looks to be a very Grand Theft Auto-style game in which you can "wage a war of apocalyptic proportion" and "conduct physical & spiritual warfare using the power of prayer to strengthen your troops in combat and wield modern military weaponry throughout the game world." Oh, you can also blow shit up and kill non-believers.

from Talk To Action.

Imagine: you are a foot soldier in a paramilitary group whose purpose is to remake America as a Christian theocracy, and establish its worldly vision of the dominion of Christ over all aspects of life. You are issued high-tech military weaponry, and instructed to engage the infidel on the streets of New York City. You are on a mission - both a religious mission and a military mission -- to convert or kill Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, gays, and anyone who advocates the separation of church and state - especially moderate, mainstream Christians. Your mission is 'to conduct physical and spiritual warfare'; all who resist must be taken out with extreme prejudice. You have never felt so powerful, so driven by a purpose: you are 13 years old. You are playing a real-time strategy video game whose creators are linked to the empire of mega-church pastor Rick Warren, best selling author of The Purpose Driven Life.

Now, I'm a little confused. These are the same people who bitched and moaned that games such as these - ones in which lives are needlessly taken for sport - were so very un-Christian. Worse, it was these types of things these same people blamed for the very downfall of Christian values in the United States and around the globe.

I don't consider myself to be a Christian. I am well educated in the ways of most major religions but I don't subscribe to any particular one myself. But even I know about that pesky thou shalt not kill clause in the Ten Commandments. I'm pretty sure the author, looking down on the world as it exists today would revise the statement to say thou shalt not kill, pretend to kill, or glorify killing in any way just because you hate your job or you're some pimply-faced kid who gets picked on in the school cafeteria. Or something.

Don't get me wrong. I'm a 33 year old with a Playstation and I own some outrageously violent games. They're fun. Should companies stop making them? Hell no! But companies that regard themselves as Christian who provide alternatives to secular entertainment and whose products supposedly exemplify Christian values might want to refrain from promoting killing.

If you have to scare people into a belief system, what does that say about the system itself?

Posted by Chris at June 2, 2006 07:46 AM

Often evangelical Christians' biggest flaw is the mammoth hypocrisy they can display.

Posted by: Nicole at June 2, 2006 08:10 AM


WWJJD? (that's Joan Jett - one of the funnist T-shirts I've seen is the "What Would Joan Jett Do?" T-shirt. I think she'd kick at the game. :)

Posted by: martin at June 2, 2006 08:21 AM

It's things like this that make me sick. As a Christian myself, this only makes things harder for me, especially when you have to constantly explain that you don't agree with 95% of what the "moral majority" puts out there, at least not their attitudes. Christianity was started by a pacifist... yep, Jesus was a pacifist, someone who advocated turning the other cheek, loving everyone (dude, he hung out with Prostitutes!) Sorry... I'll get off my soapbox in a second, but it really really bothers me that these people call themselves Christians, and most everyone else sees THIS as what the Christian lifestyle is about... that THIS is who Christians are. This is exactly what Jesus talked about, excuse me for being religious, but a quote from the man himself (if you read Matthew 23, he pretty much goes off on the "religious right" of his day):

13"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.
15"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.

Okay, okay... stepping down.... *sigh*....... sorry

Posted by: Corinne at June 2, 2006 08:24 AM

I heard PETA is coming out with game called Whack-a-Seal.

It is all about awareness.

Posted by: Bill at June 2, 2006 08:25 AM

Whoa, we've got Scripture in the comments! It was a perfect response, I can't say it much better from a Christian's standpoint.

I'm having a hard time believing this - it's just so very sad and wrong. Please know we're not all like this -

Posted by: samantha at June 2, 2006 08:38 AM

Corrine is right on! I suppose this is how an average Muslim person feels most of the time.

I've never even gone near a Left Behind book because the premise just does not appeal to me.

Posted by: robin at June 2, 2006 08:45 AM

Great comment, Corinne!

Posted by: Alison at June 2, 2006 08:49 AM

Phuckin' Pharisees. Can't have anything nice.

Just echoing Ali's comment on Corinne's comment.

Posted by: Allan at June 2, 2006 08:54 AM

They should change the name to Left Behind: Genocide Force.

My favorite part of the game is the part where you can switch sides and fight for the antichrist. And kill the Christians. I mean, I'm a Christian and all but that is freaking hilarious. So not only are they teaching children to hate people of other religions but they are also teaching children to worship Satan.

Rick Warren is a bad, bad man.

Posted by: Rhonda at June 2, 2006 09:07 AM

Corinne totally said it. To add to that, Martin Luther was the first advocate of the separation of church and state, so anytime I see these people trying to make laws in the name of God, it makes me feel pukey. These people are nut jobs and are trying to get me and my Lutheranism lumped in with their nut jobness, and I'm getting really sick of it.

Also, you might find this part interesting too...

Posted by: Leah at June 2, 2006 09:10 AM

Hmm, sounds like terrorism training to me! How is this any different from the brain-washing perfomed on children by Muslim extremists?

Posted by: Beth in StL at June 2, 2006 09:43 AM

Can I just say...holy sh*t! What a way to wake up. I love the smell of hypocrisy in the morning! Happy Friday.

Posted by: Kate at June 2, 2006 09:52 AM

Just watched their trailer. Cute. Just because everyone that remains after the 'Children' have been 'Called Home' is god-less and a sinner - you can kill'em off?

Nice. Very Christian.

Posted by: Greg at June 2, 2006 10:33 AM

Personally, I WANT to be left behind--then all the fundamentalist Christians will go away and I won't have to deal with people trying to convert me anymore, heh.

Besides, I like it here on Earth. Call me crazy.

Posted by: Spring at June 2, 2006 10:38 AM

That's insane. I thought it was a joke at first. I mean...uhg. I knew Kirk Cameron had lost it, but I didn't know how far it stretched.

Posted by: Paige at June 2, 2006 10:41 AM

I agree with Corrine and Leah - fellow Lutheran - fundamentalists make me sick. I actually had someone ask me once whether Lutherans were Christian or not! I'm with Spring - send them all off somewhere else and let me enjoy my life.

Posted by: Heather at June 2, 2006 11:12 AM

Swap anything "Christian" for "Islam" and you have a training program for Al Qaeda.


Posted by: oakley at June 2, 2006 11:12 AM

Posted by: Elaine at June 2, 2006 11:29 AM


(sorry, that last one didn't work)

Posted by: Elaine at June 2, 2006 11:29 AM

Fundamentalists of any sect scare the ever-lovin' crap out of me.

I feel bad for all the Christians who are just trying to be good people, who see their religion being perverted like that.

I just love how the rabid wack-jobs identify themselves as more *Christian* than any of the others, when they seem to ignore everything Christ ever said, in favor of self-righteous, "and I shall smack thee down", Old Testament God stuff.

Posted by: Kate the Shrew at June 2, 2006 11:42 AM

That game makes me VERY uncomfortable. Who comes up with this crap??

Posted by: Isabel at June 2, 2006 01:08 PM

Well that's just great. And I agree with what Corinne said.

Posted by: Kelley at June 2, 2006 01:14 PM

Yea, Corinne!

I am a Christian too and don't like what some people who call themselves Christians say and do in the name of Christianity.

I always say though - blame man, don't blame God for these kinds of dumb things. I hope I counteract some of it by just being a normal, everyday Christian who treats others how she would like to be treated.

Posted by: Debbie at June 2, 2006 01:22 PM

"If you have to scare people into a belief system, what does that say about that systems itself?"

It says that I made the right choice when I decided I wasn't an overly religious person and wouldn't join any organized religion.

Heathen all the way! ;)

Posted by: Traci at June 2, 2006 01:27 PM

Sounds like the Christians who read you are awesome. I'm not a Christian but I would hang with Corrine and Samantha any day. Thanks for keeping it "real". If they're were more people like them in church I might have stuck it out longer.

And whomever wrote the PETA comments. Friggin Hilarious! I had to walk away from my desk for a minute when I read that one.

Posted by: chantel at June 2, 2006 01:27 PM

Thank you, Corinne and Debbie. Please count me among the Christians who are struggling to live Christ-like lives. Jesus made it very clear that His followers are supposed to love where our human nature would have us hate, hurt, or exclude. This game has nothing to do with Christ.

See Moxie's excellent post on a related topic, if you're interested: http://moxie.blogs.com/moxie/2006/06/feed_my_lambs.html

Posted by: Julie at June 2, 2006 02:04 PM

Okay, though not usually one to jump on the bandwagon, I'm so with the crowd following Corrine. You hit the nail on the head with this one Chris. If it weren't on your site I'd be convinced it was just a mock up of a more legit game. But that write up was so wrong in so many ways. Made any actual Christians look like bigots and freaks and war-monging fools.

Posted by: HR MOmmy at June 2, 2006 02:54 PM

Oh. No. They. Di'int!

Posted by: Fraulein N at June 2, 2006 03:14 PM

Oh. Dear. God.

There is so much I want to say.... But won't.

Posted by: Lisa B at June 2, 2006 03:23 PM

Have you ever seen "The Bible Game" for PS2, XBox, and GameBoy Advanced? I imagine it's like the SIMS, only instead of one spouse you can have ten. And the pools have been replaced with parting oceans. And the cute pets have been switched with plagues.

Posted by: Tink at June 2, 2006 03:56 PM

do. not. get. me. started.

(btw, did you ever read my very first post? in light of your post, you may find it interesting.)

Posted by: s@bd at June 2, 2006 05:21 PM

Pain in the ass clarification ahead:

Technically, the commandment is "thou shalt not MURDER", which means, it's the intent that is the issue. So, someone dies while your are defending yourself? Totally fine. Taking a hatchet to the white trash next door neighbors? Not fine. (sorry)

So, yep, these guys have totally lost their way. There are some in every group...

Posted by: Pammer at June 2, 2006 05:30 PM

This is so incredibly frustrating! I'm with Corrine, and her "followers" ;-)...and Allan's "Phucking Pharisees" is definitely the highlight of my day (which is saying something, since it's Friday.)

Posted by: Heather at June 2, 2006 05:45 PM

Fundamentalists scare me no matter what their religion, sect, political group, etc., etc.,...

Posted by: MrsJoseGoldbloom at June 2, 2006 05:55 PM

I want that game Tink is talking about. SOunds neat. Can I watch them have sex with aliens though? That is a must for a Playstation game.

Posted by: Melissa at June 2, 2006 06:27 PM

How easy is it for anyone to say "I'm a Christian" if there is a buck in it? On the tails of 'The Passion' and controversy over the De Vinci code, everyones scrambling for the Christian $$$$.
How easy is it to say "linked to the empire of mega-church pastor Rick Warren"? What does that mean? He knows a friend of a friend.
I'm with Corinne on this one and I think we all need to be a bit more descerning.

Posted by: at June 2, 2006 09:20 PM

Ah, the ever popular 'Holy War'. Will we never learn? I used to work at an Irish Pub in Pensacola, and these same people used to stand outside our restaurant shouting at our patron to repent. Not the patrons of the strip club on one side, or the gay bar on the other (Not that I think they deserve to be yelled at either. Just seem like more obvious choices for religous rants.) My customers always asked, 'Who are those people and what is their problem?' I still don't know.

Posted by: Annie at June 2, 2006 11:26 PM

Just another fine example that proves fundamentalist Christians believe that "being right" (in their opinion) gives you the right to do anything you feel like doing.

Posted by: wordgurk at June 3, 2006 12:40 AM

Grrrrr...the hypocrisy makes me want to scream. This is why I don't go to church. We may be the only family in Northern Va. that doesn't go to church every Sunday, but at least I'm not teaching my children to kill people who believe differently from them on their favorite video game. Ugh.

Posted by: Nicole at June 3, 2006 07:42 AM

hey, as long as it's rated "M" ... more power to them.

Posted by: tj at June 3, 2006 07:51 AM

The report is very inaccurate. The game does not have the player try to establish a theocracy or kill people who donít convert. In fact, you are penalized for killing people, even though Christian forces are fighting against the anti-Christís army.

See more about the nature of the game, with quotes from secular reviewers who have actually played it:


Posted by: Layman at June 5, 2006 07:24 PM