I thought it remarkable that a performance at the Oscars called out the NRA (“…NRA/You stand in God’s way…”) until I recalled that Hollywood is one of the largest enablers of gun violence after the NRA. When we choose to watch violent movies we are endorsing institutionalized violence. In fact, the whole idea of “violence as entertainment” — TV, movies, video games, paintball, etc., many of which are aimed at children — is not only disturbing, it speaks poorly of us as humans.
We glorify soldiers because they are courageous, but you know who else is courageous? Pacifists. You have to live completely free of fear to be a pacifist. If you doubt this, you have only to turn to the fearless life of a great pacifist, Jesus Christ.
I’ve heard the argument that watching violence is cathartic, allowing humans to cleanse themselves of the urge to kill others without actually doing it. The idea being that this urge is “just human nature” — to which I say, hogwash. Only a few select species in the world kill their own. I like to think we are better than that.