In a statement today, Christian media scholar and family values advocate Dr. Ted Baehr responded to the news of the shooting massacre of at least a dozen people . . . in Aurora, Colo. at a midnight showing of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES: “The shooting at the midnight showing of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES will be blamed on many things.”
“One reporter who called me this morning blamed it on violence in movies. Certainly, violence in movies, television, and video games has had a tremendous impact on society. Over 500,000 studies, capped by the latest Dartmouth University study, show that violence in the media influences susceptible youths to commit violence. That said, most people are not susceptible. Most are just desensitized or scared.
“Another reporter blamed it specifically on the Batman movies. Yet, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is nowhere near as violent as the last Batman movie, and Batman himself tells Catwoman not to shoot to kill in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. The message of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is justice and self-sacrifice. The villains and the killers in the movie are the ‘socialist left-wing Occupy Wall Street power to the people’ villain Bane and his compatriots, who are clearly shown to be wrong, evil and bad, and who get their comeuppance. Also, it would have been almost impossible for this killer in Colorado to have even seen the new Batman movie before the 12:30 screening.
“Some people will blame it on guns, although countries that have tried hard to crack down on guns, like England, are now finding that knives and head butting are out of control. Thus, it isn’t the head-butting or the knives, but the fact that people are stewing in the juice of their own wickedness, because, as the Bible says, they don’t know the loving God who gave us a way of salvation through Jesus Christ from the wickedness of the human heart.
“Some people will blame poverty, or a lack of education. But, James Holmes, the alleged killer, was getting his doctorate in neuroscience and came from an upper middle class family!
“People will look at every possible reason – maybe some will ponder the fact that Holmes was a Democrat and hated the anti-socialist message of the movie.
“Actually, none of these reasons answers the question ‘Why.’ The fact is that this is an evil act committed by an evil person, who did not know the truth of Jesus Christ that would set him free from such wickedness. The answer is not more laws. The answer is not to banish movies, nor neuroscience programs, nor weapons that can be used to protect, but rather to get the Word of God out. Because ‘faith comes through hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ (Romans 10:17).’
“I used to be on the radical left, but Jesus Christ got hold of me, and I’ve tried to live my life every day by enjoying Him, using the power of God’s Holy Spirit. As the Word of God says in Galatians 5:22-23, ‘The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.’
“If you ban the fruit of the Spirit of Jesus Christ from society, including the education system, you’re not banning God; you’re banning goodness, justice, truth, peace, kindness, joy, gentleness, self-control, and love.”
Editor’s Note: Dr. Baehr is chairman of the Christian Film & Television Commission® (CFTVC) ministry and director of its family guide to movies and entertainment, Movieguide® (www.movieguide.org). Founded in 1985 by Dr. Baehr and Good News Communications, CFTVC and Movieguide® are an international non-profit ministry, advocacy group, and watchdog dedicated to “redeeming the values of the entertainment industry by influencing industry executives and by informing and equipping the public about the influence of the entertainment media.”