Violence begets violence

We are seeing a lot of violence in our streets these days. More is being largely ignored in our big cities where murder rates are awful. A repeated lament of Old Testament prophets such as Hosea, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel was that violence was being done in Israel and Judah. For example, God, through Ezekiel said, “Have you seen this, O son of man? Is it a trivial thing to the house of Judah to commit the abominations which they commit here? For they have filled the land with violence; then they have returned to provoke Me to anger. . . . Therefore I also will act in fury. My eye will not spare nor will I have pity; and though they cry in My ears with a loud voice, I will not hear them.” (Ezekiel 8:17-18)

The New Testament also rebukes violence.

No one reason explains the violence. However a contributing factor may be news and entertainment. Not just doing violence but being entertained by it is dangerous. The Universities of Michigan and Iowa State undertook studies which showed that violent media numbs viewers to the suffering of others.

Separate studies were conducted by Brad Bushman and Craig Anderson. These demonstrated that exposure to violence in media and in video games makes people slower to respond when others are being attacked, and causes them to downplay the seriousness of violent actions such as fights.

These findings validate the wisdom of David, another Bible writer, who, in psalm 101, vowed to put no evil thing before his eyes.

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