Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Michael Terheyden

1/4/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

In the video, each of the celebrities stands motionless before a drab gray background, and, using all the acting skills they can muster, they read their lines from the teleprompter.

Cameron Diaz with her pistol

Cameron Diaz with her pistol

Highlights

By Michael Terheyden

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/4/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Guns, Violence, Gun control, Video, Celebrities, Sandy Hook Elementary, Michael Terheyden


KNOXVILLE, TN (Catholic Online) - I bet you thought New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg did nothing but sit in his office all day thinking about new ways to keep New Yorkers healthy and raise their taxes. But that is not the case. In 2006 he also co-founded a campaign for gun control with Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. They call it Demand a Plan, and they bill it as the largest gun violence-prevention-advocacy organization in America.

After the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, they produced a video using celebrities from the entertainment industry. The video was posted to You Tube on December 21, 2012, and it has received over two million views.

In the video, each of the celebrities stands motionless before a drab gray background, and, using all the acting skills they can muster, they read their lines from the teleprompter. The end result is a somber plea calling for people to demand a gun-control plan from the government.

However, the anticipated effect apparently backfired on some people. Rather than inspire them to get on the bandwagon for more gun regulation, the video incited them because they perceived it as a blatant hypocrisy. Most of the celebrities in the video who are preaching about preventing gun violence have been in movies that portray gun violence. At least some of them are still making a lucrative living peddling such violence.

Consequently, some of the people incited by these celebrities went to a lot of trouble to create their own videos which point out this hypocrisy. They too can be found on You Tube. I saw a few of them. These homemade videos add movie clips or still photos of the celebrities in rolls depicting gun violence to the original video demanding a gun-control plan.

I do not know these private filmmakers, so I am not endorsing them in any way; but they make a good point, and their videos are worth watching. However, some of them are extremely violent and contain vulgar language. The link I provided is for one of the most benign. It uses still photos without commentary or excessive violence, yet it makes the point quite well.

It appears that these particular celebrities were caught red handed. Celebrities have been using their status to influence public policy for years, but they seem to be getting more arrogant and ridiculous as time goes on. We need to remember that they are entertainers: They act, sing, read what others write, and express emotions on cue. 

The successful ones get paid extremely well. Some live in decadent opulence, yet not all is well in their private little world. Some are hooked on alcohol and drugs and die young. While this certainly does not describe all celebrities, it should be a clue that we will not find many experts on the social, political and economic issues of our day from within their ranks.

This brings me to another point. Making violent movies and then preaching about gun control certainly seems hypocritical, but I believe a greater hypocrisy is that they are part of an industry that has been selling mindless violence and vulgar filth to the public for decades. They call their product entertainment, and they tell us that it is harmless; but that is not true.

All too often, their idea of entertainment is to make violence look exciting, psychopaths look cool, perversion look normal, the ugly look attractive, and evil look good. On the flip side, they portray Catholic priests, devout Christians, and traditional moral values as some sort of social disease. Our culture is saturated with this kind of garbage today, and it has an insidious influence on us. It literally poisons the minds and hearts of our children.

Then when someone commits a horrible act of violence--like when 24-year-old, PhD student James Holmes went on a shooting spree in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater dressed up as Batman's nemesis, the Joker--they quickly shift all of the blame away from themselves. They blame the consumers or parents or guns or gun manufacturers or the National Rifle Association, and they call for more regulations on the public.

Of course, there is no one reason or solution for gun violence, but the hypocrisy exposed as a result of this video demanding a plan, reminds us that it is time for the entertainment industry, and all media, to clean up their act. But not just them, us consumers too.

Just think how much good TV shows and movies could offer if they presented their stories of human drama in light of the truth about our nature and with sensitivity to our true dignity and worth. In the long-term, this could easily do more to stem violence in our society than additional gun regulations ever could.

We consumers can also help. So many TV shows are politicized these days that I hardly ever turn on the TV anymore. I also avoid movies that I think are without merit or if the celebrities in the movie support causes and issues that I believe are immoral. I figure, why should I support them? I would rather support movies and celebrities that offer something worthwhile and decent.

As an expert on human nature and relationships, the Church has profound knowledge in this matter. I found two paragraphs in the Catechism of the Catholic Church that I think apply to the issues I have raised in this article. They are as follows:

Media plays an important role in the dissemination of information, the promotion of culture and the formation of people, that is, future citizens. And its role in society is growing, in part, due to modern technology. Consequently, "The information provided by the media is at the service of the common good," and "Society has a right to information based on truth, freedom, justice, and solidarity" (2494 ).

But the Church also has something to say to consumers. "The means of social communication (especially the mass media) can give rise to a certain passivity among users, making them less than vigilant consumers of what is said or shown. Users should practice moderation and discipline in their approach to the mass media. They will want to form enlightened and correct consciences [ ] to resist unwholesome influences" (2496).

We are all deeply saddened by the awful tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary. We hope and pray that the suffering parents who lost their children can find some consolation in the hope that the beautiful little souls they helped bring into this world in cooperation with God are now back in His arms and will enjoy absolute bliss for eternity. 

 
-----

Michael Terheyden was born into a Catholic family, but that is not why he is a Catholic. He is a Catholic because he believes that truth is real, that it is beautiful and good, and that the fullness of truth is in the Catholic Church. However, he knows that God's grace operating throughout his life is the main reason he is a Catholic. He is greatly blessed to share his faith and his life with his beautiful wife, Dorothy. They have four grown children and three grandchildren.

-----

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More U.S.

Values Voters: What We Can Learn from Ted Cruz Being Booed at the In Defense of Christians Conference Watch

Image of Senator Ted Cruz from Texas was the keynote speaker at what was billed as a Gala Solidarity Dinner. Sadly, it certainly did not demonstrate solidarity between Christians. A small group in the assembly, rudely and loudly, reacted negatively to some of the words Senator Cruz spoke as he expressed his convictions concerning the persecution taking place in this land which is properly holy, precisely because of its role in God's loving plan of salvation for the whole human race.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The events of Wednesday, September 10, 2014, at the Inaugural In Defense of Christians Gala make abundantly clear that there is a serious and urgent need for values voters to meet and discuss the crisis in the Mideast and ways in which we can work together to ... continue reading


Our Age Need Rebels of Love: The Christian Church is the Real Counterculture Watch

Image of As a young man I rejected secularist, atheistic humanism - but not humanism itself. As I studied the early Church fathers I came to understand that the true humanism is authentic Christianity, the kind professed, in word and deed, by the early Christians. As I read early Church history I was brought back to the mother church of the entire Christian movement, the Catholic Church. I came to believe that she offers the theological anthropology, ecclesiology and world view of the early fathers of the Church. I also came to believe that she was the real counterculture.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

We can - we will - change the culture of the contemporary West, if we are willing to suffer, struggle and offer ourselves to the Lord for the task. His power, the power of the Holy Spirit, working through us, will accomplish what we can never accomplish on our ... continue reading


What is a Catholic Deacon? Bishop Kevin Rhoades Gives the Answer Watch

Image of The Most Reverend Kevin Rhoades, the Bishop of the Diocese of Ft. Wayne-South Bend, presiding over the Mass of Ordination to the Diaconate of six new Holy Cross Deacons

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

It is a privilege to ordain you permanent deacons.  No, I didn't make a mistake.  Don't worry: you are scheduled to be ordained priests next year by Bishop Jenky!  But what happens today in the sacrament of Orders is not something transitional; it ... continue reading


ISIS among us! New York man sought to kill Iraq war veterans Watch

Image of Mufid Elfgeeh, a 30-year-old, Yemeni born man who lived in New York, attempted to send three people to Iraq to fight for the Islamic State, and purchase firearms to kill veterans from the Iraq War.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Yemeni born food store owner in upstate New York sent funding to the Islamic State and attempted to sent three jihadists to Syria to fight alongside the terrorist cell while plotting to perpetrate attacks against American troops who had served in Iraq. LOS ... continue reading


Father Frank Pavone: 16433 Children Buried in One Grave Watch

Image of Fr. Pavone prays at the graveside of the children

By Fr. Frank Pavone

For many years, this mass grave had no marker or headstone, just as the children have no names. But now there is a stone, and we are going to name the babies. Supporters of abortion do not want people to see mass graves in our midst. It's too disturbing a ... continue reading


Nice try! Democrats try to distance themselves from Obama for midterm, but it's too late! Watch

Image of Kentucky Senate candidate, Alison Grimes, seen here with a shotgun in an ad where she attempts to distance herself from the disastrous and unpopular policies of President Barack Obama.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Democratic Senate candidate, Alison Grimes, is trying her best to let Kentuckians know that she is certainly not an Obama Democrat, releasing a campaign ad where she wields a gun to prove it. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Grimes' 30-second ad takes place in ... continue reading


Are terrorists invading the US through the open border with Mexico? Watch

Image of The Islamic State nay already have sympathizers and cells within the USA. The porous border does nothing to aid the situation.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Americans are worried that the Islamic State will soon conduct terror attacks within the U.S., inserting agents via the porous border between the states and Mexico. At least one sheriff has told the media he received an official alert while the federal government is ... continue reading


'We'll send them to hell!' Texas sheriff declares war on Islamic State Watch

Image of Texas sheriff Gary Painter reveals that he believes the Islamic State has already infiltrated the U.S. through the porous southern border.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Law enforcement agencies along the U.S.-Mexico border have received alerts to be on the lookout for terrorists from Islamic State attempting to cross into the United States, a sheriff from the region has said. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Midland County ... continue reading


And you thought you had bad traffic! Tropical storm strands thousands in Nevada Watch

Image of Heavy rain washed out numerous portions of Nevada's critical I-15, leaving many drivers stranded or forced to take roundabout backways.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In what may be the area's worst storm in decades, a 2-mile-long stretch of highway in Moapa Nevada was destroyed by four inches of rain that occurred in just an hour, part of the end of Tropical Storm Norbert. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The rain caused ... continue reading


What do you do when a man takes off with millions in sunken treasure? Watch

Image of Gold coins recovered from the SS Central America.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

For the past two years, U.S. marshals have been on the hunt for Tommy Thompson, the man who made the greatest lost treasure discovery in American history back in 1988. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Thompson has been on the run as a fugitive after he skipped a ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 12:31--13:13
31 Set your mind on the higher gifts. And now I am ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 33:2-3, 4-5, 12, 22
2 Give thanks to Yahweh on the lyre, play for him on ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 7:31-35
31 'What comparison, then, can I find for the people ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 17th, 2014 Image

St. Robert Bellarmine
September 17: Born at Montepulciano, Italy, October 4, 1542, St. Robert ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter