Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Michael Terheyden

1/4/2013 (2 years 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 (2 years 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'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.



Comments


More U.S.

The top 5 things you need to know about the United States' quickly changing religious landscape Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

For many years, Protestants made up the majority of the United States' population. A recent report from America Values Atlas tells us that, as the United States demographically shifts, this is no longer the case. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The United States as ... continue reading


EMPTY! Is there any gold in Fort Knox? Government's denial of audit raises serious concerns Watch

Image of While the U.S. government claims that about 3% of all minted gold sits in Fort Knox, recent and troubling rumors say that this is not true.

By Al Wooltin (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

About 3 percent of the gold ever refined in the entire history of mankind sits in the vaults of the United States Bullion Depository in Fort Knox, equaling about 5,000 metric tons of gold. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - At least this is what the government of ... continue reading


Billy the Kid's New Mexico hideout now up for sale Watch

Image of According to legend, Billy the Kid is said to have killed 21 men, but it is generally believed that he killed eight.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's a beautiful home in New Mexico, spacious, with breathtaking mountain views. It's hard to believe that it at one time sheltered Billy the Kid, also known as William Bonney, one of the American Wild West's most notorious outlaws. It is now on the market for ... continue reading


Obama spends an alarming $3 billion on Obamacare WITHOUT Congressional approval Watch

Image of President Obama's administration is being accused of illegally spending money on Obamacare without Congressional approval.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The U.S. Treasury Department may be moving forward with Obamacare regardless of Congressional concerns and a lack of funding, approving a $3 billion payment to health insurers despite the fact that Congress has not authorized any payments in annual ... continue reading


Obama Administration as Global Advocate for Radical LGBTI Agenda

Image of Randy Berry

By Keith A Fournier

Robert Reilly is right. The Obama administration is doing profound damage to the very understanding of human rights. We have fundamental human rights precisely because we are human persons. No-one should support the denial of truly fundamental human rights for ... continue reading


Climate change - WHERE IT HURTS: Scientists say warming will hit nation's agricultural heartland Watch

Image of The climate change panel's verdict came as a bit of a surprise: Greenhouse-gas emissions played a substantial role in Europe's misery, but not so much in California.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There are very few positive things to result from climate change. Researchers now say that warmer temperatures will hit America where it counts: the nation's agricultural heartland. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Researchers presented their latest findings ... continue reading


WITCHES ARE BACK: Witchcraft reappears in today's popular mainstream culture in unexpected ways Watch

Image of Witches are seen in both religion and as a feminist symbol.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The idea of the witch is making its rounds through history again. Females, both young and old, are embracing the power that comes with the feminist witch in today's society. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In a recent twitter post, popular female rapper, Azealia ... continue reading


Alaska lights up as it become the third U.S. state to legalize marijuana Watch

Image of Twenty-three states still prohibit cannabis outright. The other U.S. states have either legalized medical marijuana or decriminalized marijuana possession.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The state of Alaska is lighting up in celebration... following Colorado's lead, Alaska has become the third U.S. state to legalize recreational marijuana use. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Voters passed the Alaska Marijuana Legalization ballot measure last ... continue reading


The Air Force pulls a B-52 from the 'Boneyard,' and you won't believe what they did with it next Watch

Image of A B-52, one of the largest and most effective bombers in the world.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

For the first time in aircraft's history, the U.S. Air Force has brought a B-52 bomber back to life from the Boneyard of the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base near Tucson, Arizona. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Nicknamed "Ghost Rider," this 53-year-old bomber had ... continue reading


Fr. Peter M. J. Stravinskas on the Chair of St. Peter and the Role of the Pope

Image of

By Fr. Peter M. J. Stravinskas, Ph.D., S.T.D.

The doctrine of infallibility, then, is derived from the principle of apostolic succession and from the fact that Jesus Christ promised His presence to His apostles when He sent them forth to teach all the nations (cf. Mt 28:20).  The Pope and the bishops in ... 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, Psalms 79:8, 9, 11, 13
8 Do not count against us the guilt of former ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 79:8, 9, 11, 13
13 And we, your people, the flock that you pasture, ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 6:36-38
36 'Be compassionate just as your Father is ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 2nd, 2015 Image

Bl. Charles the Good
March 2: In 1086, St. Canute, King of Denmark and father of Blessed ... 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