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Written Word > Articles & Commentaries > March 2012 > The Hunger Games : A Prophecy?
Current rating: 4.5 (2 ratings)
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Racheal
When I first heard your commentary about the Hunger Games I had yet to read the book or see the movie. Now, I have read what the story is about and it does get better. I like that you make an analogy to past histories, perhaps this is where the author of Hunger Games got their inspiration. But this is Hollywood and not an opera, but there isn't just a good ending. The hero and heroine of the story decide to rebel against the establishment...and change the games forever.
3/31/2012 2:02:24 PM
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Lucy White
I think we have sacrificed 50 million babies.
3/31/2012 4:51:21 PM
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Lucy White
I think we have sacrificed 50 million babies.
3/31/2012 4:52:58 PM
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Anthony
Ursula Le Guin's short story "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas" is similar to "The Lottery" in that the health & vitality of the community depends upon the horrific mistreatment of an innocent, in this case a child. It is often seen as an indictment of utilitarianism, as the good of the many (the citizens of Omelas) outweighs the suffering of the one, regardless of its innocence & vulnerability. As utilitarianism, in one form or another, is the instinctive moral approach of many, if not most, Americans today, Le Guin's story ( and Jackson's and The Hunger Games ) is not as farfetched as it might seem. The issue isn't whether or not these stories are actually predictive, but whether or not they tap into a developing ethos. The culture of death takes many forms, and authors don't have to be Catholics to imaginatively portray how that culture might develop under certain conditions. In a society where medical ethicists change infanticide into "post-birth abortion" & where mixed martial arts brutality appears on network television, Girard becomes more insightful, and frightening, than ever.
4/1/2012 1:58:16 AM
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diane ekman
Was it not Mahatma Ghandi who said: "If God were to come into the world He would become Bread"...? how hungry is the world?
4/5/2012 10:23:26 PM
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acardnal
We are already sacrificing "inconvenient" humans by the millions every year. It's called abortion.
4/7/2012 12:49:52 PM
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mary
I do agree we are already sacrificing "incovenient" humans by the millions .. It is called stravation..
4/13/2012 9:44:36 AM
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Avery
Abortion is another example of the hunger games
4/18/2012 12:22:18 AM
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Tom Turner
"He found that Christianity was the one religion, philosophy, or ideology that both unmasked this scapegoating mechanism and showed a way out."

Not really a way out, but a channeling of the impulse into ritual. Every eucharist is a ritualist acting out of the ultimate act of scapegoating, deicide.
4/18/2012 1:05:16 PM
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Sheila
What I saw in the movie was an elite society surpressing, exploiting and controlling the poor.
4/21/2012 7:50:23 PM
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Marty
Unfortunately, we are once again reverting to these pre-Chrisitian sacrifices: first with the unborn then with our soliders and our citizens. We allow the media to manipulate our feelings and further demand justice, which is euphimism for "blood" or sacrifice.
ONLY in Christ and Christianity is there sanity and a way out of these base, inhumane habits. Yet here we are pushing Christianity to the sidelines. I find comfort in KNOWING that the war is already won. Christ is the Victor and Peace will reign in the end.
4/30/2012 12:45:32 PM
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Christina
I agree with Lucy White, that is what I thought about when I read the article that we have sacrificed 50 million babies.
5/6/2012 9:28:35 PM
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Ruth
Keep focusing on those aborted ones so you don't have to pay any attention to the billions of abused, parentless,hungry, neglected, uneducated children being sacrificed right now.
5/24/2012 2:02:30 PM
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dan
"Keep focusing on those aborted ones so you don't have to pay any attention to the billions of abused, parentless,hungry, neglected, uneducated children being sacrificed right now."

It is all part of the same mentality that allows the atrocity and abuse of abortion and abandonment of the poor--unfortunately it is not either or.
5/26/2012 8:40:24 PM
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Chesire11
In reading some of the comments here, pointing to abortion, starvation, neglect and abuse as modern examples of scapegoating, I cannot help but feel that we are largely missing the point here. In pointing fingers at, and decrying the sins of others, we fall into precisely that trap of scapegoating that Christ overthrew on Calvary.

At its core, the scapegoating mechanism is a way of pronouncing that our fault lies not in ourselves but in our neighbors; that the true battlefield upon which sin is confronted and defeated lies in the deeds and the person of our fellow man. Our society suffers because THEY have done wrong! It's the abortionists who are guilty! No, it's the media! No, it's the wealthy! It's the poor! Its illegal immigrants!

Nonsense! Our society suffers because I care too much about MY comfort, and too little about the suffering of others. This is not to deny or dismiss the sins of others - far from it - but it to confess the primacy of our own complicity in sin. The true way of disarming the scapegoating mechanism is not to point fingers at the sins of others, but first to direct our attention toward those sins we harbor within our own hearts. Our society suffers because I care too much about MY will, and not God's. Our society suffers because MY faith is weak, and MY fear is strong. My family suffers, not because my children misbehave or because my wife is stubborn, but because of MY impatience and MY reluctance to forgive.

We move beyond scapegoating, and into a truly Christian culture when we reach out in compassion, rather than condemnation, to strengthen the struggling, failing humanity of our neighbors. This is what it means to imitate Christ, to side with the victim, that first and foremost victim of sin - the sinner himself. We undermine the scapegoating temptation only when we reject the temptation to condemn, in favor of embracing and elevating the flawed humanity of others, acknowledging the supremacy of their humanity over their failings. As Sister Helen Prejean famously said of all of us, "We are worth more than the worst act we commit."
5/27/2012 10:31:34 PM
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Chesire11
Okay, this time with my comments complete and in the right order (I hate it when I scramble things up with cut and paste!)

I recently ran across reference to Father Barron's commentary on "The Hunger Games" in which he discusses the scapegoating mechanism as outlines by Rene Girard, which prompted me to go back and re-read it and the comments which followed on his blog. Some of the comments, prompted me to post my own this evening. Recalling your own blog post about Girard and scapegoating, I thought you might be interested in my comment...

In reading some of the comments here, pointing to abortion, starvation, neglect and abuse as modern examples of scapegoating, I cannot help but feel that we are largely missing the point here. In pointing fingers at, and decrying the sins of others, we fall into precisely that trap of scapegoating that Christ overthrew on Calvary.

At its core, the scapegoating mechanism is a way of pronouncing that our fault lies not in ourselves but in our neighbors; that the true battlefield upon which sin is confronted and defeated lies in the deeds and the person of our fellow man. Our society suffers because THEY have done wrong! It's the abortionists who are guilty! No, it's the media! No, it's the wealthy! It's the poor! Its illegal immigrants!

Nonsense! Our society suffers because I care too much about MY comfort, and too little about the suffering of others. Our society suffers because I care too much about MY will, and not God's. Our society suffers because MY faith is weak, and MY fear is strong. My family suffers, not because my children misbehave or because my wife is stubborn, but because of MY impatience and MY reluctance to forgive. This is not to deny or dismiss the sins of others - far from it - but it to confess the primacy of our own complicity in sin. The true way of disarming the scapegoating mechanism is not to point fingers at the sins of others, but first to direct our attention toward those sins we harbor within our own hearts.

We move beyond scapegoating, and into a truly Christian culture when we reach out in compassion, rather than condemnation, to strengthen the struggling, failing humanity of our neighbors. This is what it means to imitate Christ, to side with the victim, that first and foremost victim of sin - the sinner himself. We undermine the scapegoating temptation only when we reject the temptation to condemn, in favor of embracing and elevating the flawed humanity of others, acknowledging the supremacy of their humanity over their failings. As Sister Helen Prejean famously said of all of us, "We are worth more than the worst act we commit."

Humility, forgiveness, compassion, love - these are the weapons with which Christ defeated the scapegoating dynamic. Unless and until I take them upon myself, I am part of the problem.
5/28/2012 4:27:12 AM
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Chesire11
Okay, I give up...in "fixing" my cut and paste error, I picked up a bit of correspondence to a friend...it's been one of those weeks!
5/29/2012 5:19:59 PM
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