“Guns, Violence, and Humor, Oh, My!”
There’s a form of entertainment on the television that kids as well as adults like. This entertainment consists of artistic drawings that are put together frame by frame with voice acting added to it. This form of entertainment is called cartoons. These characters are cute and likable to the eyes but there is something that goes beyond their cuteness. Many of the cartoons both past and present have violence, which is termed as “slapstick humor”. The fact that the characters don’t get seriously injured or die when they perform these antics makes the cartoon funny and enjoyable to watch.
Violence in cartoons is a lot different than violence in real life because if we saw someone hit someone else on the head with a hammer we don’t laugh (unless we’re so desensitized that we think everything is funny), instead we call the police and have the individual arrested for murder or attempted murder if the person somehow survived the blow.
I remember an old story about two brothers that ended in tragedy due to the violence on television. The older brother was mad with his younger brother so he wanted to get back at him. This kid’s favorite show was “The 3 Stooges” (there was an animated version of this show in the 1960’s) and when he saw the characters doing their slapstick routine he figured that he could try it without seriously harming someone. So one day he took his hammer and hit his younger brother on the head with it. The poor kid fell down and the older brother waited for him to get back up. He never did. Realizing what he did the older brother hid his younger brother under the porch to hide the lie of unreality that he witnessed on TV. His sin was found out when his younger brother’s body started to decompose under the porch. Imagine the trauma the poor older brother went through while he was growing up.
We got to be so careful on what we let our children watch as well as what we watch. Even something like “Looney Tunes” can be harmful. The characters are constantly getting bammed, slammed, bonked, and even shot in some of the cartoons. We think of the saying, “What Would Jesus Do?” so let’s consider all this with that mindset. If Jesus had a little time to watch TV would he entertain himself with a cartoon that features a duck shooting himself in the head when the duck fails to sell his script to his boss at the end? Would he enjoy watching three men constantly hit each other in the name of fun? Let’s be prayerfully honest here.
What’s also a good thing to consider is that our kids are watching us. If they see us watching something that’s violent they will think it’s okay and will follow our example. We don’t want kids to become violent, for it will cause drastic results now and when they grow up.
During this week as we fast from secular television let us also seek along with drawing closer to God to give our children a lasting impression of what is good, wholesome, and pure.