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Are You Not Entertained?

Jessup Think
Jessup Think
Are You Not Entertained?

Professor of Christian Thought Brad Swope joins Rex and Mark to explore violence as entertainment. Does the Christian faith influence the way we consume violent sports, violent video games, or violence in television or film?


Welcome to Jessup Think, Jessup’s official podcast. That’s right. And this is your co host Rex Gurney.

And I’m Mark Moore.

I think you’ll find today’s topic. Fascinating.

Yeah. Today on the show we have one of our professors here Brad Swope, he’s also a pastor, he’s

actually my pastor. Oh,

there we go having your pastor on exactly. Really watch what I say, exactly, you have to be on your best behavior. Exactly. And he’s going to be talking about the topic of violence as entertainment, and how we consume violence. And especially within the church, we’ve we’ve done a good job within the church of not consuming sexually graphic content. But violence has been another conversation, violence in our movies and TVs violence in our sport, or a conversation

that actually hasn’t happened. And it’s a conversation that we really need to have.

It really is. And so we hope you enjoy this episode, and I think it will be thought provoking. And you might might even be a little upset sometime. Okay, that’s good.

Well, Brad, we have you on the show today, because we want to kind of talk about the research that you’ve been doing. Recently, research in your doctoral studies on kind of the effect of violence as entertainment, and especially within the church, maybe churches, consumption of violence, as well as our culture. And you kind of know, our culture’s love for violence. And that has bled into the church a little bit, you kind of noted as an evangelical blind spot. So would you mind kind of as we begin here, just maybe summarizing your kind of research points and, and maybe particularly how it has an effect on the church.

Yeah, near the end of your doctorate, you’re going to have to pick a focus area, and I’m in a coffee shop. My final for my final project, and I’m listening to two pastoral interns from a local church, talk with great joy about this MMA fight that they had just watched, and the vicarious thrill in the blood in the and at the same time, I’m reading primary sources about the early churches response to gladiatorial contests. And so I’m thinking, how is it that were the Christians had such a strong voice to end a form of violence? Now? If Of course, it doesn’t end in killing, here is a Christian community that supports it now. And then you just blow it up and you think, Well, I know of churches that use MMA fights to support their men’s ministry.

Then there’s actually a documentary called fighters fight church, Pastor versus pastor Well,

there’s also be good at that.

There are churches that set up outreach programs to youth that set up essentially MMA training. Right, right for kids. And so it just made made me think about the question, how is it that what was something we were so against and actually help stem the tide? The early church? We have no voice. There are the Christian Avondale community has a loud voice on lots of issues. But this is one that we have absolutely no voice in. In fact, what I found is just by asking the question, should we consume this? Typically, the pushback, especially for men was what are you a pacifist? Right?

What are you a weakling? Right? They didn’t say that to my face, because I need that.

But obviously, I wouldn’t, but you’re violent, exactly. But let me teach you how non violent I am by beating you up. Now. The idea is, it’s almost like, you’re less of a man by just asking the question, should we be consuming this as a product of entertainment?

Right, which is a problem I mean, within the church to to stop that conversation before it even begins? We just say, Hey, I’m just asking him a question. Should we you know, what is our because the violence is there in our culture is not within the church. And then the question is, hey, we’re a part of this culture.

Well, this is why I call it a blind spot. It’s it’s almost a taboo topic, actually. It is. And it’s, it’s an area that is we are not reflective on. Like, the whole purpose of my teaching. Ministry is almost never to tell people what to do. It’s to get them to engage in their own life, kind of following that Colossians idea, whether in order D do it on the name of Christ. So even your entertainment choices, somehow should be a product or a reflective product of my value system that comes from my Christianity, it should inform even that activity. So now, what do I What am I not reading even in the scriptures that make me not take seriously this? What am I not seeing? So we all have filters when we read write the scriptures, right? There’s things that we so obviously we we are blinded to are even asking the question, is this a healthy activity? Is this a Christian activity? Should we have a counter voice on this part of our culture, not that not not to the condemn and run away to the hills, but more like, let’s, let’s be a part of a healthy conversation.

Yeah. And just get to see, hey, how has this been affecting us and how within our culture has it been affecting our culture.

One thing I just sort of, in kind of looking back at my seminary, seminary training, I remember a book that I read, gosh, 35 years ago now by Kraybill, I forget his first name. It’s called the upside down kingdom. And we actually have a copy of it in our library. And I actually checked it out, just to kind of reread it for nostalgia sake. And so I started looking at it, it’s like, I need to reread this for my own sake right now. But if we as Christians are to be countercultural, I think we really need to reflect on sort of the the myth of violence in American society, you know, sort of cowboy is iconic, right, you know, image of the of the, you know, rugged American. And instead of instead of, you know, responding in a culture count, counter cultural way, we tend to just take our cues from culture, and I think one of the keys in our culture is violence.

Well, you could say that we have and Joe coils have taken fairly strong positions on graphic material in terms of sexuality.

Yeah, we have

down to the point I was thinking right, strong positions on life with it. So it’s, it’s not, that we’re unthinking and it just this one area is largely not reflected in our literature. It’s not. So when I reflected on the question in my entire 50 year journey, I couldn’t reflect one professor or pastor who had ever asked me to think about it. Now, I’ve been in the church my whole life. So it’s how is it that because you’re never you’re not a Mennonite? Right? Well, I mean, that’s, that’s the body of Christ, right? There are parts of the body of Christ, this would be present to them. This isn’t present to us, it’s not a pressing concern. So this led me in my my project to look at three areas largely violence in our movies and television violence in our video games and violence in our sport. And each one I tried to unpack what attracts us to it, what’s the science behind it? What’s the sociology behind it? And then then look at perhaps what’s the what scripture Do we need to be reflecting on and meditating on? And then a proposed solution in terms of our lack of engagement on that issue?

And so would you find out? Yeah,


first, let me just say, I always have to say on this conversation, we’re talking about violence as entertainment. We’re not talking about police or army, we’re not talking about self defense, these, these are issues that need to be thought through, we are only talking about what we’re putting before us as a form of entertainment. Because I’m not, I’m not actually advocating for pacifism, I’m advocating for us to think, should I be consuming this or not? I found that there were there just lots of, you’d have to say which of the three subjects you want to explore. I mean, there’s been lots of conversation about violence in our media. What we know is that every generation is consuming more of it, and more and more violent acts, shooting guns. So it’s, what if you go back to the 1970s, we’re seeing so much more graphic violence in movies and television as normative, right? Not for shock value, right. So just the degree of what we’re watching has a lot more in it. There’s long term, there’s debates as to what’s the short term versus the long term, in just watching it passively. So this is one of those passive instruments. Video games is different because it it works with the brain differently. Because you’re engaging, you’re part of the storytelling or the when you’re watching movies and television you’re just receiving. So it’s a passive receptive of kind of worldview and ideas and values, as what is normative. What we can’t say is that, oh, because I watch these violent movies, I’m going to be more violent person. Right? We think that has a large effect on D sensitization to violence, perhaps effects via empathy. I, there’s at least really interesting store of scientific study about people coming out of movies, there was a sociological test where they had people feign, needing help injury or something. The folks that went to non violent movies were almost twice as quick to respond than the folks who went to violent movies. So like in the short term, it seemed to affect people’s ability to recognize real need and respond to it.

That is really interesting, because you’d almost think it would be the opposite, that if you just saw a violent movie, you might be like, I’m gonna go help. I’m gonna go right You,

but you’re pounding on these images and an artist in some ways, taking them as less real. So, but I think probably the largest correlation that I would draw from the amount is actually fear. So I think it raises the level of fear in people’s imaginations as to things that could threaten.

So like that could happen to them.

Yeah. So I, I wonder if if it, it makes the world a more fearful place, because you’re seeing so much violence

implications all over the place, culturally, politically, to put

up their policy at all, literally, right? But if you think about, so this is a classic that we all kind of the old days, you’d let your kids go play outside and right, they’d be gone for 12 hours, and you call him back inside? That was my childhood, right? Nobody does that anymore. Why not? why we’re so afraid of people perpetuating violence taking their kids? Well, statistically, it’s less than it’s ever been. Right? Yeah, the fear of it is greater than it’s ever been. Yeah. Because now if we hear a story in Tennessee of an abduction, it gets to us, we would never heard that story before. Right. So now, if most of our entertainment has this violent content to it, you’re thinking this is the world that we live in. So is it possible that raises levels of fear in people and their responses to how they’re going to live? So security systems and right, so all the rest of this stuff, so it’s pretty interesting and thoughtful way of thinking about it.

One that’s interesting with fear and desensitization, because of how they would maybe play off of each other or not, you know, it’s kind of like, being more desensitized to violence, but also others for others, right, but also then having a fear that this could happen and, and even in my own children’s lives, so I have kind of two middle schoolers, and we live in Sacramento, and a little rougher part than most in Rocklin. And just just recently, there was we were going to church, my son was actually riding his bike behind me. And we, we passed to like at six houses over two police cars, and then like five more showed up, and that we’re like, what’s going on? And a person had just got shot. And, and it was interesting that it was like, it was like, wow, that’s like seven houses, right? But even my children were kind of like, oh, but they weren’t that afraid. Yeah. Like it was really interesting. It was like

this. It is interesting that we do we do I do a survey before I teach my Christian perspective class for the students. And one of the questions that you actually were the one that introduced this first this survey, but

it’s a rural safe life.

Yeah. Is the world a safe place? And invariably, the vast majority say No, and I say to him, now, I want you to think about that. You are in one of the most the safest places on the face of the earth. Rocklin, California, right. Yeah. You think of the world as being an unsafe place. Right. So where does that come from? Because it wouldn’t correlate to their experience necessarily, right. Yeah, they’re not experiencing gallons. So where does that fear of violence or the fear of being in the world being unsafe come from? Well, it’s perhaps a culture of fear. I mean, our news is built around fear, right? Our entertainments built around, exploring these topics, that kind of stuff, horror movies, the whole bet. So.

So just to kind of try to reel this in a little bit towards towards the church. You know, we mentioned earlier, I think that this is, I guess, an evangelical blind spot. And so why, why an evangelical blind spot? Why not a blind spot of you know, other Christian traditions or perhaps, you know, it’s it’s sort of everywhere outside of the Amish.

I would almost want to throw it back to the church historian here, the person who has more of a view of church history. I wouldn’t call my

favorite on Constantine. Yeah, there you go. That’s my answer right there. It’s everything we got. What

I will say is that I went outside the Evan jellicle. tribe, to get some responses to this. And one of the most interesting was Walter wink. And he proposes in one of his seminal works, that what we’re talking about is the myth of redemptive violence, then, in our storytelling. There is sewn into us deeply this this myth, what he calls a myth that violence is not necessarily a bad thing. It can actually bring peace. It can heal, it can restore. So you think well, how is that true? Well, I’ll give you a couple quick examples. If you think about Karate Kid, right? This we raised on Karate Kid now, essentially, what what do we learn your ability to do violence to those who do violence to you actually He brings restoration to your identity. Right? Yeah, you are now prepared to be a real person and not a person that lives in fear. Or a more recent example is Suicide Squad I told you about, it was a really terrible movie, I made myself watch for this. But they have these rogue violent criminals, all these maximum security. And they’re brought together to become one fighting force against this other evil. And as they do violence, they’re healed because they finally find family, like this joint violent exercise. So if you just step back, and you think, yeah, so much of our story, I’ll give you one other quick example, I think is really, it’s it’s less obvious, but the movie The Help, where the maid serves the person that she hates the pie, right, right. And you will just love it, you cheer for it, you’re so glad that she got over my serving her human excrement in this pie. So you begin to you’re prone to root for right all the ways that we can do violence. And it begins to be conditionally the actually the narrative that you operate your own life from. So for example, we learned that violence is of a very effective way of getting what we want. Let’s say you’re at a store, and you want to return something, but it’s passed to write the receipt. Yeah. And you get the customer service person that quickly to the manager, and through face tone, body expression, you are actually exhibiting violence. I’m going to report you blah, blah, blah. And then they give you what you want, and everything goes down. Totally, totally, totally. Oh, you’re calm down. Oh, I’m sorry for getting upset. It’s just that and now you’re now you’re explaining it, but you just reinforced the violence works. Yeah.

I was actually told to do that this weekend. I know my wife’s not gonna ever listen to this podcast. So I think I can I can actually mention that. But let’s edit that out. Well, maybe not. Yeah. I’m supposed to yell at the at the cable people. Right. I was like,

Oh, yeah.

Actually threatened them and yell at, you get away, like

I come out of that conversation paying more.

Exactly, exactly. Well, wink

proposes a counter story, the story of Jesus, death and resurrection, as one who chose not to use violence, who, even Jesus with Pilate saying, Don’t you understand I could do something different here, I’m choosing something different. If this is going to be the key Christian story that’s supposed to color our imaginations for how we follow Jesus into the world, right. And if thou you examine the way he teaches in the sermon of the Mount, in terms of how it’s a countercultural way of thinking about enemies, it’s not found in his own tradition, he rises out of his own tradition to speak back to it and saying, You’re justifying your treatment of these people in these ways. I’m going to I’m going to ask for something different. If this is our Rabbi, this is our teacher, and this is the method he used, and that we would say, change the entire world, ushering in the kingdom of God, why is it that we don’t want that to be the story we live from? And that feeds our imaginations for how to be Christian in the world? Why is it that we’re using this other dominant motif? And that leads us actually a how we live in the world, which is we would have to say, when we’re at that counter yelling at that manager, I can’t see us being Christ there. Right? I, I can’t I can’t see how in the world we’re doing that in the name of Jesus. So if we stand back, we say No, we’re not. So then where does that come from? Well, we have to think about that counter example, as being pivotal to reforming our imaginations for how to live in the world,

when there seems to be this kind of connection from our movies, and then what we’re kind of taught and how to use it, this connection between violence and justice, how to get justice, through violent violence, and we root for those who will mean we even the good guys in our stories have to use violence. And and yeah, that picture of Jesus that is this affects all sorts justice.

It really does he with the death penalty, all sorts of stuff,

right? Well, then you bring it into another kind of modern day examples. Martin Luther King, Jr. The lasting impact. We have a day in our national counter named after Brian, why is that we don’t have black panther week doing we

don’t except in Oakland, where I lived. I think they still did.

But the idea is you had two stories, simultaneous two narratives going on Black Panthers, and Martin Luther King, and even though he’s a hero, and now kind of a saint, this was the minority position, and he was severely critiqued for it, right. Yeah. By his own community, right. It’s not going to work. Except for it did work. Mm hmm. So he follows the path of Jesus, and at great cost to himself, of course, right. And that may be what we’re talking about. We’re not prepared to pay the cost of following Jesus in the world. But we would say it’s a counter to the culture and it has lasting impact for peace and healing. Reconciliation, but it was the costly path of Jesus. And we, you know, rightly so we say, I would like to be more like that.

Right. And it seems, in both cases read Jesus and Martin Luther King Jr. That, that they, through their sacrifice, they exposed the violence of our world, right. They

exposed it what we want is and that changed people’s hearts. You watch those videos of the the fire hoses and the dogs. Right. Right. And you’re, you’re shocked by it. And it’s like the the non violent proach exposes how despicable the violence really is. Right? And if you’d let you absorb it, you’re like, it really. Violence really, doesn’t he? I think that was kind of I don’t remember the exact quote. But he, Martin Luther King says something like that

You don’t remember? Yeah. Healing,

healing, something like healing for always, or I’m sorry. Violence always perpetuates violence. Yes. Right. Yeah. There’s, there’s something about I do violence to you. And I make it my well, but it’s I’m living in a world where violence gets its way. Right.

Right. It’ll just

cause more violence. Right. And and I think another example of why we’re so you know, just numb to that. Oftentimes, in my Christian perspective sections, when we talk about entertainment and contemporary media and stuff, we talk about that. I think we already mentioned that here about why we are so much more upset with with sex and movies than violence in movies, at least as evangelical Christians. Right, right. And so I’ll throw that I’ll throw that topic out to the class and I invariably get the same answer. It’s like, Well, you know, I can, we’re more upset with sex, because sex is like closer to us than the violence is we can imagine ourselves, you know, in that sort of situation as this would be a temptation or something. Right, right. I cannot imagine myself actually like doing violence when we like do violence all the time. We just are so numb to the ramifications of it. Yeah,

I want to sorry, go ahead. No, you go.

One of the things that came out in my research is that for Christians, part of our participation because there are things that are taboo, that we cannot see ourselves doing. We actually participate. imaginatively, yeah, your entertainment mee, mee mee carelessly, and through our sports in some ways. So even though so we think that there’s largely even though this is slipping a bright line for, you know, sexual graphic sexual material. I always wonder what what’s the stimulation? Why do Christians what’s, you know, the secret pleasure of watching something like Orange is the New Black. It’s a world that can never really experienced themselves, right. So it’s a way of experiencing and a kind of a taboo form. So I wonder if that plays a little bit with most of us are not violent people, nor do we like violence, nor do we like to experience violence, most of us for violence, it’s a very negative memory. So as a way to participate in violence, explore violence a little bit, without actually having to have violence done to us.

As a point, I really do I think that yeah, that’s illuminating,

I think it is, and maybe too, it’s also connected to this idea of violence without consequence. The the you can kind of watch it from afar and even sometimes, in watching it you don’t see the consequence of the violence.

It can we use that as a pivot point here to determine the MMA because of the three subjects I felt most passion for. It wasn’t entertainment or video games, though, there were some concerns for both. It was actually the MMA because, again, non reflectively. I wanted to go study what’s actually happening in terms of head trauma to these athletes, right? Because we are paying our $15 or $20, for a paper preview package or to go to the event. And we are watching this event for our entertainment vicariously, and then we’re going home to our house. That athlete goes back to his house. He has a career. So we’re starting to understand brain injury at a much further level. Right? So what we know is that concussive events are very damaging. But the perhaps the more damaging are the subconscious events, so not the knockouts but all the jarring blows. So we know that there’s something called CTE. It’s kind of mysterious. We can’t predict it. We don’t know you have it until after you die. It’s not tasa there’s no way to prevent it. And we think that there’s perhaps as many as 10% of the population who seems to be prone to it. So it could cause some events releases a certain kind of protein called tau, that tau correlates in the part of the brain. It changes brain function, memory impairment, muscle, the whole bed. It’s terrible. It’s terrible. So you see it. It’s in the NFL, I hope so. So let’s just say there’s 1010 flights, that’s 20 fighters, two of those fighters are going to probably get CTE through their career. You are paying them to expose themselves terribly to these events, for simply your entertainment.

at an event about the application, Now, think about a family, you know, thinking

about in 10 years, that guy’s probably not gonna remember his kids names, right? You had a vicarious though, so I use this example. There’s a fight last year, Daniel Franco. Small flight fight in Iowa, 1000. People there gets knocked down twice, you know, ends the fight, people cheer leave the building. 30 minutes later, he collapses, he has brain blade, still basically not functioning to this day. Not one of those 1000 people know that happened to Daniel Franco. They got their money’s worth. So what’s the implications of a sport? So then you say, Well, you know, they’re choosing to do it. So I say, Okay, well, where’s your line? Let’s say I put now two guys into a ring with two by fours, or baseball bats. Right. So is that that’s wrong? What what would make it? How do I know when or the line is? The problem? The conversation is people want to leap backwards from ma to now football. Right? So and that’s the that’s the sacred cow. Right? Yeah.

Yeah. You’re

not preaching Brad. Yeah, so.

So. So the idea is, we know somehow that we can’t have two guys with two by fours in a ring. Yeah, we’re uncertain about MMA, but we’re certain that that the NFL is fine. Yeah. And I’m actually not trying to take the NFL away from anybody. If if there’s a response to this, I would say to you, let’s be cheering the loudest. For every innovation for helmets and safety for players. You figure out for yourself, whether you can participate in the NFL in terms of watching, I’m just talking about the act of me getting my entertainment by somebody else suffering real, real harm to the body. This is not fake harm. So just statistically, in a normal fight 70% of all MMA fights end with because of head trauma. Usually they get knocked down. And the last part of an MMA fight is somebody trying to cover up, right, because he’s been hit really hard, right? with it. That what they did all this and within 3.5 seconds, there’s an 18.5 extra blows to the head after the guy’s already been knocked out. Yeah. So and I’m telling you, if you’ve ever rented these things, everybody is getting what they paid for. Right? But what you’re getting is someone literally having brain injury in front of your eyes. So the idea is, is can we start thinking about this as less of a first of all, let’s let’s move it from a benign thing.

It’s almost like the dystopian futures like arrived.

Yeah. Right. It is it is and anything you think, and it’s so similar to gladiatorial contests. Now, people are dying in front of your eyes, and you’re not given the thumbs up or thumbs down. But there is real harm being done to the body for your entertainment. And, and I’m with my class last night, there’s 10 or 12 of them, and there’s middle aged women in that, that just seem like the gentlest people who say, Yeah, I watch MMA with my right.

Yeah. And you’re like, it’s a bonding experience.

It is and it’s like, how is it that we don’t question this? What is it about it? That we say this is a benign or neutral activity? Can Can we move it towards the I actually have to take a very strong look at what that what’s happening here to see if it’s a moral activity or not? Is my entertainment my voice my vicarious thrill of this? Now there’s really interesting science as to why attracts us. So the idea is surrogacy that violence has survival value. sex and violence is Why are your brains are hardwired to pay attention to it, you can’t really help yourself. So for those of you who face temptation, when a pretty woman walks by, essentially your your brain can’t not pay attention to it. It’s the same reason why. When there’s a fight in middle school, there’s a crowd together. I said there’s a fascination with it. There’s a vicarious, but there’s survival value for it. And largely when we get to MMA, it’s it The idea is surrogacy. So the idea is an alpha male in any pack, right? becomes the surrogate for the pack. Right. So here we pick our fighter. We are not in the ring, but we are chemically In our brains experience the same thing as if we were in the ring. And chemically, the reward is ours to if we win. So all the same chemicals are being released in the rank. There’s identity, deep identity markers, aligning ourselves to strength. So we send our surrogate into the battlefield for us, and we without facing one bit of violence are experiencing chemic biochem, chemically the same sorts of things. Well, that’s just fascinating. Yeah, it really is. So it’s like, you’re just thinking, that’s okay. So I can say, I’m not a bad person for being attracted to it. But we as Christians believe you can rise above your natures. So if this is a part of your nature, then you have to examine, is this what feels like a very normal response to this thing? Do I choose it? Or what are the value systems that have informed that choice? So does Christ now speak to my choices as to what I will put before my eyes? So nobody should feel guilty about being attracted to MMA? Nobody should write you. Right? Right. There’s real science as to why you’re attracted to it. You know, it’s just now what do you do with the fact that seemingly, you could see this as, as a moral choice as to whether it’s right or wrong to watch such things? And now I have to choose well, out of my faith, as to whether I participate, or can participate or not. And so again, I get that, I’ll just say again, people have come to me after I’ve done these public seminars. Does that mean I can’t train and do kung fu or muy Thai? No. Personal Fitness, Personal safety, identity issues? health, fitness? Great. Let’s just don’t have spectators. Why do we need to have spectators? Oh, I want let’s say I want to test my skill against somebody else. Great, do it. Why do we have to watch? Why do we have to set up ticket sales? So that so really, my issue here is only the more activity around spectating in places where we already know, real, real hurt and harm has happened to the people in front of us. And people will say, Well, what about soccer? What about baseball? People are suffering concussions? Yes, but the point of the sport is not to suffer a concussion, right. That is the point of the MMA and the boxing is to concuss a person till they cannot get up any longer. Yeah. So it’s incidental to those sports. And I tell you, those sports are taking those injuries seriously. They’re designing so they don’t experience them. So they’re not viewed as a good thing. And you’re not cheering for somebody to get hit in baseball with a ball to the head, wrap your head around. You don’t cheer for that. Right. You’re concerned. Everybody stops. Oh, right. But in MMA we cheer for it. Yeah. So that’s, it’s a passion for mine, for us to examine that sport in that way.

Yeah. And it’s interesting, even culturally, that kind of shift from boxing to MMA that happened within the last 20 years. And when MMA first started was even more violent, more prone, is now with less rules, and hair pulling and eye gouging, and all these things. And I remember, I was kind of in college when that started. And it was like, what is happening like it was, and we were drawn to it, and drawn to watch it. And I remember watching it, leaving just sick with a guy having a chunk of someone else’s hair and skin and flesh in their hands and was like, wow, this may have taken it to

may have to.

Certainly they put new roles in the whole bit. But I think we don’t need to have hair pulling and parts of scalp to to say if I know If so, that was really said something really interesting one time about why gambling is immoral. He said because you are you are not using reason. You are You are suspending reason, right. So in the same way, I would say if you if you really think that that person is not really being irreparably harmed, you are suspending reason. It would be a violation of your human person to suspend reason to the point where you can come to the conclusion. I don’t even know if they got hurt. We know enough. They’re getting hurt. So it’s like, we cannot go blindly into it and just say, Well, I don’t know, you know, and they’re choosing it. That’s your profession. Who am I to say? Well, you are somebody because you are creating the market. Mm hmm. You pay for your ticket, you create the market. If there’s no market, I guarantee you that guy’s not doing that for a living. He’ll find something else to do, right. That’s just simple market economy, economics. So I think that that is where I’d like Christians to thoughtfully engage on that subject.

And that seems to be we’re coming from kind of the kind of the reason one you’re on the show too and kind of landed here on this episode is I think the big thrust is having us be more thoughtful in what we are viewing as Entertainment and realizing the implication, right? We’ve kind of done maybe a good job in the medical community on like, hey, graphic sexuality, not good. It’s not helpful for us. It’s not helpful, but we’ve kind of left violence in a different category. And we just want to take the blind spot.

Yeah. So the horse, the blinders, and they look and see it. And so if we see it, then we’ll figure out what’s your response to it.

Right? And I think that’ll be a really good conversation. I mean, I can, I can already know, several guys in my church and friends who were like, what, I can’t watch MMA now and what and it’s like, hey, well, let’s talk about it. Let’s let’s talk about and like you said to with NFL and the sacred cow, and how everyone complains about rules that are implemented for sale during the game this game, right? can we can we at least engage in that conversation thoughtfully. And by thoughtfully we mean, bringing in that biblical narrative, right, when that example of Jesus and say, hey, yeah, how does? How does Jesus speak to violence and the violence in this world? And how does violence as entertainment and our our consumption of it, also then affect real violence in this world, and how we view real violence? And I think it’s a really good conversation to have and, and I was just wondering, you know, as we kind of end maybe in this in a final segment here, where we get to know the guests even more. Have you ever been a part of a fight? What was your was there a fight in middle school, high school?

So I grew up, I was I was in a Christian, private Christian school. And then that was integrated with inner city, Kitty’s kids. In seventh grade. day number one,

no, wow. seventh grade,

I got knocked out in the boys bathroom over a kickball incident. Wow. The I’d never experienced violence like that before I hadn’t been prepared for you know, we would wrestle and put people in headlocks. Before that, as good Christians would, you know, Jesus only wrestled right here. know, he’s so then we moved to almost right after that. I, I had recurring dreams about that. Yeah. It really formed my identity falsely. In fact, I went into high school, and I probably had maybe four or five fights. Where I was looking for it. Yeah, because I didn’t want to feel cowardly again. Definitely afraid of every one of them. But I would not posture myself any longer as afraid. Yeah. Because my memories of myself in that moment was Oh, look at you coward that we’re on. you’re prepared to defend yourself. Yeah. So yeah, I would say it was formative in a negative way that makes right. So I got suspended from high school number two, if my boys are listening to this, please. Yeah. Yeah, I saw

that violence begets violence.

Violence begets violence and formative and the nature of violence is it harms harm Psychology at harms in your psychology and your your mental and emotional frame and thanks

for thanks. On a light note, yeah.

What about you Rex’s? Yeah,

you know, so, I, in seventh grade again, since you’re telling seventh grade stories, yeah, this is so I’m going to it almost completely. School of another ethnicity. And I’m a little white boy, and chubby and have glasses. And I don’t know why or how and I probably would have beat myself up to if I saw myself in seventh grade, but I carried a briefcase to school. Yeah. And so you can imagine my experience in seventh grade at john adams Middle School in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Gotcha. Carrying the briefcase. Oh, my gosh,

your story’s better than mine. Yeah, that’s

good. That’s good. I mean, looking back on mine, I’ve never been punched in the face. I’ve never been in a fight. That not on a sporting field. Right. And the times that I took something to Vegas was in the middle of play was never like after a play. But yeah, it would have been the most because you’re such an intimidating person. Exactly. Like I’m not fighting, guys, actually. Because I can I can. I’m wiring and I can I can get out. Quickly, Bob. Exactly. Okay, thanks. Thanks a lot for being on the show. It’s a really good topic and really thought provoking. Like, you’re welcome. Thank you for listening to Jessup. Think Be sure to follow us on Twitter at Jessup think we would love to hear your thoughts on the episode and engage with any questions you have. Our aim is to provide a framework for further reflection and deeper exploration of these important topics. You can also help the show by leaving a review on iTunes These reviews help the podcast reach new listeners. Until next time, I’m Mark Moore and this is Jessup.

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