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 October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More U.S.

BREAKING NEWS - School shooting in Washington state leaves 2 dead, five injured Watch

Image of Kids and parents react to news of the shooting.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A shooting has occurred at a school in Washington, in which authorities believe a bullied student shot and killed another. The shooter is also believed to be dead. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A school shooting has taken place at Marysville-Pilchuck High School ... continue reading


Guns Do Not Have Rights, People Do. Legitimate Self Defense is One of Them

Image of Guns have no rights, only people do.Yes, one of them is the Right to Self Defense - and the Right to defend your neighbor. You may ask,

By Keith A. Fournier

We live in a precarious time in the United States of America. Many of us are deeply concerned about the effort to infringe upon the fundamental rights which were delineated in the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution. I have written extensively about ... continue reading


Rest in Peace, Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete: Communion and Liberation Priest Enters Eternal Encounter Watch

Image of Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete was a leader in the ecclesial movement called Communion and Liberation. He was also a gifted writer, known for his naturally supernatural holiness of life. Those whom he touched are a living testimony to a life - and a priesthood - which was well lived. In encountering him, they encountered Jesus Christ. That experience is the very heart of the Gospel, the meaning of the Christian claim. It is the key to understanding the Church. It is the spirituality of Communion and Liberation.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

As we pause to honor Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete, Communion and Liberation Priest, may our prayers accompany him, lighting his passage into the eternal encounter with the Lord whom he loves. Let us also ask for his prayers - and follow his example. Let us decide to ... continue reading


How far will it spread? A New York doctor has tested positive for Ebola Watch

Image of 33-year-old Craig Spencer, a member of Doctors Without Borders, had recently returned to the U.S. after treating Ebola patients in Guinea.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A New York doctor who had recently returned from Guinea has tested positive for Ebola, the fourth person diagnosed with the disease in the United States. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Craig Spencer worked for Doctors Without Borders where he was treating ... continue reading


Same-sex couples line up to be wed in Wyoming Watch

Image of After the state formally dropped its defense of a law defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman, Jennifer Mumaugh says that attitudes across the state have shifted in recent years to be more open to gay couples.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Same-sex couples began lining up around the block in Wyoming for marriage licenses this week. U.S. District Judge Scott W. Skavdahl, appointed by President Barack Obama struck down the state's gay marriage ban last week. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Will they riot after this? Autopsy, analysis shows officer Wilson was telling the truth Watch

Image of New analysis and witness reports suggest that officer Darren Wilson was being attacked by Michael Brown and shot him in self defense.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

New evidence from Ferguson Missouri seems to vindicate the testimony of officer Darren Wilson, showing that the fatal shooting of Michael Brown may not be as cut and dry as many of the protestors in the area believe. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to ... continue reading


Is this a sign of things to come? 2014 midterm most expensive on record Watch

Image of Early voting has already started in several states including Kansas and Illinois.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Well underway, the 2014 midterms are set to be the most expensive midterms ever, according to projections that the Center for Responsive Politics released on October 22. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - While heavily overshadowed by global affairs like the ... continue reading


ACTIVE SHOOTER - Kids, teachers, community terrorized by admin, police at Thompson Jr. HS in Bakersfield in the name of safety? Watch

Image of Terrorization in the name of safety is still terror.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The latest school shooting did not make the national news yesterday because allegedly it was an act of domestic terrorism perpetrated against kids and a working-class community in the name of safety. For about 30 minutes on Tuesday, students, faculty, and their parents ... continue reading


Catholic school forbids Hollywood lesbian drama from shooting on location Watch

Image of In the scene to be filmed at the school, Moore's character, a New Jersey police detective with terminal cancer, applies for a domestic partnership with her partner, played by Page in order to pass on her pension legally after her death.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While actresses Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are big names in filmland, their largesse didn't get them past the authorities at Salesian High School in New Rochelle, New York. The catholic school has declined their request to use their location for a ... continue reading


On the Feast of St. John Paul II, His Prophetic Warning to the U.S. Requires a Response Watch

Image of Deacon Keith Fournier standing under the beautiful bronze statue of John Paul II in Denver, Colorado.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

In an address given during that 1976 Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia for the bicentennial celebration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla spoke some words which I believe were prophetic. - We are now standing in the face ... 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, Ephesians 4:1-6
1 I, the prisoner in the Lord, urge you therefore to ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Psalm Of David] To Yahweh belong the earth and all ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:54-59
54 He said again to the crowds, 'When you see a cloud ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 24th, 2014 Image

St. Anthony Mary Claret
October 24: Claretian archbishop and founder. Anthony was born in Salient in ... 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