Wednesday, June 29, 2011

American Christianity and MMA

One of the most disconcerting aspects of American Christianity is its, at best, indifference to violence in our culture. At worst, Christianity, especially it's more fundamentalist and evangelical strains, seem to actively defend it.

I mention this in relation to the recent Supreme Court decision on violence in video games. Steve M at No More Mister Niced Blog writes:

To a guy like Scalia, for whom it's always going to be 1968, lefties are people who burn draft cards because they're simperingly allergic to red-blooded American violence, even as they insist on having dirty hippie dope-fueled sex in the streets. Lefties want you to shun Patton and The Green Betets and go see I Am Curious (Yellow) instead, or some mystifying Off-Off-Broadway play with antiwar sentiments and nudity and no plot.

Or, as Charles Murray wrote in a 2010 Washington Post op-ed praising the tea party and sneering at "the New Elite":

Talk to them about sports, and you may get an animated discussion of yoga, pilates, skiing or mountain biking, but they are unlikely to know who Jimmie Johnson is (the really famous Jimmie Johnson, not the former Dallas Cowboys coach), and the acronym MMA means nothing to them.

Dirty hippies hate NASCAR and mixed martial arts because, y'know, people can get hurt. Eeek! I'm not sure how this jibes with the existence of successful contact-sport teams in, say, Boston, or other blue enclaves, but this is what wingers believe. So of course the conservative bloc (Thomas excepted, admittedly) thinks game violence (as opposed to, say, porn sex) is protected speech.

I actually don't know if Charles Murray is a church-goer. But to the extent he represents the wing of American conservatism that is perpetually lamenting the decline of American culture, it's interesting he would single out Mixed Martial Arts (see I know what the acronym MMA means) as somehow virtuos.

Whatever else could be said about MMA, it certainly isn't Christian in any respect. And yet, I can't recall any Christian leaders denouncing it. Sex and the entertainment industry, yes. Conservative Christians hate that. But violence on the sports field or at the point of a gun? Today's Christianity seems all too comfortable with it.

1 comment:

Kanekutter said...

I would like you to show me just exactly which verse in The Bible denounces sporting combat. I submit that combat sports are not INHERENTLY sinful, but can be used in a sinful manner. There is absolutely nothing sinful about MMA itself. Let's also explore where the word "violence" actually means. "an unjust or unwarranted exertion of force or power, as against rights or laws". Does MMA fit that definition? Absolutely not.