I thought social conservatives were against violence in video games. Guess not.
Welcome to the video game version of the famous Left Behind series, where young rapture wannabes get to convert or kill heathens from the computer desk. This is a direct bllurb from the game’s website:
Imagine: you are a foot soldier in a paramilitary group whose purpose is to remake America as a Christian theocracy, and establish its worldly vision of the dominion of Christ over all aspects of life. You are issued high-tech military weaponry, and instructed to engage the infidel on the streets of New York City. You are on a mission – both a religious mission and a military mission — to convert or kill Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, gays, and anyone who advocates the separation of church and state – especially moderate, mainstream Christians. Your mission is "to conduct physical and spiritual warfare"; all who resist must be taken out with extreme prejudice. You have never felt so powerful, so driven by a purpose: you are 13 years old. You are playing a real-time strategy video game whose creators are linked to the empire of mega-church pastor Rick Warren, best selling author of The Purpose Driven Life.
This game immerses children in present-day New York City — 500 square blocks, stretching from Wall Street to Chinatown, Greenwich Village, the United Nations headquarters, and Harlem. The game rewards children for how effectively they role play the killing of those who resist becoming a born again Christian. The game also offers players the opportunity to switch sides and fight for the army of the AntiChrist, releasing cloven-hoofed demons who feast on conservative Christians and their panicked proselytes (who taste a lot like Christian).
Is this paramilitary mission simulator for children anything other than prejudice and bigotry using religion as an organizing tool to get people in a violent frame of mind? The dialogue includes people saying, "Praise the Lord," as they blow infidels away.
Not all Christian conservatives are climbing aboard the Left Behind bandwagon/bloodfest:
Not surprisingly, Left Behind Games’ attempt to make Christianity accessible to youngsters through the use of lethal firepower has its critics. Thompson, for instance, said he severed ties with Tyndale House in a dispute over "Eternal Forces."
"It’s absurd," the video game critic said. "You can be the Christians blowing away the infidels, and if that doesn’t hit your hot button, you can be the Antichrist blowing away all the Christians."
But for those who think Christianity is all about killing people, this is the game for you. My favorite part? The subtle fear-mongering homage to September 11:
All of the ambulances have 911 painted on their roofs. In the reality-based world, most ambulances have a red cross on top. Yet the game designers make prominent use of these 911 ambulances to evoke the tragic events of September 11, 2001. The historical context of 911 is invoked as if to say, We are living in the End Times, and Muslims are among the kinds of infidels whom you should fear, whom you should be prepared to kill for your cause.
"Though we walk in flesh, we do not make war in accordance with the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly." (2 Corinthians 10:3-4a).
UPDATE: Andrew Sullivan reports that the nemesis in the Left Behind game is an Anti-Christ figure named Nicole Carpethia, a Romanian who, after the Rapture, becomes head of the United Nations. (No, I’m not making this up). He is conceived through the genetic material of one women and two gay men. So Satan literally is the spawn of gay people.
These people are simply evil haters, pure and simple.