Religion in Society

Moral Breakdown Played Role in Arizona Shooting

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NEW YORK, NY -- Morality in Media President Robert Peters had the following comments regarding the liberal news media's response to our nation's latest highly publicized mass murder, this one in Tucson involving an attempt to murder a Democratic Congresswoman.

"Most 'mass murders' (the FBI defines mass murder as four or more murders occurring during a particular event with no cooling-off period between the murders) are not highly publicized; but when they are, the liberal news media's knee jerk reaction is to point a finger of blame at guns.

"There may be loopholes in our nation's gun control laws that need plugging, but in acknowledging that a mass murderer has again misused a gun to kill citizens, we should also remember that the killer grew up in a 'popular culture' that glamorizes gun violence and that also loves to portray religion in a negative light, when it portrays religion at all, which isn't often.

"Admittedly, the influence of religion has not always been for the better. For example, some Americans used the Bible to justify slavery. But the good has far outweighed the bad; and part of the good that religion brought was a moral commandment, 'You shall not commit murder.'

"For most of our nation's history this Commandment was reinforced at every level of society, including the entertainment media. For example, the Hays Code, which was discarded by the Motion Picture Association of America in 1968, had a provision on 'Murder' which stated:

1) The technique of murder must be presented in a way that will not inspire imitation.
2) Brutal killings are not to be presented in detail.
3) Revenge in modern times shall not be justified.

"Along with pointing a finger of blame at misuse of guns, therefore, the liberal news media should also point a finger of blame at TV shows, films, rap lyrics and video games that glamorize deadly gun violence and that are popular among young males.

"Because this particular mass murder involved an attempt to kill a Democratic Congresswoman, the liberal news media are also pointing a finger at 'right wing' political figures for their incendiary speech. Well, as my mother used to say, 'It takes two to tango.' I would add this to what my mother said, 'If incendiary political speech can have an adverse effect on vulnerable individuals, so can incendiary and grossly irresponsible entertainment.'"