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    Current rating: 4 (20 ratings)

    Fr. Barron comments on "The Hunger Games" (SPOILERS)

Fr. Raed Bader
Fr. Robert,
I proud that you are my teacher, you are inspiring.
3/26/2012 6:44:22 PM
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Maria McManus
Fr. Barron - thank you for your review of this movie. Though this movie is set in the future, our 'sophisticated' society has plenty of human sacrifice - abortion and euthanasia - are being expounded as 'health care', they are really clandestine human sacrifice made to the pagan gods (demons) of our society. Lord have mercy on us, we do not know what we are doing!
3/26/2012 8:20:22 PM
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Fr. Barron,
I just wanted to know if you survived the tidal wave of middle school girls that the theater I saw this movie in was filled with?
3/26/2012 8:28:41 PM
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P.S. I look to Fr. Barron's commentary on "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter", which was previewed before the showing of The Hunger Games! Lord have mercy.
3/26/2012 8:43:49 PM
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This gets Girard's scapegoat mechanism only partly right.

Girard's point isn't that we eliminate sacrificial societies by Christianizing them. To the contrary, his scapegoat mechanism is a theory of human violence as such.

This means that even Christian/quasi-Christian societies indulge in scapegoating when they move toward collective violence. For example, Islamophobia, water boarding, dropping bombs on Iraq, death squads in Afghanistan, etc. Or the recurrent anti-semitism that plagues Christians as they interpret the Jews as responsible for killing their savior (Mel Gibson, medieval pogroms, etc.).

Girard's critique of violence is far more radical than Fr. B presents it. It is not that we are hanging by the ends of our nails to a non-sacrificial society. Our society like all societies is founded on violence, and this violence has a scapegoating dimension to it in which we assign blame to our enemies in order to cleanse ourselves.
3/26/2012 9:44:52 PM
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Patricia Cooper
Father, your comment about the ancients reminded me of GK Chesterton’s observation in the Everlasting Man, how these sophisticated ancient societies were sacrificing to Mollak, a demon god who demanded innocent life. Our western world has already fallen into this if you can see the proliferation and acceptance of abortion as really legalized human sacrifice. Our government allows and even promotes the slaughter of these silent and unrecognized human beings, to satisfy the demands of the populace for pleasure without consequence, at least without the consequence of a baby. They allow it, legislate it, or just ignore it, but all are actions, so that the appetites of the masses for unrestricted sex is appeased and those in power can hold onto their thrones. Present government policy seems to echo the” bread and circuses “mentality of the Roman emperor to keep its citizens happy. I submit we are already in the future, and human sacrifice is big business in America.
3/27/2012 4:22:48 AM
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Father Barron:

In the light of 50,000,000 sacrificed victims of abortion, so that upper middle class couples can drive Mercedez Benzes and Volvoes instead of Toyota Corollas, and live in affluent gated communities instead of suburban neighborhoods, or urban brownstones; or so that the lowest tier of the socioeconomic ladder can merely put food on the table and clothes on their backs without having another mouth to feed, I would argue that we aren't a post Christian society living on fumes, but that we are in continuity with the very societies you mention, with only the Church calling us to the better angels of our nature against the political, economic, and litterati chattering classes imploring the common man to scapegoat their own life blood for the illusory vainglory they are trying to rationalize for themselves.
3/27/2012 4:40:53 AM
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Brian A Cook
Unfortunately, there were pogroms against Jews and burnings of certain heretics and witches in the Middle Ages. There were violent conquests of native peoples in African and the Americas. There were violent right-wing dictatorships in places like Spain and Chile. The Church has been accused of human sacrifice. Facts of history like these have weighed on my mind in recent years.
3/27/2012 8:43:33 AM
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Brian A Cook
P.S. Please excuse the typos. I often go back and forth while editing what I write.
3/27/2012 10:35:31 AM
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Benjamin Jimenez
Not to be devils advicate or anything. I believe Jesus was the scape goat. Also in the present we do watch our scape goats in the desert die on TV everyday. The US Military.
3/27/2012 12:24:10 PM
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And let's not forget the Crusades. It is the rare group that is innocent when we talk of sacrificing lives.
3/27/2012 12:30:29 PM
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Have been praying you would review this one! Heard this first through the soundtrack ratings: The song you hear first is called, "Abraham's Daughter", and illudes to the sacrifice you speak of, however, the daughter was given no name (Isacc, etc.). The most popular rating was given to a song which is more than paranoid and afraid, so much so, the girl gets no sleep, keeping eyes open, watchful. Through the musicical score alone, the apocolypse seems to swarm, weaving in and out an attempt by youth to run away from the inevitable.
Bombarded with worldwide media, hopeless media, our youth are drawn to this music, this movie, these books. Let's give them something to hold onto, something to run towards, Fr. Barron! God Speed!
3/27/2012 4:19:58 PM
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Excellent commentary, especially without reading the books. You should read all three. I think you would be pleasantly surprised at the overall message from the author.
3/27/2012 4:21:28 PM
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Sir Rob
I think Father Barron is not claiming that Christian nations or Christian individuals cannot fall to a scapegoating mechanisim--as we all struggle with our sinful side. I think he means that Christianity, as practiced as it was preached, is the best defense and safeguard against a society or individual falling for such a trap. And when it does happen, Christians are in a positon to call others or themselves out for it.
3/27/2012 6:34:39 PM
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I like what you say about love and compassion being a way out of the scapegoat mechanism and violence in general, however I wonder if the romantic love between Peeta and Katniss was actually genuine. Let's not forget that their love could have been a survival mechanism, especially because their mentor encouraged them to play the role of the young couple in love. Remember the note attached to the soup that read "You call that a kiss?" thus suggesting that if they ham it up a little bit the sponsors would be more entertained and more willing to give them medical supplies.
3/27/2012 9:19:04 PM
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@ Sir Rob,

I'm afraid it's even worse than that. Fr. Barron is scapegoating in the very act of trying to reveal the scapegoat mechanism.

Who are the enemies or scapegoats of his narrative of an oncoming future, human-sacrifice-society? Secularists, de-Christianizers, etc., who are pushing us into a situation where we only "live off the fumes" of our past Christian decency (in the Fr.'s colorful language).

This, of course, is a form of the slippery slope fallacy (if Christianity goes, so too goes with it all decency and sources of moral order). And so it is not a very good argument.

But it is also a story that has an implicit focal point of blame. It has an unspoken scape goat mechanism built into it.

I am a Catholic and love Girard. I also often admire Fr. B's work. But sometimes the only way to be a friend is by being a gadfly...
3/27/2012 9:59:40 PM
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M. Sullivan
Fr. Barron,

We do live in that society. We sacrifice living children every day in this country. Google Zachary King. He is a convert from Satanism. His story is chilling about how abortion is used as a legal ritual sacrifice for gaining occult power in our country. Abortion is a satanic sacrifice that is intentional and protected at high levels in our society for that very reason.
3/28/2012 6:12:53 AM
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Brian A Cook
Sullivan, is every single solitary abortionist a devil-worshiper? Does every single solitary abortionist have a Satanic altar? Does every single solitary abortionist invoke the name of Satan?
3/28/2012 8:44:54 AM
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M. Sullivan
Brian Cook,

No one knows the hearts of men, Brian. But do not so lightly dismiss the reality of the very real relationship between Satanic ritual abortion and the daily practice of clinical abortion, nor how widespread satanism is at high levels in our society.
3/28/2012 9:30:59 AM
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L R Hammond
Thank you and may God continue to bless you - we're are more informed as to what our grand children are viewing.
3/28/2012 10:04:08 AM
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The books make a lot of sense if you know why the author wrote them-- as an allegory to help teens and young adults understand the horrors of war. Suzanne Collins is the daughter of an Air Force officer who served in Vietnam. She spent a year of so of her life agonizing every day whether or not her father would come home. Her father was a military history buff and took her to battlefields and monuments in the US and Europe.

In that light, here's how I understand the books: (Spoiler alert! ) First, Katniss bravely volunteers to serve as a noble effort to save her sister, just as soldiers in the US are currently volunteers to fight for their nation. Then she's thrust into combat where she has to survive and eventually kill others to do so. She's victorious but then finds out she has to fight yet another battle, and another. She watches people she loves die horrible deaths, which give her nightmares. Eventually she becomes so immune to killing as part of combat that she actually guns down innocent civilians who are in the way of her mission (last book, in the final battle). Her best friend is so changed by the war that he actually engineers the bomb that kills the person she loves most (friendly fire). When the war is finally over, Katniss is forever changed. She is scarred both physically and emotionally. She goes on with her life but is forever haunted by the nightmares of the dead, both those she loved and those whom she killed herself. Watch almost any war movie and you'll see pretty much the same thing. I think the author is brilliant to tell this story in a way that teens can understand.
3/28/2012 10:08:24 AM
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Faher Barren,

I completely agree. This movie and the book series do have a prophetic quality to them. And indeed Christianity, or what remains of it in this highly secular world, is what keeps human sacrifice and many other demonic behaviors at bay. Singularly, Christianity. Unfortunately though, it does not keep all abhorrent practices at bay. Abortion arguably is also a human sacrifice going on at a massive scale and with a huge amount of tolerance every single day in our very modern society. What we face in an ever-increasing God-less culture is a chipping away, little by little, of conscience and guilt and normal soulful reactions to vile behavior and disregard for human life and dignity. We are already systematically numbed, by being participants in this culture, day in and day out, to nearly everything short of human sacrifice in the town square. This also reminds me of the book The Giver. Also a youth read, but prophetic in the same way.
3/28/2012 7:11:02 PM
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I think of all the aborted babies and the scapegoating violence inflicted on them by the religion of secularism, political power and convenience sake: we have indeed arrived again where we, in myriad ways, have never left off.
3/28/2012 7:39:36 PM
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I think about the scapegoating violence of abortion inflicted on babies in wombs by the religion of secularism and political power and convenience sake: we have indeed arrived at where we, in myriad ways, never left off.
3/28/2012 7:51:50 PM
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I think about the scapegoating violence of abortion inflicted on babies in wombs by the religion of secularism and political power and convenience sake: we are indeed arrived at where we, in myriad ways, never left off.
3/28/2012 8:01:24 PM
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THANK YOU again for yet another great commentary on our times!
Please don't forget human sacrifice in the form of euthansia which is widely practised (more than we believe/admit) in hospitals and nursing homes, sometimes subtly, sometimes blatently. Groups like Exit International, Compassion in Dying and Dignity in Dying give worshops in assisted suicide. In Canada a Bill proposing legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicde was defeated in 2010.
My friends and I have to learn to be our own advocates as we became senior citizens.
May we use the message in this movie as our "wake up" call.
3/29/2012 2:07:46 PM
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Dear Fr Barron

For some strange reason I get the feeling that you are not taking a position on whether or not this movie is recommended for the public.

In terms of reinforcing or weakening their faith in Jesus Christ.

I would not say that this movie is prophetic. Satan has a sly way to slip in some truth to disguise he real agenda of death.

"Let your yea be yea and your nay be nay - Fr Barron"

3/29/2012 2:21:46 PM
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Hello Fr. Barron,

I wonder if you've seen MercatorNet's review, "5 Reasons Why I Won't See the Hunger Games." I'm curious what you think of their take on the movie.

Here's a link to their 5-minute videoclip:
3/29/2012 2:50:28 PM
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I am orginially from Chicago and now live in Central Indiana. Compared to what I have been use to it like stepping back in time. Not that they are Pre Vatican but not as up dated on things. I appreciate all your works. My new Parish is getting slowly caught up in your work and I love it. I can't spark them on my own so it is wonderful having such a dynamic Priest saying the words I wish I could say and be believed. Thank you THank you Thank you. Peace/Shalom I have been around awhile but my spirit is still young at heart.
3/29/2012 3:07:05 PM
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Thank you, Fr. Barron, for the review of the movie. I have read the books and seen the movie and I enjoyed both. I feel we are on that path towards adult human sacrifice...this would stem from abortion and infanticide. I may be wrong or misread it but I believe an article on the actress who portrayed Katniss claimed that she felt the character reminded her of a futuristic Joan of Arc.
3/29/2012 3:24:26 PM
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"Gladfly" oversimplifies one as being strictly an "irritant, but devils advocacy if its in the correct spirit of seeking fuller understanding is welcome. However, at risk of being accused as a scapegoater myself, your critique of Fr. Barron's commentary comes across as thinly veiled "Christianity is hypocrosy" rhetoric.
Projecting human history into a proposed futuristic scenario does not suggest the "slippery slope fallacy" you manufactured. The only implict finger pointing, though doubtful any was intended, was toward the human fallibility as a whole.
3/29/2012 3:34:39 PM
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Dwight Lindley
One small correction to offer, Father: the image you give at around 2:20 is of a <i>centaur</i>, not a minotaur. The former was half horse, half man (lower & upper, respectively), and the latter was half bull and half man (upper & lower, respectively).

Great review.

3/29/2012 3:59:02 PM
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An articulate and inspired speaker, God bless Fr. Barron. I only wish we had many more like him in the Church today!
3/29/2012 5:15:54 PM
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Dear Fr. Barron,
This is an off topic question but it arises out of the general thought of going to the movies. I am wondering when you go to the theater do ou were your clerics or go incognito? I'd be interested in the reasoning also.
3/29/2012 6:07:38 PM
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Fascinating commentary, Fr.Thank you very much.
3/29/2012 7:54:01 PM
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Robert C. Rice
As some commentators have already suggested, the United States of America has already exceeded the human sacrifice of the Romans and perhaps of the Aztecs with our state-sanctioned abortion on demand (think of Baal and Moloch) and creeping euthanasia. Fr. Barron, would you care to comment on this?
3/29/2012 9:13:10 PM
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Hans Tan
When people pleases themselves rather than God, the become a player of hunger games - hunger for more to satisfy, but ultimately nothing satisfies them forever. Politicians exploit on this ever so often to their advantage. Fact is, all too often, we easily allow ourselves to be led as sacrificial lambs.
3/29/2012 10:53:00 PM
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Mary Parks
Teens might get the point(s), but they will also definitely get desensitized to/enjoy/be voyeurs of immoral violence.
3/29/2012 11:01:59 PM
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So many different thoughts.1)People have the potential for great cruelty when pushed to extremes. Desperation tests man's character.2)Sometimes it feels safer to follow the sheep than stand up for what's right. 3)Society will sink only as low as we are willing to tolerate.4)Divided we fall, united we.... There's certainly potential for a lot of classroom discussion. I'm almost tempted to watch.
3/29/2012 11:11:54 PM
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Good God people, please read up on current history instead of spewing pseudoknowledge! The crusades were not scapegoating, nor evil, nor islamophobic, and medieval pogroms on jews are WAY overplayed, they were exceptions to the rule, not the rule itself. And I agree with JohnW, JWB it does come across as "Christianity is hypocrosy" rhetoric. I should also point out the sillyness in his comments, dechristianized societies have a habit of becoming immoral. The slippery slop image is also not a fallacy, there really is such a thing, and to foolish say a dechristianized society will just a moral minded as a christian one clearly shows a lack of historical knowledge, one needs only look at France after the revolution, Germany after the nazis, Russia after the communists.
And on the point of scapegoating, there is such a thing as honest finger pointing. Just because someone or something is accused of something does not make them an innocent victim, there are guilty people out there, even groups of people (nazis).
3/30/2012 1:37:04 AM
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I went to see this movie with my daughter because she needed someone to go with. I was a little reluctant because I do not enjoy seeing children being killed and especially killing each other. I walked away with faith, hope and love and the greatest of these is Love and Love will concur all!!!!
3/30/2012 6:18:20 AM
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Fr. Barron~ I read the first book and am into the second, but have not seen the movie yet. All your comments are exactly what I was thinking...the past sacrificial days of entertainment in Roman times was very much on my mind, and the possibility of a prophetic story line. I will add that today's insatiable appetite for 'reality TV' is also very prevalent in this story as well.

It is a good read. Well written such that the story easily moves along with great imagery for the imagination. I found the heroin, Katniss, intelligent, with virtues such as charity and perseverance.

Let us pray to Our Lady of America, patroness of our land...she calls us to pray for holy purity.
3/30/2012 6:25:11 AM
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Brian A Cook
John, are you denying that Jews and dissenters had targets on their backs? JWB pointed at some inconvenient facts. These facts have weighed on my minds for the past few years. Also, how do you explain Hitler's appeals to the Christian religion in his speeches or his appeals to traditional Christian culture, particularly the images of perfidious Jews?
3/30/2012 8:10:45 AM
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I think we metaphorically sacrifice people all the time in our society. There is a whole tabloid industry dedicated to this.
3/30/2012 9:31:46 AM
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I'm Mexican and I live in Mexico City; I just watched the movie last night with my sister, daughter and nices and nephews, two of them already were kind of experts in "The Hunger Games" books. They read the serial in English, by the way, and they have all kind of souvenirs, like the pin. I loved the movie and now, I have with me the first book that my nice let to me. My sister recommended me this comment and I couldn't agree more. Thank you, Father Barron, for your analysis. I agree with you: Christendom refrains human sacrifice -as it did here with the Aztecs and many other cultures- and if we rush to a post christian society, the book might be sadly prophetic. I would recommend myself Father Barron's review to everybody. God bless you all and thanks again.
3/30/2012 11:16:07 AM
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D. Wear
Thanks for the review. I think you can also get from this movie that sophistication is not necessarily compatible with good morals/mores.

For example, Germany in the 30's and 40's, was surely a very advanced society and was on the surface Christianized. But so many of the leaders, not just the top party people, were capable of unbelievable violence, hatred.

These leaders were in nearly every case very well educated. The best, horrific example of this was the 4 commanders of the Einsatzgruppen, the mobile death squads that operated behind the lines in Russia to exterminate Jews, communists, etc.

Three out of the four commanders had PhDs, one of whom had 2 PhDs!! The actions of the Einsatzgruppen were so horrific that an "industrialized" solution needed to be found.

In our own society, we seem to think that if we could only educate our citizens more we would lose old bad habits or some of our bad nature.

By itself, education cannot ever stop man from his/her fallen nature. I'm speaking to the choir of course, but only following Christ can. Yet we are fooling ourselves that a post Christian secular education system will make a better man. God help us if we continue to think the secular world will cure us.

p.s. I hear you speak last year at the LA Conference and enjoyed both your talks, thanks!
3/30/2012 1:04:22 PM
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Vee Lehman
This video really gave me pause to think people, without God can actually watch someone die and not feel any emotions. Vee
3/30/2012 3:37:23 PM
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Glori B.
Fr. Barron has put the Hunger Games into a historic and sociological perspective. I'm grateful for his annalysis and pointed out the role Christianity plays in our humanity. Now I can speak with confidence about it to my grand children who are doing very quick reads of the books. I now see why they are so attracted to the story. I really appreciate being able to make the connection with the death of Christ, especially at this time of year. Thanks for the video.
3/31/2012 9:36:10 AM
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Fr. Barron - great commentary. I recently saw the movie and was struck by the humane-ness of the male and female heros. They seemed intuitively to understand the purpose of the games as well as their innate human dignity and how the games were incomapitble with that innate human dignity. They were willing to die, but not willing to kill. When the young girl was killed and the heroine saw that she was honored by placing flowers around her, it was a poignant protest to the debasing of her humanity by the powers that be. Even my 11 year old grandson caught the issues you point out. While I hope it is not prophetic, my gut tells me it is prophetic - we are already there - the only thing we actually lack is the absolute chasm that separates the have's from the have-not's and the oppression by the have's and obectification of the have-not's by the have's that permit the blood sport.
3/31/2012 9:40:58 AM
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Judith Reichsman
Thank God you have turned us on to one of the true prophets of our time: Rene Girard. As the daughter of a Catholic mother and an escaped-from-the-Nazi's Jewish father, I am deeply aware of the meaning of scapegoating. Thank you so much, Fr. Barron, for introducing Girard into this discussion.
3/31/2012 11:05:01 AM
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I think it's a mistake to point to episodes like the Crusades, the excesses of the Spanish Inquisition and medieval pogroms as evidence that Christian societies do not stand in defiance of the scapegoating mechanism, and I don't think that is what Father Barron meant to suggest in his commentary that they did his. It is not that I would, for a moment deny the scapegoating character of those events, but I would argue that an authentic Christian society has never existed.

In every historical setting and epoch, the single organizing principle of society has been materialism. In diverse times and places, Christianity has effected a moderating influence upon the excesses of materialistic societies, but nowhere, has the radical humanistic message of Christianity ever permeated and directed any civilization, never has the Kingdom of God fully been realized. At best, a few singular individuals like St. Francis of Assisi, of Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta have been animated by and lived in fidelity to the Christian ideal, but never an entire society.

I think that the case Father Barron makes is that is is the degree to which a society is influenced by Christianity that it resists the scapegoating mechanism, and that, as the Christian elements of modern society are allowed to fade and be forgotten, the instinct toward scapegoating will almost inevitably reassert itself.
3/31/2012 2:36:25 PM
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Edward Huff
I just don't see how you can shine this "special" light on Christianity. If you really take the long view, you need only look at the Crusades and the Inquisition to see "human sacrifice" and the height of depravity and cruelty to fellow humans.
3/31/2012 7:42:50 PM
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Father Barron,
I have not yet seen the movie, but just finished reading the books, and wonder if you have read them. I would be very interested in your opinion of the books and the age-appropriateness of the series. Based on your commentary, I suspect the book and the movie maybe something of a different animal. While I have heard that the movie is fairly true to the book, I know that adaptations must always be made when switching mediums. While we may praise or find fascinating the possible message, prophetic or otherwise, I am concerned that what we may have here is a situation where the means of stimulating that discussion is, for lack of a better word, problematic. Thank you.
4/1/2012 7:11:12 PM
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John White
Fr. Barron: In your review, talking about the scapegoating of Jesus (Caifus--better for one man to die than nation of Israel et al.)you said "God doesn't sanction but does identify with victim/scapegoat". I understand the identification with the victim, but I don't understand 'God doesn't sanction.' Wasn't this scapegoating/death of Jesus God's plan? Didn't Jesus/God know this and see this as essential to the salvation story?
4/2/2012 9:00:28 AM
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I see scapegoating all the time on a spiritual level. If you apply all of the above priciples discussed above, to the spiritual rhelm, you will see it a lot. Especially in the day to day workings of a Parish. How often does the Pastor, or the Principal take a controversial subject, and place a scapegoating victim in front of themselves, in order to re-divert the protests, when the masses respond? ("If you have questions refer to the PTA president," or "Let the retired priest give the homily on abortion and the HHS mandate." Many times the scapegoat is spiritually trampled or killed, and clearly it was intended to be that way. It happens all the time. It is a way to manipulate and control the masses, and serves primarily to protect the leadership.
I enjoy the show "Undercover Bosses" because the leadership throw themselves into the employees position, and usually, are mocked and teased at the end, for substandard performance. I love the fact that these bosses are willing to get out there and do everything they are asking their employees to do, in an effort to test their own company systems/ strategies, instead of hiding/managing from behind a desk. When I was a Program director, I gave staff their birthdays off, and covered their areas of responsibility myself. It was always an eye-opening experience, and I learned a lot from throwing myself into the mix. It made me a better Director, and helped me to design better programs. We do ourselves a disservice when we utilize a scapegoating mechanism, because we miss opportunities to see where we can promote change and improve, or a least observe that things are running well.
4/3/2012 4:58:12 PM
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Dear Fr. Barron,

The quotes below are from several Twitter threads about the Hunger Games:

“Kk call me racist but when I found out rue was black her death wasn't as sad,”
“Sense when has Rue been a *****.”

Fans of the Hunger Games posted these comments. If you are looking for your scapegoat in today’s society, just look to fans of The Hunger Games. To them, if a person is African American, they deserve to die.

It reminds me of Trayvon Martin, who basically also died because he was black. The police told George Zimmerman not to follow him, but Zimmerman followed him anyway.

You talk about atrocities by Hitler, Stalin, and Mao, but you forgot leaders of our own country like George Washington, James Madison, and Benjamin Franklin who owned slaves, and the 300 years of worse-than-“Seam” –like life which existed in this country and that continues to exist in countries around the world due to support by the US government. Think of child soldiers in Northern Uganda or even child prostitution. Are their lives really so different from the “post-apocalyptic” world on which you comment?

I agree with you that Christianity can solve these things, but where are the Christians? Do they care about “racisim?” Where are the Catholics? Are they fighting for justice for Travyon Martin - because just in case people have forgotten, Trayvon Martin is dead.

African-American and Hispanic males make up 60% of the prison population when they only comprise about 30% of the US population. Yes, in our society.

Are Catholic priests and bishops rising up to vehemently tackle gang violence, a phenomenon where kids kill kids in dilapidated environmental situations every day? Aren’t these children often pinpointed as “what is wrong with society,” and just as easily scapegoated as characters in the movie Hunger Games? If you are going to say Christianity solves problems of societal scapegoating and subsequently human sacrifice, I feel like you should address the current human sacrifice and social scapegoating occurring right now – in the United States, even in Chicago.

I am Catholic, and I know the Catholic faith has the answers to these problems because we have Jesus. I just think Catholics should talk more about these issues and try not to ignore or forget them. It discredits us. What are we, as Catholics called to do about rampant discrimination and the ensuing human suffering? More.
4/3/2012 5:19:41 PM
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I love Father Barron and have bought most of his books and CDs and have loved his reviews of movies.

However on this one, the commentary by Clare on Mercator net via the link provided by Margo B is a much better assesment. I'd say that one is a must read for anyone who will read and see The Hunger Games.

Here is the link again

5 Reasons why I won't See The Hunger Games
4/4/2012 8:05:27 AM
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Thank you Maria,
I went to the link, and really appreciated how Clare reviewed various aspects of the movie, and their social and emotional impacts, ephasizing desensitization of the audience of Hunger Games. I also appreciated how she recommended healthier choices for families. As a mom who still gets shocked and negatively affected when witnessing violence, I appreciate the re-direction.
4/4/2012 3:40:08 PM
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Scapegoat? Osama bin Laden? Our country was meant to feel safer that the mastermind behind the terror Al-Qaeda brought was dead. People's bloodlust was satisfied, but the end served no gains toward safety and security.
4/6/2012 7:03:29 AM
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Fr John Speekman
Pope Benedict says in one of his books that the most extreme example of this giving of things to God is human sacrifice. This is the clearest and most horrific example of our refusal to give ourselves.
4/6/2012 8:04:55 AM
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I must respectfully disagree with a small portion of Father Barron's analysis. While I appreciate the historical framework provided, I disagree with his statement that the young couple in the film "undermines" or undoes the system/government oppression in the film. He says that they "...resist the momentum toward scapegoating violence." He even says that one might say they are operating out of a "Christian worldview". I disagree. To me, the main characters embraced a survivalist mentality, which flies in the face of Christianity. Although they were not out for blood as the others, they still played into the survival game. They both trained, sought promoters, and stood by as others died. While they knew what was taking place was wrong, they participated and/or remained silent to preserve their own lives. At the game's end, they both serve government interests by playing into the government's media spin. I would imagine Christian's to be more willing to sacrifice and even die rather than participate in any part of such a "game", thus through Christian solidarity totally destroying the ability to even have the game. With all of the fear mongering of our current media/government, I worry that many in our society have embraced a lukewarm Christianity in which we are no longer our brother's keeper who are willing to lay down our lives for each other, rather just individuals whose only responsibility is to look out for number one. We must remember that while none of us should ever want to die for any reason, we should also not be afraid of doing the right thing even if the consequence of that action is death. Otherwise, violence (Satan) prevails over justice and evil reigns. I am concerned that too many Americans have embraced this survivalist mentality. Just my two cents. I really do appreciate this video as it taught me several things. Thank you Father Barron and God bless you!
4/8/2012 2:16:07 AM
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A great video. I agree with Marion above, though. We definitely practise human sacrifice through abortion.
4/9/2012 1:34:36 PM
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Professor your thesis is weak, especially for a Catholic Priest. Discussion of literature, and the ancients does help us to understand the human mechanism for scapegoating. However, to say we live on the fumes of a post christian society and then to say it is only christian society that prevents murder for appeasement, and then to say the movie is perhaps prophetic, is to end your argument romantically. We live in a Christian society. The 20th century produced, a score of genocides : Nazi Germany, Stalin's Russia, Cambodia, Rwanda, Dafur & Sudan, and on...There is now in place courts, laws and tribunals, to attempt to prevent and to punish - to shine the light on these dark activities. There was the Nuremberg Tribunal, The Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia; The Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Chambers of Courts in Cambodia. To say that it is only Christianity that prevents murder is weak in that we as a global society have criminal law and the law the Juda-Christian world follows, (or should) God’s Law: Thou Shalt not Kill.

In not citing that law you seem to have missed the Christian argument. In not citing scripture you gave us the cartoon version of Catholicism. Add to the above Christian principles Matthew's Gospel and Christ's last command: Love thy neighbor as thyself.

Matthew 19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. 18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Further in search of cultural for examples of scapegoating and prophetics, why not invoke Elijah and Jeremiah? Certainly pondering ripping the human heart out of the human chest while still beating is engaging but equally engaging, is Jeremiah 52: 10 - 11: And the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes: he slew also the princes of Judah in Riblah. 11 Then he put out the eyes of Zedekiah; and the king of Babylon bound him in chains, and carried him to babylon, and put him in prison till the day of his death.” And lastly I can only think of the last secret of Fatima, The vision of the man in white walking on a mountain of corpses.

And finally, what would John Paul II say of your evangelizing the culture but failing to mention scripture, the heart of Catholic Culture? Christ said, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself”. Was that thought no where in the Hunger Games? I a can hear about the Myans and Shirly Jackson from any Community College, but from you I usually hear the word of God, blessed be his name.
4/9/2012 2:53:55 PM
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James Oliver
Now we need a review on the film God Bless America.
4/10/2012 12:34:34 PM
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You said: we live in a Christian society.

Well that is blatantly false.

All the examples you gave (Nazi Germany, Russia, Cambodia) prove that we do not live in a Christian society.

There may be Christian moral tenets that survie to this day (though that is slowly getting eroded) but what underpins society in general are atheistic principles of relativism.

That is the society we are in and for the Christians, that is the society they must evangelize.
4/12/2012 10:26:36 PM
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You all seem to have missed the what is going on here.

I linked to Fr. Barrens commentary when I came across it and posted it on a site I maintain. I should have looked into it first.

This is a version of what their plan is, massive reduction in population and compact cities where the people live with the rewilding on much of the world. Here is an article with the thoughts of the current Pope on the subject; . If you have never heard of the Georgia Guide Stones you should check them out and the their new 10 commandments. The first is to maintain a population of 500 mil. on the earth.

Fr. Barren spoke of all the ancient similarities that is because there is nothing new under the sun. This is a very old system. The money changers who Jesus kicked out of the Temple are taking over, the signs are everywhere.

Dante's full quote is "The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who in time of crisis remain neutral"

You should also know that they have to tell us what they are doing to us. Also Jesus has warned us many times especially with His Mother. Another warning came from Pope Leo XIII and that is why he composed the prayer to the Archangel Micheal.

Peace be with you, Tim
4/16/2012 6:23:06 PM
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I with Father would read the series prior to commenting. I agree with the comments on human sacrifice but these books are being read by young children, elementary school aged children and involve force prostitution with a sexual current throughout
5/21/2012 11:51:40 AM
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