Violence and our Culture

“The problem of violence isn’t out there in bad music and bloody films. The real problem is in here, in us, and it won’t be fixed by v-chips,” he said. “We’ve created a culture that markets violence in dozens of different ways, seven days a week. … When we build our advertising campaigns on consumer selfishness and greed, and when money becomes the universal measure of value, how can we be surprised when our sense of community erodes?

“When we glorify and multiply guns, why are we shocked when kids use them? When we answer murder with more violence in the death penalty, we put the state’s seal of approval on revenge. When the most dangerous place in the country is a mother’s womb, and the unborn child can have his or her head crushed in an abortion, even in the process of being born — the body language of that message is that life isn’t sacred and
may not be worth much at all.”

–Archbishop Charles Chaput

2 comments on “Violence and our Culture

  1. I’m surprised Archbishop Chaput understands the Catholic theology on the death penalty so poorly. I thought he was a better Thomist and moral theologian than that.

    1. I think we should understand his comment in terms of the broad argument about our violent society, and so his passing reference to the death penalty should be understood not as the complete theology of life. What he says is true, and one of the arguments against the death penalty, and perhaps the poorest. But he makes good points about the “culture of death” which, in my opinion, is one the best observations on Western (American) life there is.

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