The Hunger Games is now out on DVD and I still have not admittedly seen it. But I have read the book and I admire the creativity of the plot.
Admire it except for one thing: No reference to God or religion. So I’ll add my two cents as a follower of Christ.
What should a Christian’s response be to the Hunger Games? I have no magisterium to speak authoritatively but we all are priests before God (I Peter 2:9) so I’ll say my thoughts on it.
The premise about a “reaping” of children to an entertainment event for adults where all but one dies is thoroughly evil and wicked. Believers ought to have opposed it – to the point of death if necessary. Parents should have said kill me but not my kids go to this sort of thing. If there was enough civil disobedience, the system might have to change. Certainly there is some factual support for a similar real-life event: When St. Telemachus (in the early fifth century AD) stopped the gladiators from fighting, shouting: “In the Name of Jesus stop!” and got killed, it caused the emperor to stop the fights once and for all.
The fact that children have to illegally hunt for their families to survive is likewise evil and wicked. I would add the extreme disparities of wealth also raises serious moral concerns. Someone should be speaking truth to power. No one is. The importance of believers as salt and light in a unholy world is critically shown in this movie.
Katniss’s willingness to both take her younger sister’s place and her obvious friendship and protection of the young girl Rue shows a type of Christian servanthood and sacrifice. I would also suggest, while I cannot condone suicide, the willingness of Katniss and Peeta to kill themselves rather than kill one another was noble in intent. It also started the rumblings of revolt.
Is it ever okay for believers to fight the government? The leaders of the Revolution thought so – to uphold rights they felt were being deprived. That is admittedly an unusual situation. That is NOT the situation in the USA today! Seldom is violence morally appropriate against a government. Certainly there is a place for civil disobedience – if you are willing to accept the punishment. Even that is a last resort: An example is those running a “station” on the Underground Railroad in violation of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.
I would think the Hunger Games might be a movie to take a seeker to start a spiritual conversation. It might be a very serious discussion, too. I never blog on a God issue without offering the seeker coming to this blog the offer of eternal life in Jesus Christ. Go here to learn more. I would say to that seeker, I’ve been a follower of Christ for many years and I know there’s power to live a holy life (although I do not always obey like I should!). Try it out!