US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Six better questions than "Can a Christian watch Game of Thrones?"

By Bryan Cones | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

David Gibson covers controversy among Christians about whether or not to watch the HBO adaptation of George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones novels, which as books I find tediously long until they get interesting in the last 150 pages. Far more tedious, however, is Christian hand-wringing about whether to watch a television show with sex and violence instead of 10,000 other more important issues. So here are some ethical questions I wish Christians would ask themselves, with ethical issues in parentheses.

1. Should a Christian replace a cell phone every year? (environmental degradation caused by rare element mining, including mines in many African conflict zones)

2. Should a Christian drink bottled water? (commodification of water, plastic use)

3. Should a Christian buy clothing at The Gap, Kohl's, Target, or any other place that sources their clothing through near-slave labor in unsafe working conditions? (Bangladesh factory fire, chronically low wages, child labor)

4. Should a Christian shop at Walmart or any other gigantic retail chain that does not pay a living wage? (basic worker justice, consumerism)

5. Should a Christian own stock in oil companies? (global warming, environmental pollution)

6. Should a Christian own stock in weapons manufacturers? (global arms trade, child soldiers)

Please add your own in the comment section. 

The questions above, of course, reflect the complex moral environment that we live in--and there are tons of good moral responses to them. But the foolishness over whether it's OK for Christians to watch this or that TV show makes Christianity look almost comical in a world beset by gross injustice when it comes to the distribution of basic resources (food, health care), almost ceaseless war, and intractable poverty. In that light, watching Game of Thrones is of as much import as watching grass grow--though the latter is probably better for the soul.