When the Australian Christian Lobby uses an international tragedy to further its own political agenda, and demonise video games, it does Christianity a great disservice - which is a shame because clearly, the ACL does not represent the vast majority of reasonable Christians. Thank God, then, for Nathan Cambell, student at Queensland Theological College - and Christian - who wrote an intelligent, well written open letter to Jim Wallace about his treatment of video games in the wake of the Oslo tragedy.
I think it's worth reading in its entirety, but here's a short excerpt.
We certainly wouldn’t want to see any vulture hijacking this event to further their own policy agenda would we? It always looks so cynical when people do that. When they take a horrible tragedy. Still fresh. And rebrand it, even if it’s a possibly legitimate link, in order to score political points. Usually it’s nice to wait until the furore has died down, till the grieving families have identified their loved ones and laid them to rest. That’s the classy way to capitalise on tragedy. If you must. But not the ACL, Jim. Not the Australian Christian Lobby. In the Australian Christian Lobby’s infinite wisdom, and with a bit of media savvy that belies days of experience, the Australian Christian Lobby has published a media release with the following headline:
Norwegian Tragedy Highlights Impact of Violent Video Games… why no partner release highlighting how drugs killed Amy Winehouse. At least the link there is directly plausible. Why not an acknowledgment that twisted and evil people do twisted and evil things because we live in a world tainted by sin, where we, as humans, are fallen and inclined to do wrong? That would be a Christian response to tragedy. Why not offer a clear condemnation of this man who claimed to be acting as a Christian?
I also agree whole-heartedly with his conclusion.
The guy was a deranged, evil, lunatic. He committed abhorrent acts. In the name of abhorrent beliefs. That could not possibly be born from Christian theology. And you’re trying to capitalise on it for political gain. That’s disgusting. It’s cheap point scoring. It’s tacky. People see right through it. You’re not convincing anybody of anything except the idea that Christians are out-of-touch and only interested in protecting ourselves.
I've said previously that I didn't want to give any more attention to the Australian Christian Lobby, but I did think it was worth posting this to show that the ACL do not represent Christianity in any way, shape or form when it comes to the video game violence debate. I think this letter goes some way to showing that.
You can read the letter in its entirety here.