Recently I received an interesting article from the Denison Forum on Culture. In it Dr. Denison wrote that “the recent premiere of HBO's Game of Thrones (GOT for short) drew a record-setting 10.1 million viewers. Coupled with digital viewers, the show averaged 25.1 million viewers last year. It was by far the most watched show on television, nearly double the viewers of the second-place show.” I think I’ve only seen a snippet or two of this HBO creation partly because I don’t subscribe to HBO and mainly because the numerous sexual depictions alone should be way beyond the pale for any self-professed Christian.
The reason why this show is so wildly popular reveals a great deal about the society in which we live. As Denison points out, “The plots are unpredictably complex and the central characters are killed, psychopaths claim power, weddings become bloodbaths, and bad guys develop consciences as time passes." But what is really frightening is that “the show is built on the premise that there is no logic to life and we live in a chaotic world with no central purpose or direction.” This is nothing more than an entertainment venue promoting the worldview of existentialism which, along with rationalism, is the predominant philosophy of life being taught on college and university campuses today.
This atheistic philosophy teaches that the individual is everything, that life is absurd and that the most rational thing one can do is cease to exist since life has no meaning and man is an accident of evolutionary forces blindly at work in the universe. The implications of this kind of thinking is scary.
But Game of Thrones also endorses every kind of sexual expression one can think of or close to it. Denison’s research shows that “rape, lesbianism, sex between siblings, prostitution, and other acts so despicable I won't mention them here—all are regular fare. As millions of people watch such perversion, they are desensitized and far more likely to embrace the ‘sexual liberation’ the show articulates.” And the explicit nudity alone is legal voyeurism in the living room but it would be a criminal offense if you were peeking through the windows of your neighbors at night. In a word, Game of Thrones is pornography plus.
As if all this were not enough, Game of Thrones normalizes violence so that “heads are crushed, people are stabbed through the eye, victims are burned alive, mass murder is depicted graphically even though we know there is a link between exposure to media violence and actual violent acts. Studies have shown that watching violence changes brain patterns and alters one’s behavior. And then we wonder how someone could get in a car and run down unarmed citizens because they don’t like what the “other side” is advocating.
It’s way past time to boycott Game of Thrones! Just say “no” and change the channel or, better yet, yank the plug out of the wall. And for heaven’s sake make sure your children and grandchildren are kept far from this ungodly cinematic trash dump that is anything but enriching and will not help them live a spiritually, mentally, or socially healthy life.
Should we not be outraged that our “progressive” culture has come to this? We should weep before the Lord that a television venue called Game of Thrones is the most popular TV show being aired in our nation.
Finally, may I add a personal note? I can’t tell you how delighted I am that my wife and I no longer subscribe to cable TV. My only regret is that I didn’t cut that cord a long, long time ago.
Dr. Gary R. Cox
Pastor at Grace Presbyterian Church, Madison