Why This Christian Watches Game of Thrones

Another day, another Evangelical blog that decries Christians enjoying something secular.  I recently stumbled upon this blogpost (on TGC, naturally) which questioned why Christians enjoy Game of Thrones.  The writer Kevin DeYoung admitted he had never watched the show and knows next to nothing about the plot.  Still, he denounced the graphic sex depected in Game of Thrones, and ends preachily remarking that he didn’t expect “strangers to the light” to be bothered by the darkness.  But conservative Christians should be bothered by the blatant indecency and immorality.

Hm.

DeYoung’s blogpost isn’t a particularly long post, but I still found myself rolling my eyes at least four times.  I’m not even going to get into how irritating it is for people to judge something they have never seen, that would take too long.

I’m also going to resist the underhanded assumption that Christians should only consume media with a giant Evangelical trademark on the cover.  As long as the story has someone vomit out I-believe-Jesus-Christ-is-the-Son-of-God-and-He-died-for-my-sins-and-through-His-death-and-resurrection-I-am-saved, that makes it a good story, right?  After all, “God’s Not Dead” was the absolute pinnacle of good writing and storytelling.

I want to talk about two things.  The first is something that Christianity taught me, which is finding the light in the darkness, rather than shutting your eyes at a Google search on the off-chance that a bad thought flutters through your head.  (DeYoung makes sure we know he didn’t actually look at any images, he JUST READ HEADLINES, OKAY.)  It’s this idea that the world is full of a lot of “immoral” and “indecent” things–but we can still see God in them.  I can enjoy Christian themes in Game of Thrones, like redemption, family, communion, love…I mean we literally have a savior character that dies and rises again, guys.  The imagery is pretty blatant.  Honestly, one of my favorite things to do is to talk about seeing Jesus in surprising places.  I could do a whole Christian symbolism series on the first season of “Once Upon A Time”.  (Don’t get me started on ranting about the show past season 3, though.)  I could talk about the clash of worldviews in “The Walking Dead”.  And oh, I could tell you SO MUCH about the spiritual themes and imagery in “Sense8”.  (I am literally writing a 15 page paper on this very subject.)

Fact is, I don’t enjoy the graphic sex in Game of Thrones.  I’ve talked a lot about how the rape scenes are gratuitous and unnecessary–as is a lot of the violence.  But DeYoung isn’t offering thoughtful criticism of this (you would have to…you know…actually WATCH the show to do that…), he’s just pulling out a Jesus stick and questioning his fellow Christians’ faith because they enjoy an HBO show about dragons.  If your criticism is only centered on “the Bible says it’s bad and look how much better I am than other peasant Christians that dare to enjoy a high fantasy show”, that’s not criticism.  That’s self-righteousness.

The second thing I want to bring up is how insanely hypocritical it is for DeYoung to be so bothered by a fictional story on television that he feels the need to write a blogpost about it, but remains relatively silent on Trump.

I spent a little time scrolling through his blogposts.  I saw the occasional transphobic and hateful words towards the LGBTQA that I usually see on TGC.  I didn’t see quite as much vehement condemnations towards our Dear Leader, however.  Why?  Why is it acceptable to talk about how transgender people and LGBTQA cannot be Christians, but only vaguely mention once that Trump’s “locker room talk” was wrong–and quickly followup with how evil Hillary Clinton is too?

So much outrage on how immoral it is to watch Game of Thrones because it has nudity and gratuitous sex, but no outrage towards Trump leering at an Irish reporter?  No outrage towards blatantly objectifying President Macron’s wife?  When he suggested that he would date his daughter if they weren’t related?  Or suggested that Khzir Khan’s wife “wasn’t allowed to speak”?  Suggesting Megyn Kelly was angry because she was menstruating?  The list goes on.  Fact is, Trump has committed more lewdness and vulgarity towards people–especially women–than Game of Thrones has in seven seasons.  But apparently criticizing Trump’s behavior is not as important as condemning the show with elves and dragons in it.

I am possibly being unfair to DeYoung.  He claims that he keeps up with politics and has strong political opinions–there may have been another medium where he has condemned Trump.

But I am sick to death of this Evangelical tendency of playing holier-than-thou when it comes to television and books while simultaneously claiming that Trump was appointed by God to lead the country.

It is bullshit.  And I hope Dracarys burns it to the ground.

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