In recent months, as I’ve looked at our culture and politics, my mind has gone back to when my husband, Corey, and I first saw the movie “The Hunger Games.” It is astounding to me how many parallels there are between this fictional film and our world today.
First, like the “Hunger Games” world, it seems to me that we have a handful of cities and celebrities that, with their control of the news media and entertainment, are dictating how the rest of us should think and live.
The film also portrays totalitarianism, the loss of personal freedom and the ruling class’ galling ignorance of the real lives of ordinary citizens. And as we watched the movie’s depiction of the “Games,” Corey asked, “Are we being entertained by watching the young kill the young?”
For those who are unfamiliar with the Hunger Games movies and the Suzanne Collins novels they are based on, the story takes place in the post-apocalyptic nation of Panem, where a dictatorial government produces an annual contest called the Hunger Games, in which two teens from each of the nation’s 12 districts are chosen as “tributes.” These 24 young people must fight to the death until only one remains.
In a staggering disconnect between those in authority and average citizens who struggle just to put food on the table, the government positions this contest as entertainment—something to be celebrated. You might think that something like this could never happen in our nation, but we see a similar disconnect when supporters of abortion cheer and celebrate the passage of bills allowing late-term abortions and even allowing babies to die if they happen to survive an abortion procedure.
In the movie, when a young girl named Prim Everdeen is chosen to represent District 12 in the 74th annual Hunger Games, her older sister, Katniss, quickly volunteers in her place, sparing Prim from almost certain death. Katniss eventually becomes the face of a rebellion against the totalitarian regime.
Viewers immediately recognize the evil in a fictional society where the young kill the young. This is one reason why the story is so compelling. So why is it that many people don’t recognize the evil in taking the life of the most vulnerable among us—babies in the womb?
Similar to the glorification of killing in “The Hunger Games,” proponents of abortion attempt not only to normalize but to glorify this evil practice. In recent years, we’ve seen a movement that encourages women to shout, “I’m proud of my abortion!” And an October People.com article told the stories of 27 celebrities who say they are glad they had abortions.
For example, Stevie Nicks of the rock group Fleetwood Mac said she has no regrets about her abortion because if she had given birth, there would have been no Fleetwood Mac, with its music that Nicks says would “heal so many people’s hearts.” And actress Keke Palmer, having aborted a baby so it wouldn’t interfere with her career, betrayed either ignorance or willful disregard for what the Bible teaches when she said: “Making individual choices is not a betrayal to your faith. Mainly, because God knows your heart and your journey. God never judges.”
The Biden-Harris administration seems poised to make the killing of unborn babies as easy as tossing a piece of garbage in the trash. Kamala Harris’ radical support of abortion has given her a 100% rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America, and in the Senate, she voted against the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. Joe Biden has pledged his support for making Roe v. Wade “the law of the land,” and his choice for secretary of Health and Human Services shows that he intends to keep that promise.
That choice—California Attorney General Xavier Becerra—not only has zero medical training or health credentials, his record is one of radical, unrestrained support for abortion. Jim Daly of Focus on the Family described Becerra well: “Ironically, the presumptive nominee for HHS has seemed to make the destruction of innocent life his own life’s obsession.”
In the Old Testament, some Israelites were won over to the cult of the pagan god Molech, which required child sacrifice (see Jeremiah 32:35). It turns my stomach to think of turning one’s child over to be burned in an offering to an idol! Yet in a sense, that’s what abortion is all about. Only now, instead of a metal statue with the head of a bull and the body of a man, the idol has become the individual.
Think about it. Very few abortions happen because the life or health of the mother is actually at risk. Rather, women talk about “my life,” “my dreams,” “my choice.” They sacrifice their own babies to the idol of self! The Bible says, “There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves …” (2 Timothy 3:1-2, NIV).
The loss of personal freedom is another parallel I see between “The Hunger Games” and our culture. In the movie, government maintains heavy-handed control over the population, allowing no dissent. Although this might seem far different from our situation in the United States, the progressive left seems all too willing to control the actions, the speech and even the thinking of individuals.
In recent years, for example, progressives in local governments have sought to punish business owners who refuse to comply with what the Bible calls sin. Those businesses have not only been penalized with fines; in some cases, the owners have been required to attend sensitivity training aimed at indoctrinating them in the progressive left’s version of right and wrong.
Another parallel is how out of touch the elites are with those who are struggling just to survive day-to-day life. In the movie, the people in the Capitol live in appalling indulgence and waste, completely oblivious to the challenges faced by ordinary citizens in the districts—and yet by controlling the media, they seek to control the people’s thoughts.
That’s not so different from our world. A couple of years after I first watched “The Hunger Games,” I came across a news report about the Met Gala in New York City. The ostentatious costumes seemed so vulgar; they looked much like those worn by the people in Panem’s Capitol, and they seemed to highlight how out of touch Hollywood celebrities and government officials are with average citizens. Clustered in well-to-do sections of large cities, they control the messages we all see and hear each day in “flyover America” as they seek to indoctrinate the population with godless, immoral philosophies.
However, God has given us free will to think critically for ourselves—to know His Word, to know what we believe and why we believe it, so we can challenge those who attempt to control our thoughts, speech and life.
To stand for His truth takes courage. My grandfather always said that the courage of one stiffens the spines of others. We saw that with Katniss Everdeen, the hero of the movie, as she fought for freedom and stood for truth. Others were emboldened to take action when they saw her courage.
There will come a day when each of us will have to make a choice to stand courageously or back down to the world. Daniel 11:32 says: “The people who know their God shall stand firm and take action” (ESV). Our faith will often call for courage, and as Christians, we must stand unashamed.
The Scripture quotation marked NIV is taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version. The Scripture quotation marked ESV is taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version.
Photo: Rena Schild