Sunday, February 08, 2015

[Subversive Radio Podcast] Review: American Sniper

A few thoughts after watching the film, "American Sniper" and the slow death of the myth of redemptive violence.


Brandon Chase said...

Terrific reflection. I love how you traced your own background and "indoctrination." How beautiful that you traded an instrument of death for a symbol of Love when getting Wendy's ring.

A J MacDonald Jr said...

“Erich Fromm states that “there is good clinical evidence for the assumption that destructive aggression occurs, at least to a large degree, in conjunction with a momentary or chronic emotional withdrawal.” The situations described above represent a breakdown in the psychological distance that is a key method of removing one’s sense of empathy and achieving this “emotional withdrawal.” Again, some of the mechanisms that facilitate this process include:

• Cultural distance, such as racial and ethnic differences, which permit the killer to dehumanize the victim

• Moral distance, which takes into consideration the kind of intense belief in moral superiority and vengeful/vigilante actions associated with many civil wars

• Social distance, which considers the impact of a lifetime of practice in thinking of a particular class as less than human in a socially stratified environment

• Mechanical distance, which includes the sterile Nintendo-game unreality of killing through a TV screen, a thermal sight, a sniper sight, or some other kind of mechanical buffer that permits the killer to deny the humanity of his victim”

(Grossman, D. (2009). On Killing: The Psychological Costs of Learning to Kill in War and Society

Dave said...

I enjoy Father McCarthy's analogy of the tribe of cannibals who have never known anything but cannibalism having someone come to their tribe and tell them that cannibalism is wrong. And so we approach American Christians with a similar message.

Dale Gish said...

Keith, I'm a long time listener, and just wanted to say this is a really great reflection on the movie, violence, American nationalism, and the Kingdom of God. This was very encouraging. I give thanks to God for you and his transformation of your life. You point us to Jesus and to living cruciform lives.