Matt Palmer is the former social media coordinator of Catholic Review Media.

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I think you have a bit of an overreaction. The thing is, the author wants to make a statement about this universe they have created. It is an oppressive regime that takes away the innocence of a child, or at worst a life, that keep the masses in fear. The more food they borrow, the more likely they will be picked. It is about coming from the poor and showing the upper class who's boss. (Especially in the end scene with Peeta and Katniss. "They don't have to have a winner.") As a society outside of the book, we don't condone these things by showing them on our screens and reading about them. You almost have to desensitize yourself in order to learn the message the series is trying to teach. You can't compare your morals regarding children death matches to this series because we didn't grow up where the Hunger Games looms annually. Instead, we have to look at it objectively and hopefully: better ourselves. Look at your nieces. There are two or more ways to interpret every story: Face value, where it is children in a death match for entertainment of the crowd. Or, with an analytical mind: a story of rags showing the upper class whose boss, and creating a revolution. A satire on how media in our world makes contestants in a dog-eat-dog world or for people to put themselves in danger for cheap media entertainment. (And many more ideas)

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I found this video difficult to watch malniy because the people were so confused and affluent. Giving more money to someone will not guarantee that they will live out what God has planned for them. I felt sorry for them and would have liked to suggest to them that they give me some of their money and let me show them what to do with it. Seriously, I did not hear any of them speak about doing something for others or their moral beliefs.Interestingly, one of the interviewees mentioned how they went to a Christian school and was beaten up. I guess in that case his introduction to Christ was not a positive one. Some of the things that make the rich nervous also make poor nervous. The rich children worried about how to hold on to their money and the poor worry about how to get it. The rich are worried about someone knocking on their door saying you did not do something right, so now I am disowning you. The poor worry about someone knocking on their door saying your time is up and now you have to get out or bill collectors hounding them. There will always be worries that can overcome us when we live in a hollow life such as what was viewed.True freedom is knowing that God is in control and no matter what we see, these things are all temporal and we have a job to do. Seek the kingdom! All the other things will be added if we do the first step.These are just my thoughts..

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Prince Caspian blog revisted: Where is God?

Prince Caspian (amazon.com)

Two years ago, I posted the blog below on our old blog format on CatholicReview.org. Since we're talking Narnia and Aslan today, I thought I would share this blog from 2008. It was posted after I saw "Prince Caspian," the sequel to "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe."

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Search for Aslan... and God in Narnia

Where is God?

That’s the question many characters are asking throughout Prince Caspian, the second movie adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia. Although, to be fair, the creatures that populate the magical land, which is no longer accessible through big closets, are looking for Aslan.

Steer clear of this blog because it’s going to delve into spoilers of the new movie which, judging by box office receipts, not enough of you are seeing.

The titular animal in the first movie, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, has gone on a 1,300-year sabbatical through the woods.

During his, and the Pevensie children’s long absence, the creatures of the land have been ravaged through war and purged through ethnic cleansing by scheming human beings who love to maintain their positions of power and to talk with terrible accents.

Aslan, who squared off with the devil incarnate in the White Witch in Wardrobe, is barely seen in the latest movie. He’s become nothing more than legend and some doubt his existence simply because so much pain exists in the world.

When we finally do catch a glimpse of Aslan, his attitude is so cavalier about the destruction brought to his people that it’s off-putting. He’s lying on some grass when the innocent Lucy stumbles upon him.

He looks at her like a guy does when he’s pretending not to be interested in a girl.

I’m pretty sure he even says something like, “It took you long enough. There’s a pizza in the fridge.”

During a recent screening of Caspian, people walked out of one local theater miffed, saying: “Aslan’s kind of a jerk.”

Innocent blood is being spilled and the all-powerful lion with magic breath has his feet kicked up on the couch like he’s waiting for Jeopardy to come on at 7:30 on Channel 2.

When it appears the Narnians might have everything in the bag, then Aslan shows up to display his power and finish off the bad guys, as if to say: “Pretty cool, huh?”

Once he does that, Narnians who doubted Aslan are left to drop to their knees in reverence. Why were they so blind?

There has always been a debate about Aslan as an allegory for Jesus Christ. When he sacrificed himself for the sins of others in Wardrobe, it sealed the deal for some. Lewis, meanwhile, rejected the notion his famous character was a stand-in for Jesus throughout his Narnia books, despite some eerie similarities.

In Caspian, however, it appears that Lewis was trying to rise above what was perceived to be kid’s play in Wardrobe and speak to war-ravaged Europe. With all the horrors inflicted by Hitler’s regime in Germany, people were left asking: “How could God allow this happen?”

The movie doesn’t answer Aslan’s ambivalence well-enough. In both Narnia movies, the enslaved people solve their problems with violence and the children go happily back through a portal.

In the real world, we spend so much time wondering when God is going to show up, we aren’t willing to put in the work to find him in our every day lives. He’s set up this magnificent world for us and often we seem like we’re all just trying to tear it apart.

Eventually, we’re going to have to find the Divine in each other and ourselves to truly appreciate the world He gave to us.

12/6/2010 3:55:44 PM
By Matt Palmer