Culture of death bargain for church attendance

This Easter I resolved to act in a more determined way against our culture of death. However, now I am facing a dilemma. My 21-year-old son who lives with me wants to buy the latest Mortal Combat game with his own money. He had described the game to me as a very gory fighting game in which there is killing, but he came to me about the purchase first because he did not want to buy the game behind my back. I told him I did not want him to contribute his money to such a violent game that supports our culture of death. He, however, countered with a very good offer: If I would allow him to buy the bloody game, he would give up to me an even worse game that he had acquired unbeknownst to me. Also he would agree to go to church with me for two years. He is not a Christian, is unaffiliated with any religion, but he might be convinced to convert to Catholicism with the promised 2-year mass attendance. He went with me today on Easter Sunday and said he did feel moved by some parts of the service.

Should I agree to his purchasing the new Mortal Combat game in return for his discarding an even worse video game and agreeing to attend mass for the next two years with me? What are your opinions about this?

I’d make that bargain! He is old enough that you cannot tell him what to do, even if he lives with you, really. So he does have enough respect and enough of a conscience to want to honor your requests not to participate in video violence.

Just out of curiosity, what was the other game? I have always resisted allowing my sons to buy Halo, or have it in the house, but the one son who always yearned to do what he wasn’t allowed to do, would play it for hours at friends’ houses, so what good my restrictions did, I don’t know.


If it’s any comfort, there are a heck of a lot of adult males who play MC and don’t get violent in their normal lives. I think it’s a war game, too, isn’t it? Which may help relieve some of the aggression that males can feel in their lives.

Speaking of the culture of death (abortion), does he engage in pre-marital sex? I’d be a lot more worried about that kind of behavior than I would with video games.

I would say make the bargain. He could have gone behind your back. I think he is looking for an excuse to go to ask you to take him to Church without looking uncool. Teenagers. :stuck_out_tongue:

Sounds like an awesome bargain to me! There’s no way he would offer going to Mass for 2 years in exchange for just one game if there was not some movement of the Holy Spirit in him, trying to bring him to God. I’d be excited!

I’d say “make the bargain”, and remember that conversion can come in ways we don’t understand until we look back upon the events. By the end of the two years, he may have a completely different view on video games… and a two year commitment to attending weekly mass is significant.

Dear RealJuliane:

Thanks so much for your rapid response.

Regarding the name of the worse video game, it’s called “Fallout 3.” It is not as gory as Mortal Combat on the surface, but it has you make very disturbing choices that often result in deaths of multiple innocent people. For instance, you could blow away a dying beggar asking for water by shooting him in the face. It is psychologically worse than just killing someone mindlessly as is done in Mortal Combat. You could betray a town of friendly inhabitants by detonating a nuclear weapon inside the town. It is a horrible, horrible game!!!

My son does not believe in or engage in premarital sex.

Dear Kristleful: Thanks so much for your positive response!! It left me very hopeful!!

Before saying anything else, from what I read you have a good son!

As for the bargain I would go with it, but I would also be fine with him playing Fallout 3!

My reason, because it’s a morality based game. Nothing in the game forces you to shoot beggars in the face and become a slaver, these are all treated as actions that would give you negative (basically a morality system in the game that tracks your actions) The game opens up tons of possibilities for heroism in the face of nuclear apocalypse.

Also I hope you are not using “Culture of Death” as your belief on violent video games…saying that is a extremely strong Buzzword that general is used to talk about abortion. I know if anyone told me I support the Culture of Death because I played violent video games I would probably get angry at them for such slander.

He’s 21, it’s his own money and I’m hoping he can differentiate between reality and fiction.

I’m happy there is a chance that he’ll join the Catholic faith, I hope his two years prove to be fruitful.

Take up his offer! His going to Church for two years is a foot in the door and he will learn the value of a promise.

One of my kids bought home Mortal Kombat, owned by a friend, and rather than rant and rave against it, I played the game too. While playing, I’d comment on just how impossibly silly the whole concept really is. Before too long, the game became a bit of a joke and the novelty wore off.

How ridiculous. No.

Rules regarding games in the home and Mass attendance are based upon what you establish as the house rules and what he obeys because he lives there. There is no negotiation on these issues. You should not “exchange” permission to buy a vile game in exchange for Mass attendance. **He goes to Mass because he is a member of the family and that’s what family does. ** Period.

Note to The RealJulianne.

Halo is fabulous. I reckon I’m the only Dad on planet earth who has done all levels of Halo two on Elite level!! By the time we had knocked off Halo 3, we were all heartliy sick of it. Again, I have found that if you play along with your kids, providing an adult point of view along the way, their whole take on a game becomes a lot more mature. Of course, there are some games that are just a straight out no-no. Halo is not one of them and has a fascinating story line, with some quite clever philosophical references and underpinnings. I’m looking forward to the movie. If they ever get around to it. :shrug:

He is 21, why on earth are you buying video games for an adult in any case?
you don’t bargain with your children. You are the father. Whether they are 6 or 16 or 21 your job is to stand firm and always tell them the truth. The teaching days are over with him, these are the action days. You tell him those games are not entering your household. Period. You tell him he goes to Church out of love for God, to worship him, and to thank Jesus Christ for his sacrifice on his behalf. He does not go to Church out of obedience to you any more, but in obedience to God, and certainly not because of some juvenile bargain. What he does on his own time, his own money, and his own living space is up to him as an adult, but you set the rules in your own home.

You can manipulate your adult children in this way, using money or support as a bribe, or any other manner to get them to do the right thing. As adults if it is not their free choice it is no choice and no value.

I have noticed that oddly for some here “Culture of Death” does seem to only refer to abortion, whereas in reality abortion is merely one facet of the Culture of Death in our country. What about murder, suicide, euthanasia, and the willful neglect of the weak or elderly leading to death? Certainly those atrocities are on equal footing with abortion as major components of our Culture of Death. That is why I was concerned about the horribly violent video games which trivialize life, elevating senseless cruelty and killing to an entertainment art form. My linking such games to our Culture of Death can in no way be termed “slander” because we Catholics are warned to be careful of what we allow in through our eyes and ears for a reason: It can profoundly affect our psyches and our souls, chipping away, ever so imperceptibly at our morality, our compassion, our humanity, changing us slowly and subtly without our ever knowing it. I realize that you are a gamer and you have no intention of ever doing anything unconscionable that would be even remotely related to your violent gaming experiences. But still, you cannot enjoy inflicting such vivid, virtual holocaust in your games without paying a price for it: The numbing of your humanity.

First of all, I would say if he’s 21 you shouldn’t really have any say in what games he plays. Second if he’s living with you part of #1 isn’t valid though you should allow and teach him to be his own man.

Third, if you can convince him to go to Mass every week for two years I would say go for it wether or not you are really against the game or not. :smiley:

I should start by saying that it’s spelled “Mortal Kombat” and not “Mortal Combat”

It’s not real. The game is a work of fiction. Let him buy it. I’m a gamer, and I play violent video games all the time and they don’t contribute to this “culture of death” people speak of

By the way, greatest bargain ever!

He isn’t. He’s agreeing (or disagreeing) to let the 21 year old purchase the game.

Personally I’m kind of impressed with your son. I think he’s trying to move things in a more positive direction. He’s not a minor anymore nor does he have a conscience like yours keeping him away from violent video games.

To be honest…a whole lot of actively practicing *Catholic *gamers don’t have that kind of conscience.

Your son isn’t even Christian never mind Catholic. Other than the fact that he’s living under your roof, he has no reason or obligation to attend Church. But I’m sure you’re probably a little nervous about what may happen to the relationship if you put your foot down and demand he attend Mass with you (he’s 21 and not Christian…does doing that sort of thing ever end with a positive result?). If a promise gives him a reason to *voluntarily *go…why not?

He’s 21 years old. At some point you have to allow them to decide what they will spend their money on, and their time on. If this were a 15 year old kid, OK, although I’d still start cutting the apron strings and allow them to decide for themselves in some arenas.

He has every right to move out and do whatever he wants, and the OP would not know about it at all. Presumably, the family morals have already imprinted upon him and he feels that this game is a little beyond the pale…So you allow him to play and still say, “Yes, son, I would love to have you join me at church! Great idea!” You could also discuss it with him a few months down the road, and tell him that you hope that by now, he is feeling more connected with the congregation and with his own faith life.

Never heard of that one, I guess my son may have but he’s never brought it into the house.

I am so glad to hear that your son is chaste!!! This is a good young man!!!


I’m thinking the Holy Spirit is nagging him a little bit.

I don’t know about the new game but I know in the old one Shang Sung was able to acquire a soul after a flawless victory. Maybe this is a very wierd way of God and His Church acquiring you son’s soul. Sounds like an flawless victory to me if it works :smiley:

Dear 1ke,

I appreciate your honest opinion and share your beliefs. Thanks.

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