In House of Cards Season 3, sociopathic American President, Frank Underwood, has a brief spiritual crisis in which he questions the deaths of soldiers in the War on Terror, the value of sacrifice, the difference between the Old Testament God and the New Testament God, and asks a priest why Jesus Christ did not fight back. All good questions, actually.
But it’s strange, as this character has not experienced any other attacks of conscience in the first two seasons or expressed preoccupations with anything other than his own quest for power. He is a murderer (shoving someone in front of an oncoming subway) and an adulterer — generally one sick, sick dude. But Hollywood seems to love “heavy” scenes set in Catholic cathedrals so I guess they needed President Underwood to suddenly — out of nowhere — start feeling some compassion for his fellow man and asking questions about right and wrong, love, and the meaning of life, life beyond his own petty immersions in power-politics.
The TV Priest shrugs his shoulders and says, “I ask myself that question all the time,” (about why Christ didn’t fight back) then reassures the President that it’s okay to continue killing innocent civilians in the War on Terror. It’s a-okay. Collateral damage, you know? Then he says a lot of other pretty vague and confusing things about “service” and God that don’t really make a lot of sense. Is this yet another example of Pentagon propaganda infiltrating our television and movies (and thus our minds) with their murderous mindset, or an accurate depiction of American society and the Church’s role in that society, their utter inability to answer the most basic questions about the most pressing issue of our time, war and peace, within the context of the Catholic faith?
I don’t watch a lot of television, but when I do, I see an awful lot of protagonists these days who are politicians, law enforcement and government agents. What ever happened to television shows about families and friends? The television shows these days aim to make us sympathize with the person who is acting — always in a manner that is cold, calculated and rational — on behalf of the government, and too often they portray “regular people” (citizens) as weak, rabid, emotional, unpredictable, menacing mobs. The government agent is always the good guy, of course, and these shows always seem to be trying to assure me that killing is okay, necessary, noble even, because, you know — safety first.
If you watch the clip to the end, you will see the charming culmination of the scene, when the American President spits in the face of Jesus hanging on the cross. Again, is this just an example of Hollywood trying to be scandalous and shocking, or is it an accurate representation of the state’s true attitude toward Christianity?
The propaganda in this society is pervasive and persistent. Kill your t.v.