Grand Theft Christianity

– I’ve written on this story before here and here. It is amazing to me that certain threads within Christianity have gotten so far off the road and into the bushes.

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A loose coalition of progressive social-advocacy and Christian groups are lobbying major retailers, most-notably Wal-Mart, to stop carrying a high-end video game that they say urges born-again Christians to convert or kill others who don’t adhere to their extreme ideology – including Muslims, Jews, and Catholics.

The game is Left Behind: Eternal Forces, based on the popular Left Behind series of Christian-themed novels, which are based on the theology found primarily in the book of Revelation, according to the publisher’s Web site.

The action of the novels takes place after the Rapture, when Christian believers have been shuttled to heaven and the nonbelievers have been left behind to face the return of the Antichrist.

The Campaign to Defend the Constitution, Crosswalk America, Talk2Action and the Christian Alliance for Progress are among some of the groups that have joined forces to boycott the game and to lobby Wal-Mart to remove the Left Behind: Eternal Forces video game from its shelves.

Said Clark Stevens, co-director of the Campaign to Defend the Constitution, to the San Francisco Chronicle this week:

It’s an incredibly violent video game. Sure, there is no blood. (The dead just fade off the screen). But you are mowing down your enemy with a gun. It pushes a message of religious intolerance. You can either play for the good side by trying to convert nonbelievers to your side or join the Antichrist.

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