Religious groups quiet on ‘Grand Theft Auto’

Religious groups, of course, protest just about anything.

Every day, I sign on to my email and get at least a few emails of complaint.

So it surprises me that there has been little — any? — religious outrage over Grand Theft Auto. Lot of groups have protested against the incredibly violent video game — police, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and prostitutes among them (the game allows interaction between prostitutes and clients and alludes to the rape of prostitutes).

0602755600.jpgTo be clear, I’ve never played the game (or seen it). But based on what I’ve read about its contents, I’m simply surprised that the religion world hasn’t taken notice. Religious groups complain about a lot less. And GTA, you would think, would be a target that liberals and conservatives could agree upon.

It’s worth noting for those disconnected from the video game world that Grand Theft Auto is not some fringe game. It is incredibly popular. GTA 4 wracked up $500 million in sales during its first week this month. By comparison, the Iron-Man movie took in $100 million during its first weekend.

There must be some religious protests out there. But where?

Gary Stern

Gary Stern covered education in the Lower Hudson Valley for several years during the early 1990s. Now's he back on the beat. He believes that schools are one of the main reasons that people live around here and that educational issues -- from curriculum to financing -- are among the most challenging things that journalists can write about. He continues to be amazed by the complexity of educational jargon. Gary got his B.A. at SUNY Buffalo and his M.A. from the University of Missouri Journalism School (where his master's thesis was about the best ways to cover education). He lives in White Plains with his wife and two sons, who attend public schools.