December 18, 2001
CHICAGO/TORONTO: Don’t Buy Into Violence This Christmas!
This Christmas season, as Christian Peacemaker Teams works for peace in
Hebron, Colombia, and other areas torn by violence, we also seek to stop the
marketing of violence to youth in our own communities. If you buy gifts to
celebrate Christ’s birth, use your purchases and your status as a consumer
to spread Christ’s message of peace.
CPT urges all peacemakers to do the following:
* Refuse to buy toys or video games that encourage violent play.
* Don’t shop at stores that market violence as entertainment.
* If you do shop at stores that market violence, voice your concerns. The
top five U.S. toy retailers (Walmart, Toys R Us, Kmart, Target, and KB Toys)
all sell violent video games that reward players for killing others. Walk
through the video and computer game sections of these stores. See if violent
games are displayed at children’s eye level or next to games designed for
young children. Look at the pictures and read the descriptions on the
packages. Some games bear the label “Blood and Gore,” indicating that they
feature mutilation and dismemberment. Children and teens should not be
trained to get pleasure from killing, dismemberment, and mutilation. Let the
store manager and corporate headquarters know about your concerns.
* Organize within your congregation or broader community. CPT has a packet
with step-by-step instructions for organizing a toy retailer inspection.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to obtain your packet. CPT is
seeking 500 churches and Quaker meetings across North America that will 1)
conduct inspections of local toy and video game retailers; 2) publicize
inspection results within the community; 3) follow up with store managers
and corporate headquarters; and 4) devote one Sunday per year to education
and reflection on the impact of marketing violence as entertainment to
* Let us know what’s happening in your community! Inspiring work is being
done in Wichita, Indianapolis, Winnipeg, and other cities and towns across
the United States and Canada. Call Kathy Railsback at 208/672-1441 to share
More information about CPT’s Violence is not Child’s Play campaign can be
found on this site. Great resource information is also available at the
websites of The Lion & Lamb Project (www.lionlamb.org) and The National
Institute on Media and the Family (www.mediafamily.org).