Hi, my name’s Father Mike Schmitz
and this is Ascension Presents. So I’ve never done this before.
I’ve never had a follow-up video to a previous video. So I thought you know what? Last week, that
video on mixed martial arts as entertainment, had a lot of feedback. I should offer
feedback to the feedback, because I don’t know,
there was some really good things people said. Here’s one of the things that I took away
from the whole last week of getting— I don’t want to say bombarded by messages but how do I say? Inundated?— by messages and that was this: I really like the people who watch these videos. Like, really.
That sounds like I’m pandering, but I really like the people
who watch these videos because there were so many people
who disagreed with me who were— I felt honored that they disagree with me and that they
thought enough to write to me. But it’s interesting because they were kind of five
key areas of disagreement. One is, I guess, less than respectful but whatever.
What do I care? It was someone who wrote in—
people, many, a few, whatever— who wrote and said basically,
“You’re dumb. You’re stupid. You’re an idiot,” which is fine because I already
knew all of those things. I (laughs) just didn’t
know what they were referencing, which dumbness of my part,
which idiocy that I am or have. What stupidity were they referencing in that case?
I wasn’t sure. So that’s kind of like,
“OK. Well, that’s that.” But the second kind of people who wrote
back and like, “OK, fine but I still like it. I still like mixed martial arts as entertainment
and I don’t see what’s wrong with it.” Even then, I blame myself because the point of the video
was to explain the reason why and if I didn’t, then that’s on me. Like if I didn’t do a good enough job,
then that’s my fault. The third were the “But what about”s. The “but what about”s are the “But what about football?”
“But what about boxing?” “What about other sports?” I’d say, “OK, those are all great questions.” but I would say the main—I guess—I don’t want to say rebuttal—but response that I would have is that’s someone trying to
extend the line further. All that last video was
trying to do was propose that there IS a line, right? So maybe the line goes to boxing. People wrote to me and said, “More people died boxing than doing MMA.” Like, “OK.” Or “More people get serious brain damage
playing professional football than MMA.” Like, I don’t know. I wasn’t trying to establish
how far the line went. All I was trying to offer was
that there IS a line somewhere. So “But what about all these other things?” I don’t know.
That’s a great question. I think we should look into it. The fourth was one of my favorites. The fourth is people
who absolutely disagreed. “But Father, here’s what you
might not know about mixed martial arts—” And it was great.
It was so informative and so educational. People were saying, “Well, what you might not know is what my experience is I was on a road that was going nowhere and
I got involved with mixed martial arts and now my life is changed.
I have discipline. I have friends. I have a brotherhood. I have a mentorship that’s happening.
I get to mentor others.” Like all these good things. And I’m like, “That’s awesome.” Others will say, “Well Father,
what you might not know is that a lot of these guys
are actually friends outside the ring.” That “You might look at them
as tough guys who have these tats and they seem like
they want to just kill everybody but they don’t, they save it to the ring
and outside the ring, they’re very kind.” And that’s awesome too. I didn’t think that
they were bloodthirsty guys outside the ring, but that was great that they told me. Others say, “What you might not know about the sport of mixed martial arts is that there are certain restrictions that
prohibit certain kind of violence in the ring.” Like, “Great.” And those are all really good things, things I might not have known
about mixed martial arts. Now, a lot of them
I did know about mixed martial arts because the question
I will come back with is this: It’s not “Is there discipline there?”
I said there was. It’s not, “Is there nobility there?”
I think I at least alluded to the fact that I think that there’s so much nobility in speed and strength and skill and even in areas of fighting. The question is: Is this rooted in violence? Like, is the core,
the essence of mixed martial arts on TV, violent? I haven’t heard anyone
who says that’s NOT the case, that it’s NOT violent. Secondly,
Is it violence as entertainment? Because that’s a key distinction. A couple guys who actually compete
in mixed martial arts wrote to me and I’m really grateful for them. Other people did as well. And they said, “Well, think about this. Have you thought about the idea that if you’re involved in it—” Because I advocated being involved in martial arts or even mixed martial arts to be able to train yourself, to have a strength, to be able to not be a victim,
but to defend yourself and those you love. So they said, “What about those who compete on their own who want to look at the pros to see how those who are most excellent
do the thing I want to do?” So for them, they said,
it’s not so much entertainment as it is education. I thought, “That’s a great point.” Things change a little bit, don’t they?
I mean, obviously, it’s still violent and yet, at the same time,
it’s to a greater purpose, not simply my entertainment. Now, I’m not saying that carte blanche
if your motivation is different, if your motivation is OK,
then everything’s OK, I’m not saying that at all but what I am is saying is this whole thing comes
down to this idea of human beings have dignity. Violence strips a human being of dignity. Violence as entertainment
has no place in the life of the Christian. So this isn’t actually about
mixed martial arts. In this video right now,
it’s not just a follow up in the sense of like, “I’m going to defend myself.”
“Quit picking on me.” What do I care? I care what you think but I care more about
what we choose as Christians. Here’s what I mean. There’s this principle called the
Law of Exposure. The Law of Exposure is
“What I expose myself to, I become.” So the images that I bring into my brain
are the images that are in my mind. The language that I take in
usually becomes the language that I use. The worldview that I expose myself to
often becomes the worldview that I embrace, whether
consciously or unconsciously. Our choice of entertainment
is incredibly important. The stories we tell ourselves and
the stories you pass on to others is incredibly important So the question all of us have to ask
not about mixed martial arts. That’s one question
but it might not pertain to you at all. It might not pertain to me at all. The main question we all have to ask is Does my relationship with Jesus inform
my choice of entertainment or not? “I really like Game of Thrones.”
OK, that could be problematic. Why? Because it has a certain worldview
that’s not commensurate with the Christian worldview. “It’s not that, it’s Family Guy.” OK. Again, Family Guy has a certain worldview that’s not commensurate, it doesn’t coincide, that we can’t embrace as Christians. And so that sense
of being able to say, “There’s some areas in my life, in my entertainment,
when I expose myself to them, that’s how I begin thinking.” But as Christians, we know this, right? We’re not called to put on the mind of the world.
We’re called to put on the mind of Christ. We’re not called to embrace the spirit of the world .
We’re called to embrace the spirit of Christ. We’re not called to be guided by the spirit of this world
or the mentality of this world. We’re called to be guided by
the mentality of Jesus. And the question we can ask
in so many ways is Does this entertainment that I’m choosing to form my mind and form my heart with— because what I expose myself to not only do I think about, I learn to love. Does the entertainment that I choose
help me to think like Jesus, to live like Jesus and
to love like Jesus? Or does the entertainment I choose
become an obstacle to me to do all those things? I think it’s a question every one of us can ask,
regardless of what we think about MMA. At least that’s what I think. Anyways,
from all of us here at Ascension Presents, my name is Father Mike. God bless. (gulp) (wuh!) Sorry.