Nathan (vovat) wrote,

God Hates Fantasy

Hey, guess what I came across! It's another fundamentalist author about how fantasy is turning kids to Satanism! A large portion of the article focuses on Twilight, and from what I've heard of that series, it DESERVES to be bashed. Not in the way Pastor Joe does it, though. Harry Potter is another target, but what particularly caught my attention is that there's some stuff about The Wizard of Oz.

Are you at all surprised to find that Pastor Joe is willing to accept any source that goes along with what he already believed? If you are, you haven't read very many articles by fundamentalists. He starts out with a quote from MTV News, of all places, about the popularity of Wicca. Did Iann Robinson tell you that, Pastor? :P He also includes a fair amount of quotes from Anton LaVey, because why WOULDN'T a fundamentalist Christian accept the word of the founder of the Church of Satan as valid? It's not like Satan is the Father of Lies or anything, after all! Really, from what I've heard about LaVey's variety of Satanism, most of its rituals are parodies anyway, so Pastor Joe is accepting information on magic (which he apparently DOES believe in) from a group that quite likely doesn't. Really convincing, Joe!

Speaking of Satan, don't fundamentalists typically believe that most people are bound for Hell anyway? Then why would the Devil play all these games and influence all these fantasy authors and Hollywood filmmakers if he doesn't get any more out of it than he would have by default? Yet, in Pastor Joe's mind, imagination itself is the work of the Devil. Seriously. Because Stephenie Meyer and J.K. Rowling refer to the characters and situations as having sprung into their heads, Joe thinks they must have been put there by evil spirits. I'd have to suspect that an evil spirit would be able to come up with something better than Meyer's poorly written abstinence porn, but maybe Satan got one of his lesser agents for her. ("We don't need the Lord of the Flies for this one. How about the Lord of the Dust Mites?") But not only is emotion bad, but knowledge in general. The pastor criticizes the Gnostic notion, apparently shared by the Mormons, that Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit was ultimately a good thing. But if that was the fruit that gave knowledge of good and evil, then is Joe saying that this knowledge is a bad thing, and we SHOULDN'T be aware of the difference between good and evil? Then what the hell are you trying to do with this article, Joey? Maybe YOU'RE the one who's actually on Satan's side! {g}

While the Oz part is fairly short, my fandom makes it pretty much necessary for me to address it. Not surprisingly, the pastor mentions Baum's membership in the Theosophical Society. From what I've gathered, Theosophy was basically one of those New Age systems of belief that mixes in elements from a whole bunch of different religions and philosophies, often with no regard for their original context. While Theosophy includes some rather offensive beliefs, like the idea of the root races, I haven't heard anything about their thinking Satan was good. How much of Theosophy Baum actually accepted isn't really clear. I know he used the idea of elementals that Blavatsky apparently got from Paracelsus (which is one of Button-Bright's many middle names, by the way) in his writings, but did he actually BELIEVE that there were fairy-like creatures inhabiting the air? I'm not sure there's any way to know. Pastor Joe points out that, in Wizard, "Baum’s channeled message doesn’t only teach children that there are 'good' witches, but the message of Glinda (the 'good' witch) to Dorothy was that she didn’t have to look outside herself for answers. 'You've always had the power…' Glinda reveals to Dorothy." Except that line was from the movie, not the book. Did the pastor ever actually READ Wizard? Probably not, since he seems pretty unfamiliar with all of the books he's bashing. He also writes, "Harry Potter seduces young people into Wicca and other neo-pagan worldviews and practices through the lure of occult power and the lie that you, too, can become like God." Yeah, remember when Harry made his own world, populated it with living beings, judged them for their deeds, and sent a forty-day rain to kill most of them? Because I don't. Rowling herself has stated that she believes in God, not magic, but the problem is that people like our pastor here believe in BOTH.

And I've addressed this topic before, but from what I know of Wicca, anyone turning to that because of the way magic works in the Harry Potter or Oz books (or many other fantasies, for that matter) would probably be severely disappointed. Oddly enough, storybook magic strikes me as working much more scientifically.
Tags: books, harry potter, oz, religion
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