I have a lot of analogies for things. It’s really how I think, and then later express my thoughts. This one I’m going to write about is by far my favorite one for two reasons: 1) because it’s such a weird place to draw an analogy from, and 2) because it’s a really darn good analogy.
One of my buttons is the “Christian” war on magic, the occult, and “satanism.” I think it’s really, really misguided. I have so many friends that were not allowed to watch The Smurfs or Scooby-doo when they were kids because those shows had magic or witches in them. I’ve heard people talk about and people write about the “evils” of the Harry Potter series and how it’s teaching children witchcraft. My dad hated my love for the fantasy genre in my teen years because of its associations with and influences from Dungeons & Dragons, which EVERYBODY KNOWS is a game satanists play. I even have some back-woods-minded extended family that have somehow become convinced that to have a goatee is evil because “Satan has one” (that’s really the tip of the iceberg with those guys). And all of this is in addition to people freaking out over rock ‘n roll and the now-dated-but-still-acknowledged fears that subliminal messages are hidden in secular music to turn young teenagers in to orgy-attending Satan worshipers.
A lot of this runs hand-in-hand with the idea that as a Christian, one is not supposed to fight for a niche in culture, but rather represent Christ in the world. When you get that, and I mean really get it, you begin to see how all those people are loved by Jesus and need to be shown that, and the whole “them vs. us” thing becomes irrelevant. Through understanding that, too, it becomes clear how Satan really is trying to lead us astray and corrupt us. It’s in the form of day-to-day temptations, trying to muddle what we hear from God, and trying to subtly set us on the wrong paths. He does this by getting us to make compromises, or to get us focused on the wrong things. He does not do this by entering our minds from the page of a Harry Potter book.
I want to add in a little factoid for everyone: The overly-conservative-Christian belief that the Harry Potter books teach and influence our children to practice witchcraft was born out of an article from The Onion parody newspaper, which means the whole story was made up. The article was actually cited as fact in some Christian journals on the subject, because those authors did not understand that The Onion is one huge joke.
Of course I don’t want to imply that I think that anything that can genuinely be categorized as “dark arts” is harmless, but it’s primary harm is to those who practice them and it’s not horribly contagious. If your daughter starts hanging out with a Wiccan boy and brings home some of his reading materials, then I think you have cause for concern and should step in. But I do not think that if your kid finds that the Dragonlance book series is entertaining, that he or she will begin to hear demonic voices and be led like a zombie to a dark basement apartment where there is an in-process black mass, and then strip naked and join the orgy.
Okay. On to the analogy. You’ve waited so patiently.
The Care Bears Movie II was more of a reboot rather than a sequel to the first film. Of course I didn’t understand this at age 6 and 7. For a brief synopsis of the plot of the movie so you understand the analogy better: a summer camp in a northwestern state is taken over by the evil Dark Heart, who has disguised himself as a kid, and he has made all the kids at the camp stop caring. Stop caring about what you ask? Everything! They knock over trash cans and gave developed dark circles under their eyes. Gasp! Two children have escaped this, who conveniently felt rejected and unloved at the beginning of the story but found friends in the Care Bears.
So, it’s clear that Dark Heart needs to be stopped. True Heart Bear (the yellow one in the picture above on the left) and Noble Heart Horse (the purple one . . . yes, apparently it’s a horse) (for the record, I had to look up their names on IMDB) set out to take Dark Heart down. They travel through caves and oceans, staying hot on what they think is his tail – but this is where the surprise comes in: they’re actually chasing his shadow. By the time they catch up and figure out they’ve not actually been chasing the real Dark Heart, their home (Care-a-Lot) is destroyed and Dark Heart has taken all the other Care Bears prisoner. (Don’t worry, the good guys win, but that’s not part of the analogy).
The final point is that people that get up in arms over magic in cartoons and Harry Potter books and kids wearing black nail polish, but they’re being fooled by the evil one to think that all of those things are what they need to point their shields at, while the real enemy wrecks their homes and their lives, and by the time they figure it out it’s too late.
I don’t have any big conclusion. That’s pretty much it.