The Care Bears Movie II Analogy

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 analogyDark Heart in Human Form 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.

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5 responses to “The Care Bears Movie II Analogy

  1. Hi, I think this is a fascinating article. And I agree with you totally. I’d like to point out another thing, which in general is the fear of knowledge as a corrupting force. When I grew up as a christian and went to camp my brother and I were traumatized by what the counselors said to us. They told us that to just have a fantasy book was to invite the devil beside you. I’m not kidding you, you wouldn’t believe how freaked out I was because of that being so young and impressionable.

    My brother and I were smart kids, and smart kids are usually drawn to science and ideas of the fantastic. And at a young age we were interested in a lot of things, which subsequently were labeled as satanic by our school and camp. Even superhero comics were in this category.

    I think this really showed me how scared people can be just by “knowing” something, or playing a game, or listening to music. There is an inherent connotation that if you know something about what has been labelled as strange and “satanic” then you must be satanic yourself.

    Now I imagine this is what scientists have had to deal with for centuries. I mean, if you have a different thought from people, they’d kill you or torture you until you revoked your claims and told everyone you were crazy and wrong.

    Historically speaking there used to not be a schism between science and religion, it used to be a single science. Which is why all of the old alchemists (many of which were deeply christian) they were some of the greatest contributors to scientific thought and religious renewal.

    And this is historically backed. Teilhard de Chardin is a great example of a historical figure that was a scientist and a deep christian.

    I think that what people don’t understand is that even Jesus spoke in stories. Some people could have said he spread lies and false tales. But he used the stories to teach people things.

    I think the lord can use whatever means are available. And as storytellers we need to take advantage of the mediums before us. The Narnia series and The Lord of the Rings are examples of teaching lessons through fantastic stories.

    They are lessons about desire, greed, honor, truth, and goodness. There are similar values in the Harry Potter books, and many others. The role that myth plays in culture is as a medium for expressing values, it can take many forms, but they are all tales about values.

    If you take that away from people, you end up with stupid people that don’t think about values, life, their place in the world, and how they themselves can be a “superhero” a “knight of justice and truth” or a “good wizard that dispells the darkness.”

    In the early depictions of Christ in Rome he was shown holding a wand, because indeed he was seen as a man who had a power of the world and nature. He was a “wise-man” or a “wizard.” He was a seen as a mage, and mage comes from the root word magus, which was the name of the babylonian priest. So yeah, when you talk about his miracles, they could be seen as magic, the magic of beauty that the Lord can bring into the world.

    Both Judaism and Christianity were built a top the mythology of the Babylonians and the Assyrians. They share common mythos. And if you tell this to a christian; well, they will call you a satanist. But in fact, it’s just history, right there in the books.

    Which brings me back to the general fear that exists in the religion, it’s a fear of history, of what we find out, because it alters the myth that people live with. But let’s face it, things are changing, and they’ve changed before. People used to think the world was flat and the center of the universe, and some people still do.

    A lot of people don’t think enough, and they are scared of knowledge. Their pride prevents them from hearing and seeing the truth. And pride was the first sin that was committed. So we have to remember that pride is the first sin that separates us from the Lord. When we are proud and not humble, fearful and not courageous, liars and not truth tellers, greedy and not giving, we lose the plot of what we are meant to be about.

    And all too often, when I look around, I am sad a bit inside, because people don’t remember the love that we are meant to be in the world. And people don’t realize the harm they commit out of their ignorance and false understandings of what the will of God means.

    Protesting at a gay funeral and yelling at the family is what people used to do a thousand years ago, except they would stone and kill them too. And Jesus said to not do this, so we shouldn’t. We are meant to cry for every death, and love this garden as God intended. We are meant to promote life, which doesn’t mean blowing up abortion clinics and terrorizing people.

    Most people haven’t studied religion enough even to understand christianity in it’s historical context. And these people think they are prophets of the Lord upholding what they think is his law, and wanting to start an armageddon.

    Your article pricked a nerve with me, because I think it’s this backwards behavior and conservatism in the negative sense that needs to be overcome in christianity and all religions.

    We have to end this silly fundamentalism that could destroy all of us and the world.

  2. My issues with your fantasies had nothing to do with fears about Satanism, but rather your devotion to your fantasies instead of such things as: your homework, your studies, the condition of your room, most of the generally important things in life. It will be interesting to some day hear how your children perceive you.

    Old backwoods Dad

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  5. Andrew Jennings

    Having been brought up both Catholic and evangelical, and having a long term love for the Care Bears, I couldn’t help but comment on the struggles of where the boundaries lie within the modern Christian culture mindset. A part of me has broken off from it all…and it is quite amazing how watching Care Bears helps me reflect on what are the most important things in life. To be honest, Christianity and all of it is more confusing than the Care Bears, and other cartoons of its like have helped me much. By the way, this is my first time writing in a while..Will do more.

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