Monday, November 30, 2009

More Conservative Christian Inanity

While looking for items for my daughter's wish list on Amazon, I stumbled across this review of the Bionicles books from Lego by a woman identifying herself as a Christian home-schooling her children.

"Not only are these Bionicle figures and their stories filled with dark images of death and cruelty, the paranormal, occult aspects are very liberally seen throughout the books. This dark world comes with an entire alternate reality, including it's own language, geography, religion and politics. It is very easy for boys of any age to get all caught in this dark world and the consequences could be very disturbing. . . .

We are Christians who teach our children the Bible and undoubtedly my son could sense how the themes of Bionicles were very different than those we were teaching at home and what he was hearing at church.

My advice is that ALL parents thoroughly review the Bionicle books before giving them to your children to read. My previous work in the field of child counseling showed me that children of today have enough problems with dark thoughts and tendencies (ie. the skyrocketing rates of childhood depression and suicide, boys getting "lost" in fantasy worlds, etc.) and do not need books with dark themes.

Christian parents who value raising children with a biblical worldview might well consider avoiding the Bionicle series as it will send messages that will conflict with views you desire your children to grow up with."
I don't even know where to start with this sort of earnest, well-intentioned, yet ultimately simple-minded and ironic (see Bible comments below) fearmongering.

I've heard rising divorce rates and environmental stress associated with higher urbanization and the fast pace of the information age mentioned as possible contributions to adolescent depression. Even video games and violence on television. But this is the first time I've heard someone blame fantasy worlds based on books stimulating the imagination. When I was a kid, that's the very thing that helped me FIGHT depression.

Bionicles might be potentially annoying to adults who haven't gotten into the setting as much as their kids, but they are hardly harbringers of a dark, occult worldview. I have no idea what to say to someone who is shocked that a book might do something as crazy as provide a detailed, alternate world of imagination. Perish the thought. Though I have to say, I'm pretty sure the world this woman lives in has its own language, history, politics, and religion compared to the world that I live in.

The BIBLE is loaded with more violence (wholesale slaughter left and right), cruelty (it condones slavery and sacrifice), and mature themes (multiple wives, spousal coveting, and so forth) than you will find in the Bionicle books. And plenty of stuff in the Bible is patently made up, should you choose to take it literally. So I'm puzzled as to how reading Bionicle books and playing with toys that require you to assemble them will warp them compared to intensive Bible study. And unlike the supposed "cult" inspired by Bionicle books, many people devoted to biblical teachings have actually murdered and repressed other people in massive numbers in the past as well as today.

I had some more stuff to suggest what is more likely to contribute to eventual depression among kids home-schooled in a narrow minded, conservative Christian worldview once they eventually encounter the diversity of the larger world and have to deal with arguments based on facts, but honestly I hope that her kids grow up happy and healthy.

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