Monday, May 16, 2016

What Are Our Expectations?

I apologize at the outset because I am about to revisit a topic you have seen too many times on this blog--the reading choices our children are making--or perhaps better put, those choices made for them by people who are old enough to know better:
A particularly sore point between our immediate family and my in-laws has been Harry Potter. When we were together this weekend, one member of the family noted that the oldest grandson who was just turning 10 had read the first in the Potter series.  They are so proud of that.  I think this is an abomination in the making.   Am I that judgmental and narrow-minded? 
Scripture is clear about the issues of witchcraft and sorcery in both the Old and New Testaments. These sins are everywhere in children's literature today.  What will we reap as a society from these choices?  We should expect what we are getting:  a society that is racing away from Biblical truth at an alarming speed.  Even Believers. 

When our boys were still in public school, James Martin read some of The Magic Tree House books, and I was very uncomfortable with those as well.  They use seemingly  innocuous adventures of children as they magically travel through history.  The children learn to practice their own magic as the series progresses.  I discouraged him from reading those, and was relieved when we left public school that they were no longer at his disposal.

Our kids have honored my feelings (which are their Dad's as well) about Harry Potter, but I am sensing that they have their doubts about the seriousness of the issue. Having said that, John Thomas and I were talking last night about a scene from Dante's Divine Comedy. Virgil covers Dante's eyes as the evil Medusa comes near--Dante is not able to withstand looking upon her without turning to stone. In one of his literature classes in the fall, the class discussed the implications of this dramatic scene--in our own strength, we can't stare down evil.  We will be transformed. We must turn away from it. The Book of 1st Thessalonians brings so much of this home: 
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.
1 Thessalonians 5:  20-22. 

There are so many wonderful things out there for our children and young adults to read.  
Sometimes I feel truly alone on this issue--and I can't believe how the Christian community has treated it as a non-issue.  Many years ago, I had an email conversation about this with my Library friend, Miss Janice.  She supported my decisions, and I am grateful. We are a minority of two.
There is so much at stake.  


Sarah Ann said...

When I was reading this it reminded me of something that happened while I was in public school, in middle school. I learned a lot from my 6-8 grade English teacher, things that helped me all the way into my first semester of college, but as I believe I've told you before, she kept a private library in her classroom that we were required to read from. A lot of it was far from wholesome. When the Twilight series first got popular, she ordered stacks of it. I didn't know what it was, but a lot of my friends were reading it, so I took a copy. my mom didn't know what it was yet either. It didn't take long before I realized what it really was, but I regret and am ashamed that I even read one chapter of that series. That wasn't the first, or last, time that I found myself with bad literature in my hands because my teachers or librarians were promoting it. My parents told me several times that something they appreciated the most about my homeschooling in grades 9-12 was that they didn't have to worry about the books in my required reading. The books I read for high school English in the ACE curriculum actually changed my life, for the better.

Homeschool Mom said...

Thank you, Sarah. Yes. I have a great big problem with the Twilight series. That is another sore point with some family members. Literature has a lot of power and influence like TV and the internet--maybe even more. I appreciate your recollections.

Blessed Homemaking said...

This is something that has been on my mind so much lately. I would never, ever let my children read Harry Potter or the Twilight series, but I think my tastes are even more conservative than most. I will check out your blog here to see what you have to say about some of these books!