I typically read WND.com.
It’s a nice website with what I generally consider a practical and utilitarian Liberatarian message. (Torches and pitchforks down please, and let me finish!)
Yesterday, an author (who wisely remained anonymous), posted an article titled “When Satan, Devils and Demons are Entertainment”.
Well, I say the author posted it, but they merely paraphrased the words of a “Dr. Karl I. Payne”, who is (near as I can tell) a highly Christian man (in that most unpleasant of ways). He is the sort that believes that his brand of Christianity ought to rule over everything in America.
Well, actually, I have no idea if he really believes that. But his words gave me that impression, and it’s a bad impression.
Doctor Payne believes that dressing up on Halloween as or watching TV shows about Witches, Demons, and all manner of things that might go bump in the night will turn us into those very things. It will open the door to demonic possessions, unleash the apocalypse, and turn everything into a Nietzschean nightmare where the abyss looks into us all and all those who hunt monsters become monsters. He talks about how he helped a woman recover after a vaguely defined “emotional torment” from “her experiences with the dark side”. I don’t doubt that he has, though the lack of detail strikes a chord of wariness about how I regard his words.
I don’t question that people can be hurt by doing stupid things with magic. I’ve been burned, and it put me off magic for a very long time.
I argue that the entertainment itself is intrinsically harmless. If people see the show and are inspired to make stupid decisions and ruin their lives, that’s their own affair for being blithering idiots. You don’t see me cooking crystal meth in a trailer because I enjoy Breaking Bad, or romantically wooing my sister because I think Jaime Lannister is an awesome character on Game of Thrones. To repeat: IF YOU FEEL LIKE EMULATING WHAT YOU SEE ON AN OBVIOUSLY FICTIONAL WORK, THEN THAT, AND ALL THE RESULTING FALLOUT FROM SAID ACT, IS YOUR OWN FUCKING LOOKOUT. I will have zero sympathy for you, though being a decent person, I would help you pick up the pieces afterwards if you ask. I’m nice like that, but I won’t help you sue JK Rowling because Harry Potter “forced” you to cast a spell that blew up in your face (it didn’t), I won’t help you picket Joss Whedon’s house because your 4 year old son watched Angel or Buffy the Vampire Slayer and decided vampires were cool and started biting people as a result (because they didn’t). These are choices that the viewer’s mind, either through immaturity, idiocy, or mental illness, came to itself. Neither work, and none of the works actually on TV, in theaters, or in popular books, actually told people to do these things — either blatantly or subliminally.
The simple answer is that viewers are lazy morons who would rather blame something else, because obviously, a 4 year old child has perfectly developed and flawless judgment and the TV or video game is at fault for everything and the alternative is that you need to be smarter, wiser, and practice critical thinking and good parenting skills.
I never practiced paganism because I saw it in a comic book or video game and thought it neat. I practice it because I was called to this path by deities I agree with.
Calling Odin or Lilith a demon in your own religion is fine. Leave it out of your conversations with me and we’ll be chums.
But don’t ever blame the inanimate and non-sapient box in your entertainment center.
It’s just silly.