Who’s Teaching Who?

I just saw the movie, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” and I thought it was really great. I read the book in December 2000 and enjoyed it so much that I read the other books as well. In every book, there seems to be a central theme of good versus evil. It’s probably the most basic theme in most stories, including my favorite trilogy, The Lord of the Rings.

But I hear that these stories of witchcraft and sorcery spread the wrong messages and should not be told to our children. They are “non-Christian” and depict the beginning of the “new world order.” There is contact with the supernatural world, where spells and potions are the norm. And there are reports that these stories reflect evil beliefs.

As John Stossel of ABC News would say, “Give me a break!”

I could counter-attack with another story that speaks of spells, alcohol, infidelity, and many other things that we find appalling today, but my point isn’t to compare the Bible to modern literature (that would be blasphemous). No, my point is that some people have way too much time on their hands and need to stop ruining those things that the rest of us want to enjoy in peace.

A case in point. Every December, the State of Wisconsin puts up a tree in the capitol rotunda to celebrate the holidays of the season (let’s face it, it’s a Christmas tree). In 2000, a decision was made to not decorate the tree with religious ornaments. That upset a group of people, who then sued to have them put on. So, in 2001, the decision was made to place all sorts of secular and religious decorations on it. That upset another group, who is now suing to have the religious ornaments removed. A newspaper author suggested that in 2002, we put up a naked tree so that it stands as a tribute to those that want to ruin a holiday for the rest of us.

Don’t get me wrong… I’m all for free speech. But when does that speech become extreme? I admit that I’m a Christian. I’m also open-minded and believe in many other beliefs. But some people just need to get a life.

Let’s face it, I say a lot of things on this site that are probably just fluff. But what better way to get something off your chest than to say a few words about it. Those people that argue about the most mundane thing, though, are so full of it. I remember that Proctor and Gamble once had to change their logo because it resembled a satanic image. “Dungeons and Dragons” was banned by many because some twisted teenager committed suicide when his fighter character was cursed. And “Barney and Friends” and the “Teletubbies” are taboo in some circles because of either the actors or the symbolism of a character. Do you really think kids notice?

The fact that Harry Potter or The Lord of the Rings has fantastic characters should not alarm people. Disney’s been doing it for years. But unlike the original “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” tale, Disney did a bang-up job of adding ridiculous characteristics to the dwarves. I mean, who wants to be friends with a short dude named Dopey? And does that name connote something more (such as pot-smoking)? Or what do people think about swimming around with a half-naked mermaid, as in “The Little Mermaid?” But the message is always the same at the end: lock lips with someone and the spell is lifted! Oh, look out, you may spread mono that way!

I especially have a hard time listening to people that feel that they have to push their beliefs on others. I’m not referring to Jehovah Witnesses, who peddle their religion but move on if you say no (although I have my reservations about them as well). I’m referring to those who preach brimstone and fire if you don’t believe in the healing powers of whomever or whatever they believe in. Yet I see so many acts of kindness in the face of all religions and all walks of life, whether it be Hindu, Christian, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Taoism, Paganism, or even Atheism. We all live by some form of ethical code, which we normally refer to as morals, and it’s this force that drives us to either do good or not. But if these people that preach their way or the highway are so freakin’ righteous, why the hell are they the ones that drive like complete asses on the highways and disregard other drivers out there? What hypocrites!

This country was founded on religious freedoms, but it was also found on the premise of majority rule. Yet I can’t help but notice that we always have to listen to the minority. Maybe we should listen to what they have to say… to a point. But to have to bend over backwards and appease them is absolutely ridiculous. These people are extremists, and they’re willing to take their beliefs to dangerous and deadly extremes. The U.S. is at war with extremists who terrorized our country. I often feel that other extremist groups are no better, especially when they send messages of fear and blow up clinics or factories.

I suppose there’s a balancing act in place here, and that these people do have some rights to express their opinions. But, in conclusion, I also believe that we, as sentient and intelligent human beings (well many of us… perhaps), should also be able to tell when these people need to be ignored. It kind of makes you wonder why I wrote this… after all, I’m reacting to their bull.