Banning books (was Re: [DWJ] Re: Nancy Drew (was Love Story))

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at
Thu Jun 15 21:34:14 EDT 2006

On Thu, 15 Jun 2006 09:03:38 -0700 (PDT), Elizabeth G. Holtrop wrote:

>I just don't understand banning all reading with witches in it.   I'm a Christian, and fantasy is one of my favorite genres because of  how it makes me think about the world in new ways.  Where do  religious parents draw the line?  I think every Christian parent I  know would condone The Chronicles of Narnia, because they're written by  a Christian author.  But what about Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle  in Time, also by a Christian author, also with witches?  The  definition of "witch" is only as deep as the author is using it to  be.  I get seriously annoyed when Christians don't see the broader  perspective.

I get annoyed when they use religion as the justification for it.  It sort
of implies that you must not be a very good Christian if you don't think
it's a problem.  (Though, as a Mormon, I'm not considered a very good
Christian by some denominations anyway.  :)  Mostly I think it's a result of
fear and too little information.  Witches are bad, so if you avoid all books
with witches in them, you should be safe.  A lot of parents don't have any
idea how to choose books for their kids anyway, and it's always easier to
forbid than to take time to make decisions.  Jacob and I knew a family whose
oldest son loved fantasy, but his mom was seriously anal about what he read.
*She* forbade anything with implications of witchcraft in the title, so _The
Black Cauldron_ was right out.  But she assumed that because Orson Scott
Card shared her religion, anything he wrote was okay.  I think we got to the
kid before he read _Treason_ or _Songmaster_.  The thing was, she really
didn't have anything against good fantasy; she just didn't have a clue.  I
think the number of Christians who are actively forbidding books about
witches on scriptural grounds are a lot smaller than the vast majority of
people who are just following the herd.

My grandfather was a Presbyterian minister (retired now) and a very
spiritual man.  He not only gave me my first Narnia books, he also bought me
my first Dungeons & Dragons set.  I think he had a very clear idea of the
difference between demons and witches in fantasy and real evil, not to
mention my youthful capacity to tell the difference.  So if I get too
discouraged about misplaced religious zealotry, I have something better to

Melissa Proffitt

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