Those Horrible Catholics Down the Street…

… That would be my family, of course. The same family that marked the arrival to our new home with big Catholic statuary in the yard, announcing to all … the papists are coming, the papists are coming!

My evangelical neighbors have been cautious with us when allowing their children to play with my son. After all I let my son read Harry Potter and Greek mythology, which I’ve heard is tantamount to devil worship. Oh, and then there’s the statues. And the worship of statues. And statues worshiping statues.

This weekend I just learned that my evangelical neighbors in the compound next door use my Catholicism as a litmus test for evil, pronounced eeee-vil. If it’s something I like or endorse or let my kid play with it incurs their Evangelical Stamp of Evil™.

Case in point – When the Evangelical’s son said he wanted Skylanders for Christmas his parents, unsure about the evilness of said game, called to see if I let my kid play this particular video game. Then they requested the Catholic kid bring over his Skylanders for a full Evangelical Inspection. The end result; Skylanders was deemed Satanic and their innocent Evangelical son lives another day safe from the influence of demonic Catholicism.

But it was a little more than that. Their son told me that his parents shield him from any influence of evil. He can’t even read Lord of the Rings or watch the movies. The same of the world of Narnia and it’s monsters. I wonder how the edit the Devil out of the Bible.

I understand the desire to preserve the innocence of a child, but children need fairy tales and stories full of fearful monsters, not to glorify evil but to teach them that good always triumphs. What good is shielding children from the existence of evil if they never learn what defeating it looks like?

“Fairytales don’t tell children that dragons exist; children already know that dragons exist. Fairytales tell children that dragons can be killed.” ― G.K. Chesterton

What a sad, unadventurous boyhood.

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Mackerel Snapping Papist

  • katieokeefe

    I LOVE your Chesterton quote. It’s so true.

  • darthlevin

    You could compare them to Dolores Umbridge and her disregard of actually practicing Defense Against the Dark Arts, but since Harry Potter is on the eeeeevil list the reference would go astray.

    • Caroline Moreschi

      Best comment ever.

  • Melanie B

    That’s like when I was in the bookstore and heard a woman looking for book recommendations for a nephew and the clerk suggested The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and the lady responded that her sister-in-law was Christian and no books about witches were allowed. The poor clerk tried to explain, but no witches is no witches. My head spun all the way around. Um, hello! Narnia!!!! Some people just refuse to get it.

  • Manny

    Your neighbors are silly. I guess they’re devout in their own way, but s-i-l-l-y. It is my hypothesis that Evangelicals need (and underline and make bold, “need”) to differentiate themselves from Catholics or they feel they are no longer protesting something.

  • TheodoreSeeber

    It’s almost too late for my son. I’m trying though. Good thing his learning disability gives me an extended childhood. Now if I can just get him to stop drawing obviously anime inspired pictures of the triumph of Satan over God……because somehow he got the idea that evil can triumph over good.

  • Augustine

    Your neighbors seem to just have expressed the modern man’s obsession with control in an Evangelical way, calling evil what is not a clean-room, antiseptic, socially engineered boyhood. Of course, such attempts in control always blow up in our faces.

  • Michael O’Keefe

    My favorite scene in a childhood movie was the fight between Prince Philip and Maleficent, the mistress of all Evil. When she became a dragon, she managed to dash the shield of virtue from his hand, but he still triumphed with the sword of truth. How did this get put into the “princess movie” category?

    • Karen Cain

      Agreed, we have all boys here and that movie is a favorite.

  • David_Naas

    I’ve known several children raised that way — they turned out the most vulnerable to the blandishments of Uncle Screwtape (oohhh, lions and tigers and bears, oh my!)

    • George.a.da.Jungle

      Yes, unfortunately, those poor children will either go mad or will leave that religion when they’re a little older and get a taste of what’s out there in the world. But they won’t have developed any discernment, so what David said.
      Sad for them.

  • Karen Cain

    It’s not just evangelicals who do this. Some very traditional Roman Catholics filter out everything from pop culture, without evaluating anything. A few years ago, my nephew told my then-six year-old son that Spider-Man was a “bad guy” because he broke into people’s homes. What the what? I guarantee you this child had never seen a Spider-Man cartoon or movie, as the only videos allowed were Catholic bible stories. My poor kid, who was wearing a Spider-Man coat at the time, looked at me and I said, “I only remember Spider-Man going into people’s homes to save them from fires.” I asked my niece what her favorite novel was and she looked at me blankly. No novels, just stories of the saints, which are very well and good and proper, but what about Little House on the Prairie, for crying out loud?

    • Almario Javier

      I think it’s intellectual seepage from American Fundamentalist culture. A lot of these things, some though by no means all American traditionalists (and I say this as at least a sympathiser with those frequenting the EF) seem to have copied uncritically from their fundamentalist neighbors. It’s a feature unique to American Traddom, and to an extent American Catholicism generally.

  • Steve

    They think that Lord of the Rings is Satanic? That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard.

    • Betta Alexander

      That *and* Narnia? Seriously? Even my sister during her high holy roller fundamentalist days let her kids read LotR and Narnia.

      • dabhidh

        I remember several years ago I was in a bookstore in the Religion section and a group of goth-looking girls were scoffing at the presence of C.S. Lewis books in the Christian section. They actually were ignorant of Lewis’s Christian perspective and saw him only as a fantasy writer. This isn’t to dignify the idea that little kids shouldn’t read the Narnia series but only as an example of how very different kinds of people can get things ridiculously wrong!

      • Caroline Moreschi

        I know folks like that too. If anything Narnia was the worst because an ostensibly Christian writer was using “the occult” (i.e. fantasy) in his books.

  • Curtis Williams

    I love the Chesterton quote too. And the Elaine GIF! I got called out for being an idol worshipper on my FB page by an Evangelical friend the other day because I put up an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe for her feast day. As the only Catholic in a family filled with southern evangelicals and the odd Jehovah’s Witness, it’s water off a duck’s back at this point. I still can’t find a decent pair of trousers to hide my fiery red tail though.

  • ME

    Pokemon has been deemed evil in my neighborhood. Only the Catholic kids play it.

  • michicatholic

    You should call this the Hate-o-Matic blog.

    • Katrina Fernandez

      You should use the moniker, Hate-O-Matic Commenter.

      • AMoniqueOcampo

        Haters gonna hate!

  • victor

    Sadly your neighbors are right about Skylanders. We own all three Skylanders games and when all three portals of power are plugged in at once, it opens a very literal portal… to Hell. It also summons Stump Smash and Washbuckler and they are the worst for consuming kids’ souls. Them, and also the Eruptor who vomits fire.

  • Nan

    My elementary school was eeeeevil. Who knew? I think it was my 4th grade teacher who read the Lion the Witch and The Wardwrobe to us.

  • echarles1

    My parents’ neighbor (an otherwise sweet and Catholic lady) would not let her son have a toy gun, so he went around the yard shooting things with a stick.

  • kenofken

    If I moved in on that block and started conducting my full moon rituals outdoors, that would take the Evangelical heat off of you, guaranteed! :)

    • Katrina Fernandez

      Yes, but I’d probably get you drunk and try and exorcise you.

      • Heather

        I read that initially as “but I’d probably get drunk and try to exorcise you.” Either way it sounds like a good time.

      • kenofken

        The drunk part is easy. I’m a lightweight anymore, so one double of Glenlivet French Oak Reserve should do it (I said easy, not cheap :)

        As to the latter, the demon is a strong one. I foresee it will require a dozen or more lashes and extended verbal degradation, with Nine Inch Nails “Reptile” in the background. That’s the only thing these brutes understand! And corsets. Demons hate the sight of corsets! It might also be best to have Helle Thorning-Schmidt on hand, for safety’s sake. That red hair and those piercing gray Viking eyes can bring the worst of Hell’s minions to obedience :) …..I mean, that’s what the demonology texts say anyway……

        An epic exorcism would definitely put you in good stead with the Evangelicals, though they might get suspicious if they notice it gets repeated every week on the same evening :)

  • Ronald Weinrick

    “what a sad, unadventurous boyhood..” You got that right. They are inadvertantly teaching their son to avoid suffering (evil) when to be a man is to be willing to suffer for the sake of love.

  • Darryl Harb

    Once, while driving through NC listening to “Christian” radio, I got such an anti-Catholic earful that I decided that if I ever opened a parish there, i wouldn’t mess around, I would just name it “Great Whore of Babylon”. Call it “enculturation”.