Playing Magic: the Gathering is kind of like selling drugs.

I’m so torn.  I love Magic: the Gathering.  It’s a load of fun.  But according to the Women of Grace blog it could seriously have a negative impact on my life…

I would shut down the playing of this game as soon as possible. As you’ll read later in this post, it has caused problems in children who just want to have fun and don’t realize how harmful it can be to play a game that requires you to play the role of a sorcerer who uses magic powers to slay your enemies.

Oh geez…if only I’d known!  I thought I was just playing a fantasy card game.  I didn’t know this was a doorway into the actual occult!  Does Dr. David Burger know about this?  What about Emily Dietle?  We must get word to them at once, perhaps by mystical missive or on a great quest across the mountains of….NO!!!  Shit.

Tell me more about your research into this topic.

Thanks to the excellent research of Marcia Montenegro and her blog, Christian Answers to the New Age (one of my favorite sources for information about the occult and New Age), I can report that this game was created in 1993 by a mathematician and Dungeons and Dragons enthusiast named Richard Garfield. Sold by Wizards of the Coast, it is a trading card game using cards that are linked to five different kinds of magic (as in sorcery, not tricks) which are labeled as “red, blue, green, white or black.” Players, who represent sorcerers, use the cards to destroy their opponent before their opponent destroys them, mostly through the use of spells, enchantments and fantasy creatures such as Chaos, Orb, Bad Moon and Animate Dead.

“Like Dungeons & Dragons, the famed role-playing game, Magic is a challenging game that calls for intricate strategy and shrewd plays,” Montenegro writes. “However, that strategy is worked out within the dark context of the occult.”

Oh man.  I didn’t know.  So…it’s ok to believe in actual magic so long as you believe Jesus was the sorcerer, but to fantasize about magic that you don’t really believe in could lead me down the path to the  Got it.  So I need to really believe in wizardry in order to avoid becoming a slave to the occult.

And created by a Dungeons & Dragons enthusiast?  We all know what D&D does to children:

Terrifying.

But I’ve noticed a real lack of real world consequences laid out in the blog post for playing the game.  So far the Women of Grace article just says MTG is part of the occult and is working on the starting assumption that the occult is bad.  Can you maybe give me something that really conveys how immoral playing this happy, fun, enjoyable game is and how it could ultimately destroy my life?

She goes on to posit another type of game – called Pusher – in which players pretend to be dealers rather than sorcerers. “Each player is a drug dealer trying to win by selling the most drugs and getting rid of the competition. The game could be made complex by introducing challenges from the law, prison, gangs, impure products, etc. So, how comfortable would you be playing Pusher? Would the message against drugs and the role of pretending to sell drugs seem hypocritical to you? Sorcery is no less dangerous and no more moral than drugs; in fact, there is a long-time connection between the two.”

So pretending to cast Swords to Plowshares is like shooting heroin?  Well golly, I don’t want to shoot heroine, and I certainly don’t want to sell drugs.  I don’t want to do something that is so dangerous!  I guess I’ll just stop playing and deal with the withdrawals.  Maybe I can check myself into an MTG rehab facility for recovering users.

Hey!  I googled MTG rehab facility and they don’t have any.  And my research shows that nobody is in jail for selling MTG cards.  I’m starting to think that playing MTG and imagining myself as a warrior/sorcerer isn’t like doing/selling drugs at all…

Remember, both the Bible (Deuteronomy 18) and the Catechism (No. 2117) explicitly condemn sorcery, calling those who practice it “an abomination” to the Lord.

I can only wonder why on earth anyone would want to “pretend” to be someone that God has labeled an “abomination”?

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that we want to engage in “abominations” because they’re so damned super fun, with no apparent downside apart from the annoying finger-wagging of people who claim to be delivering real threats from god about what will happen in the afterlife if we do fun stuff.  But it seems to me the pestering of prim, old-fashioned mortals is the problem, not the abominations themselves.

Seriously, if you’re going to make eating shrimp an abomination, why make them taste so good?

If you’re going to make pre-marital sex a sin, why’d you make it feel so good (and a healthy part of human psychology)?

Dick move, god.

You know…never mind.  I think that post was just written by a group of humorless women searching desperately for something to shit their pants about.  I think MTG is ok.

March For Marriage: Tab A fits in slot B, perpetuates the species.
Magic: the Gathering (back in the saddle)
March For Marriage: NOM wants pictures of the march. My brother helped out.
Atheist vs. Theist Magic Set, Week 1
About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.


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