Pokémon is Anti-Christian, but It’s Not Anti-Catholic

Pokémon is Anti-Christian, but It’s Not Anti-Catholic August 23, 2016
(Title: ANA Boeing 747-400 in Pokemon special colours, landing at London Heathrow, Photographed by Adrian Pingstone, 2004; Wikimedia, PD, possibly Fair Use)

 

The Pokémon phenomenon is inescapable.

I might the only person who hasn’t played the game in my workplace, however, most of my co-workers–Christian, atheist, and everything in between–are avid players. Not that I’m dead set against it. I have so many other commitments that I haven’t had the time to launch the app, which is buried somewhere deep in the interface of my smart phone behind the Liturgy of the Hours, Flipboard, Twitter, and Feedly.

Yet, my secondhand exposure is quite strong, therefore I’ve been waiting for something theological to latch onto. A friend of mine posted a video to my timeline (see the bottom of this post), which might lead one to ruminate upon these lines from Eliot’s “The Hollow Men“:

For Thine is the Kingdom

For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

The conclusion of the poem is pessimistic in content. It surrenders after being unable to articulate the power and the glory of the Christian faith.

The suggested links that went along with my friend’s post gave me the theological straw to grasp at. A 1999 Time Magazine interview with the Pokémon creator unearthed the following gem about his motivations for creating the little monsters:

Tajiri: Yes. Pokémon is essentially the correct answer towards life, not Christianity. Everything presented in the game is the opposite of what Christians may believe. Some have said that the game promotes voodoo or magic, and I agree in the sense that there are many things that occur in nature that are inexplicable. Furthermore, the violence in the games is unparalleled. It may not show up in the actual graphics, but the brutality is made especially explicit in the Pokédex entries. Nature, again, played a big role.

Time: So those who say that the game is anti-Christian are correct?

Tajiri: I suppose so. I mean, some could say that the game supports Satanism. I don’t officially celebrate it, but I can understand why people would be attracted to it.

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