Monday, January 12, 2009

Scooby Doo and the Pesky Dad

We have no television. Seriously, we don't have one in the house. Okay, well, it's in the house. It's down in the basement waiting patiently for disposal. A few months ago the boys were watching a video and the screen went blank and smoke rose from the back of the set. Strangely, it smelled like brimstone....

We haven't had cable or anything else for over three years now. Until the TV died the boys would watch a VHS tape or DVD from the library or I'd bring one home from work. Now we watch shows on the Internet. They love to watch the kids programing on EWTN. I've also introduced them to Bugs Bunny, Tom and Jerry, and all those great cartoons from my childhood. We watch things on and other sites as well (with a great deal of discernment and caution).

The other night the boys were asking to watch a video before bedtime. They had been good that evening so I decided that they could. We scrolled through the list of shows available and they asked to watch Scooby-Doo. I loved Scooby-Doo when I was a kid. Scooby, Shaggy, the Mystery Van and Old Man Withers were a joy to watch. It was a kids mystery show. A half an hour of trying to solve a mystery. We clicked on the link, they sat down on the couch and I grabbed some string to start making a rosary.

The video was Scooby-Doo: Where's My Mummy. This Scooby-Doo was not the one I remember. It was a new show, a modern one, an up-to-date Scooby-Doo. The characters were the same but the theme, the ideas, and the feel of it were quite different.

The show opened by talking about the Pyramids in Egypt in 41 B.C.E. Yeah, that was my first "clue". B.C.E. (Before the Common Era) used to upset me but now it just makes me laugh. You can try to deny Christ but what is the event that divides the "common era" in two?

So I cringed at the B.C.E. thing but let it pass. They then went on to talk about an army of undead or dead that had been amassed deep beneath the pyramids. The scene then showed a "witch" casting a spell, offering incense, and bowing down before an idol of Cleopatra. I grabbed the mouse and Scooby-Doo "vanished without a trace" amidst cries and protests. Within a few minutes they were laughing like madmen at the antics of Tom and Jerry.

Why did I feel so strongly about this "cartoon"? Why did something in me scream "turn off this garbage", "you can't allow this type of thing in your home"? Although many would dismiss my move as paranoid or call me a religious fanatic, I recognize that there is a battle, a war, being waged in this world. Although a "cartoon", it presented all the elements of the occult and paganism. I could not allow that to enter into our domestic Church.

Like Adam, parents, especially fathers, are told by the Lord to "keep and protect" the garden entrusted to us. I have been charged with the heavy task of "growing and protecting" my family. I have been instructed to "grow" them in the ways of the Lord while "protecting" them from the devil "who prowls about like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour." And all of this without the slightest promise that it will be easy. Possible, yes, with grace, but not easy.

I had to slay Scooby-Doo and do so ruthlessly for the good of my family. I know my boys. I know they imitate much of what they see. In the split-second before casting Scooby-Doo out of the house I imagined them casting spells and dreaming up incantations. Not happening here!

The battle is on and our enemy will stop at nothing. Nothing is off limits for him either. Your family, your marriage, and everything else is fair game. So, I just want to encourage you to take up your sword once more and fight. Be vigilant, the souls of so many depend on it. In the end I hope to hear the devil say, "and I would have gotten away with it too if it wasn't for that pesky dad!"


scmom (Barbara) said...

For that exact reason we don't allow Harry Potter. "It's all in fun" they say. But just open the door a crack...

Bev said...

Hi. I don't usually comment although I read your blog often.

I know this isn't the point of the post, but since you mentioned it, I thought I'd put in a plea for recycling the old TV. Your example as a parent is really important and you evidenced your commitment to that example by changing the program. You could provide an excellent teaching moment by doing this with your kids as well.

I'm not sure where you and your family live or I would have just looked up an exact place for you, but here are a number of links to articles that may help you find where to take your electronic garbage.

If you need any further help, feel free to email me and remove the spam part.

James M. Hahn said...

Barbara, I have not read HP yet. I did read a few of Phillip Pullman's books (Clockwork, The Scarecrow and His Servant). I wouldn't let my kids read Clockwork and I loved The Scarecrow. What do you say to those who would compare HP to say Lord of the Rings with all of its magic and such. Just curious and could use the insight. Thanks.

Bev, Thanks for the info. I guess that's why it has been sitting in the basement for months along with a computer montior and other things, I hate to just throw it in the trash. I'll look into those links. Thanks for reading.

scmom (Barbara) said...

I have not read any of the The Lord of the Rings books, so I'm afraid I can't compare. I have read many Catholic views on the comparison, but personally can't make one.

I wrote on Harry Potter a year and a half ago, and here's my view:

Mother's Day Weekend.