Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Generation Hex

The kids were off to school today. Mia is going all day, every day now, so it's a big change for both of us. I drove her in to school so I could meet her teacher and help ease her into the first day. She's very excited, because her kindergarten class is in a different hallway than the other four classes, which means that she gets a locker! The teacher was nice (and starts off her morning just like I do: with a Mountain Dew, so I like her already!). I went to work and had originally planned on running some errands to fill my afternoon without Mia, but my plans fell through.

But God was watching out for me. As I was leaving the pharmacy, I ran into one of my spiritual mentors, Lorna. We see each other occasionally in town and always plan on getting together, but never make the plans. We were both at loose ends, so we ran to Burger King for coffee (a Mocha Joe for me) to chat. She actually wanted my advice about something, which just amazed me. Lorna is 40 years older than me and so far ahead of me spiritually, the idea that she wanted to get my point of view on something was uplifting. We talked for 45 minutes in the restaurant and another half hour in the parking lot, and we both definitely agreed meeting was a God thing. We both needed it.

Generation Hex by Dillon Burroughs and Marla Alupoaicei is a Christian guide to understanding the rapidly growing religion of Wicca. I have some family members, people I really care about, who are Wiccan, so it was important to me that this book handle the religion in a respectful manner, and the authors handle that thoroughly. But I need to digress for a moment. I am so sick and tired of Christians who have decided that Harry Potter and Halloween are gateways to Wicca or New Age. My five-year-old daughter Mia understands that just because someone dresses up as a witch for Halloween doesn't mean that they are one, nor does it make being a witch okay for her. My fifteen-year-old daughter has read the entire Harry Potter series 25+ times, and she doesn't have an interest in Wicca (trust me on this). Kids are smart enough to separate the activities in a fictitious world and a goofy holiday from reality. Christianity is supposed to be the religion of freedom, because we have been freed from sin by Christ's death on the cross. Paul wrote in Romans 8: 1-2 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. Christianity isn't supposed to be a set of things to check off, and enjoying Harry Potter and celebrating Halloween doesn't make me any less of a Christian, and I'm really tired of Christians who try to make me feel that way. The authors are attempting to reach out to the Christian community, and especially parents and youth group workers, in this book, but when the second chapter is an attack on Harry Potter, many of those people are probably going to toss the book because the authors lose credibility. I like Dillon Burroughs, and I respect him enormously. I've read several of his other books, but on this, I stand firm. Okay, rant over. The authors address many of the misconceptions about Wicca: they are not Satanists (they don't even believe he exists), and they do not participate in animal sacrifice. Two of their major rules: An harm ye none, do as ye will (which means as long as you don't harm anyone else with your actions, they are acceptable), and the Rule of Three (which says that whatever you do, good or evil, will come back to you three times) encourage treating others well and doing good in the world. In fact, the majority of members have a strong love for the environment. The authors discuss the strengths about the Wiccan faith and what Christians can learn from them: ecology, charity, acceptance and respect for others. Many Wiccans are women who embrace the Goddess aspect of the faith that they feel is missing in Christianity, and others have been hurt by legalistic Christians. People who wish to reach out to Wiccans need to respect and care for them first as people and not be judgmental. The differences between Wicca and Christianity are made plain and the authors encourage churches to be more welcoming. Other than the issues I ranted about above, this is a good, solid book about the true beliefs of Wicca and how Christians can reach out to them.

Today's pic is Mia in her first day of school outfit next to my amaryllis.


Dillon Burroughs said...

Thanks for your comments on our book. While you may not like a Wicca book talking about Harry Potter's influence, I am asked about it in every interview and discussion I have on the topic. We felt the need to at least discuss the issue and did our best to address real concerns parents may have without the hyper-critical attitude seen in some writings. We included one brief chapter on the issue. One other major book on Wicca we saw from a Christian writer devoted over have of his book. Those unfamiliar with the content of the series have found the section very helpful.