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Top 3 Children's Cartoons that Were Featured in Christian Video 'Deception of a Generation'
What Animated Cartoons Mean
Cartoons have gone a long way since their early times when black, white, and shades of gray were the only color schemes and virtually all the characters had "pie eyes."
In a cartoon, a majority of animals, items, or even extraterrestrial beings talk. To make things great for the mostly per-adolescent audience, the former are in anthropomorphic forms - some of them wear at least one article of human clothing. (A good example of this is Donald Duck, who wears a blue sailor's shirt and hat.) Some animals even walk like humans and literally do human things.
Cartoons in their proper, well-known styles defy the laws of physics by having their protagonists stand on mid-air until they look down to fall down or having them jump a high height when scared.
Which Children's Cartoons Deceive Their Christian Audiences?
Christians (the evangelical ones) often limit children to which cartoons are safe for them to watch and which are detrimental to their Godly values. For the latter, the ones that have the most occultic influence has to have either magic spells, witches, crystal balls, and other things that they consider "occultic." A good cartoon, they would describe, has to have good Christian values and Godly influence among its audience.
In the 1986 Christian video, Deception of a Generation, Pastor Gary Greenwald examines the influence of the dark side of certain children's cartoons. Based on the book Turmoil in the Toy Box (whose author, Phil Phillips co-stars in the video), this video makes parents reconsider having their progeny watch them. Here are three featured cartoon series in which Greenwald and Phillips deem them occultic.
#1: The 13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo (1985)
How can the lovable Great Dane Scooby-Doo provide a Satanic influence to children?
Greenwald shows the viewers a few excerpts from an episode of The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo ("When You Witch Upon A Star," the eighth episode). In the first one, Vincent Van Ghoul sends the titular protagonist, his nephew Scrappy-Doo, the child con-artist Flim-Flam, Norville "Shaggy" Rogers, and Daphne Ann Blake to retrieve the spell book from three witches, the Brewster Sisters.
Van Ghoul sends himself to the Zone of Eternal Evil to pursue the evil mist (the demon Marcella, who escaped the Chest of Demons) via a crystal ball. In another set of excerpts, Van Ghoul meets Marcella, who came to the Evil Zone via "spectral wind." She refreshes his memory by explaining that to haunt the earth, her sisters must make a brew at Stonehenge and chant Spell 13 from the Book of Spells.
Meanwhile, the witches stir a brew to prepare themselves to chant the spell as the remaining five protagonists watch and devise a plan to stop them.
Greenwald and Phillips noted the occultic paraphernalia and actions depicted in the cartoon, including the symbolic Chest of Demons. But Landover Baptist Church digs deeper in it as well as in the other cartoons of the Scooby-Doo franchise, especially with the characters. They claim that Shaggy is a drug addict because he is constantly hungry and always scared and suggestively believes that Scooby is talking to him.
The same holds true with Scrappy, who is also a "talking dog." (Of course, the "needle marks" on his arm are actually his hairs.) They also even view Daphne as a prostitute wearing skimpy clothing, although she wears a sleeved jumpsuit with long pants in a majority of the episodes in the series.
If Van Ghoul is a blatant archetype for an occultic warlock, his friend Flim-Flam is a sugar-and-cinnamon-coated magician. He communicates with his friend via crystal ball most of the time, uses a magic potion called the "Lotsa Luck Joy Juice," and cracks a magic whip to make it snow outside Scooby-Doo's parents' house.
To followers of fundamentalist Christianity like Greenwald and Phillips, a seemingly enjoyable Hanna-Barbera cartoon like The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo is spiritually hazardous to children's minds.
#2: The Smurfs (1981)
Another (shudder) Hanna-Barbera cartoon series, The Smurfs is seemingly safe for children. But to Greenwald and Phillips, they are practically zombies with a cute exterior. (They note that when someone dies, his face turn blue and his lips turn black, but the latter are actually lipless mouths.) They depict the only female of their kind, Smurfette, as a transsexual because she was magically transformed from a male to a female. They suggest viewers that they are homosexual because they are all males.
Phillips explains the real occult in the cartoon. Papa Smurf solves problems by casting magical spells, even using the word Beelzebub many times. (Beelzebub is a demon and a Hell prince.) At one episode, the protagonist Gargamel drew a five pointed star on the ground (a pentagram), lit candles at each point, and danced in it while chanting a magical spell. Then, a book opens up and gives him the powers needed to levitate off the ground and (unsuccessfully) destroy the Smurfs.
Greenwald and Phillips suggest the question: why would Hanna-Barbera put LGBT influences as well as witchcraft in a seemingly harmless cartoon?
#3: All the Media of the Care Bears Franchise!
Cute and cuddly, the Care Bears are multicolored bears who turn a callous, coldhearted person into a caring, amicable being. As well as warding off evil, they teach the world's population how to be civilized and live in harmony with one another. Their secret: the powers in their abdomens, particularly their "Care Bear Stare." (The Care Bear Cousins are non-bear animal species who do the same things as their counterparts do.)
The rays of color and light emitting from the bears' stomachs make Greenwald and Phillips deem the entire Care Bears franchise as an occultic one. The same thing holds true for the children turning to the bears when they have a problem instead of asking their parents or praying to God to rectify it.
In the first movie of the franchise, an evil spirit tempts the boy Nicholas to open a spell book and chant magic spells in order for him to gain friends. The two pastors conclude that even a cartoon with super-cute protagonists can negatively influence a child in terms of religion.
What Cartoons Do You Allow Your Kids to Watch?
My Final Words on the List
I grew up watching the cartoons and yet my parents raised me in a Roman Catholic household, making me practice their religion. They approve of watching any Scooby-Doo cartoon and buying Care Bears merchandise, despite the fact that Greenwald and Phillips deem it as evil.
If you are a fundamentalist Christian, you may be likely to watch the whole tape (and read the whole book in which it is based on) and start to believe what the pastors say. Then, you would ask your children to clear out the houses of the videos and toys and replace them with wholesome media franchises (like video series of cartoons with blatant Biblical allusions and their spin-off toys).
For me, I watched thin childhood and they didn't bother me spiritually.
Those experiences all boil down to this: parents decide which cartoons are appropriate or not. So, let them glean out toons they feel are potentially and/or morally harmful to their kids and allow them to watch what's wholesome. It doesn't matter if they are Christian, Muslim, or other religion.
Other Cartoon "Moral Panic" Hubs
- Pokémon is the Devil! (And Other Satanic Moral Panic)
Hubber thehands explains in his Hub why many Christians and other monotheist groups accuse Pokémon of having Satanic influences and how ridiculous the "moral panic" is.
- Are Some Cartoon Characters Promoting Homosexuality
Hubber michaelgrisso shows how ridiculous some (mostly Christian) focus groups accuse cartoon characters like Pooh, Tigger, and Spongebob Squarepants as homosexual.
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