Thursday, February 21, 2008

Unicorns are real?!

As most of you know, I am a homeschool mom. My husband and I have been teaching our children at home now for six years. It is truly a blessing and we wouldn't have it any other way (unless God tells us to change). Right now we're studying ancient world history for one of our subjects. For the most part we follow a set curriculum but from time to time one or both of the kids will say, "Hey, Mom, can we learn about _________?", so of course I say "yes" and off we go. I really want to teach them what they are curious about; afterall they will retain more of the information if it's something they're interested in. Well, the other day, my daughter, Haley, asks if we can learn about unicorns and other magical creatures. She just bought a toy unicorn and it sparked her interest. I said yes, we could, and we would go to the library to see what we could find. Well, there wasn't as much at the library as I'd hoped, but we brought home what we did find. As we began delving into the subject, I realized that most magical creatures are not cute and cuddly like unicorns are. Most of them are from the dark side, if you will. So I began to wonder if this was such a good idea or not. I guess my concern stems from my own past experiences. You see, when I was about Haley's age, the friends I had in the neighborhood were all into Dungeons and Dragons. (I was the only girl in the neighborhood and this didn't make things easy at times. I don't really know why that's relevant, but there you go). So, one day my friend Mike (oh another off-the-subject fact - ALL of the boys, except ONE, were named Mike!) invited me over to play D&D. I said sure, because I had no clue what it was about. When I got to Mike's house, his dad was there along with the other Mike's, err, boys from the neighborhood. It was the middle of the day, but the room they were playing in was completely dark. Mike began trying to tell me how to play. Well, it's pretty involved and my head began to swim. I also felt extremely uncomfortable and a voice in my head kept telling me to get out of there! Now maybe it was the Holy Spirit (I accepted Christ as my Savior at a young age) letting me know that I shouldn't be experimenting with D&D, or maybe it was common sense telling me that a grown man shouldn't be home in the middle of the day playing with 9-13 years old - I dunno! Either way I said no thanks, and I went home. Well, it wasn't for years later that I really learned how dangerous D&D can be. I was thankful that I never started playing.

OK flash back to the present. With all the dark stuff that is out there, I can't help but wonder if I should expose my kids to any of it at all. I do feel somewhat responsible for Haley's interest b/c I remember from my KJV days that the Bible talks about unicorns. However, when I went to find the text, the information I read (link given above) mentioned that it was probably talking about an ox! BUMMER! So, anyway, we're back to unicorns being magical creatures and my doubts about teaching on this subject. Now, we have already discussed a little bit on Greek mythology and of course the Bible itself talks about idol worship, witchcraft and so on - albeit WARNING us to stay away from it all! So, where do I draw the line in the pursuit of education?

I suppose my concerns are really unfounded; after all if I had the wisdom and discernment to stay away from things like D&D when I was Haley's age, then surely she and Dawson will be blessed with the same. They are both believers and desire to please God. Still, I have my doubts. As Bill O'Reilly would say... "what say you?".


Tony M said...

I like unicorns.

Tony M said...

Wow... no more comments, eh? I suppose, were you to go back and carefully read my past blog posts, you'd know that I did play D&D when I was a teen; but for us it was nothing more than a game, similar to reading Sci-Fi/Fantasy, but an interactive version. My brother was an incredible DM (dungeon master), so we usually played in his world. It was D&D that led to my knowledge of the meaning of "i.e." (Latin for "that is") and "e.g." (Latin for "for example"), which are often used incorrectly (e.g., "i.e." is often used where "e.g." is more appropriate; "i.e." should be used to specify something - to clarify, or to expound on something that has only one meaning, while "e.g." should be used to provide a single example of something that actually has more than one example). It also taught me other Latin abbreviations. See this post for more.

Anyway, I agree that D&D can be dangerous - but it really depends more on the person, I think. Yes, Satan (or his associates) can use that; then again, they can use lots of things. I know that a lot of people have very strong feelings about the game... and if you don't want to be my friend anymore after this, I'll understand. :) (Hopefully that's not the case!) And, of course, if you feel it's wrong to play, you shouldn't play! As Paul said in Romans Chapter 14 (verse 23), "But if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and do it. For you are not following your convictions. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning." There are very definitely certain things that are specifically laid out in scripture as sin; then there are things that are really, to some extent, left to our judgment, our own convictions. And every person is different. And, no, this doesn't give license to do whatever you want just because the Bible doesn't specifically say, for example, "Don't play Dungeons & Dragons" (I know that you may find verses that would eschew the dabbling in the various religious aspects of D&D; I meant those words specifically; when we played, we did not get into the religious aspects of the game, particularly the various "gods" that are available in some of the expansion books - we knew who God is, and our playing didn't affect our thoughts about the truth). If you think something is sin, then you shouldn't do it, period! You can't simply say, "I don't think this is sin so it's ok for me to do" when, in reality, you do think it's sin. If your mind changes later, fine; but if you lie to yourself, well...

Note: I know it also says that we should not cause others to stumble, and I apologize if this fact of my past does so for anyone who knows me (in life or only virtually).

Ok, longer comment this time... someone tear it to shreds now, please...

Tony M said...

PS - I'm not currently a D&D player (although I don't necessarily consider playing D&D to be sin; your reaction to D&D may be different).

Christy said...

I appreciate your candor. I was writing and thinking these things related to MY past experiences (or should I say observations of others) with the game. The people that I personally saw who were wrapped up in it were pretty much messed up. There were probably other factors and not just D&D, but b/c of my Spidey senses going off the initial time I was introduced to D&D, I guess I've always shied away completely from it. You know me, I am an all or nothing kinda gal, so no dabbling for me! I didn't mean to come across as high and mighty or anything like that. I was just sharing my thoughts and concerns related to my kids and what I teach them. Savvy? :)

Scott Booker said...

To Quote Tony - because he said it so well.... "Anyway, I agree that D&D can be dangerous - but it really depends more on the person, I think"

I played D&D when I was a kid....but I never got that into it where it became my life and overtook my soul. LOL But I do completely understand your fears.

But I say....if a child wants to learn about is better that you teach them. (this goes beyond Unicorns...but also applies to this case) because if you dont....they will go find out themselves somehow...and they might not learn the truth.

Just my feelings on it.

Tony M said...

No, no; wasn't thinking of you being "high and mighty" or anything... just sharing my past experiences. I know there are those who should not participate in D&D or anything similar... um... can't think well at the moment, sorry if this doesn't make a lot of sense; hope it's not too strange.

Tony M said...

By the way, I forgot to add something somewhere in one of my comments. Back when we had JV at church, when we scrapped the canned JV lessons and started creating our own lesson series (centered around what the kids wanted to learn about), one of the topics was "other religions." We decided that, before going into the "other religions" lessons, we'd have a series on "Basic Christian Beliefs" in order to solidly ground the teens we were teaching before heading off into the dangerous (and we were careful as to which religions we included in the later sections, since there are some things that, if you're not fully prepared for, can be exceptionally dangerous to pursue, even for informational purposes).

Anyway, just wanted to add that...

Dean Lusk said...

Okay, that's not fair!

Back when I was a kid there was a show called "Zoom." In the lyrics of the theme song there were these lines:

Come on, give it a try.
We're gonna show you just why.
We're gonna teach you to fly high!
Come on and zoom! Come on and zoom, zoom!

I was disappointed regularly because I kept watching the show, hoping it was the one -- the one where they would teach me to fly.

And something similar happened with your post. I kept waiting for archaeological evidence, but it never came! Instead it was wild ox and bison... Rats!