Saturday, August 14, 2010
More Bad Teaching From the Episcopal Church
Here are some excerpts from the story by the Gazette’s religion writer, Molly Rossiter:
Shortly after 10 a.m. Tuesday, 40 or so elementary school-aged kids donned colored sashes and prepared for their first Quidditch match. Though Quidditch, a game played in the wildly popular 'Harry Potter' series, typically involves flying through the air and on broomsticks, these particular players were grounded, swatting at playground balls rather than quaffles and chasing badminton birdies instead of the golden snitch.
Instead of taking place at Hogwarts, a mythical school of wizardry, this game was played in the grand hall at Trinity Episcopal Church in Iowa City. In place of young witches and wizards, the players were all area vacation Bible school students.
…At 'Wizards and Wonders: A Hero's Journey with Harry Potter,' vacation Bible school, held Aug. 9 to 13, students learn Christian life skills with parallels drawn between the Bible and 'Harry Potter.' The quidditch game, for example, required everyone to play their roles in order for it all to work and was a lead in to the 1 Corinthians lesson of one body, many parts, teaching cooperation.
Other lessons included the call to worship, linking Moses' call from the burning bush to the letters Hogwarts students received, calling them to learn the skills they need to be protected against the evil Voldemort, and the differences between magic and miracles.
…Meg Wagner, who organized the vacation bible school at Trinity Episcopal Church, where she is the director of Christian formation, points out that J.K. Rowling, the series' author, 'has even said that the Christian themes (in the book) are pretty obvious.' 'It's captured a generation of readers, and I'd rather they read it as a Christian and see the similarities,' Wagner said. …
By incorporating a popular book and movie series into the curriculum, she said, the Christian lessons aren't as obvious.
'It's like they're doing it without the kids really noticing,' she said.
Excuse me!?!? Isn’t the idea of VBS to make kids UNDERSTAND the Christian faith, i.e. NOTICE IT? What sort of “Christian themes” could possibly be in Harry Potter stories?
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised about such drivel coming from a church whose denomination is about as liberal as they come.
Now, I know there are many other VBS programs out there which are aberrational or downright stupid things to be using for teaching about Christ and the Christian faith. It is abhorrent that churches have resorted to these things just to be “relevant.” It is no wonder our kids get bored with church without the frills; they have been won to entertainment and must be kept by entertainment.
How about we go back to scripture on which to base our VBS programs, and leave the entertainment business to the world.