War is peaceful co-existence

I don’t think C.S. Lewis was a violent man, but I think even he might have been moved to take up something heavy and begin bashing the exhibit that trades in his name as well as that of his beloved creation, Narnia, currently on display in Kansas City. The reign of the White Witch, for example, is used to alert viewers to the dangers of global warming. (For more on this, see the Teacher’s Guide.)

The whole thing comes across like Zen Buddhism meets Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Consider this summary of the experience, awaiting attendees as we exited the exhibit:

“Prince Caspian and the Pevensie children have shown that demonstrating virtue and making the right choices allows us to co-exist peacefully with others and live in harmony with Nature. As you leave Narnia and return to your own world, keep these ideas and important lessons with you as you continue on your own journey.”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Prince Caspian and the Pevensie children demonstrate virtue by lopping off the heads of bad guys, and kicking the Telmarines out of Narnia, all in service to God? How do you get peaceful agnostic co-existence out of that? Positively Orwellian.

Comments

  1. Tracy Milstead

    While I was reading what you wrote, I was thinking the same thing you ended up writing in your last paragraph. It is interesting to me to see how people can try to “twist” just about anything to serve their agendas. In my opinion, most of the time it only serves to make them look quite idiotic.

  2. Russell

    It is very hard to peacefully co-exist with evil without compromising your principles, see Paul’s letter to the church at Pergamum Rev 2:12. This is a significant problem with today’s church. We have rightfully sought to peacefully exist in an evil world, but we have done so by accepting the evil as okay and even participate in it.

  3. Jodi

    A chilling commentary on another example of how the PC “police” will spin cultural and moral issues for the next generation. I’m going to link this to my Facebook page.

  4. Ilya Lozovsky

    Ok, so it’s super corny, but isn’t it still better to teach children to “co-exist peacefully with others and live in harmony with Nature” than to “lop heads off of bad guys”?

    Narnia is all well and good, but in real life, there’s no such thing as infinitely bad, utterly dehumanized villains. No Sauron and no Orcs who are “bad” inherently, simply because of the way they were made. (I know I’m mixing fantasy worlds here, but just play along.) In real life, people are people. Sometimes screwed up, confused, and yes, doing evil things. But I certainly am not going to teach my children that some people are so debased and dehumanized that it’s okay to kill them without a hint of doubt or regret. Let’s leave that for our fantasy authors.

  5. Jonny

    Ilya,
    I’m going to posit, here, that it is not necessarily better to teach children to co-exist peacefully with others if those others are promoting evil. It may be a bit trite, but recall the phrase “All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to say nothing.” Given that he understands the Narnia series to be allegorical, I don’t think Tony is advocating literally 🙂 lopping the heads off of people, but I think he does a stand-up job of pointing out the importance of resisting evil. (For the record, none of C.S. Lewis’ or J.R.R. Tolkien’s characters are infinitely bad, utterly dehumanized villains; the White Witch, Miraz, the Telmarines, Morgoth, Sauron, and the orcs all chose paths of committing evil or, at least, cooperating with it. None was created for destruction.)

  6. Donna B.

    Ilya, I respectfully disagree. I think there are such people who are utterly dehumanized and infinitely bad.

    Agnostics/atheists such as myself and psychologists of whatever religious belief define them as sociopaths or psychopaths.

    Evil exists, regardless the name for it. Sometimes it is exhibited in the total lack of concern for others — this would be the sociopath, perhaps?

    Other times, it is exhibited in the total disregard of the value of others — ie, their lives are meaningless from birth. This would be the psychopath. A psychopath is evil, IMHO.

  7. Carol

    I took my 5 children to this exhibit last week, while visiting KC. In the room with Lewis’s desk and other personal belongings the guide gave our group some basic facts about what was going on in Lewis’s life at the time he wrote the books.
    My politically incorrect 13 year old son said, “He also wrote them to show how Aslan sacrificed his own life for Edmond’s….just as Christ has done for us.” The startled guide said, “Since this is a public place, and I like my job…we can’t discuss that aspect here.”

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