Lent Day 14: Faith, Fandoms, and Fairy Tales

Although Fr. Robert’s meditation for today has nothing to do with my post, I’m gonna share it anyway.

While surfing the internet, I found a series of videos from the Preaching Friars YouTube that looks at Harry Potter through a Catholic perspective. You have no idea how awesome it is when things in culture can be seen through the eyes of faith.

In my college days, I had 2 sets of friends: one group of friends were Catholic, strong in their faith. The only problem was that excluding a handful of people, it was hard to talk about stuff other than religion, literature, and current events. It was good that I was growing in my faith, but back then I loved watching Glee and listened to Top 40 music. (Mea culpa.) The other set of friends shared my interests in TV and movies, but weren’t as religious as I was.

Now I find that I’m not the only one out there who compares popes to Time Lords  and sees a lot of Catholicism in everything I watch like anime and video games.

But why the desire to integrate faith and culture?

Fiction as a whole was born from mythology and fairy tales. Myths were stories told to explain why things happened or to inspire the people through the examples of characters like Odysseus. Fairy tales were told for similar reasons. Tolkein wrote this awesome essay about fairy tales that I highly recommend you guys read. GK Chesterton said: “Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon.”

In a similar way, Harry Potter and all the other fandoms in mainstream culture have become our fairy tales. They all teach us to have courage or something else about life that we have to overcome.

But we can’t let our fandoms blind us or consume us because in the end, they are fiction. They can’t become an escape from reality. Doug Walker of Channel Awesome goes into this in his video “When is a Movie Just a Movie?” Only apply what he said about film to anything that has a following, like a TV show or books. When it comes to anything we love, we have to practice the idea of detachment and indifference, which I will go into further detail sometime this week.

Today, I want you to think about how the things you love could be seen in the eyes of faith. If it doesn’t seem to be such, why is that thing in your life?