I need a break from all things SPD and this topic has been on my mind since Thursday when I received an odd email. First of all, let me please give this disclaimer: I am not poking fun at anyone's religion. I staunchly believe people should be allowed to worship as they see fit.
OK, so onto the email. I belong to MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) which gets together twice a month to socialize and ostensibly to offer support to mothers of small children. It is supposed to be a non-denominational group that promotes Christian values. Well, the group had planned a "Fall Ball" for Saturday for the whole family to attend. They had food planned and hay rides, etc. and it promised to be fun for all.
On Thursday I got an email elaborating on the magician that was supposed to be coming to the Fall Ball. In the email, D said when she heard there was going to be a magician, she thought, "Yikes, magic!" and assumed many others felt the same way. She then put everyone's fears to rest by assuring us that the magician was a Christian and that he would start his act by informing the kids that there is no such thing as magic. He would talk about God's miracles and then end the show with a discussion of the Plan of Salvation, which I assume means he would talk about Jesus coming to save the world. She concluded by saying that they wouldn't be exposing the kids to any voodoo.
I was baffled by so many aspects of this email. And please, anyone reading this who can shed some light on my questions, let me know. First off, are there really people out there who think "Yikes!" when the hear the word "magic"? What could possibly be so scary about a magician performing for kids? I believe in God quite fervently. I pray, go to Church, etc. but I have no problem with my children believing in magic. To me, it is the same as kids believing in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. What is so dangerous about a couple of card tricks and pulling a bunny out of a hat? I don't see at all how this could undermine a child's belief in God or Jesus. What am I missing here?
To be honest, I wasn't quite sure how I felt about some stranger (whether Christian or not) informing my child that magic doesn't exist. Isn't magic what childhood is all about? I love to see the looks of wonder on my kids' faces when they see something unexplainable. Why would I want someone to come along and squash that in my kid at the age of 5? It won't be long before he starts to feel disillusioned about so many things, why force it sooner?
Another problem I had was that the author of the email (and presumably other leaders of my MOPS group) equate magic with voodoo. Why would anyone assume that magic and voodoo are the same thing? I just don't understand.
Maybe there really is dark magic out there and voodoo, maybe I am just naive because I have never encountered it myself. But, I guess I am more worried about real evils that I hear about on the news: child pornography, child molestation, rapes, etc. This magic thing seems like a distraction from the real evils out there. I am more worried that the magician performing at a party is a pedophile than I am about my kids believing in magic.
Like I said before, I don't mean to belittle anyone's beliefs. I have just never encountered anyone who was so freaked out about magic before. Since moving to this smallish town 5 years ago, there are just so many religious issues that I have come into contact with that baffle me. Another one is the crazy controversy over Harry Potter. But, I suppose that is fodder for another long rant/post.