More about the family library. . .
My husband and I were in town for a midwife appointment this morning. On our way home he said, "Shall I get the paper?"
I answered, "Well," and hesitated.
We used to be regular subscribers, and the paper came directly to the house. Every morning there was a race among the children to see who could get the funnies first. Some of the funnies weren't really funny, and some had to be cut out of the paper before the children saw them. The rest of the paper was mostly bad news of the sort I wouldn't even want to think about, much less see them boldly printed for all to see. Certain pictures would get torn out, or black marker would be used liberally.
Finally the subscription ran out. We were ready to move, and decided not to renew until we were settled. We've been "settled" for nearly four months now, and never did get around to renewing the subscription. Now and then my husband would buy a paper when he was in town. Sometimes he'd bring them home, but more and more often he was throwing them away before he got home. The ones he brought home seemed more and more disgusting to me, and I cringed at the thought of my children reading even the "good" funnies. My 16-year-old son commented on the way the paper seemed to sensationalize the news by reporting four or five different occurances of the same hideous crime on one page. All the children agreed that one comic strip was basically nothing more than a teenage soap opera repeating the same basic story over and over and over.
So today when my husband asked if we should get the paper, I hesitated. I did NOT want that thing to come into the house any more. Yet as a pastor, he wants to keep abreast of basic issues going on locally and around Canada. Knowing that, I suggested he get it, but not take it in the house.
We got home, and the 16-year-old asked if we'd gotten the paper. I said we did, that his dad had looked through it, and that we had thrown it away. He asked if that one paper had been that bad, or were we just not going to have the paper in the house any more. I said the paper would not be in the house any more because the news was horrid and the funnies really weren't funny any more.
"Even-----[name of family-centered strip that used to be my favourite]-----is . . . is . . . unrealistic and . . . and . . ." I couldn't think how to describe it.
"Radically anti-Biblical in its theoretical suppositions?" my son finished for me. (The dictionary is one of his favourite books.)
"Exactly!" I said, "Thank you. I couldn't have put it better myself."
I mean, really: several strips in our local paper show the mom ruling the house and bossing the dad around like he's just another one of the children; one strip features a witch and some trolls as the main characters; others show siblings fighting with each other and preferring the company of friends more than family; and so on. All this is supposed to be funny. Is it? No, it's completely anti-scriptural. Is sin (because that's what it is) supposed to amuse us?
Am I saying that no one should ever buy a newspaper again, or that families should not use it in the education of their children? No, not necessarily. But it is one more area in which Christians need to keep their spiritual eyes wide open in considering what will spiritually benefit the family and what will not.
God's grace to you,