This is my favorite part of the book y’all! Now, read along not ahead.
This is the part where we refuse to be made to feel bad by the disingenuous and dumb accusations and objections of a culture that is Godless, gritless, and gross. Whew! What a mouthful! Wasn’t that fun?!
This week’s decent into Babylonian bu… rubbish… Babylonian rubbish… is a ride so fantastical and trippy, Wonka himself would be begging for the lights to come up and the shrooms to be tombed. We saw the saintly and censoring eyes of the world turn to Roald Dahl’s smutty books–like Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and BFG. Very dangerous books for obvious reasons… SMH.
All while still overlooking the pornographic content allowed and encouraged in public schools. Annnnnd… screaming “Book Banner!” at anyone who questions their adult presence next to Clifford, the BRD (Big Red Dog). If you are thinking this adventure into self-censorship of the relatively benign seems a little silly in light of our recent most definitely malignant Super Bowl performances… clearly G rated… the Grammy’s continued tradition of “All hail, Sex and Satan” performances, you are correct! Not to mention pretty much every rap song right now. All just terribly wise and beneficial for society.
How do you know when your righteous indignation is actually righteous?
- It aligns with Scripture. (That’s a big one.)
- It is consistently critical.
- It is equitably applied.
With those three boxes checked, true conviction demands action. But our culture’s outrage, offense, and intervention couldn’t be more ridiculously directed. And this is a prime example.
Publishers and estates now hire “sensitivity readers” to rewrite children’s books to make sure they are “safe” for today’s readers. This is a preemptive surrender because it is going to be demanded eventually. Ah, but anything to keep the children safe!! Even though you can have access to gender transitioning services after lunch, see a drag show at a pep rally, and learn about wanton sex in the library. Makes perfect sense. Shall we address the academic regression and violent aggression at school, or no? They are really going after the axis of evil aren’t they? Veruca, Violet, and Charlie Bucket.
It is condescension cloaked in consideration. Tomorrow’s readers will be incapable of rational, discerning, thought. And that’s not a fear. That’s the goal. And it’s working.
If we really want to address true enemies of society, can we talk about secular rap music for a minute?
Rap is far more widely available, influential, and accepted. Matilda is for a season. All my mom friends, me included, still know all the words to California Love and none of us remember if Matilda is a latchkey kid or an orphan, or why Charlie’s grandparents are bedridden.
Rap and Rihanna are far more responsible for shaping entire generations, cultures, and ethnicities than Willy Wonka or the Cat in the Hat. I know this because you see hip-hop fashion. But you do not see breetches and sneetches in Kim K’s insta. How quickly we forget. They already came for Seuss. And won. Remind me again, which is more harmful today… LGBTQ+ culture or Lorax culture?
You have whole dialects, language, and slang influenced by music. Ain’t nobody quoting Dahl or Seuss unless it’s graduation day and they have “brains in their heads and feets in their shoes.” I couldn’t be more out of the mainstream and even I know what a crib, crip, cap, nine, spilled tea and bussin’ is… Bruh. I know, so edgy right?
Which content is truly harmful, in that it degrades by ethnicities and objectifies by gender? Dahl or Da Stallion? Is that even a question? Which content erodes stability in the home and community? Have you heard of Cardi B? Lizzo removed the word “spaz” from a song after backlash. Great. Very helpful. A moral victory for everyone. Have you heard her song Moone Walker? No objections there? Are we calling that one good to go? And honestly, rap is a convenient example but plug in any genre. “New” country music is mostly sleeping around and drinking, just in a field under the stars instead.
Last week a group of moms won a $100k in a lawsuit against their own school district for having their right to free speech infringed upon. The moms had been banned from a schoolboard meeting for reading aloud from a book they were trying to have removed, and the school was refusing to remove, from the library. The book was so sexually explicit that it was deemed unfit and inappropriate to be read publicly and the women were arrested and physically removed from the meeting for sharing excerpts. But a sixth grader CAN STILL check it out without his parents knowing about it. And you’re gonna tell me that Augustus Gloop being described as “fat” is the bigger problem for kids?
Ahhh… the idiocy of immorality and the hypocrites it makes of us all. Little Sally can find out about exploring anonymous homosexual encounters when her math is done, but we’ve spared her from reading that anyone can ever be called “ugly.” We roll our eyes at the absurdity and then go ahead and add children’s classics to our Amazon cart because we know it’s just a matter of time before they are all edited “for our good.”
This is what spiritual confusion does. It makes the least helpful solution the right one, while ignoring the much greater threats or harms. Spiritual confusion then puffs up with self-righteous pride over its ineffective, unnecessary effort and empty triumphs. This is putting Cheese Whiz on paper cuts while we bleed out of mortal wounds from our side. The broken are still broken, the damagers still damage and no one is better off. The Enemy wins another round because he successfully led sheep who ignore their Shepherd, by their noses off a cliff. But thank goodness we stopped ableist language!
We are a little sadder, a little more frustrated, a little more hopeless–as the devil supplants roots of creativity, maturity, history, thought, and the ability to reflect or grow and change… with fragility, fear, and the most tomorrow-robbing temporal thinking.
The cancel culture is the fruit of joyless, insecure, and scared people who, void of true conviction to guide, heap condemnation on anything and everything. It’s quite sad. And no one will be safe. Not Matilda, not Charlie, not Scout or Atticus Finch. Certainly not our children or children’s children.
Roald Dahl and Dr. Seuss are not perfect, their words are not the words of God, and we shouldn’t over-weight, over-state or over-cherish them. But they are words that have value both in their inadequacy and influence. They reflected the people, the imaginations, and fears of their day. Thus, they can be learned from. And friend, believe me, today’s good books that are yesterday’s Caligula? They too reflect the people of our day with painful accuracy.
How cunning the devil is. To Kill a Mockingbird is too dangerous for school, but drag queen story hour, transgendered idolatry, and teaching a new racism are the good fruits of our “new wisdom?” These are the things that make us better? And childish imagination is the thing that makes us unsafe?
Shelves of truly offensive and dangerous material are getting zero shade or scorn right now. Our kids have more access to evil and evil has more access to our kids than ever before. How are we still not talking about trafficking, Epstein’s guest list, or the porn industry? But Sam Sham from Flim Flam is the enemy of innocents and the Oompa Loompas are his partners in crime?
Wake up. We are the most ignorant literates the world has ever known. Half our problems are because we don’t read or travel enough to be entitled to an opinion. Call me a “Book Banner” for thinking sexually explicit material doesn’t belong in schools. Call me a “monster” for laughing at the thought of Aunt Sponge being “tremendously flabby.” It bothers me none. I am called to true virtue not virtue signaling, by the most dangerous and glorious Good Book of all.
We are not called to win or defend our reputations. Man’s approval was never promised to us. But we also do not concede our position on matters of goodness or holiness. We have the luxury of having an absolute standard of true and good, and the added ease of needing to please only HIM. Love what HE loves. Object to what offends HIM.
“There’s no earthly way of knowing which direction we are going.” Truer words have never been spoken, Mr. Wonka. The Good Guide is not earthly at all.