Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Buffy is the New Harry Potter

Apparently Buffy the Vampire Slayer is to adult women what Harry Potter is to children - a malevolent force undermining traditional religious values. Or something like that. An article from Britain's Daily Mail cites Buffy as the reason many women are abandoning Christian churches.

The article quotes Dr. Kristin Aune from the University of Derby.

'In short, women are abandoning the church. Because of its focus on female empowerment, young women are attracted by Wicca, popularised by the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

'Young women tend to express egalitarian values and dislike the traditionalism and hierarchies they imagine are integral to the church.'

In fairness to Aune, she strike me as a genuine religion scholar as opposed to the crazies over here in the states who want to ban Harry Potter. Nonetheless, I have a hard time believing that (1) the large numbers of women abandoning British churches are becoming practicing Wiccans and (2) Buffy's extremely unrealistic portrayal of Wicca has anything to do with the decisions of those who do. It's not like real Wiccans can actually utter an incantation and shoot glowing beams of laser light out of their fingertips.

Maybe it just has to do with the traditionalist factions of the Anglican Communion who have become increasingly shrill in recent years about the practices of more liberal Anglican and Episcopal churches. When folks who are supposedly part of your religion throw a fit because the United States Episcopal Church dared to put someone of your gender in charge, I can see where it would be pretty easy to conclude that you just aren't welcome.

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