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From a concerned mother: I homeschool my 5 children . . . . I sadly let my children get a little involved in Pokemon. It began at VBS of all places.... I was also sick that week and when I brought them home each day I went to bed to sleep. They began watching the program while I napped.
I do not care for the Asian cartoon style but could not put my finger on what was wrong with the program. I did not know there was a game also. I told my children I would not buy them one thing of Pokemon. Other children gave them cards.
Tonight I did a on-line search on [note from Berit: I deleted her words in order not to give any clues for children who might be tempted to explore the sites she found] I had to tip toe around site because they were all PORN SITES. I could not really look into it but it looks like cartoon porn. I do not know if this is something you should pursue, but I wanted it known.
Who would have thought that one of these sites would have a FAQ. What it said was... Anime is japanese animation (cartoons) and Manga is japanese comics. [Deleted word] is defined as:- Abnormality. Sexual perversion. Used also to describe a certain class of anime or otaku .... Lit. "Change of State", two Kanji.
This is big business in Japan. They are on the internet censored and people use software to uncensored them. (blurring of body parts removed). To me it looks like the artists are making clean versions and dirty versions.
From Anonymous (Re: Pokemon? Dangerous? Give me a break): I have to say that you fundies REALLY out did yourselves this time! And i thought Pat Robertson was nuts! It is really apparent to me that your article was made out of complete ignorance and pure stupidity on your part. What is so bad about Pokemon!? I dont get it. Oh, thats right, YOU PEOPLE CAN'T LEAVE ANYTHING ALONE!!!! You think that you can censor everything that conflicts with YOUR perception of what God wants us Christians to do. Well, I've got news for you, not everyone agrees with your views. Not everyone thinks that Pokemon is this "evil" entity that will posses our children at will. And if you tell that to a child they are Not going to believe you. what you need to do is reevaluate what you said about Pokemon and APOLOGIZE to all the Pokemon fans about what you said.
From a concerned mother: I just wanted to let you know that after reading your article regarding pokemon..and then reading all of the attacks on you for writing it....I am amazed! The attacks from nonbelievers was no shock but the attacks from "Christians" floored me. The Bible says that once we become HIS, He sends His Spirit to dwell within us. I was immediately uncomfortable inside about the pokemon...from the first moment my children showed an interest. My internal warning signals were screaming, but I had no tangible proof. I began to pray for God to either give me peace about it...or show me something TANGIBLE. Sunday, God put the proof in my hands. My son had gotten a comic book, actually there were 4 in a package. The first three were fine...nothing openly evil...etc... But in the forth one there was mention of psychics, translations, and even one of the pokemon who "SUCKS OUT SOULS." These are actual WORDS from the magazine so I am not "reading" anything into it. The Bible says to focus on things that are lovely and pure... I'm sorry. sucking out souls is not my idea of lovely OR pure. satan is clever and he wants Christians to be sucked in by seemingly innocent things. My 7-year-old son, who is a born again believer, was telling me how cute the pikachu is...and God put it in my heart to explain it to him this way....Pikachu is cute..and then he changes and gets a little meaner looking and a little meaner looking until he is evil looking. That's the way sin is...it can start out looking pleasant to our eyes and other senses...but little by little, it gets uglier and uglier until we are completely overtaken by it.
I appreciate your article. Thank you for having the courage to write it. As Christians, I think we all have become desensitized to evil...we are to be in the world and not of it. And nonbelievers are always gonna have "labels" to throw at christians....I'd rather be known as a fanatic for Jesus than for anything else that I know. I will seek my acceptance in Christ...not in man. God bless.
From Steven Claypool: I am a Christian, raised as a Christian, and continue to follow God in the best way I can. But when I read some of your articles, I think that God must have bestowed a lack of reason and intelligence to His followers. Have you ever considered that these items could simply be a form of escape from this life that the Dark One challenges us with. I know that I am going to heaven and I do not believe I am damned for participating in what I consider just games. When I was younger I played Dungeons and Dragons and I have never taken it past that. You underestimate the minds of this generation. All I can say is "Lord, please save us from the 'true believers'."
Walking in His Light,
Brownsville Assembly of God, Pensacola, Florida <http://www.geocities.com/~oflare/Pensacola.html>
Anonymous: I used to play Dungeons and Dragons, and I turned out fine. Yes, one person did kill their parents. Another killed themself. Since they were that unstable, something else could have triggered the same response .
"Children everywhere are learning the pagan formulas for invoking "angelic" or demonic spirits through multicultural education, popular books, movies, and television. It's not surprising that deadly explosions of untamed violence suddenly erupt from "normal" teens across our land."
Oh yeah, in high school I took Voodoo101.
Anyhoo, all I have left is one question. Why are you wasting money to keep that site up?
From Andria Sparacino: I began having real concerns when my children came home from school lately talking about Pokemon. Since then, that is practically all they talk about. And they kept pestering me to buy them something of Pokemon. I didn't know what it was but I just didn't have peace about them. I began digging for information and I came upon your article. It has answered all of my questions (and fears) about the product. Again, Thank you!
Anonymous: I think your Pokemon article is nothing but over zealousness by someone who has no respect for anything but his or her religion. When has teaching children knowledge been bad? Who cares if they believe in magic and the such? THEY'RE JUST KIDS!! They should have an active imagination. In fact, using the same logic, teaching Christianity is wrong. Young kids are learning to believe in some omnipotent being with magical like powers. Then they believe it's possible for them to be ascended into some high place later on in life. It's almost the same thing. Anywho, that's my opinion
From Betty Stedman: Last night we talked with the boys about the cards, going over the very questions from your websight. We even used some of the dictionary definitions when they asked what words like "psychic" and "divination" meant. Considering their ages (10, 7, and 5) they understood our concerns and were willing to admit that it was something we'd be better off without. We asked them to help us come up with some healthy alternatives and they were excited about that prospect. We then asked them what we should do with the cards. Sell them? (Why would we want other children to play with them if it is not good enough for us?) Save them? (It would only serve as a temptation to play with them.) We finally came to the unanimous conclusion that we should rip them up and throw them in the trash. We practially made a ceremony out of it and talked about how it was a great example of how we need to be willing to cut out anything from our lives that might lead us astray and hurt our relationship with God.
The next comment is a response to the article, "Japanese cartoon triggers seizures in hundreds of children." http://cnn.com/WORLD/9712/17/video.seizures.update/ http://www.wired.com/news/news/business/story/9231.html http://www.wizards.com/news/pressrelease.asp?19990913
From J. Morgan Drake (Re: Pokemon Seizures): I just read your article concerning the seizures which were experienced by hundreds of children in Japan after watching that one episode of Pokemon. Please do not be fooled into thinking this was an "unfortunate and unforeseen after-effect". The people who designed these characters and especially those involved in the decisions behind the cartoons, knew perfectly well what would happen when children watched this episode. They also knew that by exposing these children to a scene which would cause seizures these children would be opened up to exposure to demonic possession.
As a child, and I have heard this from others who experienced similar problems as children, then came to Christ, I contracted a sickness which caused seizures in me. For nine years I had to take Phenobarbital in order to control these seizures, which carried into my adult years and only ceased as a matter of coming to Christ in salvation.
I know from my experience and what the Lord has shown me that seizures are caused on the spiritual level in order to open up minds/souls to the spiritual realm. This allows areas in children to be open to demonic influence and enough of this will cause those experiencing the seizures to become possessed. It is recorded in the Bible as well, when Jesus cast the demon out of the boy who had seizures and was thrown into the fire.
Those who made this cartoon are well aware that this reaction would occur, but they did so in order to follow the dictates of their "masters" who are not of this world. I know that were you to print this report you would receive greater criticism than you already have, so I don't expect you to say anything about this; I just wanted you to be aware of it.
Serving together in Christ,
J. Morgan Drake <firstname.lastname@example.org>
October 27, 1999
Anonymous: All of this is complete %#%# [Berit replaced an obscenity with these symbols]. I've played Dungeons and Dragons happily since I was in 7th grade, and I'm just fine.. I'm quite well aware of you alarmists, I've seen your kind before. You were the same people who tried to get people to ban Dungeons and Dragons in the early years due to its "overwhelming demonic influences," influences I've never seen. I've played Dungeons and Dragons for going on 20 odd years, and I've never had a player try to summon, control, or otherwise interact with demons or devils, just send them running back where they belong. The license plate on my car is "Paladin" which I took from the game. A Paladin, if you're not aware, is a holy warrior, a defender of all that is good and pure, an example one hopes other people will follow, someone to look up to.
The only things I ever learned from playing Role-Playing games, D&D and the many others I've been involved with, is teamwork and thinking .
Personally, I'm offended. One would think you'd have better things to do with your religion than use the power you wield to make people hate other people.
It is your kind of people that make me sick to my stomach. Sorry for such a cutting letter, but someone with some experience and intelligence had to formulate a useful reply to your obviously erroneous statements.
From Bill Nesbitt: My son (10 years old) now has collected several hundred dollars worth of pokemon cards. I emphasize the "dollars" part, because that's what drew me in with him. I saw the craze developing all around me and thought, hey, what a great opportunity to invest in some collectibles that are going to significantly increase in value over the next few months. I basically saw this as the next beanie babies. Then I read your article and the letters you've received (the hate mail was every bit as elucidating as the letters of support), and began to put together what till now has been just a vague feeling about all this business.
Now, my son doesn't even play the game -- he just collects the cards -- but he knows all about each of them (there are now, what, 200 or so different ones since the "fossil" cards came out) and spends a great deal of time studying them and discussing them with his friends. He doesn't play the Nintendo game or the Gameboy game, but, again, he knows all the rules and even shares with his friends hints and tricks that he's learned from Internet "cheat" sites.
as a concerned Christian parent, I'm now reconsidering the whole pokemon phenomenon. Even though my son is involved only peripherally, it still is beginning to worry me. His involvement to this point has been completely innocent, and I have seen no ill effects, but I'm well aware of how subtle spiritual influences can be. I go to a very conservative interdenominational church, and I'm surprised it's not come up in the pulpit yet. I'm going to have a talk with one of my pastors about all this. Thanks for crystallizing for me the suspicions that have been clanking around in my head.
From E. Thunderwalker: It disturbs me that "christians" such as yourselves are content to take the money of the gullible sheep you minister to and espouse misconceptions, misunderstanding, and outright lies in your attempt to save the souls of the people of the world. Your PokeMon article is but one example. It contains more lies and creative interpretations that I would care to shake a stick at .
Berits response: May I just remind you that we didnt ask you pay anything to enter our site. If the "gullible sheep" whose money we "take" refers to those who buy books, let me assure you that the income we receive from the books sold at a discount pays less than half of the cost of maintaining this website. You may laugh, but we truly consider our work a gift from the God we serve. Because we love Him, we want to encourage His people and anyone else who wants to listen. We are not trying to censor Pokemon or the other games you love. You are free to choose your own path and ignore us. And we are still free to help children follow God in a world that doesnt know Him. You are always welcome to join His family, but I can understand why you despise us right now. Jesus, our Lord, describes the gap between us well:
"If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you All these things they will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. He who hates Me hates My Father also. (John 15:20-23)
Anonymous: pal listen up, i've been a christain my whole life and i've never read something as stupid as your pokemon article, you don't even know the concept of the show or the game! All you are doing is trying to scare kids into not buying or playing or collecting them anymore .. A 9 year old got frightened by stories his mom told him and burned his cards, who cares? This fad is like power rangers, teenage mutant ninga turtles and other popular shows and they've come and gone, you talk about how horrible magic is then heres a suggestion MAKE AN ARTICLE ABOUT THAT!
From Lynne in Florida: Just want to send my support & agreement after visiting your website for the first time. One thing I have said so often thru life, "There are none so blind as those who refuse to see." The ones that frighten me most are those who claim to be true blood-washed Christians, such as the young man from Brownsville Assembly in Pensacola. We must earnestly pray God will open the eyes of these blinded ones so they will see the dangers all around in our sin-ridden world. Greed has fueled the flames behind the creative inventions that ensnare so many hooked on entertainment.......to their downfall. Creativity given by God has been stolen, twisted and defiled by Satan in people too ignorant or indifferent to channel themselves into virtuous endeavors. Thus, we have all this garbage heaped upon innocent children. God help us!
Anyonymous: I am just baffled by the way people can stand behind the bible and turn a simple child's game into something ugly. And I believe that pokemon is just that a simple child's game, but because of your concern with children having a false sense of 'power' you have to make it out to be something ugly. I'm curious did you ever attack power rangers? Or how about care bears. Lets not forget Star wars. "The force is with you Luke" what about all those children role playing that they were Luke Skywalker, or even worse yet Darth vador OUCH . Beam me up Scotty and May the Force be with you.
From James Coffarelli (Re: Eyes Opened): I wanted to thank you for exposing, educating and informing folks who want to know more about Pokemon and the various aspects of it's intentions and influences on our children.
My kids started watching the cartoon late this summer and I was totally unaware of any possible concerns about it. After catching glimpses of a few shows I did notice some of the supernatural aspects, but I couldn't put my finger on any specific thing - I just attributed it to the fantasy aspect of the show.
It wasn't until some folks at church mentioned that the cartoon the cards and the game where marketed by the same people who put out Dungeons and Dragons that bells went off. I've watched the show and checked out the cards (forget the game, I've seen enough!) and yes, there is allot of "cutesy", innocent material to draw children in and appeal to youth. However, The obvious and subtle new age, occult and paranormal material is reason enough for me to keep this stuff out of my house. You can not justify the "good" or innocent aspects of this issue by ignoring the very real influences that are unhealthy and unGodly. Sure, not everyone who exposes themselves to a potentially harmful influence falls victim to it... but why, in this instance, play with your (or your childs) soul and spirit and allow yourself to accept such a very real risk?
I'm amazed at the folks who have attacked and viscously criticized you personally for the information and position you have expressed. It is especially alarming to see this from those who proudly proclaim their pedigrees as Christians. There seems to be something in the way they have expressed themselves that lacks maturity and Grace, the very thing that they should be extending to those that they disagree with. Any "Christian" who can not or refuses to give up a game, hobby, interest or habit has a problem, don't they? The justifications and defenses offered are little more than attempts to excuse a self will over and above a submission to Christ's. WWJD - play, watch or trade Pokemon cards? I don't think so!
As for the non-believers, I'm not surprised at all at the responses - so much for diversity of thought, tolerance and acceptance. They are only are extended to that which is Politically Correct.
From Mr. Garcia: Hi, I just read your article on Pokemon and found it very interesting. I dont think Ive met a person so fanatic in my life. You have completely made an article without knowing facts and twisting information as you tried to write this thing you call Danger . You have completely read into things that really are not the way you say they are.
I bet that you haven t even tried or even checked out what you re writing about to get a better idea on what Pokemon really stands for. Youre making a cartoon character sounds like its pure evil, when it is just a cartoon. I mean, monsters and witches that sound more evil to me than Pokemon for crying out loud.
Next time if you are going to write about something, get facts and don t create myths. You have no idea how much panic you have created by your non-factual article. Two schools in the area have sent kids home because they now say Pokemon is from the devil.You have created a chaos that is unnecessary. And all that just because of a shirt and your myth! I would understand if you had better information than what you have, but all you have in the Pokemon sense is all-useless. All you talk about is magic the gathering and other things not related to Pokemon. Next time think before you do&&&
Anonymous: you people are insane. pokemon- evil and connected to the occult? im a christian and find nothing wrong with a harmless card game. your the same people who sit there and criticize everything you dont like. like horror movies, or video games. just leave us alone
Berit's response: Please remember that I didn't contact you or invite you to come to our site. We welcome anyone, but we don't push our information on those who don't want it. Our articles are written for Christian families primarily. According to our U.S. Constitution, we still have the freedom to share our beliefs and values with others. That freedom may end soon. The politically correct view of "hate-crimes" and the new "human rights" legislation are providing legal foundations for making it illegal to write articles that offend people like you. But when we lose our rights, you also lose yours. When, as under Communism and Nazi fascism, people are only "free" to express ideas that conform to politically correct ideology, no one is free. Is that what you want?
From a woman who has experienced the oppression of occult: I just finished reading the lengthy "comments" section. Some of the things people write make me ashamed of how far we've come. I often pass on your articles to my friends and other people at our Christian school. Some people "get it" immediately, and others just look at me blankly. They don't even recognize that there is anything wrong with these things.
As a child, I was fascinated with anything to do with the supernatural. If there was a book that turned out to have a "normal" explanation, I didn't like it. I started with true science fiction, went to horror and then to science fantasy. The science fantasy was where I found the supernatural that I was craving, with wizards and magic, power and adventure.
By the time I was 20, I was reading 4-5 books a week. That realm took over my thoughts. I couldn't stop thinking about the goddesses I was reading about. I even started dreaming it. One day, the goddesses from my dreams started talking to me. That was enough! I finally woke up to what I was doing to myself and my faith. If I had kept on, I would have lost my faith, and perhaps even become trapped in possession. I still considered myself a Christian the whole time! If someone like you had pointed out to me what I was doing, I would have laughed at you. I might even have said some of the same things the people who write you have said.
The thing is, no one looking at me would have thought anything was wrong. I was a normal teenager. I didn't smoke, drink, swear or go "too far" with my boyfriend. I went to church and was a leader both in my youth group and at school. Yet look at what was happening to me, just from what I was reading. Thirty years ago, I had to search for those type of books, but now they're everywhere. Thirty years ago, my reading tastes were extreme, but now the child who stays away from that type of material is the exception. I fear that what happened to me is happening to more and more Christian children. One thing that whole period of my life has done - I can speak with authority of the dangers of straying into territory that God says to stay away from. Keep up the good work!
From Linda Blanchard (Re: The Evils of Pokemon): The only thing I find to dislike about Pokemon is the aggressiveness of the battles. Even so, when the creatures battle each other, it is a game of skill -- in the Gameboy version, the creatures "faint" -- in the card game version, the creature is "knocked out" -- no one dies. As a game store owner, what I see day after day is Pokemon bringing families together. I see parents sitting down and learning to play the game and actually spending time with their kids. I see kids who have trouble in school being motivated to learn to read, so they can figure out what to do with their cards. Children are learning social skills when they get together to play; they are learning business sense when they trade with each other. The logical aspects of the game exercise their abilities in math and strategic thinking. Even when they are not playing with the cards, they work on their creativity, using the Pokemon world as a background for make-believe. It's a fantasy world in which trainers catch wild creatures and tame them. The message in the cartoon series is that you must not be cruel to the creatures and use them for evil gains, but you must treat them with love and respect. The message is one of sharing: "I'll teach you and you teach me..." and of caring.
From Fannie Linaberger: It never fails to surprise me the amount of Christians that are so unaware of what is happening to their children! It makes me feel so sad. I expect it from the secular world, but when supposed "Christians" lash back at you, it makes me wonder where they are at. I'm seeing this garbage even in the churches...because it comes under the umbrella of the "church" no one questions and everyone trusts.
I used to be so confused at Christian's responses because I just couldn't understand where their discernment was? After much praying, God showed me things that I never understood before. Your charts showing the difference between "Biblical Christianity" and "Cultural Christianity," it helped me to clarify the confusion. It saddens me to see how deceived so many people are.
From Leigh Anne Sullivan: You guys should get a life and leave these poor kids alone. All you're doing is starting a frenzy that isn't warranted. What's next? An attack on baseball card collectors?
My eight-year-old son "collects" Pokemon cards. He in no way does any of the things that you claim Pokemon encourages. My fear is that the more attention people give to this that the children will get their ideas from the adults. Most children (especially the younger ones like my son) play with these cards and trade with their friends as if they're baseball cards...not as if they're satanic or demonic creatures that give them magical powers. I'm sure that if everyone will back off and let children be children that they will soon tire of Pokemon. If the media hype and negativity continues, this situation will only worsen. Our children get a lot of their ideas from what they see and hear around them.
From <email@example.com>: The views expressed on your site (specifically in regards to Star Wars and Pokemon) leaves me to believe your opinions are every bit as dangerous as those expressed by so-called "hate" groups; although, you have every bit as much right to spew your ignorance across the Web as they do. Your narrow mindedness blinds you from reality and prevents you from seeing the world before you. Star Wars is just a movie, Pokemon is just a card game, and Christianity is just a belief. As with anything, Star Wars, Pokemon, and yes even religion can result in some sort of obsessive compulsive disorder, but that does not in anyway suggest there are supernatural forces at work.
The most disturbing part about your articles is the vast number of "weak minded" individuals who respond and blindly follow your beliefs, accepting your irrational way of thinking. Hate and religious groups are so similar it is truly frightening. Afterall, both the KKK and Louis Farrakhan believe each of their causes are every bit as inspired by the word of "God" as yours. Religious beliefs have resulted in more hardships in the history of the world than Pokemon, Star Wars, Disney, or any other "demons" you can conjure up, could ever hope to create... combined!
From Julia Hans: I knew there was something amiss spiritually about these cards and have always forbidden such trendy things in my home, but lately, my childrens classmates have made fun of our children for not "being into" pokemon. I couldnt give my children a direct answer why I had forbidden these "monster cards" other than it smacked of spirituality, but after reading your article I was able to give my children a direct answer. I even read part of the article to my nine year-old son!"
Berit's comment: Long ago, God called His people to stand -- often alone -- against the world's pressure to conform to its values. The children who are trained in discipleship today, will be ready to triumph in far greater battles tomorrow. The world has never had much tolerance for those who choose to follow Jesus. But His grace and love more than make up for the pain. As Jesus said, "Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven." (Matthew 5:11-12)
Anonymous (Re: terrible!): This is a horrible website! You must be very lonely to have so much time to sit at your computer and denounce all things that you percieve as evil. Have you ever played Pokemon? I have been to several league events with my children and seen nothing but children socializing and playing. Since when has it been evil to have an imagination? My children have much more in there lives than just Pokemon, maybe I can account for my children knowing the difference between fairytales and reality. As for the Harry Potter books we know many christian people who have loved the books including ourselves. They are stories to be enjoyed, not to live your life by. If you are a good parent and teach your child through knowledge not fear and ignorance your child will grow with the understanding that God is reality not games and books. You really need to read your bible and read more on casting stones at your neighbors.
From James Patrick Shreve (Re: angry readers): I just wanted to send you a word of encouragement in the face of the angry comments that you have recieved from even those who at least call themselves "Christians". I do not like to judge others either, but I will do only the judgement by what the Word of God says and the fruits that these people show. I have a hard time with those who claim their Christian heritage and yet continue to "play" with the things of spiriual darkness which we are warned time and time again to stay away from. We are to be Holy as He is Holy. Would Jesus play with those things which even remotely resemble the works of satan? I hardly think so. To put it in the words that so many say, and yet dont apply, "What would Jesus do?".
I would like to ask some of these Christians if they have they read the Bible through and have seen how many times that God judged His people for dabbling in the other spiritual realm.
We are to refrain from that that does not glorify God. Too much of what is seen today either glorifies satan, or glorifies man instead of God. Who then is on the throne of theirs lives? Themselves or God? I have a hard time with the attitude of some of our Christian brothers and sisters who are not heeding the warnings that are out there. To put it in the words of Fredrick K. Price, when one fly gets in the house, its not that bad, but when two get in, then you have real problems. It is because of the lack of spiritual insight, that the church is in the state it is in.
From: Holland Smith: . the only ties to the Magic game to which you refer, are that the same printing company prints the cards. The printing company has no control over the graphics on the cards, the strategy of the game or anything to do with the TV show. It is really a reach to say that Pokemon leads children to the Magic game, and if all role playing is evil, then you better ban all school and church plays, because that is role playing too. I guess kids are not allowed to have any imagination. We better get rid of all those fairy tales we grew up with too, they have witches and goblins in them you know. Let's have ourselves a book burning.
Berits note: I believe you are stretching my words a bit, Holland. You cant apply my concerns over Pokemon to all kinds of other activities. Please be reasonable. My point about the Magic game was simply that since both are made by Wizards of the Coast, and since the Pokemon site includes ads for Magic, children are likely to follow those links. The advertisement industry does its job well.
I see a great danger in your views and your web site. Liberals in America have been trying for years (with some success) to demonize Christianity. I.E. to create an image of narrow minded bigots who are out to get everyone who tries to have fun. Your e-mails and your site are supporting this image. I don't know about the rest of your write-ups, but the entire site seems targeted at anything that is popular . I think you are doing a great disservice to Christianity . Please ! if we are going to be persecuted, let it be for preaching the Gospel, not for witch hunting. I believe you are driving more people away from Christ than you are helping by scaring them away from an innocent game. If you feel the need to use the internet for service, please send out the Gospel, not these negative, judgmental, inaccurate statements. I will pray that you will have wisdom as you consider the future of your web site.
From Alberta Slater: Fortunately God had spoken to my heart about 2 years ago when the seizure episode occurred to mark this game and/or program so that we would not ever be exposed to it. Now it is such a rage with many young children, but we have been preserved from that grasp. Our children attend a Christian school and many of their classmates do not believe this Pokemon could be harmful. They certainly underestimate the power of our enemy.
I loved your postings of the comments and your answers. How I was fed by the Holy Spirit leading you in your responses. I was also amazed at the ignorance of so many who call themselves Christians, as to who the ENEMY is and how devisive he is. Some of these people chose to believe the lie as Scriptures says .
From cliff robinson iii: The Ghost pokemon in the cartoon cannot truly be ghosts anyway, for the simple fact that they have not died and do not represent the spirits of the deceased, the creator of the series probably could not come up with a better name to describe the creatures. In my study of pokemon, the main themes involved in the show contain the importance of friendship and one boy's quest to become good at what he does. Contrary to the beliefs of the author of the former email, in no way is a "Pokemon Master" (one who obtains all 150 pokemon) granted mystical powers. Contradicting to the "secret power" theory is an episode of the show in which the popular pokemon master, Konga, admits there is no secret in pokemon besides the love and understanding with the creatures, much like one would empathize with their dog, or pet. The power that one would have from Pokemon would be about the same as the power of protection one would receive from their dog. Just like Lassie protected Timmy, the boy hero Ash, has his Pikachu at his side. I think you're looking too far into a shallow hole.
Berit's response: In our culture, people tend to think of ghosts as being the spirit of a deceased person. From a Biblical perspective, a ghost would actually be a unholy or evil spirit (fallen angel, demon, etc.), since people don't return to earth in another form after death.
The following comments are responses to Berit" appearance on CNN's Talk Back, November 10. Some of them came from children in the Eastern time zone, who must have come home from school in time to watch.
Anonymous: i jsut watched that mindless brainwashed woman on cnn i was utterly appauled that she would think thaat the universal energy that flows around us is considered blasphemy by god..you people are unbelieveable i cannot imagine what kidn of a world this would be if you were completly in control (not that you arent already) but atleast i can think for myself..and if you believe god's word goes against pokemon than why didnt he intervine to stop it before it started huh? what about everything else you tihnk goes against gods word? dont you think he wouldnt appeove of somthing like that? but i guess his silence says more than his words huh
Anonymous: First of all, let me say that you are not a christian.... This is America. NOT NORWAY. Stop trying to force your brand of crazy Christianity on me or other people. If people want to play pokemon, then let them.... It their life. Stop judging people you old bag. Get A LIFE.
[Actually, I didn't tell anyone to stop playing. I only tried to share some of the general concerns, then those concerns specific to Christian families.] _____________________________________________
Anonymous: I watched you on talkback live.. and all i could hear out of your mouth was fantasy and magic.. all of which are in the bible.. pokemon is fantasy... and you have no FACTUAL proof the bible is not you have never seen god.. and he has power.. plus you believe in satan.. which is a horrible thing to believe exists.. and to degrade a show that is no where near as violent or a guilt trip, that is your belief.. is giving your religion a bad name.. if you want your children not to be obsessed, set barriers and limits to who much time is spent. and get your head out of your &%&%
[I didn't edit or delete anything from the above comment except the final profanity]
Anonymous: More blood and souls in history have been spilled over religion than Pokemon. I worry more for people searching for evil in every thing that surrounds them.
[Berit's note: Please read our chart on the difference between Biblical and cultural Christianity.]
Anonymous: I am a Christian and you are embarassing me on CNN. This issue is a non-essential. We should focus on loving God.
[Berit's note: I'm sorry I embarrassed you. But remember, loving God is not just saying you love Him. It's also knowing and obeying His Word -- including Deuteronomy 18:9-12. Listen to what Jesus told His disciples]:
"He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him. If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him." (John 14:20-23)
From Mikey, age 9: my favorite pokemon is NATAS. he is a fire breathing demand [demon?] that captures the souls of the dead. i don't think there is any thing wrong with pokemon it teaches me to use my powers to fight against good.
[Berit's note: None of the official 150 pokemon (152 with the two Mews shown in the movie) is named Natas.]
From Lori Sisemore: I agree with everything you said today ....even though they kept interrupting you! I don't have children but I feel "Pokemon" is so distracting to family life. Why can't there be great Christian games & movies to be an alternative!??? This world is so blinded to the truth....
From Chris Long: I just wanted to write and thank you for appearing on the CNN television program yesterday, concerning the movie 'Pokemon'. I only switched the TV on half way through the program, but I could instantly see the warfare that was happening, and I was in prayer for you. I was very impressed by your defense of the gospel in the face of great numerical opposition.
I was saved 5 years ago, and I understand the power of involvement of occult video games. I just hate to see what these games do to children, and I want to stop them being produced, or help those involved, as I once was.
It just seemed yesterday on the CNN program that nobody wanted to listen, because they really just wanted to do what they wanted to do. This was more than about 'Pokemon'; how else do you get 300 parents, children and so-called secular experts to discuss a child's movie on national TV, if it is merely a child's movie they are discussing? Thank you for appearing on that program and doing such excellent work.
Anonymous (Re: You are...) ...sick. You have too much time on your hands. Leave our kids alone.
From K. F. in Alabama: I found your website a couple of months ago - around the time school started. My 9 year old daughter came home from school begging me to go get her Pokemon cards so that she could trade them with her friends. I recalled the "seizure" episode from Japan a couple of years ago and I just felt very uneasy about the cards. I began searching on the internet and found your site.
I printed out the information and that weekend my daughter and I read it together and SHE decided on her own that she would have nothing to do with these cards. Some friends had given her two or three of them and we took them outside and burned them. We also decided together to give the information to her school principal (Christian school) who in turn printed out copies of your article and made them available to parents at the school.
Word got around that my daughter had something to do with all this "uproar" about Pokemon at the school and for a while it was difficult for her, but she has been able to "see through" all of this and realizes that these cards are controlling (for lack of a better word) many of the kids in her school. Recently we've heard on the local news that some of the public schools in our area are even banning these cards, and my daughter just laughs and says "we knew about those cards being bad a LONG time ago!"
I had not been back to your site in some time until today.... One of the things I saw today that concerned me was the following comment:
"From Mikey, age 9: my favorite pokemon is NATAS. he is a fire breathing demand [demon?] that captures the souls of the
dead. i don't think there is any thing wrong with pokemon it teaches me to use my powers to fight against good. Yours truly,"
I work with computers and several years ago one of our systems was infected with a computer virus called "Natas". "Natas" is SATAN spelled backwards!! Look at the above quote this way:
"My favorite Pokemon is Satan. He is a fire breathing demon that captures the souls of the dead."
I almost fell out of my chair when I read that quote from a 9 year old! He is telling you about this character who is a DEMON that caputures the SOULS of the dead - - and then the very next sentance says.... "I don't think there is anything wrong with Pokemon" ???????????????????
I thank God that my children are not involved in this and I can only pray that other parents will see the light before it is too late for their children. Thank you for continuing to share the TRUTH on these issues.
From Earle Howard: I have read in horror your recent articles on Pokemon, Harry Potter, etc. I have also read many of the comments sent in by others. Frankly I am appalled at your actions and their far reaching effects I have seen first hand, right here in my own community. You are acting just like those in the inquistion. You are acting out your own definition of "Cultural Christianity".
<snippit of you own comment> "Cultural Christianity is not Biblical Christianity. (See chart showing the difference) The evils committed under the banner of "Christianity" through the Crusades, the Inquisition, the medieval European establishment, etc. had little to do with Biblical Christianity. It had everything to do with man's greedy, power-hungry human nature which seeks its own ways rather than God's."
You are right when you say 'us' Christians don't understand. But what it is we don't understand is where you get your demented interpratations from. You are the ones that are persecuting good christians and their families by poisoning the minds of the gullible and spreading a gospel of hate and fear. We all know it is human nature to fear what we don't understand, and that some Christians feel they are morally justified in killing that which they fear. But that is to be expected since your faith is weak. You're afraid of the world with no confidence in Christ. We will pray for you..
From Lisa Beck: I am truly amazed! For all those people who have claimed to be "Christians" all their lives...where is the love? That is how the world will know we are Christians and there is something different about us! It seems strange to me that so many people who claim to be brothers in Christ could write such hateful letters over what they consider "only a game." I wouldn't even want to know how spiteful they could be over something they considered more important. As my pastor often says, "You need to learn to get along with people that my not hold to your view (assuming it isn't about the fundamental beliefs of Christianity) because one day you will be spending eternity with them in heaven!" I am thankful for people like you that are willing to tell what you know so the rest of us can pray over the information and make our own decisions based on what the Holy Spirit is leading us to do!
From Al "Pikachu" Gaito: Man, you make me laugh. So now the newst tool of Satan is Pokemon eh? Well that's really funny because I was almost certian that it was made by one of the most family oriented companies in the world. That being nintendo. But hey, who am I to say, I'm only an eighteen tear old kid that thinks that not only is this childs show (and game) funny, but amusing.
Oh look at that, it's 4:00 in the afternoon and guess what's on. You got it.....it's POKEMON! I guess that you people were born 50 years old with the fear of god already instilled into you. Did you ever have any children? If so, I pity them. And as for your comments on Dungeons and Dragons. I still play it. And you know what, I have a character that is a Solomnic Knight. And they are very very holy, respectful people. They worship one of three gods of good. They also destroy demons, and other evil creatures with the help of the dragons of good.
You of all people should know about destroying the creatures of evil. Afterall, you are the types of people that caused the Crusades, and Spanish Inqusition. Maybe you should start judging things for what they are, not what you want them to be. Well, I'm off to practice occult operations and what not......Then again, maybe I'll just go watch Pokemon.
From Ben Fournier: I like the pokemon show it's just funny and the games are good too, I'm a Christian if you want to know. I've watched almost every show other than no.38, the show isn't real but people that say it's demonic treat it as if it was .
there is no pokemon called natas that name is just made up out of thin air. there are more than 152 pokemon if you've seen pikachu's vacation but still no pokemon called "natas", what does that tell you? pokemon isn't demonic, I've asked God , and yes I've read 1 john 4:1-3.
I'd like this to be on the "your comments"
From Martie: When you have done all to stand, stand. I am a Christian mother of 4 and I agree with you 100%. There are none so blind as those who refuse to see. I heard your interaction with Ian Punnitt of WGST in Atlanta and I couldn't call him fast enough from my car phone. How can anyone claiming to be a Christian NOT see something wrong with this game? The Bible is very clear about idolatry and associating with such things as psychics - they are an abomination to God. (Deuteronomy 18:9-13).
... I am shocked at how many members of our church had no IDEA what was behind these cards. The enemy comes to KILL, STEAL and DESTROY and he will take our children in any way he can. We have to stand against this even when it makes us appear overzealous or unpopular.
From Mark Briese: Once in a while I tune in VCY to hear the latest doom and gloom story. I have to admit that I was completely unaware that Pokemon was devil based. I thought it was just another kid fad making money for its marketers and at the same time stimulating the imagination of children. You know what's really scary? People like you who condemn every thought that does not fit within your bigoted, dogmatic, narrow, hate filled, bible quoting doctrine that issues from your ministry. You are not about love or kindness - only about 'righteous judgement', which you fervently hope your god levies against those of us who disagree with you.
It boggles the mind that all this energy and talent is wasted on perpetuating ancient myths instead of building a better world. Devils, demons, goblins, dragons, witches, saviors, ghosts (holy included), etc. are all fairy tales - just like the easter bunny and santa claus. How a reasoning mind can think otherwise is a mystery. It is ironic, however, that while you criticize Pokemon, role playing games, ouja boards, Harry Potter, etc. - you are actually playing it out in real life thinking that this good-evil-anti christ-armageddon crap is true! You have my sympathy for thinking that the world is evil and wicked. Others think it is a wonder and will help make it better for their children. You have chosen the wrong path and will probably continue to spread ignorance, fear, and intolerance. That will be the sad testimony of your life.
From Jeff : With all of the "Hate" mail that you have had, I just wanted to drop you a word of encouragement. I am a nurse in the United States Navy, married, 2 kids (so far). We homeschool, don't own a TV (don't plan to), our kid's don't even know who pokemon is (thank the Lord), and we have been blessed by the information that you put on your web site.
We especially appreciate the short stories of the persecuted church and others undergoing trials. We read these stories to our Kids and talk about them. In regard to the "hate" mail. I think that most are missing the whole point. 1. AT THIS TIME it is a free country and we can print what we feel is the right thing to print. 2. Your website is geared towards true God fearing, Bible believing and practicing BOLD Christian believers. The bible says "how can we serve two masters" and "how can we mix darkness and light" and "do not be unequally yoked" all of these things indicate that we as Christians are to participate in anything that has even a hint of wickedness. There were many a man in the Old testament who God dealt with severely when they dabbled in things of the Occult. Pokemon, D and D, Star Wars, etc... these are all just wickedness wrapped in a more pleasant and palatable packages. If I may be so bold, I wish to encourage all Christians to do several things..
1. Throw your TV away or at least put it in the closet and only use it on infrequent occasions. 2. Spend time every day with your children reading God's word, memorizing Scripture, and praying for those in persecuted countries. 3. For you and your family, do not tolerate any hint of unrighteousness in your home. 4. Homeschool and if you can't be very active and involved with your children at school.
Well, thanks for what every bit of time I have taken from you. I know that it is precious these days. God bless you and whoever else may read this.
Anonymous: you have a very big problem with everyting, dont you? you make me sick you bible beatin' freaks. Your the ones who believe in fantasy and magical powers(the bible), our kids are only having fun. What things would you want kids to play with, be specific. plese give me a response.
Thank you. You have asked a good question. I would like to compile a list of good age-appropriate toys -- balls, crayons and paints, sports equipment, wood and carpentry tools, etc. -- those that encourage children to use their ingenuity and their own imagination instead of parroting the action and values they see in a television episode. I would welcome suggestions from everyone.
From Patrick Shreve: I just wanted to send you a word of encouragement in the face of the angry comments that you have recieved from even those who at least call themselves "Christians". I do not like to judge others either, but I will do only the judgement by what the Word of God says and the fruits that these people show. I have a hard time with those who claim their Christian heritage and yet continue to "play" with the things of spiriual darkness which we are warned time and time again to stay away from. WE are to be Holy as He is Holy. Would Jesus play with those things which even remotely resemble the works of satan? I hardly think so. To put it in the words that so many say, and yet dont apply, "What would Jesus do?". The other question that I would like to ask some of these Christians, is: have they read the Bible through and have they seen how many times God judged His people for dabbling in the occult.
Anonymous: You people are nut cases.
From Lorenzo: Pokemon and Magic are NOT role-playing games. Keep the difference in mind: Magic and the others are card games . RPG's are not "occult". In the D&D books there are tales of magic and violence, ok. But so are in the Holy Bible. Should we banish the reading of the Bible, then?
I maintain an archive of educational RPG's (all in Italian), you may see how
many applications can come (also in Christian places!) from RPG's.
From Jeff Kramer: I came across your webpage as a link from the American Decency Association. They had a link to your "factual" article about how Pokemon is evil. I read the article and found it very interesting, so I continued to browse your site. Let me say, I haven't had this good of a laugh in a long time. Before you make a snap judgement on me, I'll tell you, I'm a 19 year old Christian. I enjoy Star Wars and played Magic: The Gathering and role playing games Although, it appears from your website, it is not possible to be a role player and still be a Christian.
As for your article about Pokemon, come on now! Pokemon will be a fad among kids, just as the evil Power Rangers. Three years from now, Pokemon will be forgotten. While I admit, I don't know much at all about it, I hardly think that it is evil. This is more of the hysteria that come from first, role playing games, than Magic: The Gathering.
It is people like you that give Christians a bad name. I'm not sure what you're really trying to accomplish with your page . By preaching about how everything is evil, people will just shut out what you have to say. Well, that's about all I have to say. I thank you for your time, and any response would be appreciated. Sincerely,
Berits response: Thank you, Jeff, for taking time to write us. I really do appreciate hearing your opinion even if you disagree with me. I would be happy post it so others can read it as well. I do want to show the different sides of this issue, and you can express your perspective better than I can. That's true and fair, isn't it?
Jeffs second letter: I do thank you for your response and would be honored if you posted it on your webpage. I agree that showing different sides of an issue is the best way to go. Thank you.