I was in 5th grade when I first opened ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.’ My friend, Samantha, quietly passed her copy between our desks when the teacher wasn’t looking, and I carefully examined the cover as Miss J. droned on about fractions.
I remember feeling giddy but also nervous and a bit guilty about opening it, but my curiosity overpowered my reasons for hesitation.
It was finally in my hands!
I held it firmly, anxious to see what was inside but extremely cautious not to let my teacher notice my lack of interest in her lecture. My palms were surprisingly sweaty. If my parents found out, or worse my pastor, I’d be grounded without question.
My crime you ask? Well, I was exposing myself to the “evils of witchcraft.”
You see, back in the primitive times known as the ’90s, Harry Potter had been labeled taboo by the Christian community. Being a young lad in the service of Christ, I was not allowed to indulge in the dark arts.
I was told that the readers of such texts were doomed to become minions of Satan and at the time, Beelzebub went by a different name: J. K. Rowling (author).
On May 1st, 1999 (I was ten)—the same year I secretly read the Pied Piper of child-soul corruption—my eyes gazed upon the glorious nonsense known as Spongebob Squarepants. Just like reading those first two pages of Samantha’s book that day, I was hooked after watching two minutes of the show.
Heck, I’m still hooked all these years later (should I be ashamed to admit that I still watch it…weekly?).
I absolutely loved watching Spongebob and his pal Patrick get into ridiculous hijinks every week. The show was about nothing, like a children’s version of Seinfeld, and provided no educational value. However, it did teach me that life wasn’t meant to be taken so seriously all the time.
Unfortunately, it didn’t take long before the adults found out what I was watching & reading.
Back in those days, Spongebob’s love for his best friend was perceived by many as something more. Therefore, the Spongebob and Patrick were labeled as homosexuals and the show was designed to promote the “gay agenda (evidence of this in the link below).”
Spongebob was no longer allowed and neither was Harry Potter. I found ways around my restrictions (reading after my parents were asleep and such), but they continued throughout my early teens.
These were the same years of my life when I first met estranged members of my family. I won’t name names or anything but some did not like the fact that my father (white) and mother (black) were married. It took over a decade before the hatred dissolved enough to allow us to ride down the road of reconciliation.
By now you may be wondering what the point of this article is…
Well, it’s about how people need time to change. The views my parents, family, and members of my community eventually evolved; it just took time, influence, and education to get there.
What has been concerning me in our society is our willingness to vilify people on the positions they held decades ago. People change and grow and to say their past is an indicator of who they are now seems wrong to me. Hell, I’ve changed a ton over the years and I hope people judge me more by the views I hold now vs. the ones I used to have.
All those people who slapped restrictions on me growing up would just laugh about it now, and I am glad the walls were broken down amongst my family. No grudges are held (by me, at least).
Time, patience, and a willingness to forgive are what we need more of in this world especially when we are dealing with so much change. Unfortunately, I keep seeing the opposite and it’s dangerous. The stuff we believe now may be wrong in the next ten years, then it’ll be someone else’s turn to do the judging.
What are some of the things you weren’t allowed to do when you were growing up that would seem silly now? Please feel free to leave them in the comments below! And, as always, don’t forget to ‘Like!’ & ‘Share!’
Gay Agenda Controversy: https://nypost.com/2015/02/06/5-times-spongebob-caused-a-controversy/