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Because I Love You

| 29.6.06
Because I Love You, by Max Lucado

Well, I just re-read Max Lucado's story for children Because I Love You and now I remember why I thought it was so creepy the first time I read it --especially in light of my fundamentalist upbringing.

One of the main messages of this book seems to be that curiosity is dangerous. Don't inquire. Don't question. Just accept what an authority figure tells you. If you do question, you risk alienating yourself from your community. Once you've gone down the questioning path and left the sheltering walls of religious totalism only an act of God can bring you back.

To me the book seems like an insidious attempt to try to frighten children out of questioning the values of the authority system. I see this with so many adults too, that seem afraid to question, that would rather live in a secure little bubble of never examining the assumptions behind what they believe.

The lie is made all the stronger because it is partly true. As one who has rejected the fundamentalism of my upbringing, it does feel lonely and dangerous sometimes to be "out in the cold," outside of the authoritarian system that promised simplicity and security if one didn't question things. Yet there is also great beauty and truth outside the walls.

I guess I'd even go so far as to say that the whole truth is only outside the wall, and what it means to be human is to seek after the whole truth. This book does a terrible disservice by implying otherwise. It certainly feels safer inside the walls, but I was raised to shun "feel good theology!"

And what the is Lucado trying to imply by naming the curious kid "Paladin?" All the good conformist kids got normal names. Paladin sounds like something out of Dungeons and Dragons, which of course every good fundy knows is a Satanic game. :)

Okay, I'm done ranting now. Few things get me as irate as the manipulation of children.

Publisher: Crossway Books (February 1999); ISBN: 0891079920

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