23 January, 2007

Pollyanna is Evil

Boy, you sure can find false teaching in the strangest places. Who would have thought that the movie, Pollyanna, would teach evil lies?

The 1962 version of the movie stars Jane Wyman as the mean Aunt, Carl Mauldin as the hellfire and brimstone preaching pastor and Haley Mills as the nice and lovable Pollyanna.

I did not bother to 'screen' this movie before my young daughter watched it. Boy, I wish I had. And, even though I did not watch it with her I could hear the dialogue while it was on. So here is the story line:

Pollyanna is orphaned by her missionary parents and comes to live with her rich spinster Aunt Polly who owns this small town. Aunt Polly tells the preacher what to preach on Sundays and her favorite sermons are those teaching of the danger of hell. So, the pastor preaches sermons that I think are loosely based on the Jonathon Edwards', Sinners in the hands of an Angry God.

The townspeople hate these sermons and dread Sundays. Well, I should say all dread it except the mean, cold and prim Aunt Polly.

Pollyanna brings sunshine and light into every area of the town. She can turn the meanest of complainers into life loving optimists. One day, she is sent to deliver a note to the pastor who just happens to be practicing one of his hellfire sermons. They embark upon a dialogue about the sermon and Pollyanna shares a quote from Abraham Lincoln on 'finding the good in man'. It was engraved on a locket her father gave her. (At this point, I am in front of the TV)

Well, this hellfire pastor has a 'spiritual awakening' upon hearing this Abraham Lincoln quote and ceases his hateful preaching post haste. That Sunday, he preaches on 'finding the good in man'. Aunt Polly is furious but the town is thrilled.

But don't count Aunt Polly out yet. Pollyanna has an accident and through this, Aunt Polly realizes how mean and cold she is and has a 'spiritual awakening' herself. You see, while she was listening to those hellfire sermons, she could not show love to Pollyanna. But, now, she sees the error of her ways.

You know what? My daughter would be better off spiritually watching the Silence of the Lambs. OK, a bit dramatic but consider the fact that one would see the real evil in Silence. In Pollyanna, the 'angel of light' dresses himself up as a sweet little girl who only wants people to be happy spending their time looking for the good in mankind. She would point them away from even thinking about mean old nasty hell.

Moral taught to our children: Teaching on the reality of hell is mean and hateful. Teaching on the good in man is nice and loving.

What a lie. I had quite a bit of false teaching to correct after this movie. I tried to use the movie and scripture to illustrate this but my very young daughter wanted to know why they would lie. Good question. Because our hearts are deceitful and they do not know truth.

You know, it is hard to undo the type of damage of what goes into their little minds. It is worrisome just how much they will believe lies put forth in this wholesome manner.

I think we will stick with Old Yeller. That rootin' tootin' gambler and egg sucker.


Jen said...

Lin, I don't know how old your daughter is, but I have discovered that for the most part, it is best not to watch movies until abstract thinking sets in around age 11-12. At that time, movie watching can actually be a profitable learning experience, both good and bad, as you teach your children to discern what lines up with Scripture, and what doesn't; character development; plot development; how music affects your emotions; what you (they) would have done; what would have been a better way to handle it; the natural consequences of our actions, etc.

Before that abstract thinking sets in, there are very few movies a young child should watch. Everything is too literal to them.

Off my soapbox now!

Lin said...

I agree. Are you familiar with John Rosemond? He is great with Christian advice for raising children. He says no tv at least until 7 for the reasons you give.

The only good thing is that she is not real fond of watching tv and rarely ever watches more than 20 min. She is more into 'interaction'. One way communication is not her thing! I use the TV to get a much needed break from all the interaction. I figure it is better than having an insane mommy.

She spends most of her time playing outside looking for the senior neighbors to come out so she can talk their ears off! :o)