Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington, isn't a Twilight fan. In fact, on his blog, the mega-pastor dubbed the popular book and film series "sick, twisted, evil, dangerous, deceptive, and popular," also calling it "for teenage girls what porn is to teenage boys."
The timing of the post is clearly relevant, considering that the movie franchise's final installment, "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part 2," entered theaters this past weekend. No stranger to speaking out against the vampire craze, Driscoll called the movement a "garbage-tastic phenomenon."
"Tragically, many will be driven by their parents, including some cougar moms encouraging and joining their daughters’ obsession with handsome young males," the pastor wrote.
Pastor Mark Driscoll (Photo Credit: AP)
While some might consider these statements over-the-top (even Driscoll himself acknowledges that reaction to his words might be along those lines), the preacher notes some of the troubling media reports that have emerged of late. Kids, as he notes, have been drinking blood, cutting, biting and delving into the occult as a result of "Twilight" and other films and forms of entertainment like it.
Driscoll went on to note numerous media examples that showcase the film's purported negative influence on young people. Here are a few of his media picks:
- NBC News: “Teenagers obsessed with the Twilight vampire saga, or those simply fascinated with fangs, reportedly have been biting each other—hard—and then licking or sucking the blood. ‘These are kids who think they are real vampires,’ said Dr. Orly Avitzur. [. . .] ‘Having that thick, warm copper-tasting blood in my mouth is the best thing I can think of!’ wrote a teenager identified as ‘GothicGirl10’ this year. ‘Sometimes my boyfriend lets me feed off him. I let him feed off me as well.’”
- ABC News: “Paola Hernandez, 15, said a boyfriend tried to pressure her to allow herself to be bitten. ‘He said, “I love you and that’s the way I want to show you,”’ she said. ‘I didn’t give in because it was kind of idiotic.’ She said some of her classmates, mimicking on-screen vampires, even cut their skin so they can taste one another’s blood. ‘That means you’re stuck with them, they have your blood inside of them and you have their blood and so you’re closer to each other,’ she said.”
- The Week: “Lyle Monroe Bensley, 19, was arrested in his boxer shorts after he allegedly broke into the Galveston, Texas, home of a randomly chosen single woman, growled and hissed at her, dragged her down the hall, and tried to bite her on her neck. . . . When the police arrested Bensley a short time later, he told them he was a 500-year-old vampire. ‘He was begging us to restrain him because he didn’t want to kill us,’ says Galveston officer Daniel Erickson. ‘He said he needed to feed.’”
Photo Credit: BreakingDawn-TheMovie.com
After sharing these reports, Driscoll warned of Satan and his potentially damaging and intrusive methods of winning over the human heart and soul.
"He’s not going to come at us with a pitchfork and horns," the preacher continued "More likely, he’ll attempt to lure people towards darkness with methods like 'harmless' entertainment, possibly in the form of bad acting and melodrama."
Back in 2010, the pastor gave a sermon about dangerous themes being embedded into entertainment:
While Driscoll notes that he doesn't believe it's viable to embrace films like "Twilight" as harmless entertainment, he also claims that it's important to refrain from sheltering children. In his own family, he and his wife speak openly to their kids about issues surrounding the occult and the dangers of blindly embracing this sort of entertainment.
"As a pastor and a father, I am particularly concerned for Christian parents who are naively allowing this filth into their children’s lives, buying these books and driving kids to see these movies," he concluded.
Read Driscoll's entire post, entitled, "A Father's Fright of Twilight" here. Do you agree with the preacher's analysis of the film? Do you think it's dangerous to let your kids watch it? Take the poll: