I don’t know why I do it. And anymore, I don’t know why it makes me so angry.

For a peculiar reason, I was Googling the terms “Dungeons and Dragons” and “Cultural Phenomenon.” I didn’t really expect it, but I found a link to one of the original purveyors of anti-D&D vitriol, Bill Schnoebelen. The link itself is to a followup article in 2001, published by some glorified tract company.  I got to reading it, and even though it is rife with inconsistency and logical fallacy, even though none of it has ever borne true either in research or the media, and even though I am not even a Christian anymore (though that fact could be viewed as suspect), it started me simmering and just made me madder as I read it.  I was getting as angry as I did when I cornered an anti-D&D youth minister many, many years ago at Youth In Action (who backed down when confronted, by the way – had I been Baptist or Assembly of God, I’m sure I would have had a much bigger fight on my hands).  Nevertheless, as I am in command of both a much stronger vocabulary and a much broader knowledge of all things “scriptural,” I was preparing to do a bit of research and fire off an email to this hack of a holy man.  Fortunately, I am in command of a much stronger sense of reason, albeit often ill-timed.

I know I don’t have to tell my readers about the silliness of linking D&D with Satanism, or whatever nefarious malevolence conjurable in one bored pastor’s mind.  I suppose even when I was sixteen and dealing with parents of friends who wanted their children to have nothing to do with D&D, the overwhelming feeling I had was that these people were lording their power over people – young people, especially – with nothing resembling reason or scripture to back them up.  Smug prooftexting ran rampant, and no amount of “you’re taking that out of context!” would suffice to get a mind hooked on the single meme of Satanism to relent and concede they might be a bit off-base, given their utter lack of knowledge of the topic.  Indeed, the notion that the commandments of Christ himself were secondary to this opposition of D&D was stunning.  What follows is a quote from the author’s above-linked article:

I am frequently told to “get a life” or write about something more important than D&D, like social justice or world hunger. The devil would sure like that.

If you, as a Christian, can get behind the notion that opposing D&D – or any social phenomenon – is more important than “love your neighbor as yourself,” then I suppose (if I may) you have your reward.