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Can or does MLP:FIM inspire religious faith?


ManaMinori
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I've never really took religion seriously. I grew up in a certain religious group, but never really abided or even gave much thought to the teachings, and eventually, I gave up religion. Got into MLP: FIM some time (a looooong time) later, and eventually took notice of certain things (Celestia seeming to set free her sister/ Nightmare Moon from imprisonment after 1000 years (the stars will aid in her escape) to let the Mane 6 deal with her, and the similarities to Revelations 20: 2, 3 and 20:7. Same with Discord and Sombra, with the whole 1000 years imprisonment & release), later got back into religion and took notice of more things, going back and re-acquainting myself with some of the show's lessons; finding out that a lot of the wholesome morals about friendship and treating others, helping them to grow, along with yourself, can also be found in the scriptures, and one baby step at a time, MLP's been inspiring me to get back into the faith and start taking it more seriously than before time.

 

Can or does MLP:FIM inspire religious faith? Know anyone who might use MLP to teach the word of god? Would you consider such a person a "Bible Brony", if you will? Your thoughts on religious Bronies? Do you find it inspiring to use MLP in such a way, or is it odd to try and mix the two? (even for more "playful" mixes, such as saying "Jahooveas Witneighses" instead of "Jehovah's Witnesses"?)

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The principles of FiM are not inherently religious, but that doesn't mean they can't go hand in hand with certain faiths. As a Christian, certain values from the show, such as forgiving others, and respecting one another are consistent with the values of my faith. I didn't think a show that doesn't inherently have anything to do with religion could inspire someone to take up one, so your story is an intriguing one, but if a series about colourful anthropomorphic ponies could have that effect on someone, then I guess that's a credit to the show. If I were to teach the Word of God, I wouldn't approach it through the lens of something subjective and less universal, such as a tv show, unless it was in the context of a bible study framed around FiM. That said, FiM is very much a Tross approved tv show for Christians, not that I'm hung up on entertainment perfectly reflecting my religious values or anything.

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I'm a serious Christian myself, but when I read your story about FiM making you serious about your faith, it surprised me a little.  Maybe it shouldn't have; religion is deep, and the show can be too if you analyze it (depth is one of FiM's many features).

 

My own story---I wouldn't go quite so far as to call it "inspiration", but I think that watching the show has made me a better Christian...perhaps by virtue of making me a better human being, and being human is kind of a prerequisite for being a Christian :)  I think it's made me more sensitive to the emotions others around me, and that's never a bad thing.  What made me notice that it made me more sensitive was a moment at my church where we were having a large meeting, any member of the church invited, where we discussed some problems our church was having (declining membership, etc.), and my pastor was getting blamed for a lot of it.  He was silent, looking down at the floor, and I could tell this discussion was affecting him pretty deeply.  I decided to do a very Pinkie Pie thing...well...okay, not THAT heavily Pinkie Pie; becoming too much like her in a church building full of conservative dutch grandparents isn't too kosher, but I think you'll agree with me, the principle of what I did was reasonably Pinkie Pie:  I talked my folks into inviting him and his wife over for dinner.  You see, our family has a tradition where we go to my parents' house every Sunday evening after church, and I make homemade pancakes for everyone; I figured being invited to that would cheer him up.  It worked.  He had a lot on his chest to discuss with my parents, who were comparable in age to him, and I essentially hid from that old-people conversation by doing the dishes in the kitchen.  Later, I learned that they considered themselves to be hiding from me in the living room...

 

When I say it again like that, it sounds like I was becoming too Pinkie Pie-ish at that moment, but that's not how it was; trust me!

 

Anyhow...there's another time when I had a religious experience that tied into MLP.  It was an epiphany that felt kind of like enlightenment---yes, conservative Christians have epiphanies.  And no, I didn't become more liberal after it.  But I digress.  Here's what was going through my mind at the time:  I was sitting in church, thinking about Apple Bloom, and how, if she found out how many fans she had, she'd be shocked.  She'd say "Why are all these people interested in me?  I'm just a regular filly from Ponyville!"  And so she is just a regular filly from Ponyville!  And yet, despite being a regular little girl, there is so much potential in her to be loved.  Simply by getting acquainted with her through the TV show, we have come to love her because of that potential.

 

After thinking of that, it hit me: just like Apple Bloom, despite most people being "normal" and/or unexceptional---every person on the planet has that same potential to be loved, to be understood, to become special to someone else.

 

That thought hit me like a ton of bricks---it was one of those "The World is Just Awesome" moments, that there are seven or eight billion bundles of that much potential-to-be-loved in this world...!  I don't know if I'm doing the feeling justice, putting it into words like this, but it was amazing and eye-opening when I felt it.

 

So...does it inspire religious faith in the first place?  Your story proved it certainly can.  But for me, it enhanced the faith that was already there with perspective and...I guess I'll call it sensitivity training :)

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