On our national day of thanksgiving, I reluctantly watched a cartoon on the journey of the English émigrés, the pilgrims, who sought religious freedom by settling in North America. While I love cartoons, I am unfamiliar with the newer Peanuts animated television specials and they clash with my nostalgia for the older ones.
Repeatedly the character Linus, who has always been the idealist, responded to the worries of friend Charlie Brown by urging him to “have faith.” After the second or third time, I wondered: have faith in what?
It reminded me of a feel-good song from the 1998 cartoon “Prince of Egypt,” which told the story of Moses (Moshe) and the liberation of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt. After the movie’s climax, pop stars Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston triumphantly sang, “There can be miracles when you believe.” The other lyrics of the song implied it was belief in one’s self, not God, that mattered.
Even in cartoons about religious people, God seems to be the twin of the fictional villain Lord Voldemort of the Harry Potter children’s novel series. It seems God too is “He Who Must Not Be Named.” ...