There is no question about it: Twilight has taken our culture by storm. Other stories from the vampire genre have been told in both movie and book form, but none of them have so utterly overtaken society like the Twilight books and movies. Simply shout the name Edward Cullen in a room full of pre-teen and teen girls and watch their reaction. They will do one of two things: either scream their heads off about how much they love some romantic blood-sucking vampire or they will scream even louder about how much hotter a shirtless werewolf named Jacob is.
Oddly enough, their moms might be just as vocal about their preferences for “Team Edward” and “Team Jacob” as their daughters.
Thankfully, as the brother of a wonderful and sensible sister and the son of a mother who has done a good job steering me and my siblings away from trashy literature and movies, I’ve had no experience with the Twilight craze (nor with the Harry Potter craze either, which I think is just as annoying, but that’s for another time). Nevertheless, I’ve never liked the idea of Twighlight. When I was younger, I grew up reading novels by G.A. Henty, which always depicted courageous, noble, honest, and virtuous young men as heroes. They weren’t sexy, hot, vain, or emotionally unstable. Their lives didn’t revolve around their female love interests (though they always treated them with chivalry and honor).
Admittedly, the Henty novels were geared toward the interests of young men, playing up the historical, adventurous, and action themes that made the pages fly by when I was reading them. I realize that Twilight is geared toward young females instead of males. But the principle of using literary figures as truly exemplary models of human conduct really had a tremendous impact on me when I was younger. Therefore, until today, my biggest qualm with Twilight, as a book and film series, was that it attracts young women to men for the wrong reasons. From what I know of the stories, none of the characters are anything we should want to emulate in our real lives. It just seemed so trivial to me.
That had been my thinking until today, when a friend of mine posted a video featuring Mark Discroll discussing Twilight and the vampire genre in general. I find his talk quite convincing and in particular, his analysis of how Twilight has ruined so many young girls and turned so many older women into essentially pedophiles. Much of what goes on surrounding the Twilight saga is simply wrong, not only because it teaches girls to idolize characters that are not worthy of emulation, but because it actually has a negative impact on their spiritual discernment. It’s disgraceful what parents have encouraged their kids to do in the name of “getting them to read.” It’s even more discouraging what behaviors parents have justified in themselves and their children due to things just like the Twilight saga.
With that, please take the next 13 minutes to listen to this video from Mark Driscoll. Be prepared to laugh as well…his comments are quite hilarious at times. And, if you really are as anti-Twilight as Driscoll and I, you can also read this short, but very well-written article by Katie Nace, a friend of mine at Regent University.