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September 23, 2014

It's all Buffy's fault!

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 26th 2008 3:44PM
BuffyRemember when rock 'n roll was to blame for teenagers being out of control? What about when John Lennon's quote about The Beatles being as big as Jesus drew the ire of the church and resulted in deejays advocating the destruction of LPs and singles?

Well, here's another missive from an "authority figure" about how pop culture is ruining today's youth. Sociologist Kristin Aune claims that Buffy, the Vampire Slayer is responsible for young women not attending church.

Dr. Aune, who's written Women and Religion in the West, and is a teacher at the University of Derby (that's in the U.K.), doesn't know if Buffy has also affected young men. Her research doesn't address if boys are abandoning the church, too, so I guess they're safe.

This is no joke, although it does sound like a good way to promote a book that would otherwise be ignored. Mentioning Buffy is a good way to let the world know that Dr. Aune wrote it.

Of course, you have to wonder about her finding, that is that 50,000 women a year are skipping church on Sunday because they've been empowered by Buffy. The book contends that Buffy makes Wicca more popular and, therefore, lures girls from the church.

To say that this reasoning is a stretch is an understatement. By her reasoning, the fans of Buffy should all be signing up for witchcraft classes, believing in vampires and fighting evil in their own backyard. It's a leap of faith to say the least.

[via Jossip.com]

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greg garner

While I do not agree with the writer's premise, there can be no denying that Buffy is like two different shows. In the early years, it could be enjoyed by anybody who was reasonably intelligent. However, as the show progressed, it became evident that Joss Whedon had decided to drive away any of his viewers who had anything remotely approaching traditional sensibilities. Perhaps Wicca was part of it, perhaps the sudden 'conversion' of Willow to lesbianism. Not the fact that she was a lesbian,mind you, so much as the fact that she seemed to become one pretty much overnight. That was a transparent move designed to drive away mainstream viewers.Why not simply establish her as a lesbian in the pilot? It seems absurd for somebody to just suddenly 'become' a lesbian. Or look at the show's attitude towards Faith. Faith tried to torture Buffy to death, and who did everybody get mad at? Why, Wesley, of course!!! Hell, Faith had a rough childhood, and we all need to embrace tolerance, so it was easy enough to forgive the fact that Faith had tried to torture a nice person to death without the slightest provocation. But Wesley was a straight white guy who was stuffy and earnest, so he had to be wrong, pretty much no matter what he did. Then, we get to season six, and Willow became 'evil' because she was so angry over the murder of Tara. Of course, she had spent most of the year treating Tara like dirt, but that was beside the point. We had to get a demonstration of how much Willow had progressed. In year one, she was just about the most adorable person on earth. By year six, she was skinning people alive. Or look at how the show dealt with Xander in later years. He was the most traditional, 'normal' member of the group-so naturally his role was diminished to anemic comic relief. Skip ahead to the series finale. The final episode of the show. A time to reflect? A time to focus, one last time, on the essential four characters? No-a time to watch Faith clock some quality time with her new love interest. For me, the later seasons of Buffy did not serve as an attack on church attendance. It represented something far worse, and far more insidious. At face value, it was a lame effort on behalf of a geek to establish some 'street cred' among his peers. Whedon took the greatest show in history, and pretty much nosedived it into the ground, just for the hell of it. However, there is something about taking traditional virtue, condemning it, ridiculing it, casting it aside with a sneer-but then replacing it with this colossal nothingness, that is, for me, just about as disturbing as the evils and hypocrisy of the church.

November 17 2008 at 10:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jennifer

I don't know about anyone else, but hypocrisy, sexism, racism, and every other -ism in the book is why i stopped going to church. Oh yeah, and because I happen to live in the Bible Belt and I'm bi. All those things have made me a very happy agnostic.

August 27 2008 at 9:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ac

And the dumbest thing I've heard today award goes to.... Dr. Aune!

August 26 2008 at 7:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
joe

it's funny - a lot of people who boycott or blame Buffy or Harry Potter for things like this actually believe wiccians and witches are real. i.e. they have real powers. Some higher-ups in the catholic church was scared of Harry Potter because they thought kids were being introduced to wizardry and magic, which they could then use to gain access to demons and devils.....

August 26 2008 at 5:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joey Geraci

Argus, I certainly would hope that book has something else in it other than this ridiculous assertion, but that's not the point. If the author is stupid enough to make this assertion, the entire book is worthless. She obviously doesn't know what she is talking about, and should be removed from her position at school, assuming she doesn't have tenure.

August 26 2008 at 4:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
5 replies to Joey Geraci's comment
keithnl

If this is true its awesome, score one for Buffy in her fight against evil.

August 26 2008 at 4:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Argus

I like TV squad, but mainly for the reviews, not for the reporting. Why? Stuff like this, where the writers see an article and base their article solely on what they read in it, add commentary and do no other research.

This book is not about Buffy causing people to abandon the church. In fact, its an Anthology, something you would see if you did even cursory research about it... There isn't any evidence the article in question talks about Buffy in anything other than passing, and its simply that the media and yourself have latched onto it and blown it out of proportion.

August 26 2008 at 4:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Argus's comment
Mark O. Estes

Still it is something to discuss... Where did this woman get the notion that a TV show like Buffy could be the decline of women going to church? I mean that's ludicrous. The book might be an anthology, but if it mentions the main idea of Buffy being the cause of the decline of female attendance at church, then I think Allison's post is valid. Besides, the article is TV related because of the mention of a classic television show. Or did I miss that we can only discuss current TV shows on here...?

August 26 2008 at 4:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bsgfan2003

I was all fired up to lay blame at parents feet for kids (girls) not attending church, and to say it was nonsense to blame one tv show that went off the air years ago. Then I read what Argus had to say, and realized it was a non issue anyway!

August 26 2008 at 5:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
RadioScott

Oh, young men have been affected, all right. I mean, just look at that picture of Charisma Carpenter! Very affecting.

But seriously, is that Dr. aware that the show has been off the air for several years? What else did she find out? "Cheers" is causing postal workers to drink more beer?

August 26 2008 at 4:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rachel

Hahahahahahahahahahaha. Snort.

August 26 2008 at 4:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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