Lucky Charms and fundamentalist Christians

luckycharmsA while back, my husband saw me eating a bowl of the generic Kroger-brand equivalent of Lucky Charms cereal. (When I indulge in my vices, I indulge cheaply.) Because my husband and I are nerds, talking about the cereal prompted one or the other of us to wonder if there are fundamentalist Christians who don’t want their children eating Lucky Charms for fear of promoting magic–like the fundamentalists who famously disapproved of Harry Potter.

I became genuinely–not cattily–curious about this. Is boycotting Lucky Charms, in fact, a symbolic boundary that some fundamentalist Christians have erected to distinguish themselves from mainstream American culture?

So I went to the Internet, source of all arcane knowledge, and Googled “lucky charms cereal bible.” I figured if there was a website out there citing biblical authority to urge parents  not to buy Lucky Charms for their children, those search terms would turn it up.

Well… It appears that a month ago there was some media flap, to which I was oblivious, about conservative Christians expressing dismay about a Lucky Charms ad released by General Mills in connection with gay pride. So most of my hits were about that. If you, too, missed out on this little cultural fireflash, you can get quickly up to speed over at Mediaite.

But digging through the hits further, I did turn up some curiosities:

* A December 2010 blog post by an evangelical who uses Lucky Charms cereal as a hook to explain why belief in luck is unbiblical:  “Lucky Charms! They’re magically delicious. . . . Do you believe in lucky charms? No, I am no longer talking about the cereal. . . .” He disapproves of lucky charms (lowercase), but if he extends that disapproval to the cereal, he doesn’t actually say so.

* A March 2011 blog post from “The Christian Nerd,” who complains that on St. Patrick’s Day, “everyone focuses on Lucky the leprechaun instead of looking at St. Patrick and his mission and ministry to the people of Ireland.” This post is hard for me to interpret, even after reading more of the blog to get a feel for its tone. I assume there’s an element of tongue-in-cheekness here; but I think he’s sincerely lodging his basic complaint. Again, he’s not actually disapproving of the cereal, but the Lucky Charms leprechaun serves for him as an icon of society’s inattention to the things of God.

* A 2012 memoir about a very young child’s out-of-body visit to heaven. During the visit, Jesus asks her “what I would want if I could have anything in the world.” The child replies that she wants Lucky Charms. Jesus promises her Lucky Charms. Her mother tells her she can only have them if they’re on sale–and the next time they go to the store, the cereal is on sale. This is not parody, in case I need to clarify that. The moral of the anecdote is that “Jesus cares about the thoughts and desires of a two year old. I am grateful for all the Lord provides, with or without Lucky Charms. If you could have anything you wanted, what would you ask the Lord for?”

* The closest I found to an online fundamentalist voice disapproving of Lucky Charms cereal is a countercult website which claims that Jehovah’s Witnesses (who aren’t what we normally mean by “fundamentalist Christians,” I know) won’t eat Lucky Charms because of the association with magic. That sounds plausible to me, but the countercultists don’t provide documentation for the claim.

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