Children Of Strict Religious Parents Explain Which Things Were Banned In Their Household

Frank Trapper
/ Contributor via Getty Images

With so many people in our generations growing up on Harry Potter, it can seem kind of nuts that magic-related things would be restricted to us when we were kids. But plenty of children grew up with restrictions to what they could watch or otherwise consume- typically the children of very religious parents. Here are their stories.

u/monsteraadansonii asked: Redditors with religious parents, what nonsensical rules did you have about what video games/books/movies/etc. were okay while growing up?

Santa = Satan?

No Power Rangers (obtaining powers from crystals was witchcraft).

No Santa Clause (Santa was Satan apparently, we were too afraid to question that one).

No Pokemon (psychic powers came from the devil).


Really big butterflies.


Pokémon promoted evolution, and therefore was a corruption menace, leading to my secret cards being discovered and shiny Lapras being put through the washing machine :(


What's funny is that they didn't even start promoting evolution until regional forms came out. Before then, their "evolution" was really more like metamorphosis.

"No, mom, this isn't Darwinian. Just think of these things as really big butterflies instead."



My wife is a librarian. She says a lot of parents restrict Harry Potter because it imperils their children's soul with tales of sorcery.


My dad is a very religious man. I mean to the point of reading the New Testament in Greek religious.

He read Harry Potter back when the whole 'ohmyGOD burn the heathen book' mess just started.

His response was 'do these people know the meaning of the word allegory?!' He thought the book was great and told quite a few nuts they were, well, nuts.


Those evil bicycle cards.

Almost anything could be construed as evil. We were playing with bicycle cards once and she looked at the king with the sword in his head and freaked out, threw away all the cards.

I was also told even thinking the word damn would get you sent to hell so I was always nervous when I thought about that. Basically just thinking "don't think damn, do not think damn".

Sports were pretty much the only thing I could watch besides Christian programming. I liked cartoons obviously but the only acceptable ones were these tapes we had that told bible stories.


Not the drums!


My partner comes from a very religious household, and he was forbidden to listen to any music with drums in it because drums were the "devil's music".

Edit: just to answer some questions, his parents are really f*cking weird and seem to have their own version of Christianity. He and the rest of his siblings were homeschooled, and most of the time they do their own little church service from home. As far as I know they don't listen to any music at home still!



I wasn't allowed say "jeez" because it's "short for Jesus." That's the most annoying thing I can think of.


I almost got kicked out of a religious friend's house mid-slumber party for this. We were playing monopoly, I said "Jeez!" at some point, and her mom got up and left the room. I heard later from my friend that her mom was seriously considering calling my parents to come pick me up


That's kinda cute.

So this reminds me of a fantastic story. I went to Catholic high school so unsurprisingly a decent number of the teachers had fairly strong religious beliefs (all were super accepting and supportive of the students' beliefs and interests). My history teacher for 9th and 11th grade was one such teacher. His replacement for when he was irritated or in shock, etc. was "cheese and crackers!"


That just sounds racist to me, dog.


Action and violence? No problem. Serial killer documentaries? No issue whatsoever. But anime was heresy and trading card games were the devil because "these things come from a different culture".

Tbh it wasn't as much of a problem that they were religious as it was that they were racist about anything non-western.


That's a little extra.

No Disney movies because they were full of magic. Harry Potter was of course pure evil.

Mother blew a fuse when she find my father had a Styx tape because that's the river in Hell.

I borrowed the Escaflowne anime box set from a friend in high school. My mother saw approximately 0.5 seconds of it and declared it evil. Her snide remarks next time said friend came around were enough to guilt her into selling it for a fraction of what it was worth.

No computer or video games on Sundays.

Parents wrote nasty letters to the local TV news because of their use of the phrase "blow job" during the Clinton impeachment.

The worst part is how long that sh*t sticks with you even after you finally escape it.

Edit: how could I forget the most ridiculous one — Halloween is devil worship, so when my elementary school classmates were colouring jack-o'-lanterns, I was sitting out in the hall with the Jehovah's Witness kid.


Nah, it's just vegetables.

I couldn't watch Dragon Ball Z because my mom heard on the radio that all their names had satanic meaning in Japanese. I told her "But I don't know Japanese! It means nothing to me." But she said the message could get buried in my brain and affect me subconsciously.


Turns out the names did have meaning, they're pretty much all types of food or food-related. Kakarot = Carrot, Vegeta = Vegetable, Raditz = Radish, Broly = Broccoli, Paragus = Asparagus, the list goes on.

If anything, DBZ would have subconsciously encouraged you to eat healthily.


Not The Simpsons!!!!


For a short while I lived with my dad and his parents and the only thing they banned was the Simpsons. My dad and I still watched it when they weren't home though.


Good response.

My mother is a Cuban emigrant. She and my father were missionaries before I was even born. I wasn't allowed to watch/read/learn anything that wasn't directly related to the church. I "learned everything I need to know from the Bible." Instead of listing everything I wasn't allowed, I will just list the things that were confiscated by my mother for being non-religious.

- Garbage Pail Kids cards. Especially devastating because EVERYONE at my school had them, and I had traded a lot of stuff to get them. Also in this category, Baseball cards, and playing cards were not allowed, because the act of,"trading cards" is a form of gambling, somehow.

- Walkman, my parents didn't allow the private listening or viewing of anything. They said that they didn't allow it, because a) I could be listening to music, b) listening to Christian radio stations with headphones on was wrong, because it showed that I was embarrassed to listen to my Christian music in public, another sin.

- Books. Including text books. My parents believed that I was "called" to be a missionary, and therefore only needed to learn Christian material. I had a HUGE collection of used text books that I kept under my bed. When my parents went to work I learned everything I could, except Math. I hated Math, and had a hard time learning it on my own.

- I wasn't allowed to have friends, even Christian friends, because anyone can be tempted into being a bad influence.


I haven't been in contact with my family since my father died. He was the last sane person in our family, and used to sneak me off to McDonald's for secret dinners. (Soda wasn't allowed at home.) He knew my life was hell, but he was a weak person. My mother sent me a long letter on my birthday that year, saying I was a hellbound sinner. So on her birthday, I sent her a photo of me in drag for Halloween, telling her that I just got a sex change. (I did not)


Cards for sorrow, cards for pain.

I lost several MTG decks to my religious grandmother. She would raise a huge stink about them being constructs of evil then burn them outside while praying.

Loved that woman but gawd she pissed me off sometimes.


Makes sense, I guess?


I wasn't allowed to watch the Grimm Adventures of Billy and Mandy. I think my mom screamed at me once for that when I was nine, and I stopped watching that. To be fair, it is entirely about the grim reaper...


That's a new one.

My mom was Buddhist and The 3 Stooges were too violent.


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