Hi Nicol,
Well,talking about someone's religious views, opinions, and beliefs is a sensitive issue for this list. We have specific guidelines in place to prevent listers, including the moderators, from flaming anyone based on his or her race, religion, or gender. So I'll try and tread carefully, and I hope I don't step on anyones toes when i do. As you are probably aware there are several different opinions out there what defines living a good, moral, religious life. I've met my share of Christians who lead very laid back liberal lives, and I have met my share of Christians who are extremely rule bound. Based on what I've read in your e-mail your mom is the very rule bound type who sees sin, evil, in everything and anything that isn't specifically religious. Especially, games she doesn't like. Believe me when I say I know all too well what that is like. My wife's family, my in-laws, are a lot like your mother. I love Star Wars, and my in-laws claim it is Satanic. I like the Harry Potter books, and my in-laws say that is Satanic. I like a mixture of Country and Rock music, and my in-laws say all music that isn't religious in nature is sinful. Since they view most television shows as sinful the only stations you can watch at there house is Home and Garden, DIY, Trinity Broadcasting, and anything else with religious or home repair type programming. You wouldn't catch them dead with programs such as Law and Order, CSI, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, whatever. In my personal opinion I think people like my wife's parents are obsessed and fanatical about religion. However, it is their choice to live that way and I must respect them for it even if I completely disagree with them about their point of view. So here is the point of this message. In regards how to handle your mom regarding your choice in games weather it is Shades of Doom, Mysteries of the Ancients, or something else you are not going to be able to convince her to see things exactly your way. Having dealt with my in-laws, which have a similar view about video games, she's already made her mind up that these games are bad, sinful, evil, whatever name you want to call it. The best thing you can do in a case like that is try to agree to disagree. Try to look for areas you can compromise on without totally surrendering to her views. For example, your mother asked you not to play these kinds of games on her computer, read e-mail about them on her computer, whatever. Since that is her computer, she finds the material offensive, respect her by not putting that kind of material on her computer. However, if you download and play games on your own personal computer then your mom needs to respect your right to do so provided it is on your own computer not hers. You are a fully grown adult, and your mom not only needs to respect that, but needs to learn she is no longer responsible for your choices and decisions. I think most Christians would agree with me that your mom and the elders of your church have absolutely no right to invade your privacy, remove stuff from your computer they disagree with, all in the name of religion. That's just flat out wrong, and falls under the category of religious abuse. Anyway, as for the deeper question, "is Mysteries of the Ancients sinful to play," I'm pretty sure it is not sinful. Your mother's opinion that Mysteries of the Ancients has to do with idolatry is simply ridiculous, and is pretty far fetched. This is a perfect example of someone who shoots off their mouth and haven't a clue what they are talking about. All the while believing themselves to be holier than thou. First of all, idolatry by definition is the worship of idols. If I made you a statue and told you to pray to it that would be idolatry. If I made you a cross, a picture of Jesus, or anything else religious and told you to pray to it, worship it, instead of God that would be idolatry. If I told you I was a god, told you to worship me instead of God, that would be idolatry. Since you don't worship my game, at least I hope you don't, that isn't idolatry. It is simply entertainment. Nothing more and nothing less. As for your mother getting upset over the word tomb in the title that is irrational as it gets. Sure tombs are burial places for the dead, but many are very interesting to study and explore. The Egyptian pyramids once were used as tombs, and thousands of people have explored them over the years. They have stood on the Giza plateau for the passed 4,000 years and still are marvels to study and explore. There are plenty of other tombs equally as interesting, and there is nothing sinful, evil, or wrong with studying ancient tombs. As someone who has a deep love of history, archeology, and ancient myth I personally find it interesting to step back in time and find out how people lived, what they believed, what they ate, and how they died. Unfortunately, there will always be people who are so personally obsessed with their own religion that they condemn everything else they believe is contrary to their religious point of view. We saw this with the destruction of the Library of Alexandria, the mass burning of bibles during the reformation, and countless other cases of where books and other written materials were destroyed because of someone's religious view that this or that was sinful and therefore needed to be destroyed. One Islamic general put it this way, "if it agrees with Allah it is not required. If it disagrees with Allah it is not desired." In other words he was justifying the mass burning of books and other written documents because his religion, his opinion, his views were the only ones that counted. So all documents that didn't agree with his religion had to be burned in almighty Allah's name. I've met people like my in-laws that would do the same to Star Wars, Harry Potter, and any other book or game they felt was sinful or evil. I'm suspecting from what you wrote in your message your mother is another one who doesn't appreciate ancient works like the Iliad, Odyssey, etc because it wasn't written from a Christian point of view, and would happily toss it into the trash or fire instead. That's a real shame, and a very narrow minded point of view. In conclusion I honestly don't know what to tell you that will help with your mother. In my personal experience people like her aren't very rational or open minded to start with. As long as she is convinced this is some great evil invading her home, drawing her son away from the Lord, etc she is going to continue to fight you on this regardless if she is right or wrong by doing so. If this continues to be a problem the best advice is to move out of your mother's home and live somewhere where you can make those kind of decisions without being constantly punished for it.

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