Hello, my name is Alyson, and I am a Netflix and Amazon Prime addict. You can often find me binging on my phone or computer while sitting on the couch. Just ask my roommate and close friends, as I constantly quote or reference TV shows or movies.
I must also confess that I am a millennial. I grew up reading Harry Potter, playing Oregon Trail, watching TGIF and Saturday morning cartoons like Recess and Bill Nye (on second thought, Bill Nye isn’t really a cartoon but you catch my drift). And, I am among those millennials that tout how amazing the ’90s were and how TV shows aren’t nearly as good as they were then.
Recently, while binging on Netflix, a trailer for a new show appeared on the top of my screen. It was for a new series called The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. My first thought was, “OOH! Are they doing a reboot of Sabrina the Teenage Witch?!” But as I watched the trailer something became painfully clear. Gone are the light-hearted days of Melissa Joan Hart’s Sabrina the Teenage Witch. There before my eyes was a show that is a real-life invitation into the world of witchcraft.
This show isn’t just entertainment. It isn’t just some silly representation of an evil spirit. As presented by the show itself, this is Satan. We get a front row seat into actual satanic practices.
Netflix Presents: Satan
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, based on an original comic from 2014, begins with Sabrina’s 16th birthday and her Dark Baptism. During a Dark Baptism, a witch chooses her baptismal name, is anointed with blood (preferably human), and is required to sign her name in the Book of the Beast, in her own blood, thus becoming the bride of Satan, giving him her virginity and pledging her loyalty to the Dark Lord.
There before my eyes was a show that is a real-life invitation into the world of witchcraft.
As if that wasn’t enough, the show also contains a great deal of spell casting, prominent pentagrams, possession, rituals similar to the Black Mass, demons, exorcisms—performed by a lay person—and there is even human sacrifice and cannibalism. That’s just to name a few.
It’s almost as if this show’s focus is to take everything that is Catholic and flip it. The High Priest of the Church of Night is even referred to as “Father,” even though he is manipulative, untrustworthy, and hell-bent (pun intended) on destroying Sabrina or forcing her to submit to the Dark Lord.
The New Normal
It is becoming more and more common to see Satanism normalized, as if it was just another religion. The Enemy has slowly been pushing to gain this ground. I’ve seen it in the past couple years as shows and movies have gradually started including characters using a Ouija board, holding a séance, using Tarot cards, incorporating astrology, etc. Normalizing satanic things or witchcraft makes the idea and participation in it all the more palatable for kids. This association is intentional on the part of the Devil.
One of my good friends, Katie, made an excellent point. She reminded me, “Satan knows how to be pretty. He was an angel, and he was in the presence of beauty. He knows how to use it to trick people into thinking something is good. It’s a pretty good trick when Satan makes things that are evil into entertainment, which makes kids feel good. He knows how to draw you in with beauty.”
Now I get it, Sabrina uses her powers for good at times. However, she is still using powers, which themselves are evil, to fight evil, and furthermore some of her actions are intrinsically evil. What is the cost of watching the show solely for the reason of Sabrina being the “hero?” When we watch these shows, we are exposing ourselves and our children to these ideas, and, although we may not feel it or see it, we are also opening ourselves up to the spirits attached to this show as well as the idea that maybe it isn’t so bad. Furthermore, we are supporting the show and letting the producers know that we support its production just by viewing it.
It is becoming more and more common to see Satanism normalized, as if it was just another religion. The Enemy has slowly been pushing to gain this ground.
We might also be saying, “I’m watching it to compare it to the comic or old show, to critique it” or “It’s just entertainment. I do it for the thrill.” We don’t have to watch it to compare it or critique it. Researching this show was enough to tell me how it measured up. Additionally, by watching this show, and others like it, we are dulling our senses by watching evil. Have you ever noticed that sometimes you find yourself rooting for the bad guy to succeed? I have. Why entertain with evil?
What Do We Do?
First, I would recommend steering clear of this show and others like it. Instead, we have so many great stories in the history of our Church. Why not read a story on the life of a saint? They are infinitely more exciting and fulfilling.
Conversations about the dangers of evil are important to have. The Devil is real and one of his greatest achievements is convincing people that he isn’t.
One tradition I’ve used over the past several years is my Saints Box. I’ve collected holy cards of different saints and placed them in envelopes before placing them in an old photo box. On All Saint’s Day, I draw out a saint and spend the next several months reading up on the life of that saint, asking for their intercession and trying to put into practice one of their virtues. Then, I repeat this on the last day of the year for a New Year’s saint and/or on my birthday, making sure throughout the year to celebrate those saint’s feast days when they come.
If you don’t want to take the time to put together your own Saints Box there is a wonderful website created by well-known Catholic writer, speaker, and convert, Jennifer Fulwiler, saintsnamegenerator.com, that can be used instead. However, personally, there is something much more satisfying with running your hand along hundreds of envelopes, praying that the Saint picks you. This is an excellent family activity.
Secondly, if you or your children have already watched the show, perhaps a family outing to confession to renounce evil and be free is in order. To be honest, I feel I need to go just from researching this show. Additionally, conversations about the dangers of evil are important to have. The Devil is real and one of his greatest achievements is convincing people that he isn’t. His goal is to drag as many souls away from God and into an eternal existence of evil. Imagine everything you love, everything that is good, true, and beautiful, take that away and replace it with a void that can never be filled, all that is bad, an imitation of truth, and distortion of beauty and you’ll have the faintest glimpse of what Hell will be like.
Frequent confession and frank discussions on evil aren’t limited to dealing with this show. They, as well as the following, are ways that we can bring the sacred into our homes:
- Attend Mass every Sunday and daily as much as possible
- Renew your Baptismal Promises regularly, not just on Easter.
- Encourage everyone in your family to develop a relationship with their guardian angel as well as with the guardian angel of your family. (Yes, families are assigned their own guardian angels.) They are there to protect you and help you on your journey toward holiness. Ask for their intercession.
- Parents, bless your children. Children, pray over your parents. They don’t have to be elaborate prayers or prayers you’ve memorized, just ask what they want prayers for, extend your hand over them, thank God, and ask for it. (Parents, you can use the prayer from the Divine Office while laying hands on your children or anointing them. “May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil, and bring you to everlasting life”.)
- Bless your home during the Epiphany with blessed salt and chalk.
- Ask your priest or deacon to come bless your home.
- Anoint your family members with holy water or holy oil.
- Talk about the Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit.
- Pray the Rosary as a Family. A family that prays together stays together.
- Develop a devotion to St. Michael.
Just remember, evil is not something we need to be dealing with. Let the Almighty God do what he does best and when in doubt, call upon Mary, our mother, and ask for her intercession. She will protect you and always direct you back towards her Son.
Alyson Radford is a missionary with Ablaze Ministries who has served since mid-2018. She graduated Franciscan University of Steubenville with a Masters in Theology & Christian Ministry. She loves the arts, particularly painting & singing, as well as attending musicals.