“Ask a Priest: Is It OK to Have an Interest in Genies and Mermaids?”

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Q: I was wondering if it was a sin to find interests in genies, aliens, fairies, vampires, mermaids. Not idolizing them or like praying to them, but is liking them OK? I like playing a life-simulation game. I can play as an alien family or a mermaid who owns a bookstore—is it bad liking those? I have seen some things in the past about how aliens are fallen angels and we shouldn’t like them. – Meghan

Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC

A: The Church doesn’t prohibit interest in fantasy stories, per se, or in media (books, movies, etc.) that include make-believe characters.

Some Christians, in fact, consider J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic Lord of the Rings, which includes elements of fantasy, to be one of the best literary works of the 20th century.

The key to approaching fantasy is balance—not to get obsessed with this stuff and certainly not to put your faith at risk.

Fantasy stories and characters, while possibly OK as entertainment, shouldn’t become the focus of our lives. We are meant to live in the real world and to deal with and help real people.

As for faith: You mention something about aliens being fallen angels. Fallen angels are what we mean by the devil and demons. They are not “aliens.”

Here, you want to be careful about what you are reading and exposing yourself to.

To get better grounded in your faith, it might be good to do some solid reading in this area.

In addition to the Catechism, you might look at Angels and Demons: What Do We Really Know About Them?, by Peter Kreeft.

Another thing worth remembering: Life is short. It’s good to develop a healthy interest in the things that really matter, such as the Catholic faith, prayer, the sacraments, and works of charity. Count on my prayers.


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One Comment
  1. My late father and I both enjoyed a lifetime interest in SciFi, fantasy and faerie tales. And how well I remember our hours-long talks about favorite authors, characters, legends, etc.!! (I miss sitting with him even now, 20+ years after his passing.)
    However, my parents raised me *and my siblings* well-grounded in the Catholic Faith and I grew up knowing the difference between Angels and faeries, satan and Smaug, etc etc…and never would I ever think of confusing them!
    I still ~ to this very day, at 73yo ~ enjoy a good fantastic legend, but I thank my parents even more for the gift of the True Faith that they taught me. I would NEVER give it up, even if someone were to tell me that I could never again enjoy Tolkien, Lewis, Brooks, or any of my other favorite authors.
    Thank God for my parents, who knew the difference!! And may they Rest In Peace. 🙏💞

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