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If You Thought Strangers Offering Candy in Parks had Designs on Your Children…

July 23, 2011
45/365 Life is like a box of chocolates

Want some candy for a couple of favours...little girl...?

…well, you’re right.

Have a look at some of what’s in this article: Edmonton mother angry at church’s actions in city park.

We consider it standard wisdom for kids: “Never take candy from strangers.” In fact, most parents teach their kids to be wary of any approach of total strangers, especially if they offer little gifts as rewards if the kids do some kind of “favor.”

Turns out we’re right to be suspicious.

Kathleen Crowe says her nine-year-old daughter Angeline was playing in MacEwan park last week when she was approached by a couple from the Victory Christian Center who gave her candy and a Bible verse. Angeline was also promised more candy if she memorized the verse.

“What if the next person who offers her candy doesn’t have the same intentions as the church? That’s always a fear in the back of every parents mind,” Crowe said.

Crowe speaks as though ultimately, the intentions of the “strangers with candy” of Victory Christian Centre were fine, but if other strangers came offering candy for favours, their intentions might not be, and therein lies the danger. But in fact, the intentions are equally insidious in both cases. Note that this Christian couple did not approach the mother, but approached the child.

There was no asking of permission. This was an attempt to convert the child behind the parent’s back. This was a complete disregarding of the parent’s own wishes for the child’s religious upbringing. Something this life-changing, as the Christians certainly viewed it — perhaps as life-changing as an abduction — and the couple ignored the parent completely. Indeed, this was a deceitful attempt to “abduct” the child from the non-Christian parent’s guidance.

We teach children to be nervous about strangers with candy. And this “Christian couple” displays exactly why they should be. Strangers offering candy — especially those who sidestep any involvement with the child’s parent — are always up to no good.

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