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Once Upon a Time…

Protecting family values in traditional story telling

May 3, 2016 12:14 pm | 9 Comments

Once Upon a time

My fellow writer, John Herreid, posted recently about the importance of stories in family life. John’s article has many helpful resources to help you find appropriate literature and movies for kids. Stories with values, morals, and important lessons are what shape your children into the adults they become. What you expose them to, is generally what they will want to be exposed to in the future. Traditional stories of good versus evil and true love conquering all are what helped make my childhood magical and helped guide my moral compass. My parents read to me nearly every day, to the point where I could recite my childrens’ books from memory before I could read. So, when I watched one of the more recent episodes of ABC’s Once Upon A Time, I was shocked and scandalized.

What once used to be a very creative and fun twist to traditional fairy tales, has now joined the club of shows airing subliminal messages and destroying traditional marriage and family values. One of the main themes throughout the show has been the power of “true love”. To my dismay, I watched as Little Red Riding Hood and Dorothy shared “true love’s kiss”. Yep, you read that right. I was glad my husband was out of town so he did not hear my very loud verbal frustration. Angry and disappointed, I deleted the show’s recording from our DVR.

I suppose I should not be shocked. It seems that every network these days has an agenda, but I naïvely hoped that they would not, could not, mess with my beloved fairy tales. But, no.  The truth remains that the prince of this world will continue to try to break down the family. The family is the foundation of society, and as we are observing, once it is corrupted, that corruption seeps through every crack and crevice in the community.

This is precisely why the Church met to discuss the merits of marriage and the family. This is why it is important for us all to read and understand Amoris Laetitia. It is long and it is not without flaws and gaps, but it still has important things to teach us. Do not be so arrogant as to dismiss it, because a few people have found issue with it. The point being it is important for us to begin with our own families—teaching and promoting morality and the Truth. Be vigilant and read what your kids are reading at school. Limit their TV time and watch TV shows they watch, because even the seemingly ‘innocent’ ones are not always what they appear to be.

Meryl Kaleida

Meryl Kaleida

Meryl Kaleida is Production Assistant and E-book Editor at Ignatius Press. She is also a guest writer for Catholic Word Report. She graduated from Ave Maria University with a Bachelors in Theology and Literature. Meryl is a wife, gardener, singer, author, chef, artist and lover of truth. Her short story "I Couldn't Help but Notice" is available as an eBook. You can also learn more about Meryl on her website Kaleida House.

Tags: Amoris Laetitia Marriage and family Once Upon a Time traditional fairy tales


  1. May 3, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    This is wonderful, however, it remains difficult for me to support these to my non Catholic & those who have left how these teachings are valued after the horrors of priests abuse. Where were their values?

  2. May 3, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    Charlotte – maybe I can help. I remember when the abuse scandal hit a lay person wrote an article in the local Catholic newspaper. In summary, she used the following example: no one is proud of their drunk, drug-addicted uncle. He’s in short a disgrace to the family because he is abusive. However, he does not represent the family as a whole or even what the family stands for. Also, even though we are not particularly proud of his actions we still love him and ultimately pray for him because we know that it is only through the grace and divine mercy of God that he can be healed. The priests who did the abuse are the Church’s drunk uncles. We are not proud of it, they do not represent the Church, but we still pray for them.

  3. May 3, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    Totally agree I was so disappointed in this show

  4. May 3, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    Meryl, as a watcher of OUAT, I would like to point out that this was inevitable. I’m just surprised they chose those two characters to go that route. The reason it was inevitable is because this show has been pitching a strong feminist vibe from the very beginning. If you look at all the male characters, they are almost all weak and worthless, compared to their female counterpoints. Also, Mulan already hinted at being interested in Aurora in a previous season, but she chose not to act on it, because Aurora found happiness in her prince. As disgusted as you, my wife, my friends, myself, and the other people are that they went this route with Ruby and Dorothy, I think the LGBT community is equally frustrated, because they went this route with two characters who we will never (or rarely at best) see again, and the moment felt like a throwaway and pandering to the loud minority. I’m honestly shocked they haven’t been building up to Regina and Emma, but that would have been too in your face. You are doing the right thing by choosing not to watch it anymore, and the best possible result is a mass exodus of viewers that leads to it being cancelled.

  5. May 4, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    Meryl, I liked to watch that show because of the intrigue/mystery and could never figure out what would happen next. But at the Dorothy/Red episode-turned it off. Still would like to know what happens to some of the characters, but not after that. Ugh. Every show has to throw it in your face.

  6. May 9, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    Hi, Meryl! I couldn’t agree more about being vigilant about what our children take in.
    I want to recommend a WONDERFUL book that helps parents to do just that. It was recommend to me by a fellow parent; it’s called Landscape with Dragons by Michael O’Brien.
    In the meantime, I’ll be sure to pass on any more worthwhile fairy tales movies without a secondary agenda except that of good ole childrens’ storytelling.

  7. Dan at Ignatius

    May 9, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    Thanks for the tip, Em! I just wanted to link two related things:

    Landscape with Dragons is available here:

    And is also mentioned in a recent blog post here: “When It Comes to Marriage and Family, Stories Matter”:

  8. May 20, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    Thanks for the article. it is frustrating how shows seem to go this route. I’ve taken hear the motto: Acceptance and Equality are two very different things.

  9. May 20, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    This is so sad to hear. My kids and I loved watching this on Netflix. I will have to give them the bad news; that the show was ruined for us and can no longer keep up with the latest serries. Thank you for the article.

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