Catcher in the Rye

(Reblogged: from Mark Hamby of Lamplighter Publishing)

Catcher in the Rye

Did you ever wonder who shot John Lennon, and why? His name is Mark David Chapman. It is said that he was raised in a verbally abusive home. While certainly not the only influence during these critically impressionable years, there was another influence that helped shape the thoughts and attitudes of this troubled young man.

After dropping out of school at 15 and running away from home, Chapman turned to drugs. But before long, after listening to a traveling evangelist, Mark Chapman professed Jesus as his Savior. He began working at the YMCA and was thought to be a godly and committed young man who cared deeply for others.

But something from Chapman’s past had a grip on him–an influence that eventually led him down a dark path. It was not drugs, but a book, permeated with blasphemy, racial slurs, and a worldview promoting rebellion, apathy, unproductiveness, irresponsibility, lack of respect, vulgarity, atheism, and perpetual juvenile behavior. Written by J. D. Salinger, and perhaps one of the most dangerous books ever written, it sells over 2 ½ million copies every year and is still required reading in many schools! The title is Catcher in the Rye.

Neglecting to fill his mind with the thoughts and ways of God, Chapman left himself vulnerable to the book’s negative influence. It is reported that, after killing Lennon and waiting for his arrest, he continued to read the very book that had influenced him to commit murder. In an interview at Attica prison, Chapman said, "The reason I killed Lennon was to gain prominence, to promote the reading of The Catcher in the Rye . . . an extraordinary book which holds many answers."

It is inconceivable that school boards and teachers continue to expose children to a book that is so reprehensible–the very book that, along with the film Taxi Driver, also motivated John Hinckley to shoot President Reagan.

Young people desperately need positive role models and absolute truth to inspire and direct them. Let us choose well the voices that will sway their hearts and minds. May we abhor evil and cling to that which is good, as we consider which influences will be instrumental in molding the thoughts and attitudes of our children.

Recommended reading:

The Culture-Wise Family: Upholding Christian Values in a Mass Media World

How do you raise a family in a world supersaturated with media extolling toxic values that are not your own? Media critic Dr. Ted Baehr and legendary entertainer Pat Boone will help readers understand the power of the media and its influence on families.

Reading Between the Lines

Here is a guidebook for those who want to learn how to recognize books that are spiritually and aesthetically good–to cultivate good literary taste. Gene Edward Veith presents basic information to help book lovers understand what they read–from the classics to the bestsellers.


One thought on “Catcher in the Rye

  1. So true. too many Christians feel they can dabble in this world’s trash and stay clean. It isn’t possible. It comes back to you in later years; those stored memories of books read give the devil a great cesspool to squirt into your mind at times when you most don’t need it.


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