Does New Moon paint an unhealthy picture of love?

newmoonNew Moon, the second film in the ultra-popular Twilight series, hit movie theaters this weekend like a juggernaut.

It’s been interesting to read Christian responses to the Twilight books and movies; as they were with the Harry Potter tales, many Christian critics seem uneasy with this new and tangled vampire love story… but where it was shades of the occult that made some Christians nervous about Harry Potter, concerns about Twilight are focused on the melodramatic (but chaste) relationship between protagonists Bella and Edward.

Stephen Greydanus’ review of New Moon at Christianity Today explains why Twilight‘s primary love story feels emotionally and spiritually unhealthy. He’s not the only one to take that approach; and it’s not just Christians pointing this out, either: see this article explaining why the relationship between Bella and Edward is troubling.

Do you agree with these critiques—that the love story presents an unhealthy model for a relationship? Do you worry that Twilight‘s young fans will take away a misguided lesson about love? Or do you think these critics are over-thinking things, and that we should instead be grateful that Bella and Edward’s relationship isn’t reduced to gratuitous sex (a rarity for a cinematic romance these days)?

What do you think?

6 Responses to “Does New Moon paint an unhealthy picture of love?”

  • Jon Paul says:

    I have no in depth knowledge about twilight. I have never read the books or watched a second of either movie. That being said, I think that over the top romance such as this is unhealthy when taken in in large doses because it paints a very unrealistic picture of what sincere love really is. It creates a fantastic and unachievable measuring rod for a girl/ young lady to base her relationships on. What books like this don’t tell you is that “happily ever after” comes with dirty diapers and long hours of tedious relationship building.

    Don’t get me wrong. Fiction should be an escape from the norm, but those taken in by this type of fantasy should keep in mind that it is just that… fantasy.

  • daniel says:

    Judging by the divorce rate in the US at a minimum half of the population begin their relational life with some unhealthy attitudes.
    Haven’t we all known someone who has been foolish in a relationship? Haven’t we all been that person who in an attempt to get our needs met pushed the relationship too far thinking we could handle/control/manipulate the relationship, I mean the other person? Honestly doesn’t it feel good to be so much smarter than a fictional character and sit there thinking that if you could talk to them you’d say, “no don’t do it, there are things you can’t control. If the relationship isn’t based on honesty and trust and wanting whats best for both of you it’s not as sustainable relationship. Don’t do it, everything will change. I know you can’t see it now but nothing will ever be the same again”.

  • Monica says:

    Personally, I don’t think that the Twilight series is appropriate for teenagers. The BEST parts of Twilight are the aspects that young people will not be able to recognize (most young people). The characters most redeeming qualities are that they have decided to do what is right and just, rather than “accepting” their lot in life and making no attempt to better themselves. One of the worst things that people do is try to justify what the choices that they make for themselves. “Well, I was born with a gene that makes me an addictive personality, so there is nothing I can do about it. It is who I AM.” The characters, Carlisle in particular, have decided that they will do good. Edward and Bella, though young and inexperienced, try to do what is right. They each come from a broken place and they try to make their lives better — and not at the expense of others. They also recognize sin and long to be redeemed. These books are not written from a Christian perspective. The story is very contrived in order to allow some of the choices become “necessary.” The books are hardly perfect and in the wrong hands can be dangerous.

    That being said, young people need contemporary stories that they can relate to. These are not the best characters for our teens to emulate. But, they are not the worst either.

  • Dave Ruiz says:

    I only saw a few minutes and with all the coolness on it, the deception is what gets me. How our generation is so obsessed with the occult and the pleasures it brings it is just sad. Fantasy is just Fantasy but we must becareful what we feed our teenagers and educate properly them upon occult acts and what it stands for and they wont find them self fanatized by some vampire and thinking that is the way it so should be cause it looks romantic. There is so much deciet right now and seducing spirits are just finding way to trap and fool our youth and that is where we muct becareful. God Bless you all

  • Joy Bell says:

    I own the books and have read the books numerous times, and while I enjoy them they are riddled with issues; particularly when it comes to the teenage audience they seem geared for. First off, I’m not sure I’d describe Edward and Bella’s relationship as “chaste.” Sure they don’t actually have sex until they’re married in book 4, but by the middle of the 1st book they regularly lay in bed together (vampires can’t sleep)each night. Also, Bella regularly tries to seduce Edward and toss away her virginity. I now have a generation of girls who think it’s ok to sleep with a guy as long as you don’t “do” anything. Unfortunately, human males don’t often have the same unnatural restraint Edward exhibits. Nor should either sex be put in positions where they’re relying on their restraint to save them. Secondly, Bella’s obsessive “love” causes her to throw away her soul and regard any other aspect of life (including life itself) as unimportant. In book 2 she wastes away losing all connections with her friends, not eating much, and engaging in dangerous activities in an effort to “hear” his voice. Let’s be fair, however, Edward is just as obsessed declaring that his half life is not worth “living” if Bella is not alive and so he attempts to “kill” himself in book 2 when he believe Bella to be dead. No one, girl or guy, should be in a relationship so all-consuming. It’s unhealthy physically, emotionally, mentally, and certainly, spiritually!

    These certainly aren’t the worst books out there, but I think their danger is in the subtlety of the lies they weave. Parents ought to be aware of what their children are reading so it can be discussed and measured against Biblical principles.

  • brittany says:

    When you get right down to it… Bella and Edward chose to abstain from sex until they were married. They had a mature relationship. Edward is constantly worrying about Bella’s eternal soul, since he doesn’t believe he has one. He desperately wants her to live a life that makes her worthy to spend eternity in Heaven. Bella isn’t religious, but Edward still tries his best.

    As far as teen romance novels go, I personally don’t know that any of them are healthy for girls-especially younger girls. Between the ages of 13 and 17 especially, girls are so focused on being loved, and they are constantly hoping for the man of their dreams to come sweep them off their feet. I don’t think that it’s healthy for a young woman of God to be constantly reinforcing in her mind that finding romance is the most important thing in life. Yes, it IS important, and it’s a truly beautiful thing. But being so young, there are things that are more important for them.

    That being said, I have absolutely no issue with the Twilight series (from a Christian perspective). However, as a parent, I do not think that you should allow your 13, 14, 15-year-old to read it until they are a little older. A certain maturity level must be reached before a girl can read things like that without it affecting them negatively.