Anti Mormon Book: The Berenstain Bears and the Double Dare

Historian Fawn Brodie might make a good case against Joseph Smith by exposing his shady past in No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith and the Ostlings may as well describe the Church’s empire for what it truly is, while also peeking into various open sores in its history, doctrine, and governance in Mormon America – The Power and the Promise (arguably one of the best and most balanced pieces of literature on the LDS Church by non-Mormons), but neither book can summarize so precisely and in so few pages the kind of mindset required to send any Mormon running from the Temple as The Berenstain Bears and the Double Dare.

berenstainIf you’re not familiar with the Berenstain Bears books and you have children, you’re a bad parent. Ok, maybe not, but you could improve your approval rating (a la Calvin and Hobbes) by picking one up at your local library on your next visit. The Berenstains (the authors) have an amazing ability to communicate to children some of life’s most universal experiences and problems in a very entertaining way.

In this book, The Double Dare, Brother Bear is pressured by Too-Tall and his gang to steal a watermelon from Farmer Ben’s patch. Brother Bear is reluctant to follow their lead, but the gang is quick to apply the ultimate force and start calling him “chicken” and clucking at him. In a very McFlyish manner, Brother Bear succumbs to the gang’s pressure and proceeds to try to steal the watermelon but is then caught red-handed by Farmer Ben.

After this incident, the Berenstains beautifully write what could arguably be one of the biggest lessons in a child’s life, all in about 3 pages, which I will quote here:

“‘Well’, said Ben as they walked through his chicken yard, ‘chickens aren’t very bright. But they’re too smart to do something stupid just because somebody calls them chicken.’
‘I guess so,’ admitted Brother.

Just ahead was the meadow where Ben’s sheep were grazing. One of them – a large ram – took it into his head to start running. And run he did – straight for the highway!
‘Your sheep are headed for the highway, Ben!’ cried Brother.
‘Don’t worry,’ said Ben. ‘Shep, my old sheepdog, will take care of ‘em.’ Shep raced ahead and cut the sheep off before they got there.

‘Sheep are like that,’ said Ben. ‘Follow a leader anywhere – off a cliff, if that’s what the leader decides. And some folks are like that too. Follow a leader wherever he goes – across a highway, over a cliff… to the edge of my watermelon patch.’ He looked at Brother, and Brother knew exactly what he was talking about.”
(They go on to share the watermelon and Brother ends up facing the gang again, but you’ll have to read the book for the exciting ending).

The Mormons love the word SHEEP!!! In fact, the scriptures are filled with references to the word and Jesus himself is referred to as “the good Shepperd” and his followers as “the flock” or sheep.
The concept of following someone blindly is Christianity’s big ticket item. Understandably so, since it would be hard to control and use people who can think for themselves and who can decide what is right or wrong outside of dogma.

However, no sane parent would teach their children to follow anyone blindly outside of religion, in all aspects of their lives, be it at school, work, or any organization. The ability to think on our feet and make logical, rational decisions is one of the most important tools available to help us successfully navigate through life.

The Berenstains have written many books dealing with many common moral dilemmas in a simple, direct, and fun way. Their only book (to date) that directly deals with religion, The Berenstain Bears and the Big Question (which is argued to be faith-promoting, but I think it’s just going over most Christians’ heads), summarizes nicely this post in a short dialogue between Sister Bear and Papa Bear.

When walking home, Sister asks Papa “Did God make questions?” to which Papa answers “Yes, Sister, mostly questions.”

7 comments to Anti Mormon Book: The Berenstain Bears and the Double Dare

  • […] older and the loss of drama, but that will have to wait for another day, because I was reading a post at a blog and ran across this line: The concept of following someone blindly [like sheep] is […]

  • The sheep/shepherd language is carried on throughout the Bible and favored by most sects of Christianity (not just Mormons). Though Mormons are often the gosh-darn funniest. If you haven’t already had the fun of debating a missionary on check out my blog, where I take on three young missionaries :)

  • Tony Zahn

    When my wife and I met she told me she was mormon and she knew that I wasn’t,I was raised Catholic.She assured me that she didn’t practice “it” any longer.Everything was great until one day her sister and sister’s husband came into the picture Now when they visit I have to watch my language and hold some of my other little habits in check.I don’t like these people because they are very manipulative and one sided and spin any disagreement to suit themselves.I have been very tolerant of our differences but my wife always falls into thier ways of thinking.I am almost near the end of my rope and would like to know if you have ever heard of this type of situation and if you have any suggestions on how to deal with this.

  • admin

    Hi Tony,

    I’m sorry to hear about your issues with your wife, man. Religion is still, after a few years of leaving it, a sore topic around my house and a source for contention between me and my wife as well.

    While I refrain from giving marital advice here, I can only share what experiences I’ve had and steps my wife and I have taken to minimize confrontation. The hardest part of the whole thing for me was not trying to convince her I was right and she was wrong anymore and start focusing on making our differences manageable (specially when it came to our kids). If you live in Utah, dealing with external influences is even harder because, aside from direct family members, you have an entire community (ward) pressuring your wife to participate in and follow church rules. If you live outside of Utah (or the Mormon belt, as I like to call; Utah, Idaho, Nevada), it may be a little easier to create other areas of focus for your family outside of religion (e.g. instead of going to church on Sundays, take a Sunday hike; participate in secular charities, etc) and show your wife she doesn’t need church to do good things and feel part of a community.

    I would also point you to You’ll find many, many stories there about many different issues people have come across when dealing with the church and their family and also a forum for discussion.

    I wish you and your wife all the best.

    Please stop by again.

  • I’m very pleased to discover this site. I wanted to thank you for your time for this particularly wonderful read!! I definitely enjoyed every part of it and I have you saved to fav to look at new things in your blog.

    Take a look at my blog: youtube search keyword tool

  • 確かに儲からない(ギリギリの単価)が、生産体制の確保には貢献している。 キムチ韓国経済火病世界に類を見ない「経常収支」「資本収支」「財政収支」「家計収支」「企業」「中央銀行」の六つ子の赤字経常収支は07年12月以降連続赤字。 これはアイゼンが必要だろうということで、前日の土曜日に軽アイゼンとスパッツを調達しに行きました当日の朝は4時半起きのつもりが寝過ごして5時起きになってしまい、さらに朝のトイレも確実な場所でということで、ちょっと高かったけれど高速で静岡に。 多くの規制が統制された中、米国の友人達のサポートも受け、これまでに見たことの無い、ロサンゼルスの市内やLAX空港内の混雑など、非常警戒・規制を時下に体験いたしましたLA内では、この日に規制などは見られませんでしたが、ファイアーマン達が消防車をフリ-ウエイの架橋に止め、FWを走る我々に手を振ってくれました今日は休日でしたので、娘の買い物に同行しました普段は、なかなか出来ないことなので、ここで観光解説も含め、ご紹介いたします朝一番から北上して向かったのは、Deset His。 学生さんと面接などをしていると、「御社で働いている 人はどんな方が多いで 学生の皆さん、こんばんは。「平和」と「国防」のバランスをどう考えるか、国の要職に就く人達ですら頭を悩ませる難問です。 どの子どもも震災についてはよく知っていましたが、改めて、その重大さを認識させたいと考えました。 と shoesadidasブランドのハイヒールの靴は ShoesStasによって特にハリウッドスターに感謝し、ほとんどのトップレベルの靴のブランドはあなたのレイアウトのための偉大な靴やブーツを見つけるために取得開始についてアールアール! 不登校(かつては登校拒否と言われていました)・多動傾向のこども・育児不安の相談や、アトピー性皮膚炎で掻破行動がコントロールできないこども・喘息発作が精神的な要因で起こるこどもなども相談をお受けします。 海外で圧倒的な高評価を受けているタイトルであり、いよいよ日本上陸を果たした作品であるそれでも念のため説明しておくと、本作はいわゆる香港ノワールやカンフー映画に代表される香港映画のような世界で、犯罪組織に潜入する捜査官を演じるゲームである。 創刊号は30万部中小出版社の女性誌では、「Popteen(ポップティーン)」(角川春樹事務所)「JELLY(ジェリー)」(ぶんか社)など“ギャル系”雑誌が元気だ。 自腹で行けるかは別としてお聞きしたいです私のブログにもよく登場しますけど、若いころから一番長く通っているのは六本木の「中国飯店」ですね。 このブログではいささか私たちが知っている科学とは相容れない主張がなされている。 名前を呼んであげることは、相手の自己重要感を満たす方法の一つとして有効です。 シャワーヘッドのお勧めシャワーヘッド塩素除去 + 節水 + 低水圧 + 打たせ湯マッサージ日本製シャワーヘッドシャワーヘッドを交換するだけで、きめ細やかなシャワー水!

  • They understand it quite well that educational success is quite a decisive factor to check the
    employee’s motivation and skills. It is a huge list of information that the
    companies have to maintain and hence they charge a minimal fee to do
    the checks for you as maintaining this information can be a little expensive.
    Although people may find the situation uncomfortable, embarrassing, and
    inconvenient right now; with enough persistence and determination, the entire
    issue can be solved, the debt can be paid, and life can be great

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>