GUEST POST by Luke Schmeltzer
My name is Luke and I love heavy metal music, hunting, video games and sports. I am 6’1″. I have an uncompromising faith in Christ and would fight for Him to my last breath. I own fifteen knives and two wooden katanas with which I practice swordplay . . . and I watch My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
I have never been “normal.” I was an angry and confused person for some time, but I have always been a big softie. I am a quirky and nerdy person and I usually stand out in a crowd. I am totally confident in my masculinity. I give hugs to everyone. I am secure in my belief in the Lord and am well defined in my doctrine. I know what I believe, love this blog for what it aims to accomplish, and I have great respect for the writer.
This whole “My Little Pony” thing started in 2012. My older brother (who was 20 at the time) called me from his friend’s house and told me to turn on the TV. He said,” I know this sounds stupid, but go on to The Hub channel and turn on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.” I knew about the little girl’s show from the eighties (the pastel colors and giggles and the “sickening girlishness” of the entire concept). It was right up there on my “Never Watch” list with Barbie and Care Bears. But I knew that my brother wasn’t the kind of person who would trick me into watching something I would hate (well, he kind of is . . . but I assumed he was serious). I turned it on and began to watch this “girly little show” . . . and then I laughed. It was funny! It was not the silly, little campy show I had assumed it would be. It had a good sense of humor and was just as funny as my favorite shows from when I was younger.
It was humor that I loved immediately. The animation was actually well done and entertaining. I kept watching more and more episodes and fell in love with the show. I talked about it with my brother and he told me that I was now what is called a “Brony” (a bro who watches Ponies). He showed me this immense online culture of bronies. I saw thousands of bronies who had invaded Facebook, Twitter, 4chan, and Tumblr. The internet was overflowing with fan art, fan fiction, amazing music, and fantastic artwork. I began meeting these hilarious and wonderful people. They were mostly all quirky “twenty-something” guys who where like me. (The average brony is a straight male, ages 15 to 30). Most were not social rejects or freaks living in their parent’s basements. I even met a large number of teenage or adult girls that called themselves “Pegasisters.” There was crossover fan-fiction for every TV show, anime, and video game that I loved. I loved these people! I even found out that this new series was created and written by the people who wrote my other favorite cartoons like Chowder, Fairly Odd Parents, and Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends.
If you know where to look, you can also find a ton of hidden references in the show. You can find references to The Big Lobowski, Star Wars, Dr. Who, Harry Potter, Coco Chanel, Batman, internet memes, God of War, 300, Dragonball Z, Bioshock, Terminator 2, Watch Dogs, Mary Poppins, and Flava Flav. Weird Al Yankovic even played the voice of a guest character! The list of famous bronies include Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), Skrillex, Notch (creator of Minecraft), Seth Green, Chris Hardwick, and the CEO of Valve Industries.
I then began seeing Biblical lessons that could be applied from this “kid’s show”. It teaches generosity, loyalty, joyfulness, kindness, honesty, and belief in a power greater than ourselves. I recently found a pastor who the has been doing Bible studies relevant to the episodes on YouTube! I met over 600 Christian Bronies and have had amazing talks with them about theology.
I do not believe that I am any less of a man because I watch a show for children. I believe that manliness cannot be defined by something as simplistic as what you watch on television. Manliness or masculinity is so much more than being “the biggest and buffest man in the bar.” In my opinion, manliness is being secure in your beliefs. Being masculine is doing what you think is right regardless of what others might think. I am not male because I have the right arrangement of chromosomes, right reproductive organs, or a big bushy mustache. I am male because I fulfill the aspects of that side of God. I aim to be a caring, providing, and strength-giving example of God. Exemplifying the Father is what makes me masculine.