Harry Potter --- what's your take?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Phillip, Nov 12, 2001.

  1. Phillip

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    Harry Potter, the movie is now coming out. What is your take? Is it as harmless as a Grimms fairy tale? Do children realize the difference between the fantasy and reality? Do we eliminate the books because a few children do have trouble with reality vs. fantasy? Is there REALLY a difference between Potter and The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings? Please be specific with your answers -- don't just tell us what you like---tell us why......
    Thanks,
     
  2. bb_baptist

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  3. kmgraba

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    Sorry! Wrong forum.

    [ November 13, 2001: Message edited by: kmgraba ]
     
  4. grammy

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    Whether or not a child can tell the difference between fantasy and reality
    is not the reason I dont allow Harry
    Potter books in my home. Harry Potter
    is about witches ans war locks. What does the Bible say about witches? The Bible says
    Exodus 22:18 Thou shalt not suffer a witch
    to live. Duet 18:10 "There shall not be
    found among you any one that maketh his son
    or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times,
    or an enchanter, or a witch. V11- or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
    V12- For all that do these things are an
    abomination unto the Lord and because of
    these abominations the Lord Thy God doth
    drive them out from before thee.

    Considering these verses what christian
    parent could allow their children to have
    anything to do with Harry Potter and not
    know they will stand accountable to God. :eek:
     
  5. J. Mordecai Pallant

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    Those who don't like Harry Potter are strangely silent on other literary issues. The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, The Moon of Gomrath and The Weirdstone of Brasingamen all go unremarked. All, however, involve wizardry and/or spell-casting.

    To focus on Harry Potter whilst ignoring other children's books of a similar nature is hypocritical. Indeed, Alan Garner's novels (the last two books referenced above), according to the author quote actual spells, cut short "just in case".

    What I think we're seeing here is your basic sour grapes. Someone somewhere didn't like to see someone else being successful. Similar concerns were expressed with regard to R.L. Stein. That particular furor has died down despite his continued presence in the market place, and despite his Nightmare Room being televised. Now, it seems, J.K. Rowling is the target. Curiously it seems more apropos to blame "Harry Potter" who doesn't exist, than the author.

    I notice, incidentally, that Pokemon, another victim of certain Christians' outrage now appears to be a non-issue. I find it curious that Christian activists jump from cause to cause, yet are entirely lacking with respect to longevity on a paricular issue.
     
  6. SeaFlower

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    Hi All,
    I haven't read Harry Potter books, I haven't seen the movie...and I don't plan to do either.
    I think I absorb a lot from the books and movies I've watched/read and I don't want to absorb this.
    I *have* seen the movie reviews and the merchandising...and they have shocked me and really made me worried that people aren't more concerned.
    :(
    In Wal-Mart, they are selling Broomsticks (from the Harry Potter books)that will say different phrases when you push the buttons...it is made for children to ride, the same way they used to ride little stick ponies. The movie/book apparently is based on witchcraft and sorcery.

    The most scary part, perhaps, is that pagan and wiccan are becoming more common.
    Even in the boonies where I live, a wiccan (who called himself a male witch) brought in a dog to our vet clinic for treatment (not paying though, since he doesn't believe in medical treatments for himself or his pets! but that is another story)

    Meeting people online, I have found over a dozen wiccan/pagan people...even one lady who celebrates both Christian and pagan holidays, if this is possible.

    It's unnerving because these books are *for* children...
    And even though witches have been in all the fairy tales, perhaps even sorcerors...they have been portrayed in an evil light.
    And this book/movie is portraying them otherwise...
    In a survey I was watching, it said that 2 out of every 3 children has read one of the Harry Potter books.
    And how many have ever had the Bible read to them??
    ~SeaFlower
     
  7. SueLyn

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    Not all witches or sorcorcers are portrayed as evil. Wizord of Oz, Glenda the Good Witch. Sleeping Beauty had fairy god mothers as did Cinderella. Several Disney movies in the past, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Mary Poppins, The Sword in the Stone, The Black Cauldron and Blackbeard's Ghost. There are many more that just has magic in them, but no mention of witches or otherwise. These are called "Fantasy or Fiction", years ago children wanted "light sabers" like those from Star Wars. It's just marketing, a fad, it will pass just as those in the past has fell away.
    Sue
     
  8. Karen

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Phillip:
    Harry Potter, the movie is now coming out. What is your take? Is it as harmless as a Grimms fairy tale?.........<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Connie Neal recently wrote, What's a Christian to Do With Harry Potter?, available in paperback. I think it covers well not just this direct issue but how to deal with disputable issues in general.

    Topics covered in the book include:
    "Is it possible that opposing answers to an important question can be equally valid and biblically viable?"
    "Consider why in the world it's relevant whether the stories qualify as classic fantasy literature."
    "There are some purely down-to-earth reasons these stories are so popular..."
    "In our zeal against sorcery, some of us are falling into subtle snares and outright sin."
    "Equip kids with spiritual armor so they can go into all the world protected from the occult influences in popular culture. The prophet Daniel is our role model."
    And others.

    We have the books, and they have come across to our family as well-written fantasy. We also watch Mary Poppins, read fairy tales, etc.

    Karen
     
  9. Chris Temple

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by J. Mordecai Pallant:
    Those who don't like Harry Potter are strangely silent on other literary issues. The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, The Moon of Gomrath and The Weirdstone of Brasingamen all go unremarked. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    ...and Alice in Wonderland, Snow White, Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Star Trek, etc etc. Rather than a wholesale condemnation of a genre, wise discernment must be used item by item, book by book, movie by movie. I understand and completely support any parent's right not to approve of the books for their child; I wouldn't by them for mine. Yet I may allow my daughter to watch/read other things that other parents wouldn't. It comes down to knowign your child, weighing and explaining the bad and the good, and making a prayerful decision.

    The parent must also read or view with their child, rather than let the medium be a means of child avoidance.
     
  10. Danette

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    Here's an interesting thing to check out. Do a search on the internet for Harry Potter. I did. On just about every web site there are games for kids -- making magic potions, casting spells and divination. Now, granted it's intended to be all in fun. But it would clearly desensitize a child to the fact that these activities are very real and are NOT all in fun. How tiny of a step is it for a child to go from "just for fun" divination to checking out his or her horoscope or calling up Cleo on TV?

    As for me and my house, Harry Potter is over the edge.

    -- Danette
     
  11. Ransom

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    Danette said:

    Here's an interesting thing to check out. . . . How tiny of a step is it for a child to go from "just for fun" divination to checking out his or her horoscope or calling up Cleo on TV?

    This is a logical fallacy known as the argument from consequences, in which it is said that something is true (or false) or ought to be (or not) because believing the opposite has unpleasant implications.

    Even if I grant that some people might be drawn into superstition and the occult from reading J. K. Rowling's books (though the fantasy magic of Harry Potter is so far removed from "authentic" occultic beliefs, such as Wicca, that I fail to see this as a realistic concern), that does not address the real issue of whether Harry Potter is suitable entertainment for children. Appealing to the motives of some readers does not support arguments about the book.

    Also, you're arguing from the slippery slope, which is also unconvincing.
     
  12. grammy

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    Let God be true and every man a liar.
    Thats it in a nut shell. What you or I think really does not matter. What does God think.?
    Is He pleased with us or not? [​IMG]
     
  13. Phillip

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    My wife and I went to the movie this weekend just out of curiousity. I must say that I was unimpressed with all the hype. It was a good movie and I wouldn't have problems with children seeing it (unless they had some sort of mental deficiency to start with). The movie was one of the cleanest, yet the magic and witchcraft was SO unreal that it was obviously a fantasy and I cannot see a child, even a small child seeing it any other way. Personally, I see as much harm in Santa Claus on Christmas than I did Harry Potter. Remember, Daniel grew up in Babylon learning all the witchcraft and soccery and he was better at it than the local boys. He learned to use it right. That is a whole other story though.

    I think that good Christian households will teach their children properly and children need to learn the difference between fantasy and real-world and Harry Potter is JUST THAT -- FANTASY. If you haven't seen it--don't blast it. Children playing on a broom handle is no worse than carrying a toy pistol and shooting his indian friend like we used to when I was a kid. We grew out of it and didn't turn into murderers and I don't think these kids playing with brooms will turn into real life warlocks -- if they do they have deeper problems than Harry Potter will start. ;)
     
  14. Brother Adam

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    I thought it was a B class movie. Good but not great. What is all this fuss about? It wasn't that bad ;)

    UNP, Adam
     
  15. John Wells

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    Adam,
    The “fuss” is about it being unbiblical.

    Revelation 21:8 (NIV)
    8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars-their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death."
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>BreakPoint
    cultural commentary with Prison Fellowship's Chuck Colson http://news.crosswalk.com

    Fantasy, Fiction, and Faith
    The Harry Potter Question
    By Charles Colson

    The series of children's books is popular with kids around the world -- but the British author was taking heat from the Christian community. People argued that since the books are full of witchcraft and wizardry, crystal balls and spell-casting, they weren't fit for kids to read.

    You may think I'm talking about J. K. Rowling, the author of the hugely popular Harry Potter books and the movie that opens today. But I'm not. I'm talking about C. S. Lewis. Fifty years ago, Christians charged that Lewis was teaching kids witchcraft. Yet today, most Christians -- myself
    included -- consider the Chronicles of Narnia classics and the Narnia books and movies are in most church libraries.

    There are Christians who say that there's no difference between the Narnia stories and Harry Potter. Some say both should be condemned, some say both should be praised. Other Christians love Lewis and yet have
    major reservations about Harry Potter.

    I fit into that latter category and here's why.

    There's no denying that Lewis's Narnia tales feature witches and werewolves; the spirits of trees, rivers, and stars; and characters who cast spells -- including characters on the side of good. In this sense, there is little difference between the Narnia stories and the Harry Potter stories. And even in Lewis, these characters should not be treated lightly. Christian parents should exercise discernment with their kids.

    The big differences lie in three other critical areas. First, Narnia is clearly not of this world. Lewis posits a wholly other world where the laws of nature are different from our world. Narnian magic is wrong and doesn't work in England. Harry Potter's world, by contrast, is this
    world. The divide is between the initiated -- that is, wizards and witches -- and everyone else, who are derisively called "Muggles."

    Second, Narnia is governed by Aslan and his Father, the Emperor Beyond the Sea. Lewis makes it very clear that he's writing allegory. Aslan is Christ and the Emperor is God the Father. Harry Potter's world is free from any reference to God.

    Finally, the Narnia stories are allegories of the great truths of the Christian faith: the atonement, resurrection, repentance, faith, justification, sanctification, creation and redemption, and Christ's
    return and our heavenly home. Book Three, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is filled with wise insights into Christian living. Harry Potter, as has been argued by many -- including my friends -- is a moral tale. Okay, it's a moral tale. But that's all it is.

    It's a simple risk/reward calculation. Both authors include fantastic and preternatural material. Both series should be handled with care -- especially if your children have an unhealthy interest in the occult.
    Parents need to be wise and attentive to the bent of their children.

    The reward with the Harry Potter books and movie is a moral tale. The reward with the Narnia books, on the other hand, is nothing less than Christian truth embedded in stories that have delighted and stirred the
    hearts of Christian kids for generations.

    My advice? Use all the hoopla today over Harry Potter to introduce your kids to the real thing: C. S. Lewis and the Narnia Chronicles.

    Copyright 2001 Prison Fellowship Ministries. All Rights
    Reserved.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
     
  16. John Wells

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    Revelation 21:8 (NIV)
    8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

    Revelation 9:21 (NIV)
    21 Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.

    Revelation 22:15 (NIV)
    15 Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

    Deuteronomy 18:10-12 (NIV)
    10 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in a the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft,
    11 or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.
    12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you.

    2 Kings 9:22 (NIV)
    22 When Joram saw Jehu he asked, “Have you come in peace, Jehu?” “How can there be peace,” Jehu replied, “as long as all the idolatry and witchcraft of your mother Jezebel abound?”

    2 Chronicles 33:6 (NIV)
    6 He sacrificed his sons in a the fire in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, practiced sorcery, divination and witchcraft, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, provoking him to anger.

    Micah 5:12 (NIV)
    12 I will destroy your witchcraft and you will no longer cast spells.

    Galatians 5:19-21 (NIV)
    19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;
    20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

    Now, since God has a huge problem with sorcery and witchcraft, shouldn’t we?
     
  17. Ransom

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    John Wells said:

    those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars-their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death."

    Uhh . . . is this the real hell, or the fictional hell reserved for storybook characters?

    Harry Potter isn't real, guys. Ten-year-olds realize it, why don't Christians?

    [ November 20, 2001: Message edited by: Ransom ]
     
  18. Ransom

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  19. Dr. Bob

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    Scott et al -

    Fictional characters DO influence real life people. Murphy Brown and the promotion of single-motherhood.

    Nobody said Murphy was evil or going to hell, but that the message implied and endorsed was wrong. Same with Harry Potter. The making of fantasy as "so real" is very confusing.

    The line between fantasy/fiction and reality is becoming more and more blurred. A local survey of 4th graders were asked if Luke Skywalker was a real person - and 60%+ said "Yes".
     
  20. Ransom

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    Dr. Bob Griffin said:

    Nobody said Murphy was evil or going to hell, but that the message implied and endorsed was wrong. Same with Harry Potter. The making of fantasy as "so real" is very confusing.

    But that's just the thing. Harry Potter is fantasy. By definition it is not "so real," in fact it is not real at all. All the wishful thinking in the world won't allow us to become invisible by wrapping ourselves in a cloak or create light by waving a willow-and-unicorn-hair wand and incanting, "Lumos." It just don't work.

    The line between fantasy/fiction and reality is becoming more and more blurred. A local survey of 4th graders were asked if Luke Skywalker was a real person - and 60%+ said "Yes".

    This doesn't prove that the line between fantasy and reality is becoming blurred. All it says is that ten-year-olds can't tell the difference.

    In other words, the problem does not lie with fantasy. It lies with the lack of discrimination amongst fourth graders.

    [ November 20, 2001: Message edited by: Ransom ]
     

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