Issues concerning Harry Potter

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by jasonc65, Sep 15, 2002.

  1. jasonc65

    jasonc65
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    I'd like to raise the following issues concerning Harry Potter.

    1. Is it good literature? Is it well written?
    2. Is it acceptable literature? Should it be read inspite of its flaws?
    3. Is it damnable literature? Does reading the books and enjoying them make you just as guilty in God's eyes as if you were a practicing witch? Will you go to hell for reading them?
    4. Should children be allowed to read it?
     
  2. stubbornboy

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    to my opinion it may vary.if your over the edge obssess with witchcraft and your goth and you want varities of books relating to them then you got a big problem.or if you want to entertain your self well its fine.ive read interview w/ the vampire its quit absorbing but you have to remind yourself that this is just fiction and non of this are real.its a good book anyway.if you like good books thats much better than harry potter read lords of the rings.read them both and then compare [​IMG]
     
  3. jasonc65

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    Poll Results: Issues concerning Harry Potter  (8 votes.)
    Is Harry Potter good fantasy literature?
    Choose 1
    It is excellent. 25% (2)  

    It has flaws, but has much redeeming value. 50% (4)  

    It flops. 25% (2)  

    Is it acceptable to read Harry Potter as literature?
    Choose 1
    It is acceptable. 38% (3)  

    It should be read with discermnent. A mature person can absorb it. 38% (3)  

    It is very corrupt, and reflects bad values, but doens't reflect back on the reader. 12% (1)  

    It is evil and Satanic, and therefore unacceptable. It shouldn't be touched with a ten-foot pole. 12% (1)  

    Will it damn your soul to read Harry Potter?
    Choose 1
    Yes. God forbids witchcraft and divination. A truly saved person wouldn't be reading it. 0% (0)  

    It is not a matter of salvation. 100% (8)  

    Should children be protected from the affects of Harry Potter?
    Choose 1
    Children should be allowed to read it. 12% (1)  

    For some children, the books may not be good. But the same is true for other fantasy literature. 50% (4)  

    Children should not be allowed to read it. 38% (3)
     
  4. InHim2002

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    oh my word - some people actually think it is satanic [​IMG]
     
  5. LadyEagle

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    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/dynamic/news/story.html?in_review_id=306029&in_review_text_id=250010

    http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/harrypotter.html

    http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/harrypotter.html#5

    Another example why we as Christians are admonished to put on the "whole" armour of God so that we can stand against the "wiles of the devil."

    Oh, he's a crafty sneaky one all right.

    Some of the same Christian people who wouldn't dream of holding a seance or having a ouija board in their homes encourage their children to read this demonic stuff out of the pit of hell. How blind. How blind. [​IMG] How the Heart of Jesus must break. [​IMG] :(
     
  6. LadyEagle

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    Eph. 6:[11] Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
    [12] For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

    [13] Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
    [14] Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
    [15] And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
    [16] Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
    [17] And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

    Galatians 5:[19] Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
    [20] Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
    [21] Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

    BTW, as an aside, the Greek word for "witchcraft" is the same word from which the word pharmacology (drugs) is derived.
     
  7. jasonc65

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  8. Johnv

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    How many people thing the 1939 movie "The Wizard of Oz" is satanic? Anyone? Anyone?

    Let's not give Satan too much credit, shall we? Doing so only allows him to triumph.
     
  9. Johnv

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    otherwise we would have witches all over the country and the world saying 'this is not a true representation of our religion' Actually, many wiccans have been saying exactly that about the classic western interpretation of witches for years (ie, riding on brooksticks, etc) but we haven't payed attention to them, so why would we pay attention to them now?

    I'm not saying 'let's all take up wiccan practices', but let's recognize our party-supply stereotypes for what they are... fantasy.

    Most likely, the furor of Harry Potter is a great way to sell increase the sale of "Christian" based magazines and literature, so painting Harry Potter in a satanic light is in their best interest.
     
  10. GrannyGumbo

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    How many people thing the 1939 movie "The Wizard of Oz" is satanic? Anyone? Anyone?[Johnv]

    "I've never watched it all the way through and did think there was something peculiar about it...now I realize it was probably a forerunner for movies such as the Harry Potter series and many have been duly conditioned to accept it. :(
     
  11. InHim2002

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    the wizard of oz is satanic!?

    this is like reading a jack chick tract!

    I think there are much more important issues facing us as christians than harry potter.
     
  12. GrannyGumbo

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    Some of the comments I've read from those who have read Harry Potter are as follows:

    (1)The author J.K.Rowling promises that each book will get "darker & darker". ["How dark is too dark"?]

    (2)The Harry Potter book series & materials have turned public & private schools into "Hogwarts Schools of Witchcraft & Wizardry!

    (3)Guards at the Azkaban Prison are called dementors. They are famous for their ability to "suck out your soul."

    (4) NECROMANCY: Harry uses a "Magical mirror" to make contact with his dead parents.

    (5)MANDRAKE PLANT: "Sacrificing Teenagers in a Witches Brew."

    ...And then folks scratch their heads & wonder what is wrong with the children in America!? :confused:

    "EVEN SO, COME, LORD JESUS!" [​IMG]
     
  13. AITB

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    I'm waiting for Christians to notice the Philip Pullman trilogy, His Dark Materials.

    Whereas Harry Potter is not overtly about God, that series is. If they didn't like Harry Potter... :eek:

    However - I think we could use series like these to teach our kids discernment. My concern is that Christians can be way too superficial about 'good' and 'evil'. Even though we hear virtually every day about the paedophilia that has been covered up by churches, which I think ought to have been a wake-up call that we live in a time where our kids need to learn not to make superficial judgements. I think our children need to learn that not everyone holding a Bible can be trusted and not everyone who is not a Christian is an immoral, evil, degenerate, perverted, debased, person.

    Some people seem to share our beliefs but yet I wouldn't trust them an inch. And others who don't, might be respectful people of very high ethical standards, who would never hurt another person. They just don't believe in God.

    So...I've watched with disappointment as some Christians have shown no more thought in reacting negatively to Harry Potter than a piece of software which searches for words on a list and tells you when it finds them.

    What that has to do with God looks at the heart and becoming the person of integrity described in Psalm 15 escapes me.

    AITB [​IMG]

    p.s. For what it's worth: my comments on whether the [first] Harry Potter movie supports Biblical values in any way
     
  14. Daughter

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    hi Jason! Good to see you made it here :cool:

    I'm still on the fence with this one... maybe I'll borrow a copy, that way I can see for myself. I know very little about the series' content.

    [ September 18, 2002, 10:23 AM: Message edited by: Daughter ]
     
  15. Mike McK

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    Agreed.

    Mike

    Daddy won't let us watch 'Davey and Goliath'. He says that a talking dog is satanic. - Todd Flanders

    [ September 18, 2002, 10:27 AM: Message edited by: Smoke_Eater ]
     
  16. Johnv

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    I think there are much more important issues facing us as christians than harry potter.

    Absolutely! I agree!
     
  17. stubbornkelly

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    I've read all four of the HP books. In fact, I'm anxiously awaiting the publication of the fifth. They're not the best writing, but the storytelling is quite good. Probably better than most contemporary fiction. That's doesn't speak well for contemporary fiction. :(

    I voted down the middle on all the questions. As with all fiction (not just limited to the fantasy genre), one must use judgement in choosing a book. The books don't promote actual witchcraft, and I'd almost say they don't promote much of anything, other than reading. They're good stories. Fiction, but good, and fun to read. That said, there is much better children's literature out there.

    These books really have nothing to do with witchcraft as religion. They follow the fantastic idea of witchcraft, with potions and broomsticks and things like that. I don't know any witches who do the things they do in those books (and yes, I know a few). There may be some people who think they can do some of those things, or would like to think they could, but most people I know (anecdotal evidence, but it's all I've got for this) take the books as they're intended -- fantastic tales.

    A lot of witches have, in fact, made statements that the HP books aren't a true representation of witchcraft. And based on my knowledge, they are not. I'm in agreement with Johnv on this one. We need to understand that most people's understanding of witchcraft comes from Buffy and Sabrina and, yes, the Potter books, but none of these is accurate. These media representations are of our Halloween inprired idea of witches, not of practitioners of any religion.

    I'm not a speculative fiction expert, but I do read a lot of it, and even in that genre, the HP books are among the better ones. A lot of SF writers gloss over character development, and Rowling does an excellent job with it. Her prose is so descriptive, that when I watched the movie of the first book, I found that I was watching the book, almost exactly as I had envisioned it while reading.

    I'm currently reading the third book in the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman. These books are much better literature than HP. However, they raise a lot of theological issues. Not so much in the first two books, but the third book -- definitely. Good stuff in these books, though. I, too, was wondering when Christians would notice these books, AITB. But, they haven't been hyped at all, and that makes the difference.

    Granny, I don't recall the mention of teenage sacrifices in regard to the mandrake plants, but I do know that the mirror was not for making contact with Harry's parents. The mirror was designed to show whoever looked in it, what he or she wanted the most. He saw his parents. I don't consider that "making contact," but if others do, well, I think they've misunderstood, but it's their privilege. [​IMG] I'm actually quite impressed with Rowling's intent to have the books grow with the kids who read them. However, with so many kids not having begun reading them when they were first published (the idea was that the kids reading them would be a year older when the new book was released, thus more able to handle the darker, more serious aspects -- one of the main characters dying, for instance), a lot of kids are reading all four within weeks of each other, thus negating the original idea. But I still think it was a pretty good idea in theory, even if the practice didn't work out that way.

    Anyway, I've read them, enjoyed them, and have discussed them with my younger cousins (they read them before I did!). Any kid who has a good understanding of fiction v reality will be fine. I don't believe any book should be prevented from release because there are some kids who don't know the difference, and some parents who won't teach them that difference.

    Also, "children's literature" covers a large age range, and no one should delude themselves into believing that something labelled such is appropriate for all age children. That's certainly true for His Dark Materials - I would let a kid under age 9 or so read them, and that's probably the lower end of the appropriate age range.
     
  18. stubbornboy

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    maybe marketing is the true EVIL :rolleyes:
     
  19. Candide

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    These books are making children love to read again. I fail to see how that's a bad thing. My children will grow to be well read individuals. If we oppose intellectualism, what does that say about our beliefs? If beliefs cannot stand up to a simple free discourse or more specifically in this case, a mere introduction to a fantasy world with only passing resemblence to other religions, how accurate can those beliefs really be? If they are so easily shattered, then perhaps they need to be reexamined.

    http://www.dailycal.org/article.asp?id=9470

    Berkeley Public Library Prepares to Spotlight Top Controversial Books
    Banned Books Week Celebrates Freedom of Speech

    By MONICA LAM
    Contributing Writer
    Wednesday, September 18, 2002

    Banned books will be coming to a library near you.

    Librarians from the Berkeley Public Library are encouraging patrons to read controversial, censored or banned books for the coming Banned Books Week, a national celebration of freedom of speech at the end of the month.

    They have compiled a reading list, which features some of the 20th century's most debated novels, ranging from J.D. Salinger's "Catcher in the Rye" to Alice Walker's "The Color Purple."

    "Intellectual freedom is the idea, which the whole public library system is based on," said Senior Librarian Francisca Goldsmith. "The spirit of Banned Books Week is to remind people of their freedom of speech and to remind them to use it."

    This year, members of the community are invited to an outdoor reading of John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" Sept. 26.

    "Of Mice and Men" was banned for years after it was published in 1937 and was chosen in honor of the 100th anniversary of California author Steinbeck's birth.

    It was the second "most challenged book" of 2001, according to the American Library Association.

    In the story, Steinbeck tells the story of two Depression-era California migrant farm workers, one of whom is mentally retarded. The objections range from the book's "morbid and depressing themes" to the use of violence and the word "nigger," according to the American Library Association.

    Last year, J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" series made the list of "most challenged books." In 2000, a religious group in the Fresno Unified School District spoke against the witchcraft content of the novels.

    Most of the opposition to these books has come from schools or school libraries, and the main objections are sexual content, offensive language or bad behavior modeled by a character in the book, said Beverley Becker, Associate Director of the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom.

    "People who ban books are concerned with symbolism and are looking to send a message," said UC Berkeley Librarian Thomas Leonard. "They want to stop the spread of bad ideas. They are concerned that the literary prestige of an author will encourage readers to follow their lead."

    The children's series "Captain Underpants" was challenged in a California school district because a character in the book showed disrespect for a teacher, Becker added.
     
  20. AITB

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    I think His Dark Materials has more 'adult' themes in and is more complicated to follow than Harry Potter so I'd say it's really more teenage fiction. I appreciated how there's nothing about sex in Harry Potter. In HDM there are relationships between people who aren't married, throughout the book, even though there's no overt discussion of sex. This is very true to real life but - I'd say it makes the books aimed at an older audience...

    I think HDM is quite well-known in Britain. I've heard they're making a movie of the first book. I daresay there will be a Christian outcry when it is released here.

    It's hard to remember exactly what was in each book but I'm fairly sure that the Church in the first book is portrayed as a very evil institution. This is not 'our world' - it's clearly fiction. But the author takes concepts and words and gives them opposite connotations to what Christians give them...he uses the word 'daemon' to describe something that each human has which is somewhat like a conscience. It is part of them - it is not a 'bad' thing at all in the book. Witches figure highly in the books; as in Harry Potter these can be good or bad just as people can.

    I like that HDM emphasizes human freedom and responsibility and the complexity of humans. It's partly a child's eye view of the struggle over who is on the 'right side' - who can be trusted...it takes a long time to see who really is 'on the right side' and to some extent that changes anyway, because as each character learns more and has more life experiences, their goals and motives change too. So I like all those things - implicitly there is hope in the trilogy, the hope that anyone can change, no matter what their past has been; and that those who work hard at it and persevere can achieve incredible things.

    The hope is not portrayed in a Biblical framework at all but it's there and I appreciated it. I think it is Biblical even though the books portray an alternate theology which is bound to bother some Christians a lot.

    Other Biblical things in there (to me) are - the redemptive power of love of people for one another; and many self-sacrificial acts where people put the best interests of others before their own desires.

    Anyway, that wasn't about Harry Potter. But that's how I approach Harry Potter also - I look for what I see as Biblical even though the worldview is fictional and not Biblical. In Harry Potter there is self-sacrificial behavior and loyalty and that good can achieve what evil cannot. If we only get as far as that it has witches and wizards in and say we can't read it, I really do think we miss an opportunity to go deeper and say "Ah but this particular aspect/theme is very Biblical!"

    But maybe that's ok with a lot of Christians.

    Personally though, I see it as a missed opportunity to have substantive interaction with the world what Christian values are. When their values are Biblical I'd like to acknowledge that.

    AITB
     

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