I could tell by the new “Pope Opposes Harry Potter” thread.
Once the DVD comes out in Nov./Dec., there won’t be anything left to instigate these discussions.
I’m looking forward to seeing how it all gets wrapped up. I’ve only made it through the first 1 1/2 books, much to my wife’s chagrin. :o
Personally, I see nothing evil about Harry Potter. Quite the opposite really. It’s actually a good vs. evil type of story. I’ll be seeing it opening night, haha.
We’re going to the midnight premier as a family. That alone is remarkable. With two teenagers, there are not a lot of movies that appeal to all of us and where they don’t mind (too much) being seen with us.
I think it’s time I re-read Granger’s book, Looking for God in Harry Potter!
I will say at the outset that I don’t believe that an adult Catholic, fully educated in his or her faith, can really take any harm from the Potter stories. I have only read one book and seen three of the movies. The books and the movies themselves have some serious problems, but most adults can recognize these. I’ll give examples. Dobby the house elf physically punishes himself, beating himself violently in the head with heavy blunt objects. In the first movie, Harry obviously delights in seeing his enemies get their just deserts(when the glass disappears and the other boy falls into the cage at the zoo). However, the story line isn’t entirely bad. Harry’s parents give their lives to save him from the antagonist. Some(I repeat…some)of the “magic” is benign. You can stand in front of a locked door and chant “Allo hamora” until the cows come home and it won’t open. If I attempted to mimic the “spells,” I truly doubt that anything would happen to embellish a faith in “magic.” But.
Can children really process this stuff? Read the autobiography of CS Lewis and you will see that during his teen years he experienced a strong attraction to the occult. The only thing that prevented him, to use his own words “from becoming a Satanist or a lunatic” was the lack of anyone to guide him down such a dark path. So in that sense, is there a danger for some children that a longing, a hunger, or even a lust for “magic” of the type described in the Potter books might lead them to the occult? When CS Lewis alluded to “magic” in the Narnia books it was never anything that a child could hope to acquisition for himself. Aslan was, after all, not a “tame” lion. And neither Aslan or his magic was subject to our own wills. The Potter books are the polar opposite. The magic in the Potter books is not only at the disposal of the practicioner but can be freely used for malice if one so decides. In Narnia the magic belongs to Aslan. In Potter the magic belongs to us. Big difference there.
As an adult I can read the Potter books or see the Potter movies and understand the mythology behind them as exactly that…a work of fiction. But I don’t believe that children can adequately make that distinction, and so the entire Potter series as a specifically children’s genre I find to be very dangerous and would not recommend them to anyone under the age of 18.
There’s alot more I could say. I honestly hope I don’t have to.
Harry Potter is a children’s series though. My teacher read four of the books to my entire third grade class years ago, and no one (including myself) ever thought one could do the things those in the “Harry Potter world” did.
Sure, I guess if a kid isn’t brought up to look at things logically and to discern fact from fiction there could be a problem. I heard of a kid not too long ago who drowned in the ocean because he was looking for Spongebob. But, most kids know that spongebob is just a character on a tv show, and therefore not real.
There are some who say that disney movies like “cinderella” and “sleeping beauty” are harmful to young girls. But, as a child when watching those movies, I never expected life to be like those movies, and I never expected to be whisked away by some prince to a perfect life.
It all just comes down to seperating fact from fiction. Maybe there are some kids who are incapable of that, but considering the countless children these days who read these books, and those in the past who have read them and have refrained from partaking in evil acts, I say that we should give kids more credit.
Got my ticket to the midnight show tomorrow night! Can’t wait! Going with hubby and daughter. Son thinks HP is evil no matter how I"ve tried to explain otherwise, so he will not be joining us. (He used to think it was okay, but then got involved with a group of people at church who are, shall we say, a little extreme. Well-meaning, very devout, wonderful people, but a little too ‘you have to believe and practice Catholicism OUR way or you’re going to hell’ for my taste.)
Only one concern – how long will it take the crowds to thin out a bit so I can go see it without being packed in like a sardine?
While I would certainly exercise caution with children under middle-school age, I think to say ‘anyone under 18’ is a little too cautious. I think most kids over about the age of 10, especially these days, know the difference between what is real and what is myth. For younger children, it’s up to the parents, really, to know what their children can handle.
And Spiders really can’t spell / write words in their webs
I see the crazies have come out again in the other thread. sigh
I personally like the Harry Potter series, at least the later books. The first few were a bit uninteresting and too childish compared to the later ones - from Book 4 on I really enjoyed them, and the various moral problems that pop up for Harry and Co. are interesting to think about. They get more interesting as they get darker.
My only problem with them - as it was elucidated for me by a friend - is that Harry constantly breaks rules and acts rebelliously towards authority and the law. Instead of being punished for these transgressions, though, he is rewarded wholeheartedly because while he was breaking rules, he was also saving lives - the old “ends justify the means” argument, which I find distasteful; it sends the wrong message. Other than that, I love the books. And the character of Voldemort is a fascinating one. It really underlines what selfishness and lust for power - the desire to make oneself God, in a very real sense (his drive for immortality, etc.) - do to a person and how these sinful things corrupt a person so thoroughly. And I’ve always found Harry to be a bit more believable as a hero because he is a realistically depicted modern teenager, for the most part. There are flaws to his personality that I find unhealthy and unappealing, but I can get over them, for the most part.
For my part, the movies don’t quite live up to the books. I liked the first two because they were lighthearted and fun, but my favorite is and likely always will be Goblet of Fire, because it’s when the series really started getting darker and more ambiguous and interesting. The later ones were a little too condensed as compared to the books for my taste. So my biggest concern is that Number 7 Part 2 will do the same as the previous three, and leave too much interesting stuff out. It won’t be the end of the world for me, because I’m not a slavering fanboy/girl like so many I know, but it will nonetheless be disappointing.
When it comes to fantasy, though, Harry Potter is just light reading. When I want real solid, good fantasy, I pull out Robert Jordan’s epic The Wheel of Time series (I’m on the eighth book) or the ubiquitous Tolkien - the Lord of the Rings or the Silmarillion, depending on my mood.
I read all 7 HP books, the first 4 to my kids who also went on to read the rest of them. Saw a few of the movies, but I’ve never liked movie versions of books I liked, so I have given up on the HP movies series
It seems to me that there are people who, while trying to defend the books from those who accuse them of being evil/Satanistic, go too far in the opposite direction and try too hard to prove they are really at least partially Christian based. Do we really need to do that? Let’s just enjoy them for what they are!
Also because, JK Rowling herself was not a “practicing Christian” while she was writing them, and my knowledge lets me believe that she only mentioned her pro-Christian sentiments in interviews as a way to placate the accusations of writing about the occult. Almost as if an image consultant of hers told her to do it. She believes in a higher power, and has membership in an Anglican church, if I am not mistaken, but stated that she has always has problems with organized religion.
She named her first daughter after the person she admired most in the world: a famous communist, who, in her desire to live out her radical communist ideals, cut herself off completely from her family. I surely wouldn’t do that! But she surely writes better than me, so I guess we are even
So, if we like the books, let’s enjoy them, but I think we waste time in trying to find Christian themes in them, if we believe that those themes were intentionally put there by the author.
Rowling’s first daughter’s name is Jessica. Who is the famous Communist she named her after? My knowledge of major figures in he Communist movement is very limited, but I don’t recall a Jessica.
Hi, MissGranger and kimmielittle!
Jessica Mitford (sorry, I should have mentioned her last name).
I really trimmed down her biography, for my ranting purposes! Jessica Mitford had an extremely eccentric and strange, and upper-class, upbringing, and quite a life in general. She was an extremely privileged member of society (the cousin she eloped with, and ran away to Spain with to join the leftist forces in the Spanish Civil War, was himself a nephew of Churchill, just to give you an idea of connections). But always lived as a socialist rebel (while, might I add, always enjoying a more or less privileged life, once she settled down. And eventually became a US citizen, so that she could join the US communist party! Good reason for becoming a citizen, my compliments!!)
JK Rowling admired the fact that Mitford remained true to her politics all her life, but in my opinion those politics were awfully “out there”. I repeat my sentiment from my last post: JK can go ahead and name her children after whomever she wants (I chose to name mine after Saints ) but it is just one more sign that she isn’t the type to write anything Christian-based, on purpose.
Thank you for explaining this.
Hi Tess and all Harry Potter’s fan,
Just want to share, Please watch this video of Women’s of Grace Johnette Benkovich interview with Michael O’Brien. I also felt that there’s no harm about Harry Potter’s book at the beginning, but after watching this video, we should be alarmed of what we’re exposing ourselves subconciously.
Oh and this is another article sent by a good friend of mine, which is written by a Father of Mercy priest, which basically has the same message as Michael O’Brien.
Hasn’t Lost Wanderer ably demonstrated the flaws in O’Briens critiques over on the other thread by showing how O’Brien uses inconsistent and arbitary standards continually.
By the way the Mitford sisters were an eclectic group, Jessica’s sister Diana second marriage to Oswald Mosley the leader of the British Union of Fascists. Hitler been a guest of honour at the wedding. She was an unrepentant fascist till her death. She was estranged from here sister Jessica due to their differing outlooks. Jessica Mitford WAS a communist but she actually left the Communist party in the USA for a number of reasons, including severe disillusionment with the development of communism in the USSR. She was also a tireless worker for the civil rights movement in the US it should be noted and put herself in physical danger on many occassions in here efforts with regard to that. There’s much I’d disagree with in her politics but much I’d also agree with. Saying bluntly that JK Rowling’s daughter is named after a ‘communist’ is true but it doesn’t give a historical context for the person she is named after.