Harry Potter - My problem with it


#1

If you’ve read the books and/or seen the movies - this thread is for you
If you haven’t read the books or seen the movies - this thread is for you
If you’re curious about the nature of Harry Potter - this thread is for you

Yeah, I know, there have been many threads on CAF about Harry Potter, and many different apologeists, theologians, and Church officials have given their opinons on Harry Potter. The Church has not judged Harry Potter yet, so all we have is personal opinions.

Have you read the books and seen the movies? Yes! I have not read all the books or seen all the movies, but I have read the first four books and seen the first movie. I have also checked out the Wikipedia articles on Harry Potter and talked to others who have read the books. For all that, though, I do not have a perfect understanding of Harry Potter, and I believe the only one who could have such a perfect understanding is the author of the books herself. Nonetheless, without wanting to sound proud or wise, I have a great knowledge of Harry Potter and have reflected upon the content in the books and in the movies, as well as the mania which surrounds Harry Potter.

Is Harry Potter pure evil? No, not pure evil, but it dose include very subtile evils - evils wrapped up in good. The greatest evils which Satan presents to man are not large and terrifying - no, that would be too obvious. Rather the devil makes uses of little evils, wrapped up in great goodness. He combines truth with untruth and evil with good to confuse people and gain ground in the soul. And so it is with Harry Potter. The books and movies include many Christian themes and good values: Sacrifice, love, courage, mercy, non-violent resistant against evil, friendship, co-operation, chastity, hope, unity, spiritual warfare, resistance to temptation, maturity, responsibility, protection of the poor and the innocent, and the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness. However, in the midst of all these virtues and values, there are also evil values and the glorification of sins lurking in the books and movies: Disobedience and being rewarded for it - or at least no consequences following it, doing evil for a good cause, love as an an occult power (magic), a difference between good and evil magic, divinization, harming those who harm you, conjuration, distrust in the divine Providence, mercy-killing, homosexual acts, superstition, and using evil to combat evil.

What about just the movies? How are they? The movies are like Lord of the Rings: Special effects, great plots, great characters and acting. But there is a big difference between Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings: The former, since they follow the books (more or less), are about the glorification of the subtle evils; the latter, since they follow the books (more or less), are about the glorification of Christ.

How has Harry Potter affected its readers? Both subtely and not so subtely. Not so subtely, the books have encouraged reading, imagination, fantasy, art, understanding of others, awareness of poverty, and fight against evil, as well as a fascination with the occult. Subtely, the books have encouraged a false understanding of love, superstition, magic, and other evils which I’ve spoken of. Those who know the truth and have faith will be better spiritually prepared to discern the evils in the book. However, Harry Potter is marketed to the youth - to those who are very vulnerable to lies and deception. It is true that age of body dose not determine age of spirit, but the young mind, since it is not fully mature, is vulnerable more than an adult is to being formed to believe in things which are not true and which can cause danger to the soul.

All that I have just typed above I have typed for your serious consideration. However, for all that, it is only my personal opinon and meditation on Harry Potter, and you are free to reject everything which I have said or counter it with your own opinons and meditations; my words are not binding upon you.


#2

I think a lot of people analyse Harry Potter far too deeply. Just take the books for what they are: children’s stories. They do not deal with reality, nor do they contain messages promoting any of the world religions. The Harry Potter series is neither pro-Christian nor anti-Christian. The books do not even promote Wicca or any other magic-related philosophy. The books do not deal with any religious reality, Christian or otherwise.

I am aware that Christ instructed us not to engage in divination or magical practices. However, the Harry Potter books do not encourage anyone to begin doing such things just as Halloween does not make children want to practice real witchcraft. The books are harmless entertainment and should not be looked upon as something more than that. Children have always been infatuated with the possibilities of magic and stories have been written about this for centuries. The old fairytales prove this to be true. Harry Potter is just a modern fairytale.

I have no doubt that people will be able to find something objectionable in the Harry Potter books if they look hard enough. Certain Christians have always complained about popular culture; they even labelled Rock n Roll the music of the devil. They banned the The Wonderful Wizzard of Oz from schools because they disagreed with the portrayal of “good witches.” These individuals will always find something to complain about and Harry Potter is no exception.

Although I personally have no issues with the Harry Potter series, I will say that I find the Narnia books to be far superior, both in terms of content and the message that they promote.

The Golden Compass is definitely anti-Christian and especially anti-Catholic. Of all the modern children’s books, I think this is the worst.


#3

I’ve read all the HP books and seen all the movies, and own them all.

In my opinion, they are the most morally positive books for children ever.

And you can’t learn a single witchcraft ritual or spell from any of the books or movies.

Furthermore, Jo Rowling has been to many book signings and not ONE person has ever told her that s/he was converted to wicca or sorcery as a result of the HP books.

If you don’t like them, don’t read them.


#4

In my opinion, they are the most morally positive books for children ever.

I agree that children can learn much good from the Harry Potter series but I am not sure that I would label them as “the most morally positive books for children ever.” I view the Narnia stories or the children’s Bible stories as better in terms of teaching children morals. Would you agree? Furthermore, why do you hold the Harry Potter books in such high esteem? What is it about them that you like?


#5

Agreed. The books are, IMO, some of the best written, fun reading, positive things written out there that are geared toward the younger generation. My wife and I have both read through all of them, and seen all the films to date. I can see nothing negative with any of them, more than I can see anything negative from say, the Narnia series, LOTR etc.

I take them for what they are. Well written fiction, that is both entertaining, and educational, in a sense that they get children even more interested in reading.


#6

it dose include very subtile evils - evils wrapped up in good.

I have not read the book, so I cannot really comment on it.
But what you said above is usually how the devil works - evil wrapped up in good.

I have watched several TV programs talked about Harry Potter.
Those programs were shown on Protestant Christian channel.
All I heard was Harry Potter had subtle evil woven in good to trick innocent children. I remember one lady on the program who had involved in witchcraft before said the spells in the books were actually real spells used by witches.

The above is retold from my memory.


#7

I’ve read all the books (more than once), seen all the movies (more than once), & sure there’s evil, but then again there’s also good. Isn’t that the way with the majority of kids books/movies. Look at every Disney movie. And it’s always the good that prevails. The same goes for HP.

To me at least, I see more good in it than evil. Harry who was orpahaned, grew up with a horrible family, finds out he has a huge support group he didn’t know about for his first 11 years. There were people that always had Harry’s best interest at heart. They were & are there to protect him. Even the Weasley family take him in. Mrs. Weasley considers Harry as one of her own sons.

Do the kids break rules? Of course. Do they get reprimanded? Yes. That’s life. Are they vindictive? No.

Since you haven’t read all the books, I suggest you do. There are plenty of opportunities for Harry to get retribution on people that he does not get along with. He even saves the life of Draco Malfoy-his enemy at Hogwarts. He does not have it in him to do harm to people. None of the kids do. All they’re doing is defending themselves from evil. Is that wrong?

As for your comment about homosexual acts in the books, that’s just a false statement on your part. There’s nothing homosexual in the books. I was shocked when JK came out & said that Dumbledore was gay, because there was absolutely nothing in the books that even hinted at him being gay.

The furthest the books go with anything sexual, are that the kids are making out in the later books. Which for their ages, that seems appropiate.

My 12 year old & myself have thoroughly enjoyed the books & movies immensely. We’ve had deep conversations about the good & the evil portrayed & how there’s good & evil in real life. Our emotions have run the gamut in these books. Our love for certain characters, our dislikes about others. And yes we’ve discussed “magic”. Would it be cool to fly a broom? Maybe. Would it be cool to be able to apparate from one place to another? Yes. Do we wish it was that way in real life? No. It’s called fantasy. That’s it simply put. :shrug:


#8

I keep hearing the argument that Harry is a disobedient, foulmouthed, lying brat, and therefore not a proper good guy, but is he really worse than most modern child-heroes?
As for the spells, being way too old and busy to be up on the kidlit of the season I don’t know, but I was a witch for a while there and if someone will share with me some spells (not in every detail, just in case someone decided to try to learn them here and use them), I will be likely to be able to tell you whether or not they sound realistic, having studied more than a couple of kinds of spellcraft. Just to put people’s minds at ease or otherwise. Definitely not in enough detail to be a manual.
I am more worried about kids’ fantasy lit that shows the minds of bad guys too explicitly. They don’t need to learnn sadism and psychopathic thinking. Do the HP stories show Voldemort’s thought process at all or have anyone talk about it too explicitly?


#9

I think you treated this subject very fairly and thoughtfully and I am in agreemnt with you, particularly with that which I quoted above, and those things I highlighted I also find especially offensive.

(not sure what you mean by using evil to combat evil, harming those who harm you - as I am thinking of what happens in a just war)

Yes, in Potter all these things are written as an acceptance of the way things are. In Lord of the Rings, vice has its natural consequences, so while being fully descriptive of evil, it is instructive in truth.

I read the first book and saw two (or three?) movies and I read Prisoner of Azkaban (long!) outloud to my son. He was given it and wanted to read it, and it was popular at the time. So I thought it best to read aloud so he could get my reaction. We discussed things like those you mentioned above. Fortunately he has moved away from his interst in Potter. If he really wanted to read another I would want to read aloud with him in order to discuss it.

I understand why parents like it. They are glad to have their children reading voraciously since its often hard to get them hooked on reading. Its popular, so their kids can be engaged in something that gets positive reward - sharing their interest with their friends, being in on whats “in”. (In that respect, as far as fads, I think* some* exposure can be good - they are not completely in the dark about what their peers are talking about. If you read it you can tell them whats wrong with this or that, as you use it as a teaching tool, while also agreeing that this or that is an exciting moment or is a well-described place or event or character.)


#10

Nickkname, I can’t possibly take you seriously. :rolleyes:

Nowhere, in any of the HP books, is there a single homosexual act. None. It is not there. Can’t be found.:nope: Know why they can’t be found? Because there are none in the books. That’s right - NONE.
(A few of the teens go ‘snogging’, but then they are 15-17 when this happens - between boys and girls - pretty normal for 15-17 year old boys and girls!)

So for you to say the books contain “homosexual acts”, that blows any semblance of validity of anything you have to say out the window.

:shrug: :nope:


#11

brklynbrat puts things very well. I have nothing to add beyond this:

There are NO homosexual acts in any of the HP books. There are NO references to homosexuality in them, either. (Why JKR felt called upon to out Dumbledore is beyond me, however. It is odd, though, that none of the teachers seem to be married.)

Even though there is a Divination professor, the wiser teachers, such as Professor Minerva McGonagall don’t take the subject seriously. As she put it at a Christmas feast, “Tripe, Sybil?” Dumbledore makes a point of telling Harry something to the effect that our future is determined by the choices we make today. (A similar point was made in the TV series Joan of Arcadia.)

And, I repeat, there is not ONE recipe for any witchcraft spell at all in ANY of the books.

BTW, JKR has also said on many occasions that she does NOT believe in witchcraft or sorcery.


#12

I disagree.

Twice, in the books, Harry is shown as either using, or attempting to use torture. That would not be so bad if he showed repentance, or suffered the legal consequences ( life imprisonment in Azkaban)

But neither happened.

However appealing it might be to a child’s worldview to torture the person who just killed your godfather, it’s not something that I would call morally positive.


#13

Thanks for clarifying that!

Yet I saw a lot of validity in what he said.


#14

Reading some of the responses here is just plain scary. These are works of fiction. Good fiction. Not pure evil. My gosh folks, get a grip. Lemme guess; The same folks who are against the HP books are the same one’s who grew up watching Bugs and the Road Runner, and needed some type of psycho therapy once reaching adult hood in order to stay in touch with reality.


#15

Hmmm,

So, if there was another series, let’s call it “Fuzzy Carpenter”, about a boy whose parents were killed by an evil villian named BinLadinmort.

And in one of those books, Fuzzy confronts BinLadinmort at CIA Headquarters, but in the process, his godfather was killed. Fuzzy gets angry and uses an illegal high voltage tazer that every civilized government had outlawed, to torture the “AlQaeda Eater” operative who killed his relative.

All the while muttering about how to successfully torture someone, you really need to WANT to cause them pain.

You would not have a problem with this, as long as it was well written, presumable in an engaging style that was appealing to children.


#16

if the OP gets wound up over HP, then The theory and practice of hell and The rape of nanking are definitely candidates for banning.


#17

You are definitely one of the scary types I’m talking about. :rolleyes: That’s not meant personally, but, you have just taken something that is pure fantasy, Harry Potter, wizards, monsters etc. , and turned it into something that could be reality. There is a difference. If you can’t see that, perhaps you need help.


#18

Morality does not depend on the means. Why should I tolerate torture from the protagoinist in children’s liturature, no matter what the means?

Does the fantastical nature of the means render what is being presented as moral, or even morally neutral?

What if Rawlings came out with an additional book.

Let’s say that in that book, a Ravenclaw girl confides in Hermione that she is pregnant (too much butter beer made Doyle look less repulsive than normal :wink: and Doyles “protecticus latexicus” charm failed.

So the Ravenclaw girl requests that Hermione teach her the abortion charm.

Would the fantastical nature of that make it appropriate children’s reading? After all ‘abortion spells’ are just as pure fantasy as a Crucius Curse :wink:

As I am plainly in need of help understanding the difference, could you please explain it to me :rolleyes:


#19

Perhaps you are correct and the Fuzzy Carpenter series hits a little too close to home.

How about if we make it just as fictional as Rawlins did.so let me introduce…Fuzzy Carpenter in the 25th Century!!

Space Cadet Fuzzy is engaged in a struggle between Hogscars Colony and the evil reptilian Slitherians. The parents of Cadet Fuzzy’s best friend had been tortured to insanity by a Slitherian device, the Neural Agonizer. This is such an evil device that is use brings life imprisonment on the Star Federation’s lone prison planet.

Fuzzy and friends encounter the leader of the Slitherians, Darth Voldemort. One Slitherian crony kills Fuzzy’s godfather, so Fuzzy pulls out a captured Neural Agonizer, the same device used to such evil effect on his friends parents. With it, he tortures the crony,

While the crony is screaming in agony; our hero notes that to successfully use the device, you really have to WANT to torture the person.

Does that sound like good children’s reading?


#20

Well, I see a lot of extremists on both sides.

One side likens Harry to Christ, sees the books as the best written fiction ever, is quick on reading anything ambiguous to see only the ‘positive’ interpretation and indeed tries to fit every possible thing about the books to make it positive, Christian, and good.

Another side likens Harry to the devil, sees the books as problematic, superficially ‘well written’ but so ambiguous and indeed with areas of moral greyness if not outright evil, is quick on reading anything ambiguous to see only the ‘negative’ interpretation and indeed tries to fit every possible thing about the books to make it negative, antiChristian and evil.

Unfortunately it seems that a lot of people fall into one or the other of the ‘two camps’. If a person says, “Well, I liked the first books and descriptions of Hogwarts are well written but there were a couple of scenes that I had trouble with”. . .Camp A screams, “How can you possibly criticize Harry Potter for such petty things? Don’t you realize that people like you are holding innocent children back from great literature? Don’t you realize how blind you are in denying the Great Potter’s utter perfection in every word he speaks? Don’t you realize how stupid you sound?”

And Camp B screams, “How can you possibly see anything good about Harry Potter? Don’t you realize that Hogwarts is pure evil sorcery? People like you are making our children slaves of the devil!! You are blindly following ‘the world’ and ignoring Christ by finding anything of merit in Harry Potter. Don’t you realize how evil that makes you?”

Why can’t people ever discuss this whole series without the blind prejudice and kneejerk reactions/dismissals/outright distortions of truth that extremists trot out?

Can’t I find ‘some’ good’ and ‘some’ problems? Can’t I find the series ‘flawed’ without being criticized personally as though I were denying Christ? Can’t I find some things well written without being criticized personally as though I were upholding the devil?


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