Harry Potter

Do you think the Harry Potter series is a bad influence on children (witchcraft, etc.) or is it just harmless fun and fantasy?

Fantasy =/= Reality

So long as kids are educated on that formula (as they are supposed to be by their parents), there is no harm.

To everyone else: Yes folks, I’m here before the critics. You all know what that means and you all know why that formula is there. :cool:


twirls finger lit with flame :whistle:


It’s absolutely harmless. it’s fiction.

I had a feeling another one of these threads would pop up sometime soon. Time to beat this dead horse again, I guess. :rolleyes:

I first read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (or Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone for our non-U.S.A. members) when I was about ten or eleven. I’ll be nineteen next month. Suffice it to say, I think I turned out just fine. :shrug: And bear in mind, I’m one of the biggest Potterheads out there. :smiley: So, no, I personally don’t think the series is a bad influence on children. And, should I ever get married and have kids, I will encourage my children to read the series.Heck, I might even read them excerpts from the series as bedtime stories. Who knows. :shrug:

Yes, there’s magic in Harry Potter. There is, however, a colossal difference between the invocational magic of the occult and the incantational magic used in Rowling’s series. The former involves calling upon evil spirits to do one’s bidding. The latter involves saying a set phrase, and the magic is then challenged from an unspecified source. If someone seriously believes that waving a stick around while shouting a pseudo-Latin incantation like expelliarmus is occult magic, then he or she needs to spend some quality time doing scholarship on the occult, Wicca, and other pagan-related topics.

Besides, as I just mentioned, the magic in Harry Potter is channeled from an unspecified source. For all we know, this source is God himself. Love is stated to be the most powerful magic that can be found within the universe, after all. J. K. Rowling identifies as a Christian, so this notion would make a lot of sense. Of course, since Rowling has made no definitive statement on where her universe’s magic comes from, this is just humble conjecture. Yet, so too is the idea that the magic in the series is demonic in nature, as some people who are against the series argue. :shrug:

Therefore, the only way I see Harry Potter being harmful for children to read is if the former option (i.e. invocational magic) is actually present and positively promoted in the series. In all of the threads on this subject, no one has proved that the former option is an issue within the series. And with good reason, too; one can find numerous Christian teachings and parallels within the series, the biggest one being that Harry is a literary Christ figure.

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I’m with you on this boat. I’m am an avid Potter fan, and have been since I was eleven, and I think the only thing it’s done is given me an appreciation for well written fantasy. I also agree with the rest of your post, about it not being an invocation of supernatural beings; but rather just an innate ability that the wizards posses.

Read them, they are exceptional books and have crafted an amazing world.

Your only 19. With all due respect from me at 59, you haven’t “turned out” yet, your just starting out. If something isn’t leading you to God it’s leading you away from Him.

It could be a bad influence on some children. I watched “Hocus Pocus” at age four and it led to a fascination with the occult. By age twelve, I was a secret independant Satanist and I’m very thankful that God led me out of that at age fourteen and that I didn’t know how to join a cult during that time.

Hmm. Touche. :stuck_out_tongue:

If something isn’t leading you to God it’s leading you away from Him.

And I would never disagree with this statement. And it may be off topic, but I will admit that I am currently struggling with my faith in God. My fondness for Harry Potter, however, is not a problem; I still was an avid fan even while trying my hardest to be a faithful Catholic throughout high school.

What I was referring to, though, was that I read the first book voraciously as a child. I have, however, maintained a grasp on reality as I grew up. I understand that Rowling’s universe is purely fictional. I may still be young, but I don’t see myself treating the series as if they were reality anytime soon.

Of course, there may very well be children or teenagers out there that do treat the books as if they were reality. I think if that’s the case, then there might be psychological issues at hand. :shrug:

For some people, reading HP may lead them away from God, but for many others, they have found the theme of a struggle between good and evil that’s woven through the books and the movies of the Harry Potter series draws them closer to God; especially when so many parallels can be found between HP and what we face each day in our lives here on Earth and how Catholic teaching commands us on how to deal with the issues. I’ve been known to post this info and link on just about every HP thread that surfaces here on the forum (and there have been plenty), so it goes without saying, I’ll post it again:

Our Sunday Visitor (OSV) publishes a terrific book about Harry Potter that’s specifically for Catholic parents and includes an interview with Catholic novelist and homeschooling mom Regina Doman in the last section of the book. It also covers the concern over then Cardinal Ratzinger’s reply to a women who wrote him about the book (that note has been discussed ad nauseum here on many closed threads) and Michael O’Brien’s take on HP is included, too.

It’s called "The Mystery of Harry Potter: A Catholic Family Guide " and is authored by Nancy Carpentier Brown, a Catholic homeschooling mom who also wrote the Father Brown Readers from Catholic Heritage Curricula (homeschool curriculum provider).

For any Catholic that has concerns about HP, the book gives a balanced and hysteria-free look at HP and how to discern if it’s a good choice for your family and your children. I’m sure there are people out there who have read it and still think HP’s not a good choice for their family, but it gives a Catholic view of the series ( and the movies that were out when it was published) so that parents can make an educated choice for their own families, instead of getting caught up in the anti-Harry frenzy that seems to dominate the fundamentalist mindset.

Here’s the book: osv.com/BooksNav/OSVBookandProductsInformation/TheMysteryofHarryPotter/tabid/3880/Default.aspx

I would also add that anyone (adult or child) that’s incapable of telling the difference between fantasy fiction and reality and fantasy “witchcraft” and the Wicca should avoid books of that genre; Harry Potter included.

So Harry potter is the devil.

There are two major morals in the series, though I think they are related.

  1. Our choices define us more than lineage or abilities.

  2. Love is the most powerful force there is. (And this is not wishy washy romantic stuff. We are talking about sacrificial love.)

These messages are highly appropriate for Catholics. Sure, the setting is fantastic but that doesn’t mean it’s automatically bad (otherwise we’d be like the fundamentalists who denounce Tolkien and Lewis.)

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Not necessarily, Valdemort is. Or maybe the caretakers cat! Either way there is a danger of desentiizing readers to the dangers of the occult anf I think the idea that one could possess “miraculous” powers plays right into our own rebellious pride that resents in a deep way that someone is God and it’s not us. IMHO

ya i was as young as the little girl that went on to be in American beauty years later…the only thing that movie did for me was make me have a crush lol, that and heaven was more real.

at least you didn’t take up Madonna zombie dancing from the movie…

If you want to talk about desensitization look at Lotr or narnia. They are worse because they tend to be viewed by religious as being good and representative of the faith.

Sorry but what you say has no support in Church teaching. I guess it’s wrong for kids to read superhero comics too because having sort of fantastical power is rebellion against God? I don’t care how old you are but that reeks of the very anti-progressive mentality that stigmatizes religion.

Ever heard of William Stryker? I suggest not advocating his philosophy.

Dear ChibiViolet,

Cordial greetings and a very good day.

Many men are of the opinion, dear friend, that the Harry Potter series of books do at least have the potential for enticing the young, yet in a state of formation, into the occultic subcultures. This is frequently dismissed as risible by the pro-Potterites and their supporters, but at a time when we are sadly witnessing a global increase in occultic activity, that concern ought to merit more serious attention than it is does. These books can undoubtedly stimulate interest in the occult, especially given the times in which our lot is cast, and it is incumbent upon Catholic parents monitor their children’s book choices. Notwithstanding that it is fantasy fiction the leading characters attend a school of witchcraft and sorcery, practices which in the real world are denounced in the strongest terms by the Sacred Scripture and the Church.

However, dear friend, the Potter tales are unsatisfactory for other reasons, most notably the issues of authority and obedience - two of the most intensely disliked words among today’s youth - and indecorous content. This renders the book series culturally unwholesome reading material for young people, apart from any concerns about exciting of interest in the occultic subcultures.

Thus, for example, amidst all the charming details you have repulsion at every turn. The character Ron seeks to cast a spell which returns on himself, making him vomit slugs; the ghost of a girl lives in toilet, excremental references are not uncommon, urination is no longer an off-limits topic and rudeness between students of Hogwarts is routine. In volume four in particular, dear friend, thesetrends are in evidence with added spice of sexuality infered refnces such as ‘private parts’ and the students pairing off and ‘going into the bushes’. All of this inappropriate material in books who’s primary target group is children! The consistent use of such repulsive details surely has the effect of lowering a child’s instinctive aversion to the grotesque and horrible.

Again, dear friend, student witches and wizards are taught to use their wands to cast hexes and spells to alter their environments, punish small foes, and defend themselves against more sinister enemies. In potions class they learn how to make brews to control others and herbology they grow plants that are used in the potions, the roots of the mandrake, for example, are small living babies who scream when they are uprooted for transplanting, which could at least cause desensitization to abortion.

The Potter character himself is hardly a good role model. He blackmails his uncle, uses trickery and deception, and feels free to break ‘a hundred rules’ (to quote the mildly censorious but ultimately approving Dumbledore). He frequently tells lies to extricate himself from trouble, and allows himself to be provoked into revenge against his student enemies, indeed, he ‘hates’ his enemies. Now the reader soon finds himself forgiving Potter for this because his tormentors are vindictive and mocking. In what can only be described as a consistent display of authorial overkill Rowling depicts such ‘bad’ characters as ugly in appearance. She also smugly indulges in a great deal of sneering at the Dursleys for being fat and makes sport of the oafish bodies of the students that oppress Potter. In these details, dear friend, and a plethora of others throughout the series, the child reader is fostered in his baser instincts, whilst lip service is paid to morality. In point of fact, nowhere in this inferior series do you have any reference to a system of moral absolutes against which action can be weighed. True, there are ‘ethics’ and ‘values’ aplenty in the tales but in the final analysis they are little more than an ethos. To put it quite simply what you have is materialists magic - magic a naturalized human power.

There will, of course, be those who will doubt that child readers will see all of this in the series, but it may affect them on a subconscious level and insiduously indoctrinate them, slowly corrupting their impressionable minds. These books are an example of culturally unhealthy reading material and Catholics would be strongly advised to give them a very wide berth indeed.

God bless.

Warmest good wishes,



Dear Polycarp 1,

Cordial greetings and a very good day. Jolly well put, but the problem is, dear friend, that many will not even concede that the Potter series has the potential to desensitize young readers to the occult, or perhaps only the ones who were ‘off key’ already and who were therefore pre-disposed to evil influences.

God bless.

Warmest good wishes,



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