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AuthorTopic: Harry Potter
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
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quote:
Originally written by Drew:

quote:
Originally written by Overwhelming:

...it's morals and virtues are very twisted. But it's all disguized in a nice fairy tale.
I don't think they are. The books seem to foster the values of diversity, open-mindedness, loyalty, friendship, and the value of life. How can you object to those values?

Compassionate Conservatism(TM).
~~"We'll teach you to be open-minded."~~

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"Polaris leers down from the black vault, winking hideously like an insane watching eye which strives to convey some strange message, yet recalls nothing save that it once had a message to convey." --- HP Lovecraft.
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Oh, wow. I never expected to see this argument on Spidweb. For an encore, how about we argue about whether Christian music is in fact a tool of the Devil?

Given that the Bible itself contains descriptions of witchcraft (and not just silly Bewitched-style fantasy labelled "witchcraft") I've always thought it was absurd to object to Harry Potter on religious grounds.

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Shaper
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So have I. So there is a bit of magic in the books, its teaching the kids imagination, and its not like JK is writing about anti-christ morons, who dream to join the KKK, is it?

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Polaris
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Well, the Death Eaters have similarities to the KKK... I think you might have just convinced me. :P

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Spring, I didn't know that the KKK was anti-Christ, I always thought it was twisted Christianity.

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I'm tired of the strain and the pain ___ ___ ___ I feel the same, I feel nothing
Nothing is important to me ___ ___ ___ ___ __ And nobody nowhere understands anything
About me and all my dreams lost at sea ___ __ But we’re not the same, we’re different tonight
We’ll make things right, we’ll feel it all tonight _ The indescribable moments of your life tonight
The impossible is possible tonight ___ ____ ___ Believe in me as I believe in you, tonight

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[b]Although that article goes out of its way to describe characteristics of witchcraft (as well as fail to distinguish it from fantasy), it largely fails to do what it intends: explain why any of these things are negative influences on readers. The reference to four murders? Big deal - it's not as if murder is a topic absent from pretty much every other genre of literature ever, especially in the fantasy that you love.[/b]

I won't be too exaustive in my answer, but it might be a bit long.

""The ordinary person is typified as being bad because they have no (magic) powers, and heroes are the people who are using the occult. Good finds itself in the occult, which is an inversion of morality for many Christian people" Even many non-Christian parents have been concerned due to the greatly heightened fear that their younger children have after reading Potter's books."

Of course, I'm talking in a Christian moral point of view. An atheíst wouldn't think that above is wrong, for example. But then again, what moral does he have? Only his own moral. At least christian claim their moral is from God, a perfect and just being, that can be the standard for moral. An atheíst is only a falible human being.

Books, movies, games, and television all involve the imagination, and the specific fantasy directs the child's imagination. In other words, the imaginary scenes and images in books and movies are not neutral. As with guided imagery, the child's feelings and responses are manipulated by the author's view and values. For example, the stories and books children read in the classroom are usually selected or approved by each state because their message teaches the new global values, and because they provide useful discussion topics for the manipulative consensus process. Good stories capture the heart, mind, and imagination and are an important way to transmit values.

Books such as the Harry Potters series fit, because they reinforce the global and occult perspective. Page after exciting page brings the reader into the timeless battle between good and evil, then trains them to see the opposing forces from a pagan, not a Biblical perspective. In this mystical realm, "good" occult spirits are naturally pitted against bad occult spirits, just as in pagan cultures where frightened victims would offer sacrifices to "benevolent" spirits who could help ward off evil curses and other threats. Few readers realize that from the Biblical perspective, all occult forces are dangerous. But today, it seems more tolerant and exciting to believe this illusion than to oppose the lies. The words of Old Testament prophet Isaiah ring as true now as they did over 2000 years ago: "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil…." (Isaiah 5:20)

Children don’t read Harry Potter merely to reach the conclusion and resolve the suspense. Many read the books over and over because they delight in identifying with the "good" wizards in this newly discovered world -- and sometimes even with the obviously evil wizards. They build memories based on felt experiences in an occult virtual reality, and they are desensitized to the danger. The talent and knowledge of the author makes this seductive world all the more believable. Just ponder these diverse bits of wizard philosophy:

* Professor Snape who taught Potions: "I don’t expect you will really understand the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron with its shimmering fumes, the delicate power of liquids that creep through human veins, bewitching the mind, ensnaring the senses…." 1

* Two centaur’s views on astrology - "We have sworn not to set ourselves against the heaven. Have we not read what is to come in the movements of the planets?" …."Or have the planets not let you in on that secret?" 2

* "He is with me wherever I go," said Quirrell, referring to the murderous wizard Voldemort. "I met him when I traveled around the world. A foolish young man I was then, full of ridiculous ideas about good and evil. Lord Voldemort showed me how wrong I was. There is no good and evil , there is only power, and those too weak to seek it.... Since then, I have served him faithfully." 3

* Headmaster Dumbledore: "To the well organized mind, death is but the next great adventure." 4

* Hagrid, the grounds-keeper at Hogwarts, telling Harry about the strange power that saved his life, "Happened when a powerful, evil curse touches you – didn’t work on you, and that’s why yer famous, Harry. No one ever lived after he [Voldemort] decided ter kill ‘em, no one except you…" 5 [Harry seems almost Christ-like, doesn't he, with his wound or mark, his psychic powers, and his victory over death and Voldemort?]

Once introduced to spiritism, astrology, palmistry, shape-shifting, time-travel (the third book) and the latest version of popular occultism, many crave more. They can easily find it. In their neighborhoods and schools, our children are surrounded by peers who are fascinated by occult empowerment and would love to share their fun discoveries. Few children have the Biblical knowledge or discernment needed to evaluate good and evil or to resist such threats to their faith.

It’s not surprising that Harry has suddenly soared to the peaks of popularity in schools across the country. His story fits right into the international program for multicultural education. The envisioned global community calls for a common set of values which excludes traditional beliefs as intolerant and narrow – just as the Harry Potter books show. The Biblical God simply doesn’t fit into his world of wizards, witches, and other gods.

Feminist writer Naomi Goldenberg knows that well. In her book, Changing of the Gods, she predicts that "God is going to change…. We, women are going to bring an end to God. We will change the world so much that He won’t fit in anymore." She and other radical feminists must appreciate Ms Rowling’s part in this process.

Of course, God will never change. But people, beliefs, and cultures do. And some changes, such as today’s cultural shift away from loving God to hating His truths, have occurred a multitude of times. The words Jesus spoke to His followers long ago now fit our times: "If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. . . . because they do not know Him who sent Me." (John 15:20-21)

[b]Note that your own website incorporates stylized images of skulls, and features content like information on Kel's Lord Putidus scenario, which is hardly Christian in nature. How do you reconcile that imagery and content with your beliefs?[/b]

One thing is to have images of pumpkins (not skulls, btw, but doesn't matter), another is to teach the occult. I don't pretend to hide the fact that the occult exists, the problem is teaching the occult disguised as a nice thing:

"(...) what makes this more dangerous is that it is couched in fantasy language, and children's literature, and made to be humorous, and beautifully written and extremely provocative reading. and it just opens up children to want to have the next one. This is what is so harmful."

You see, I can show a gun to a child, I won't deny its existence. But I wouldn't never do something like: «hey, it's a nice gun. It's fun! This is how you load it, and this is the trigger. Try it!». The least someone could do is to warn the child how harmful a gun can be. But you don't have that warning in Harry Potter, about witchcraft. Also, whichcraft, for those that believe in the Bible, is something evil in nature, there's no "good"/"white" witchcraft.
It's like poison. No one would give a pill saying: swallow this. Probably it would be disguized in a drink or nice looking meal. Just like wichcrafting in Harry Potter books.

[b]Harry Potter is no more malicious than any other children's literature - I refer you to the topic on fairy tales as a starting point. If you're going to try and protect people from any ideas other than wholesome Christian ones, I know of some good land in Montana where you can found your Bible madrassa.[/b]

The point is: I don't hide other ideas. I'm not saying Harry Potter books should be banned or that there should be a law forbidding kids to read it. I just gave my personal opinion about HP and justified it. It's up to each one of you and parents to decide what is the best way to deal with it. Hey, as you said, I don't even censorship scenarios that are placed in the BoAC.

[b]I love how "moral relativism" has become a dirty word, synonymous with "wishy-washy." Nothing could be further from the truth. Moral relativists merely recognize that there is no assertive superhuman source of authority in the world other than those which humans themselves construct. As such, morality is dependent on the social contract, an institution far older than human conception/perception of any god(s), and one composed of cummulative human experiences in what works as a society and what doesn't. Tradition and the law. Boil down all cultures, and there are some pretty universal tenets: an aversion to killing, stealing, cheating, etc. Nothing relative there.[/b]

Which would make everything aceptable, as no one has a "better" moral than other. Althought atheíst seems to have better moral than christians, when they accuse them of being narrow minded, etc.

But this subject would take a whole new topic to be discussed, so let's not get started. ;)

[ Tuesday, July 12, 2005 02:10: Message edited by: Overwhelming ]

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"Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ." Colossians 2:6-9
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Infiltrator
Member # 4637
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quote:
Originally written by Bandycleffery:

[QB]If you base beliefs on what people say, you're setting yourself up for a very confused and unhappy life. What "they" say need not keep company with reality.
No. I just think that backing up your opinions with other authors' opinions would contribute to a stronger argument. That basic academics.

Plus, being not a native english speaker, it makes it easier for me to express my opinion, using others' words with similar opinions.

EDIT: About the example you gave, at least it doesn't hide anything from the reader (specially children). It even warns about it. It doesn't disguise it and make it look like a "good thing"(tm).

[ Tuesday, July 12, 2005 01:48: Message edited by: Overwhelming ]

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"Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ." Colossians 2:6-9
Posts: 483 | Registered: Tuesday, June 29 2004 07:00
E Equals MC What!!!!
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quote:
Originally written by Overwhelming:



[FREAKING HUGE POST]

But this subject would take a whole new topic to be discussed, so let's not get started. ;)



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Posts: 1861 | Registered: Friday, February 11 2005 08:00
Infiltrator
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quote:
Originally written by Ash Lael:

quote:
Originally written by Overwhelming:



[FREAKING HUGE POST]

But this subject would take a whole new topic to be discussed, so let's not get started. ;)


That last part was only related to the moral relativism subject. :P

[ Tuesday, July 12, 2005 01:52: Message edited by: Overwhelming ]

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"Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ." Colossians 2:6-9
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I know. It was an (evidently unsuccessful :( ) attempt to be funny.

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Sex is easier than love.
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Agent
Member # 1558
Profile #110
I think you're funny Ash.

Overwhelming:
I can't be bothered to argue with you at the moment, but I might just bring up a point: what would you say if Harry Potter doesn't have any hidden occult-teaching agenda, that HP was created just to make the author and publisher rich/famous?

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I'm tired of the strain and the pain ___ ___ ___ I feel the same, I feel nothing
Nothing is important to me ___ ___ ___ ___ __ And nobody nowhere understands anything
About me and all my dreams lost at sea ___ __ But we’re not the same, we’re different tonight
We’ll make things right, we’ll feel it all tonight _ The indescribable moments of your life tonight
The impossible is possible tonight ___ ____ ___ Believe in me as I believe in you, tonight

Go All Blacks xtraMSN Rugby _ MuggleNet
Posts: 1112 | Registered: Friday, July 19 2002 07:00
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quote:
Originally written by stranger:

I think you're funny Ash.

Overwhelming:
I can't be bothered to argue with you at the moment, but I might just bring up a point: what would you say if Harry Potter doesn't have any hidden occult-teaching agenda, that HP was created just to make the author and publisher rich/famous?

I'm not even saying that there is an hidden occult-teaching agenda. The fact is that there is an hidden ouccult teaching and all the problems mentioned above. If it's intentional or not... Well, it's not up to me to judge.

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"Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ." Colossians 2:6-9
Posts: 483 | Registered: Tuesday, June 29 2004 07:00
Law Bringer
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I am once again overwhelmed by waves of laughter. Please don't tell me you're serious. It's one thing to be in favor of fundamentalism, it's quite another to go on witchhunts in the twenty-first century and claim fantasy to be satanic in nature.

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The Encyclopaedia Ermariana <-- Now a Wiki!
"Polaris leers down from the black vault, winking hideously like an insane watching eye which strives to convey some strange message, yet recalls nothing save that it once had a message to convey." --- HP Lovecraft.
"I single Aran out due to his nasty temperament, and his superior intellect." --- SupaNik
Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
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quote:
Originally written by Arancaytar. You Owe it to the Door.:

I am once again overwhelmed by waves of laughter. Please don't tell me you're serious. It's one thing to be in favor of fundamentalism, it's quite another to go on witchhunts in the twenty-first century and claim fantasy to be satanic in nature.
Your reaction is a typical one. Justify your opinion, instead of just calling others ridiculous.

By the way, where did I say fantasy is satanic in nature?

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"Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ." Colossians 2:6-9
Posts: 483 | Registered: Tuesday, June 29 2004 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #114
quote:
Originally written by Overwhelming:

quote:
Originally written by Arancaytar. You Owe it to the Door.:

I am once again overwhelmed by waves of laughter. Please don't tell me you're serious. It's one thing to be in favor of fundamentalism, it's quite another to go on witchhunts in the twenty-first century and claim fantasy to be satanic in nature.
Your reaction is a typical one. Justify your opinion, instead of just calling others ridiculous.

By the way, where did I say fantasy is satanic in nature?

I will attempt to justify my opinion that the banning of literature can under no circumstances be of benefit to our society. It will take me a while to compile the arguments though.

Edit: Or what opinion did you actually mean? It is only this one that I was expressing when I responded, you know.

[ Tuesday, July 12, 2005 02:53: Message edited by: Arancaytar. You Owe it to the Door. ]

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The Encyclopaedia Ermariana <-- Now a Wiki!
"Polaris leers down from the black vault, winking hideously like an insane watching eye which strives to convey some strange message, yet recalls nothing save that it once had a message to convey." --- HP Lovecraft.
"I single Aran out due to his nasty temperament, and his superior intellect." --- SupaNik
Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Infiltrator
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quote:
Originally written by Arancaytar. You Owe it to the Door.:

quote:
Originally written by Overwhelming:

quote:
Originally written by Arancaytar. You Owe it to the Door.:

I am once again overwhelmed by waves of laughter. Please don't tell me you're serious. It's one thing to be in favor of fundamentalism, it's quite another to go on witchhunts in the twenty-first century and claim fantasy to be satanic in nature.
Your reaction is a typical one. Justify your opinion, instead of just calling others ridiculous.

By the way, where did I say fantasy is satanic in nature?

I will attempt to justify my opinion that the banning of literature can under no circumstances be of benefit to our society. It will take me a while to compile the arguments though.

Edit: Or what opinion did you actually mean? It is only this one that I was expressing when I responded, you know.

*sigh*
Let me quote myself:

quote:

The point is: I don't hide other ideas. I'm not saying Harry Potter books should be banned or that there should be a law forbidding kids to read it. I just gave my personal opinion about HP and justified it. It's up to each one of you and parents to decide what is the best way to deal with it. Hey, as you said, I don't even censorship scenarios that are placed in the BoAC.



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"Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ." Colossians 2:6-9
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Triad Mage
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It can glorify the occult all it wants, because magic and witchcraft aren't real. Kids know that. What about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny? Isn't that just as occult? Kids are not stupid. It's just a book. I fail to see the harm that this brings.

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quote:
Originally written by Drakefyre:

It can glorify the occult all it wants, because magic and witchcraft aren't real. Kids know that. What about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny? Isn't that just as occult? Kids are not stupid. It's just a book. I fail to see the harm that this brings.
Imaginary (or virtual) experiences and well-written fantasies can affect the mind and memories as much, if not more, than actual experiences. Designed to stir feelings and produce strong emotional responses, a well-planned myth with likeable characters can be far more memorable than the less exciting daily reality -- especially when reinforced through books, toys and games as well as movies. Small wonder Harry's fans have been counting the days until their next fantastic journey into Hogwarts' classes on sorcery, divination, potions and spells.

Each occult image and enticing suggestion prompts the audience to feel more at home in the dark, paranormal setting. Children identify with their favorite characters and learn to see wizards and witches from a popular peer perspective rather than from God's perspective. Those who sense that the occult world is evil face a choice: Resist peer pressure or rationalize their imagined participation in Harry's supernatural adventures.

The second choice may quiet the nagging doubts, but rationalizing evil and justifying sin will sear the conscience and shift the child's perception of values from God's perspective to a more "comfortable" cultural adaptation. Even Christian children can easily learn to conform truth to multicultural ideals and turn God's values upside down - just as did God's people in Old Testament days:

"But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward." Jeremiah 7:24

"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness....
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
And prudent in their own sight!" Isaiah 5:2-21


Immersed in the values taught at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, children become spiritually blind. They lose their natural aversion for the devious spirits represented by the creatures and symbols in this eerie world. Caught up in the exciting story, they absorb the suggested values and store the fascinating images in their minds -- making the forbidden world of the occult seem more normal than the Kingdom of God.

Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ." Colossians 2:6-9

This inner change is usually unconscious, for the occult lessons and impressions tend to bypass rational scrutiny. After all, who will stop, think and weigh the evidence when caught up in such a fast-moving visual adventure? Fun fantasies and strategic entertainment has a special way of altering values, compromising beliefs and changing behavior in adults as well as in children. This learning process has been named "edutainment" -- a favored way to train multicultural citizens for the envisioned 21st century community. Its power to influence beliefs and behavior is illustrated by today's marketing firms which spend billions on entertaining ads that touch emotions, ignore the facts, yet motivate people to buy the product.

"Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way." Psalm 119:37

The main product marketed through this movie is a belief system that clashes with everything God offers us for our peace and security. This pagan ideology comes complete with trading cards, computer and other wizardly games, clothes and decorations stamped with HP symbols, action figures and cuddly dolls and audio cassettes that could keep the child's minds focused on the occult all day and into night. But in God's eyes, such paraphernalia become little more than lures and doorways to deeper involvement with the occult. In contrast, He calls a person "blessed" who -

"walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,

nor stands in the path of sinners,

nor sits in the seat of the scornful [mockers];

"But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. Whatever he does shall prosper." Psalm 1:1-3

It might be hard to escape the symbols that remind people of Harry. His words and phrases help fuel today's cultural transformation:

The mainstream media uses the word "muggles" to deride those who don't want children to read Harry Potter books.

"A columnist from the Chicago Daily Herald used Harry-Speak.... He said that a particular NBC Olympics commentator was the 'dementor of the sports commentators.'"

"Coeur d'Alene, Idaho is going to name this year's snowstorms after the Harry Potter characters. The first blizzard of the year will be called Albus...."

The implied source of power behind Harry's magical feats tend to distort a child's understanding of God. In the movie as in the books, words traditionally used to refer to occult practices become so familiar that children begin to apply the same terms to God and His promised strength. Many learn to see God as a power source that can be manipulated with the right kind of prayers and rituals -- and view his miracles as just another form of magic. They base their understanding of God on their own feelings and wants, not on His revelation of Himself.

Blind to the true nature of God, children will synthesize or blend Biblical truth with the pagan beliefs and magical practices demonstrated in the Harry Potter movie. In the end, you distort and destroy any remnant of true Christian faith. For our God cannot be molded to match pagan gods.

“For My people have committed two evils:
They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters,
And hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water." Jeremiah 2:1


God tells us to "train up a child in the way He should go." It starts with teaching them God's truths and training them all day long to see reality from His, not the world's perspective. To succeed, we need to shield them from contrary values until they know His Word and have memorized enough Scriptures to be able to recognize and resist deception. Once they have learned to love what God loves and see from His perspective, they will demonstrate their wisdom by choosing to say "no" to Harry Potter.

“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up." Deuteronomy 6:6-7

While some argue that Harry Potter and his friends demonstrate friendship, integrity and honesty, they actually model how to lie and steal and get away with it. Their examples only add to the cultural relativism embraced by most children today who are honest when it doesn't cost anything, but who lie and cheat when it serves their purpose.

"And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased [depraved] mind, to do those things which are not fitting.... They are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them." Romans 1:28-32

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Posts: 483 | Registered: Tuesday, June 29 2004 07:00
Bob's Big Date
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Someone has got to teach you that there's inherent dishonesty and disingenuity in attempting to drown a conversation.

I'm going to respond to you bit for bit, because I think you've made it intentionally difficult to do so and thus tried to force a conversational high ground, and as a debater and conversationalist I resent that.

But it'll take time.

Also note that I am going to be dealing with each paragraph separately, because frankly I do not have the time or the energy to absorb the latest gushing.

quote:
Originally written by Overwhelming:

quote:
Originally written by Drakefyre:

It can glorify the occult all it wants, because magic and witchcraft aren't real. Kids know that. What about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny? Isn't that just as occult? Kids are not stupid. It's just a book. I fail to see the harm that this brings.
Imaginary (or virtual) experiences and well-written fantasies can affect the mind and memories as much, if not more, than actual experiences. Designed to stir feelings and produce strong emotional responses, a well-planned myth with likeable characters can be far more memorable than the less exciting daily reality -- especially when reinforced through books, toys and games as well as movies. Small wonder Harry's fans have been counting the days until their next fantastic journey into Hogwarts' classes on sorcery, divination, potions and spells.

You are once more failing to draw a distinction between reality and fiction. Yes, yes, the fiction is good at implanting itself, and I won't argue that Harry Potter isn't mental kudzu, because God knows it is - but proliferation and predomination of the idea doesn't make it non-fiction in healthy people. For example, and I may have to make this one recurring, every Westerner knows his Greek myths well enough, and constant deluges of books, toys, games, and movies, and even mandatory Greek courses in school - all of these things reinforce the antics of the Olympians. This has been the state of affairs since the birth of mass culture and education in the 19th century, and yet no one except for a few neo-pagan morons have actually taken up the belief that Zeus & co. have ever existed.

Each occult image and enticing suggestion prompts the audience to feel more at home in the dark, paranormal setting. Children identify with their favorite characters and learn to see wizards and witches from a popular peer perspective rather than from God's perspective. Those who sense that the occult world is evil face a choice: Resist peer pressure or rationalize their imagined participation in Harry's supernatural adventures.

But... but the 'occult world' isn't real. Witchcraft has no actual power, and any self-respecting Wiccan will acknowledge it's mostly a confidence scheme, not an actual draw on some mystical force but a psychological exercise. I get the ominous feeling that you disagree with me and the real world on that one, though...

The second choice may quiet the nagging doubts, but rationalizing evil and justifying sin will sear the conscience and shift the child's perception of values from God's perspective to a more "comfortable" cultural adaptation. Even Christian children can easily learn to conform truth to multicultural ideals and turn God's values upside down - just as did God's people in Old Testament days:

'conform truth to multicultural ideals' is a charming turn of phrase that I am sure you could reproduce in your native tongue in such a way as would fit perfectly in the mouth of a nineteenth-century Brazilian politico arguing against emancipation in the face of sudden global disapproval of slavery.
Now that I'm done with erecting straw men, I do not see how Harry Potter justifies or promotes 'sin', with the possible exception of practicing witchcraft. And the injunctions against witchery are, to be fair, only against invoking Satan and his comrades, and I am uncertain as to whether Harry Potter encourages that either. Has it occurred to you that perhaps living in a country which for centuries gave legal status to the Inquisition might, perhaps, color your interpretation on the vague divine mandates on sorcery? In short, the view that 'Harry Potter encourages sin', which is basically the harm you advance to back up your argument, is not well-supported by actual Scripture, but more by doctrine.

"But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward." Jeremiah 7:24

"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness....
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
And prudent in their own sight!" Isaiah 5:2-21

Again, all of this is relevant assuming that we are willing to accept modern, fictional witchcraft as sinful and against God - you're sort of begging the question here. It would be like a Chinese Catholic bringing up the same chapter and verse to justify forced labor for intellectual dissidents against Maoism.

Immersed in the values taught at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, children become spiritually blind. They lose their natural aversion for the devious spirits represented by the creatures and symbols in this eerie world. Caught up in the exciting story, they absorb the suggested values and store the fascinating images in their minds -- making the forbidden world of the occult seem more normal than the Kingdom of God.

If you can't convince children that your Kingdom of God is any more real than a clear work of fiction, you might as well argue that any non-fiction is evil and against God. Hell, you could use this same tack against C.S. Lewis.

Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ." Colossians 2:6-9

What does Christ specifically have against witches? If you're willing to say that since he's not specifically for witches and thus this passage applies, I defy you to justify, say, medical science, which Jesus says nothing in particular about. And if you're willing to say that he's specifically against witches, I defy you to point me to where - because, so far, you've pointedly refrained from doing so, using Old Testament references to this point and here citing the Apostle Paul.


This inner change is usually unconscious, for the occult lessons and impressions tend to bypass rational scrutiny. After all, who will stop, think and weigh the evidence when caught up in such a fast-moving visual adventure? Fun fantasies and strategic entertainment has a special way of altering values, compromising beliefs and changing behavior in adults as well as in children.

Now, I hate to break up one of your paragraphs, but I think I need to repeat myself before moving on to the rest of this paragraph, which frankly gets to be a mixture of frightening and risible all its own. You're saying that the values of Harry Potter are essentially anti-Christian, and I'm saying that I see no non-dogmatic justification for that. Scripture is silent on the issue, except where it defies Satan and deviltry (as it is wont to do), which is absent in Harry Potter. I'm also telling you that, as fictions, no matter how influential they are, they cannot pervade the thought processes as non-fictions can, no matter how well the brain is bombarded with them. For instance, I doubt if you were to study the Rig Veda for six years, you'd suddenly become a practicing Hindu. And if you believe you would, I want you to think long and hard about exactly what that implies about your own religious beliefs.
To continue:

This learning process has been named "edutainment" -- a favored way to train multicultural citizens for the envisioned 21st century community.

Your continued dismissal of 'multicultural' things is actually rather perturbing. I understand your willingness to disagree with other groups, but your apparent intent to pretend they don't exist at all is unsettling.

Its power to influence beliefs and behavior is illustrated by today's marketing firms which spend billions on entertaining ads that touch emotions, ignore the facts, yet motivate people to buy the product.

A catchy commercial in which the Devil wins the war for the souls of humanity by tempting men with candy will not convince anyone to change their theology, though. I think you're drastically and intentionally overstating the malleability of people's belief and fact systems. I would understand if Harry Potter were being treated as a factual work, but it is not, nor does it purport itself to be.


"Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way." Psalm 119:37

Hmm. If that applies, and is not simple and noteworthy poetry as the Psalms actually intend to be, and God hasn't struck down Rowling or at least shut her up - I guess that's saying something about your entire line of argument, ain't it?

The main product marketed through this movie is a belief system that clashes with everything God offers us for our peace and security.

Oh, thank God. You're finally going to tell me how it clashes with Godly teachings. I've been waiting for this for an hour, and finally my anticipation is over. Hooray!

This pagan ideology comes complete with trading cards, computer and other wizardly games, clothes and decorations stamped with HP symbols, action figures and cuddly dolls and audio cassettes that could keep the child's minds focused on the occult all day and into night.

Aw, damn it.

But in God's eyes, such paraphernalia become little more than lures and doorways to deeper involvement with the occult. In contrast, He calls a person "blessed" who -

"walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,

nor stands in the path of sinners,

nor sits in the seat of the scornful [mockers];

"But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. Whatever he does shall prosper." Psalm 1:1-3

Again, I am curious as to where exactly you have drawn the idea that Rowling or her books are ungodly, with the exception of the witches and wizards stuff - standard fantasy fare.

It might be hard to escape the symbols that remind people of Harry. His words and phrases help fuel today's cultural transformation:

The mainstream media uses the word "muggles" to deride those who don't want children to read Harry Potter books.

"A columnist from the Chicago Daily Herald used Harry-Speak.... He said that a particular NBC Olympics commentator was the 'dementor of the sports commentators.'"

"Coeur d'Alene, Idaho is going to name this year's snowstorms after the Harry Potter characters. The first blizzard of the year will be called Albus...."

The implied source of power behind Harry's magical feats tend to distort a child's understanding of God. In the movie as in the books, words traditionally used to refer to occult practices become so familiar that children begin to apply the same terms to God and His promised strength. Many learn to see God as a power source that can be manipulated with the right kind of prayers and rituals -- and view his miracles as just another form of magic. They base their understanding of God on their own feelings and wants, not on His revelation of Himself.

Then that's the fault of piss-poor religious teachings, not of reading Harry Potter. People already expect God to function like a water faucet, helping them out when they need it and going away when they expect to have fun. Saying that Harry Potter encourages that approach is both (a) unbacked by any real-world evidence, so far as I am aware and (b) not significant, due mainly to the fact that it's a new face on an old problem.

Blind to the true nature of God, children will synthesize or blend Biblical truth with the pagan beliefs and magical practices demonstrated in the Harry Potter movie. In the end, you distort and destroy any remnant of true Christian faith. For our God cannot be molded to match pagan gods.

Sure He can. C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien both wrote extensively in alternate worlds where pagan gods served as representatives of Christianity.
And you'd have more of a foot to stand on here if Harry Potter even involved pagan gods... which it doesn't. Whoops?

“For My people have committed two evils:
They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters,
And hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water." Jeremiah 2:1

You know, you spend an awful lot of time in the Old Testament for someone trying to convince us that Harry Potter is anti-Christ. You're also choosing a lot of verses which are powerful but mean little except for "don't accept idolatry", and thus are fine space-fillers. I don't doubt this is intentional, and if so it's loathsome. Anything which is successful and powerful becomes an idol. The answer is to reinforce the teachings of Christ, not to tear down anything outside of the Bible.

God tells us to "train up a child in the way He should go." It starts with teaching them God's truths and training them all day long to see reality from His, not the world's perspective.

The problem is that He gave exact perspective on the goings-on of two thousand years ago. Modern events have taken turns that Biblical culture couldn't have even predicted, and it requires worldly philosophy and logics and perspective to extract a meaningful Christian answer to most modern problems and conflicts. Dismissing 'the world's perspective' is dangerous, because frankly 95% of the Bible does not apply to you in any meaningful way except in a metaphorical capacity, and that metaphor requires exposure to the day to day world. This goes all the way up to the Commandments; tell me you've honestly found a moment in which you would have, less a grounding in Scripture, coveted your neighbor's draft animals, and I will call you a liar.

To succeed, we need to shield them from contrary values until they know His Word and have memorized enough Scriptures to be able to recognize and resist deception. Once they have learned to love what God loves and see from His perspective, they will demonstrate their wisdom by choosing to say "no" to Harry Potter.

Shield them from contrary values? Where the hell did you learn that the truth is so fragile that it needs to be shielded?

“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up." Deuteronomy 6:6-7

This says "Apply the teachings of God to your everyday life", not "Apply the teachings of God to your everyday life at the exclusion of everything else". It encourages the active use of Biblical values, not wahhabism.

While some argue that Harry Potter and his friends demonstrate friendship, integrity and honesty, they actually model how to lie and steal and get away with it. Their examples only add to the cultural relativism embraced by most children today who are honest when it doesn't cost anything, but who lie and cheat when it serves their purpose.

Cultural relativism? You sure are quick with the charming turns of phrase. But I'm too tired for more straw men. I'll just let your words speak for themselves here.


"And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased [depraved] mind, to do those things which are not fitting.... They are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them." Romans 1:28-32

So keep God close and you're all right. Sensible enough. Not a denunciation of Harry Potter or witchcraft or anything like it. You're wrong, your knowledge of both Harry Potter and Christian teachings on witchcraft are derived from hearsay, and also, you are a heretic.

Congratulations: you have wasted an hour and a half of my time and I wager at least a sixth that much of everyone else's, and you've managed to prove nothing except that you are simultaneously underinformed and full of yourself.



[ Tuesday, July 12, 2005 04:56: Message edited by: George A. Custer & The SE Party ]

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I don't really want to get sucked into this argument, but there were three things in there that really burned at me.

quote:
Caught up in the exciting story, they absorb the suggested values and store the fascinating images in their minds -- making the forbidden world of the occult seem more normal than the Kingdom of God.
This is just complete bull. I don't know of anyone who has read the Harry Potter books and begun to think of witches, witchcraft, and wizardy in normal terms. Books are an escape. They let you drift to a fantasy world, and children know that. They're not the little impressionable porcelain dolls that you seem to think they are. And isn't the Kingdom of God supposed to be abnormal?

quote:
After all, who will stop, think and weigh the evidence when caught up in such a fast-moving visual adventure? Fun fantasies and strategic entertainment has a special way of altering values, compromising beliefs and changing behavior in adults as well as in children. This learning process has been named "edutainment" -- a favored way to train multicultural citizens for the envisioned 21st century community. Its power to influence beliefs and behavior is illustrated by today's marketing firms which spend billions on entertaining ads that touch emotions, ignore the facts, yet motivate people to buy the product.
That's not what edutainment is. Edutainment is making learning fun, like Mario Teaches Typing, or Reader Rabbit, or the Magic School Bus.

quote:
Blind to the true nature of God, children will synthesize or blend Biblical truth with the pagan beliefs and magical practices demonstrated in the Harry Potter movie. In the end, you distort and destroy any remnant of true Christian faith. For our God cannot be molded to match pagan gods.
Again - you give children too little credit. They can separate fanstasy from reality. Parents who seek to overprotect their children are doing their children nothing but harm when they enter the real world and have to live on their own.

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quote:
Originally written by Overwhelming:

Blind to the true nature of God, children will synthesize or blend Biblical truth with the pagan beliefs and magical practices demonstrated in the Harry Potter movie. In the end, you distort and destroy any remnant of true Christian faith. For our God cannot be molded to match pagan gods.
So Easter eggs are satanic now? Good to know.

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quote:
Originally written by George A. Custer & The SE Party:

Someone has got to teach you that there's inherent dishonesty and disingenuity in attempting to drown a conversation.

I'm going to respond to you bit for bit, because I think you've made it intentionally difficult to do so and thus tried to force a conversational high ground, and as a debater and conversationalist I resent that.

But it'll take time.

I think you're the dishonest one here. What you claim is false. I like to justify my opinions and contextualize my answers. If you prefer a debate with short paragraphs but endless posts, that's your taste. Now don't start questioning a person's integrity without a good cause.

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"Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ." Colossians 2:6-9
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Overwhelming, your posts are too long. Rather than containing any worthwhile content, they are merely long-winded; much like Alec says, I believe this is a deliberate attempt to drown the debate.

Several points I will address:

1.
quote:
Imaginary ... experiences ... can affect the mind ... as much, if not more, than actual experiences.
(attempted to cut down on the long-windedness)

This, apparently, is your argument for the conclusion that fantasy is harmful. However, you take an unmentioned premise which I disagree with, spelled out below:

"Imaginary experiences that affect the mind are harmful."

Disregarding other effects (health effects of hallucinary drugs, etc.), which really don't apply to literature, I see no justification for this premise.

2.
quote:
Children ... learn to see wizards and witches from a popular peer perspective rather than from God's [sic] perspective.
The premise, here, is that "God's perspective" (or, more accurately, the perspective of the particular religious denomination you appear to belong to despite your previous claim to the contrary) is the correct one, and that taking another perspective - such as, say, that of an atheist or other religious faith, is harmful. This premise, needless to say, is equally false.

3. At various points, you quote a book that, while certainly a very ancient and at certain points worthwhile work of literature, holds no authority whatsoever in a meaningful debate. Not even Christians (take me for instance) unanimously endorse this book as an ultimate truth of any kind.

4. You go on to hold up the great impact that "Harry Potter" has had on our culture as a negative effect. Again, you base this on a false premise and circular reasoning (see point one). As a matter of fact, there are few popular works of literature that have not influenced culture to an extreme extent - take the Bible as an example. So has "Lord of the Rings". So have the plays by William Shakespeare. Is it your intent to label all works of literature that influence culture "harmful"? Or merely the ones that run contrary to your own opinion?

[ Tuesday, July 12, 2005 04:28: Message edited by: Arancaytar. You Owe it to the Door. ]

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quote:
This is just complete bull. I don't know of anyone who has read the Harry Potter books and begun to think of witches, witchcraft, and wizardy in normal terms.
It more than that. Just read what I wrote and quoted. The problem is not if children will start trying to make magic. But I've already talked about what the problem is, so I won't repeat.

quote:
Books are an escape. They let you drift to a fantasy world, and children know that. They're not the little impressionable porcelain dolls that you seem to think they are.
You're 8 or 80, ain't you?
Anyway, even adults can be influenced, the kids should be even more susceptible. But since it seems you didn't understand what the problem is (judging by the quote above), it's no use to talk first about who and how that problem can "hurt".

quote:
And isn't the Kingdom of God supposed to be abnormal?
I'm talking about occult, not abnormalities. Anyway, as I stated, I'm presenting a christian point of view, opinion. If you don't care about God, Bible, Christ or whatever, then what I say doesn't apply to you.

quote:
That's not what edutainment is. Edutainment is making learning fun, like Mario Teaches Typing, or Reader Rabbit, or the Magic School Bus.
So, you avoid to talk about the point of the text, just to point out what you think the term "Edutainment" means? General Custer would say you're being dishonest here. :P Anyway, we're talking about the same thing: using fun, attractive and a covered way to teach things. In this case, "bad things".

quote:
Again - you give children too little credit.
Already answered this.

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Posts: 483 | Registered: Tuesday, June 29 2004 07:00
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quote:
Originally written by Thuryl:

quote:
Originally written by Overwhelming:

Blind to the true nature of God, children will synthesize or blend Biblical truth with the pagan beliefs and magical practices demonstrated in the Harry Potter movie. In the end, you distort and destroy any remnant of true Christian faith. For our God cannot be molded to match pagan gods.
So Easter eggs are satanic now? Good to know.

If "satanic" to you means "everything not God's/Christian"...

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"Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ." Colossians 2:6-9
Posts: 483 | Registered: Tuesday, June 29 2004 07:00

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