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Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch

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GUEST 19 Nov 01 - 07:09 PM
Joe Offer 19 Nov 01 - 07:20 PM
GUEST,Guest - can't be bothered to re-install my c 19 Nov 01 - 07:23 PM
GUEST 19 Nov 01 - 07:25 PM
GUEST 19 Nov 01 - 07:28 PM
Joe Offer 19 Nov 01 - 07:30 PM
GUEST,InOBY sans Cookie 19 Nov 01 - 07:33 PM
Celtic Soul 19 Nov 01 - 07:38 PM
GUEST 19 Nov 01 - 07:54 PM
GUEST 19 Nov 01 - 07:55 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Nov 01 - 07:57 PM
Sorcha 19 Nov 01 - 07:58 PM
Steve Latimer 19 Nov 01 - 07:58 PM
CarolC 19 Nov 01 - 07:59 PM
53 19 Nov 01 - 08:00 PM
Sorcha 19 Nov 01 - 08:11 PM
SINSULL 19 Nov 01 - 08:21 PM
wysiwyg 19 Nov 01 - 08:32 PM
Amos 19 Nov 01 - 08:38 PM
Midchuck 19 Nov 01 - 08:38 PM
CarolC 19 Nov 01 - 09:00 PM
mmm1a 19 Nov 01 - 09:36 PM
wysiwyg 19 Nov 01 - 09:37 PM
mmm1a 19 Nov 01 - 09:42 PM
wysiwyg 19 Nov 01 - 09:47 PM
mmm1a 19 Nov 01 - 09:58 PM
CarolC 19 Nov 01 - 10:07 PM
wysiwyg 19 Nov 01 - 10:35 PM
CarolC 19 Nov 01 - 10:59 PM
MAG 19 Nov 01 - 11:17 PM
Joe Offer 19 Nov 01 - 11:49 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 19 Nov 01 - 11:55 PM
wysiwyg 20 Nov 01 - 12:15 AM
Amos 20 Nov 01 - 12:19 AM
CarolC 20 Nov 01 - 12:31 AM
wysiwyg 20 Nov 01 - 12:33 AM
Peg 20 Nov 01 - 12:45 AM
Joe Offer 20 Nov 01 - 02:08 AM
Gervase 20 Nov 01 - 06:37 AM
Dave the Gnome 20 Nov 01 - 07:16 AM
GUEST 20 Nov 01 - 07:54 AM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Nov 01 - 08:00 AM
GUEST 20 Nov 01 - 08:09 AM
GUEST 20 Nov 01 - 08:14 AM
Wolfgang 20 Nov 01 - 09:02 AM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Nov 01 - 09:09 AM
Steve Latimer 20 Nov 01 - 09:10 AM
CarolC 20 Nov 01 - 09:16 AM
MMario 20 Nov 01 - 10:00 AM
SINSULL 20 Nov 01 - 10:22 AM
Wolfgang 20 Nov 01 - 10:24 AM
CarolC 20 Nov 01 - 10:31 AM
GUEST,McGrath of Harlow 20 Nov 01 - 10:36 AM
MMario 20 Nov 01 - 11:07 AM
MAG 20 Nov 01 - 11:37 AM
robomatic 20 Nov 01 - 11:52 AM
Gervase 20 Nov 01 - 12:01 PM
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Celtic Soul 20 Nov 01 - 01:29 PM
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sophocleese 20 Nov 01 - 01:33 PM
Grab 20 Nov 01 - 01:43 PM
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sophocleese 20 Nov 01 - 01:53 PM
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Celtic Soul 20 Nov 01 - 02:27 PM
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Subject: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch?
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 07:09 PM

From today's Minneapolis Star Tribune:

Minnesota clergy denounce Harry Potter Published Nov 19 2001 Evangelical, conservative and even some moderate Christian ministers and religious leaders in St. Cloud, Minn., have denounced the Harry Potter phenomenon as satanic.

Some fundamentalist Christians in St. Cloud and throughout the country say Harry Potter teaches children to use profanity and to blaspheme God. They said the children's books and film mock fundamental Christians, teach that moderate drinking is acceptable, and teach that there is "good" witchcraft.

Several St. Cloud-area ministers have been watching and passing around the documentary videotape "Harry Potter: Witchcraft Repackaged," which claims that the tales lead kids to the occult and that the Harry Potter phenomenon is incompatible with Christianity.

"I believe this is more than a fantasy," said the Rev. Dan Larson, senior pastor at Good News Assembly of God in St. Cloud. "It's not just harmless entertainment. Specifically the Harry Porter books include things like human sacrifice, the possession of demon spirits and the sucking of human blood."

-- Associated Press


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Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 07:20 PM

I hope the first poster doesn't mind too much that I renamed this to "Harry Potter (Part 2)." The first thread was too long, but it would be better if we had some sort of order to our Harry Parter discussion and didn't end up with a proliferation of threads like we had with "Songcatcher." The first Harry Potter movie thread is here (click)
ALSO SEE Better Kid Flicks than Harry Potter
-Joe Offer-

On second thought, I renamed it back.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch?
From: GUEST,Guest - can't be bothered to re-install my c
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 07:23 PM

Yeah, well fundamentalist Christianity is a pretty scary thing too - anyway they should be worried: wait til they read the children's trilology 'Dark Matters' by Philip Pullman about ultimately creating a Republic of Heaven - hopefully they might implode with self-riteousness?

Banning stuff like Harry Potter which also takes on board important childhood issues about not fitting in, the search for self, loyalty and friendship, strong moral codes, relationships with parents will do more harm than good. My Mother snatched away from my 5 year old hands a birthday present book on "Giants, Witches and werewolves' or similar - ever since I've had a morbid and completely out of proportion dread of the occult basically because I was given the message that it was too scary to deal with - now a 35 years later a 30 second trailer for 'Salem's Lot' still gives me nightmares for weeks


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Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter (Part 2)
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 07:25 PM

Um, what happened to the original thread title I put on this thread? "Part II' makes it look as if this thread is a continuation of the previous thread, which isn't what I intended.


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Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter (Part 2)
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 07:28 PM

Joe Offer,

Our posts must have crossed. I made it a new thread because I did think this right wing Christian reaction to the film deserved a separate discussion. It seems to me to be something even those who aren't interested in Harry Potter might still be interested in discussing. If I could have named the thread better, I'm certainly willing to change my original thread name. But I do think it should be kept out of the other thread (which I agree is too long, and should be split).

Not meaning to cause trouble, just wanting to do truth in advertising!


Agreed. I changed the name back, and I'll figure out some other way to handle the confusion.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter (Part 2)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 07:30 PM

I think most people in the Western world think of magic as fantasy, something quaint, interesting, and entertaining. Fundamentalist Christians look on it as something real, but as the work of Satan. For them, I guess, it's something to fear and to fight.
I dunno. I think it's fun, and I don't want to read anything more into it. Do we have to ban everything, just because some people are afraid of it? Is it improper to make mention of Harry in our schools?

That's one reason why I sent my kids to Catholic schools. My kids' teachers could talk about evolution and mythology and magic and whatever, without being afraid somebody would sue them.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter (Part 2)
From: GUEST,InOBY sans Cookie
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 07:33 PM

I saw the film today, and thought the Christian values in the film where much more Christian than say, the version of Robin hood with that clown from Dances With Wolves, which totally looses the ideal of heroism, where in Robin Hood robs women, cuts the face of an unarmed fellow in a church (the good guy hero should always respond to a blow, not be the instigator) hits fellows from behind in fights... Rather Harry Potter is loyal to friends and plays fair in the face of enamies who don't, not a bad thing to reteach our kids.
Larry who lost his cookie, but not at the film.


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Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter (Part 2)
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 07:38 PM

Kay...

I am a Christian. I am also a HUGE HP fan. All I can say is that these folks no more represent Christians than Laurie Cabot represents Wiccans.

I think the HP books are a great way to teach children that evil exists, and that good can triumph. One of the main messages of the HP books is that his own Mother died to save him, and it was her love and sacrifice that spared him.

How much more Christian a message can you get than that?

There are always extremists (From all walks of life, not merely Christian), and they always seem to be the most vocal amongst us. Ignore them...they will find something else to hate in short order.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 07:54 PM

You know, Christian fundamentalists here in Minnesota have been pretty active for a long time, and have, at times, been successful in shutting down public elementary school Halloween parties as "satan worship"! No kidding.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 07:55 PM

Oops! Thanks for changing it back Joe!


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 07:57 PM

Anyway, I can't see how anyone who doesn't think moderate drinking is acceptable can possibly feel at home in a religion grounded on someone who turned water into wine when the wedding party was running out of stuff to drink.

If they think they know better than Jesus, what are they doing saying they are Christians anyway?

(NB I'm not saying it's not quite a good idea to give up on the drink, especially for some people, but that's something completely different.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: Sorcha
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 07:58 PM

Bigots of any stripe are still bigots. No one can rectify a bigot because they already know everything. Talk about behind closed doors..........their silly little picket line in Lil' Ole Torrington didn't fly. Movie goers just laffed at them and kept paying for tickets.

I loved the books but will wait for the video to come out. No point in the deaf lady going to a theater, no matter how good the popcorn is.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 07:58 PM

What a load of crap. I can't stand Fundamenatlists of any kind. This is a wonderful movie with plenty of positive messages. It's fantasy, and very good fanatsy. Get over it.

I'd hate to hear what they have to say about the Wizard of Oz or Dr. Seuss.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: CarolC
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 07:59 PM

Yeah... I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree with you on that one C.S. It's when you ignore them that they do the most harm. And I've got the court records to prove it.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: 53
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 08:00 PM

good. BOB


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: Sorcha
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 08:11 PM

Bob, which is "good"? The Fundamentalist Bigots or the laffing, or what?


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: SINSULL
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 08:21 PM

So how come Harry Potter is bad and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is OK? Or Sleeping Beauty? Or anything containing Greek or Roman mythology? Or Beauty and the Beast? Never mind...I really don't want to know.

I just spent some time chatting with my neighbor's sons (8 and 4) about Harry Potter. The two of them just lit up with excitement. Then I told them that the inscription over the mirror of Erised could be translated...I am the most popular adult in Jackson Heights tonight. Even their mother was amazed. And Alexander now has a secret piece of information to share with his class on Literature Day tomorrow.
Please note: Alexander is a dead ringer for Harry right down to the glasses and a scar on his forehead. He is a multitalented young man who can sing, dance, recite. When Harry Potter hits Broadway (and it will) remember that I told you about Alexander.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: wysiwyg
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 08:32 PM

So........ why rant here against fundies, when as far as I can tell there ain't a lot of them here? Is it just another round of "Aint' It Awful?"?

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: Amos
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 08:38 PM

Well, assholes is assholes, isn't it -- the notion that MY set of mystigogical foofarah is true, sacred and pure, and THEIR pile of mystigogical foofarah is swamp gas is pretty arrogant, wouldn't you say? Oh, wait -- if its in the Bible it isn't arrogant no matter HOW you use it right...

Yeah....think I got that now... thanks.

Beat 'em off with sticks. These guys are an embarassment to ANY religion they're in because their ideals are to limit and suppress human thinking. That's the basic impulse, more or less. How valuable is THAT???

Sheesh!


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: Midchuck
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 08:38 PM

There is, as I see it, no real difference between the mindset that spreads this stuff and the mindset that cost us the World Trade Center Towers and a piece of the Pentagon, and all those people...one calling itself Christian and one Islam, to the contrary notwithstanding.

Some people should be prevented from access to organized religion, just as some should be prevented from access to alcohol. It just provides and excuse for hating.

Maybe I should say "many people."

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: CarolC
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 09:00 PM

The activities of fundies like the ones described in the opening post need to be talked about. Otherwise they become the monster that lives under the stairs. Just like any other form of bigotry.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: mmm1a
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 09:36 PM

After going a few rounds on yahoo with some of these idiots, I wasn't going to post to this but..... One important thing is to to talk to your kids about people like this, if you ignore them or just say they are crack pots, it does not explain how dangerous these people are. Mind you very young children would not understand but older kids would. I talked to my 11 yr old about why these people seem to hate what is different and not in their very narrow thinking . ok nuff said I'll shut up now mmm


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: wysiwyg
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 09:37 PM

I'm just asking, does it really change anything to talk about it here? Isn't it going to be more powerful to talk about it where there are minds to be changed? Don't threads like this usually just create another opportunity to agree (for the nth time) that some things really suck-- to reinforce that some of us (non-fundies) are better than others (fundies)? What changes from that?

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: mmm1a
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 09:42 PM

IMHO mind you a very humble one at that, yes I do belive it helps talking about here then carrying it on other places,. mmm


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: wysiwyg
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 09:47 PM

Do you think people really do carry it on in other places, more, because of talking about it here? We don't hear much about it becoming action. I've asked... a couple of people respond about activism, usually the same ones... but honestly, it seems the talk is what's wanted. I'm not saying NOT to-- just, why do we go around this pole over and over? Isn't that a little bit... stuck? And if it does spark action, is it positive action that reaches hearts? Or is it just a spread of negativity? Why do we tend not to reach for postive action and, instead, keep repeating opinions about what's awful?

~S~


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: mmm1a
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 09:58 PM

You have valid points, human nature sadly does tend to be drawn to the negative. My point was not to just keep carrying it on but to speak out againest it and other prejudices. Midchuck I agree with your statement of the similarities between Christian fundamentalist and the Islamic terrorists. I brought that up in the chat room in yahoo. for some reason they were not very pleased with the idea. oh well I imagine hitler didn't like being compared to the devil either. mmm


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: CarolC
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 10:07 PM

I think that what is constructive about it is to shed light on the activities of these people in whatever way we can. Including discussion in this forum.

When I was taken to court for home schooling my son by a fundamentalist Christian, not because it was illegal for me to home school, but because I wasn't a Christian, one of the tools I used to win the court fight was to inform the newspapers about what was going on.

I believe the presence of the reporter in the courtroom, and the potential for this debacle to become known to a lot of people made a difference in the outcome of my case.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: wysiwyg
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 10:35 PM

Yes, but would it have made that go better to post about it here, if it was the 12th time the subject had come up?

I'm glad it went well in the end, BTW, whatever it took. I homeschooled till David was in second grade, and our area, fortunately, had a homeschool association that brought Christians and non-Christians together. We made it a point to have a one-point program-- to support one another in homeschooling-- and we always had strong leadership that saw to it that relationships came ahead of politics, always, no matter how divisive the urges my have gotten when buttons got pushed. It was work, but very satisfying work.... So anyway, we were all stringent about keeping that agreement. Kids from different backgrounds played... some of us (me included) used entirely organic teaching methods; some were into rigid curricula, both Christians and non-Christians... we put the kids first. I am sorry that did not happen in your case.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: CarolC
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 10:59 PM

I guess the difference for you as opposed to those of us who think this discussion is a good thing, is that some of us don't necessarily think this particular subject has been brought up 12 times. Yes, the subject of religion has come up before, but not the demonization of people who read Harry Potter books. (At least not that I've seen, anyway.) For me, this is a fresh subject that deserves a look see.

I noted on another thread that someone was surprised that people still burn books. If people are surprised by this, it means that the word isn't getting out enough, and we need to talk about it some more.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: MAG
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 11:17 PM

Amen to CArolC; people ARE burning HP books here and there. As a youth librarian myself I tread this delicate ground every day.

Susan, the value of discussing it among friends is that we can share experience and strategy so we are better prepared for discussions in the "real" world.

I am quite used to calmly telling people that the public library has something for everyone be it books on witchcraft and Wicca or the Mandie mysteries (Black maid, Indian guide, and all).

I thinkg there is some leftover rmillenium fever in operation here. Extreme conservatives are feeling powerful with W in office and are pushing their agenda, meanwhile screaming that Wiccans, gays, etc. are pushing theirs.

Yes, creationism books go in religion, not science. No, books on evolution stay in science. As do books about wolves and dogs being related.

These are largely the same people who ban dancing and think Catholics are all going to hell. Ask them about that if they want to discuss HP. Also ask them if, when the rapture comes, they think God is really going to boil the rest of us in hot pitch, and they get to watch. Then ask them how that jibes with a loving God. Point out it jibes more with a control freak who can't stand to be crossed.

But then I live in a town where I have to explain what Unitarian Universalism is, and why I drive 120 miles round trip on Sundays to be around a few kindred spirits.

end of rant. -- MA who tried to see HP again today, but all shows sold out. thank all the stars and little fishes.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 11:49 PM

I suppose, though, that it might be good to take a look at the issue from the other side. Are the people who protest Harry Potter really the self-righteous bigots we think they are, or could it be that they are tryly afraid of the aspect of the books that they term "occult"? If people are truly afraid of something, do we have an obligation to respect that fear, or at least to accommodate it in some way?

I have a fear of my children being exposed to fundamentalist teaching, and I expect the fundamentalists to accommodate my fear and not expose my kids to their teachings in school. How about the opposite? How do we live peacefully in a society where so many people are so sensitive about so many different things?

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 11:55 PM

Does the film/book have any good tunes? Lyrics?

Can you post them?


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: wysiwyg
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 12:15 AM

I just really appreciate that y'all heard the actual questions in my questions, and answered them instead of treating me like an a**hole. I really don't see why we go over what seems obvious to me as the same ground over and over again.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: Amos
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 12:19 AM

Well, Joe, you raise a very intersting point.

The only way to "respect" a fear is to bring the fearer out of or through it. There are several ways to do this. But Fear is no more a place to be respected by polite avoidance than hatred is.

Respecting fear (in the sense of not arguing against it) brought on the worst of the Dark Ages, for example, and any other period when ignorance was elevated to a ruling principle, because the message of fear is not knowing and not finding out.

I know these are pretty broad terms, no excuses offered. But I think the principle holds true.

A


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: CarolC
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 12:31 AM

I don't try to impose my beliefs on anyone else, Joe. I think if you take a look at my posting history, you will find that to be the case. That's all I ask of anyone else. They can read whatever books they want to, and I want to be free to read whatever books I want to.

They can practice whatever religion they like as long as they don't impose it on anyone else, and I would like to have the right to practice whatever religion I choose, or none at all, as long as I don't impose my beliefs on others. I don't think that's too much to ask.

The problem comes when people use the courts, the government, and the public schools as a way of imposing their religion on others. And it does happen. I don't mean by just exposing them to it. I mean by imposing consequences if people practice religions other than the predominant one(s) (or none at all).

I think this is more of a problem in isolated and rural areas. About the time that I was being harassed for not being a Christian, I knew a woman who, along with her children, were being threatened because they didn't belong to a church, and the woman wore black a lot. They said that black was a satanic color, and the fact that she wore it a lot meant that she worshiped the devil. I don't think the color of this woman's clothing was any of their business, and her children certainly didn't deserve to be harassed for it.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: wysiwyg
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 12:33 AM

Amos, I don't agree. I think one must ALSO respect two other parts of that equation--

One part being, that a person may have a concern that is legitimate that looks, to someone else, like a fear that is in need of healing. And to treat it that way is wrong. What is wrong is the presumption of the distress, defining it or "diagnosing" it for the other, who can do that for themselves just fine.

The other thing being, that one may indeed be caught up in a fear that is in need of healing, but that particular issue is not the one that the person is prioritizing dealing with at any given time.... sometimes, I think we need to understand and cooperate with the idea that one may have had enough of a thing, for the moment, partly because one is deeply engaged in some other deeper and more productive issue.

On the last point, for instance, I know what that "thing" is, for a number of friends here at Mudcat. (Different things for different people.) They would confirm that the "thing" I agree to tiptoe around may be an unreasonable thing.... I recall conversations about it. But we have a tacit understanding that this thing is not the most important thing we talk about, and we set it aside in favor of other things that are on the present agenda to be held up and looked at, talked over, wrestled through if necessary.

See?

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: Peg
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 12:45 AM

Susan, you spend a lot of time having what I would consider fairly inconsequential discussions about any number of topics (and that includes many, if not most, of us here on Mudcat). Why does this particular topic bother you so much that you question the validity of even having a discussion? I mean, it's a BS heading...so what's the harm?

Is it the anti-Christian rhetoric? Your last post was so obtuse I confess it was hard to know WHAT you were talking about...


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 02:08 AM

My comment about respecting fears was hypothetical. I don't really detect fear in this situation - "selt-righteous indignation" seems to be a good word to describe those who seem upset by the Harry Potter books and movies. http://www.exposingsatanism.org/harrypotter.htm is a good example. I do see a need for heightened sensitivity because we're talking about protecting kids here - but it seems to me that those who protest Harry Potter are acting out of indignation, not fear for the welfare of their children. I can sympathize with fear, but not with indignation.

Then, of course, you could turn the tables. This article (click) says that Harper Collins plans to publish secularized sequels to the Chronicles of Narnia, but C.S. Lewis. If we can allow our children to read references to magic and witchcraft in the Harry Potter books, shouldn't we also allow them to be exposed to references to Christianity in the Narnia books?

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: Gervase
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 06:37 AM

Hmm. "self righteous indignation" may be a way to describe such absurdities, but is it that much different from the same indignation which leads to women being beaten on the streets for not being veiled and stoned to death for pre-marital sex?
I'm sure that the people who put up such sites as Exposing Satanism do so for the best of intentions (and the site includes the caveat "While they are wrong in their beliefs, God still loves them even though they have chosen to follow false gods. Jesus Christ died for them too and it is our responsibility to pray for the blinders to be removed from their eyes"), but that doesn't make them right. Like everyone else, they are merely making God in their own image - in this case blinkered, bigoted and ignorant.
Thus such "fears" as Joe mentions should not be respected. They should be exposed to the light of truth and reason and shown up for the ludicrous, purblind, backward nonsense that they palpably are.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 07:16 AM

I am afraid that the fundementalists really do leave me cold. I worked with one once who, on finding that I liked fantasy fiction, introduced me to a series of books we she felt were OK because they relied heavily of Christian symbolism. I quite enjoyed the concept at first - hansome muscular angels fighting grotesque evil demons. It was quite amusing to see the old good versus bad but then it went downhill.

It bacame apparant that the writer believed that all faiths outside christianity were works of the devil. Worse still, and when I gave her the books back with a bit of an earful, was when he started to explain that children accusing their (good christian) parents of sexual abuse had been possesed by demons. She said she would pray for me btw.

The books were American but I can remember neither the author or title. I do believe that these were extremist views and that the vast majority of Christians would treat such nonsense with the contempt it deserves but it is worrying that some people do take notice.

Cheers

Dave the Gnome


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 07:54 AM

Despite the fact that the 9/11 attacks apparently sent many into the church pews, the US is still largely a secular society, not a religious one. By that I mean we do have separation of church and state, which is not the case in all countries, including European countries like Ireland and Poland, although they are becoming more and more secularized all the time.

Fundamentalists have the right to complain, protest, burn books, hold prayer vigils, and do whatever else they feel necessary to get their message heard by the general public. What they don't have the right to do is to ban the books (the Harry Potter books were the #1 target of the busy little book banners in 2000), and attempt to prevent others from reading them.

So let us be proactive, as Susan suggests. Has your local library or school library been the target of a "ban the books" campaign? If so, climb on the Freedom of Expression bandwagon, and go to the meetings, write letters to the editor, to your Congressional representatives, telling them what the book banners are up to.

Here is a link to an American Library Association's website article about the banning of Harry Potter books:

http://www.ala.org/pio/presskits/midwinterawards2001/challenged.html

This isn't an issue simply about liking or disliking what fundamentalists attempt to do, or would like to see happen in their perfect world. It is about fundamentalist attacks on our constitutional rights to freedom of expression, through book banning.

To find out more about the Harry Potter book banning campaign (which is very well organized and very well funded I might add), just go to Google or any search engine and type in "Banned Books" and a lot of solid information will be just a click away.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 08:00 AM

First off, no there aren't any songs in the Harry Potter film, and I can't really see any of the verse in the books being fitted for singing either. The score in the film is about the only thing I have any reservations about. It's the Star Trek John Williams, and it's a bit overblown for my liking. I think the other John Williams who plays the guitar cold probably have done a better job on it.

As for the question of whether there's any good in talking about this kind of thing, I think there can be. The danger of this type of fundamentalism is that it involves hijacking a religion, in the same way fundamentalism of the Bin Laden variety does.

So on the one hand you can get people who think that being a Christian means thinking like that, and they decide that since they are Christians they should go along with it. Or they recognise it as pretty detestable, and they see that as a reason to denounce Christianity.

In fact the same would apply if we were talking about an analogous kind of Islamic fundamentalism, or Jewish, or Hindu fundamentalism - I imagine they'd all share a common attitude towards Harry Potter.

The effect of this kind of thing is to lead people to equate bigotry with religious belief and practice - a view which is in itself a form of bigotry.

And one of the consequences of this is the backlash effect which is demonstrated in the ludicrous and distasteful concept of a demythologised version of the Narnia books.

And another could well be that the way is opened for Harry Potter to become for some people a way into types of occultism that can cause real damage.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 08:09 AM

McGrath,

And just what sort of "occultism" as you call it, causes damage? What sort of damage does "occultism" cause?

Please cite us some very specific examples, and not just the second-hand, unproven fundamentalist clap-trap of what happens when children start to worship Satan.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 08:14 AM

For instance, here is an article about "Occult" practices at the About.com website, which explains the myths surrounding conservative Christian beliefs about "occult crime" etc. My secular point of view is that no such thing exists, and fear of the so-called "occult" is an invented delusion of the Christian right.

http://www.religioustolerance.org/occult.htm#real


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: Wolfgang
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 09:02 AM

I hadn't heard yet of that particular stupidity and I love to be informed about it. Early information can help to prevent other activities from that group of people.

And I even prefer to have this discussion not with the fundamentalists. We also did e.g. discuss the destruction of the Buddha statues in Afghanistan without any Taliban contributing.

Next time, for instance, when I start a thread about a Neonazi atrocity in Germany I hope nobody will write:

So........ why rant here against (neonazis), when as far as I can tell there ain't a lot of them here? Is it just another round of "Aint' It Awful?"?

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 09:09 AM

Post after post after post gets a bit confusing when they're all marked GUEST, and they might be from several different people. If anonymity is that imnporant to someone, it wouldn't be in any way threatened by saying "same person as posted at 8.15" or something like that.

"You know who" might be good enough for Voldemort, but...


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 09:10 AM

I was raised in the Catholic Faith, went to Catholic Schools.

In High School, the time that we question things the most, the subject of the Bible came up in Religion class. The teacher, a Priest who I had always liked and respected said "you have to remember, the Bible was a book by the people of the time, for the people of the time,. We can't take it literally, but we sure can take most of the messages it gives us". That's stuck with me.

Where is the Church lady when we need her?


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: CarolC
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 09:16 AM

Joe, I agree with you. I think the Narnia books should be left exactly as they are. I think that to alter them would be a travesty.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: MMario
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 10:00 AM

I don't see HOW you could remove the Christian references from the Narnia books and have any sort of resemblence to the originals. The concept is pretty basic to the entire series.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: SINSULL
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 10:22 AM

Only slightly on subject but this seems to be the place to place it: I was very disturbed at Harry's treatment at the hands of his aunt and uncle. A year old infant scarred after the murder of his mother and father is made to live in a closet under the stairs? No gifts for Christmas? No birthday parties? Limited food? Hand me downs? All this while his cousin lives in two rooms and is fed to obesity. Harry isn't even allowed to attend his cousin's birthday parties.

Then after a year at a school where he is treasured, he is put right back into the same home for the summer. The movie makers must have felt the same. This theme was reduced to a single scene in the movie. Anyone else bothered by it?


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: Wolfgang
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 10:24 AM

The website one of our GUESTs has posted made me laugh. They tried to define 'occult' different from the dictionary definitions and then came up with a definition according to which weather forecasting is an occult activity.

Another GUEST asks What sort of damage does "occultism" cause?
I often visit pages from people who consider themselves occultists or are at least offering courses in practices they call themselves 'occult' or 'magick'. They all carry more or less the same warning. In the words of one such site: magick ritual (or any magick or occultism) is very dangerous for the mentally unstable. If you should somehow 'get out too far', eat 'heavy foods' as previously discussed (lesson on chakras) and use your religious background or old belief system for support. (from a pagan site)

The real risk is very low in my eyes, but it is not nil as the warning above should tell you. The main risks are suicides and onset of psychotic episodes. Is that clear enough for you or do you want articles and books with case studies?

Has this anything to do with Potter? Not at all in my eyes. Potter is completely harmless and fun. The big difference is that Potter is fantasy and everybody knows it. The danger only comes when the difference between fantasy and reality is blurred.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: CarolC
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 10:31 AM

It's certainly a common theme in children's literature, SINSULL. James and the Giant Peach, and Mathilda by Roald Dahl being two examples. And of course there are the Grimm fairy tales like Cinderella. I'm sure I can come up with others, but they have escaped my memory just now.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: GUEST,McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 10:36 AM

The danger only comes when the difference between fantasy and reality is blurred. And that us what I meant - the stuff we've been talking about here from "Christian" fundamentalists in relation to Harry Potter does precisely that.

As for the Narnia stuff - I think that will backfire, with kids handing round the real unexpurgated version, and reading it under the bedclothes.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: MMario
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 11:07 AM

Sinsull - yes, that bothered me; but can you deny that situations like that exist?

As far as I can see Rowling depicted the situation as not-good, not-right.

Was Cinderella sleeping in the ashes and performing as a drudge in her own father's house not disturbing when you look at it? Or Sleeping Beauty being cursed because of a social gaffe? Or Rapunzel being traded for a bunch of radishes and locked in a tower as a reult?


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: MAG
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 11:37 AM

The Narnia rewrite thing, as I recall, died a swift and deserved death.

The Dursleys come across as a Dickens parody, which children are wuite capable of getting. If you've read the rest of the books, you know that being left with blood relatives was a necessary part of Harry's magical protection.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: robomatic
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 11:52 AM

Wonderful thread, I am not seeing much from people who consider Harry Potter satanic. I'm wondering if there are really that many people out there.

I agree with the poster who critiqued the John William's score. I think the Harry Potter theme melody was sweet and appropriate, but orchestrated a la Jurassic Park, so I expected to see dinosaurs in the wood!

Also one minor disturbing element in the film and the book: Harry is a Wizard because it's 'in his blood' Kind of a racial superiority thing?

Overall the books are wonderful and imaginative. Most of the adults at my place, which is no liberal haven, have passed the books around with approval.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: Gervase
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 12:01 PM

I don't know if I'm missing an element in my soul, but I loathed the original Narnia books - though I couldn't see myself going for the expurgated versions either
Lewis might have grumbled at his colleague "writing about bloody elves again", but Tolkein produced by far the better books.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: MMario
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 12:52 PM

I took "in his blood" just to mean that it ran in his family - tho' the Dursley's are muggles, they ARE blood relations. Both his parents are magic users - but I believe they discuss families that are mixed


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 01:29 PM

CarolC penned:" Yeah... I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree with you on that one C.S. It's when you ignore them that they do the most harm. And I've got the court records to prove it".

I reply: I suppose the biggest difference is that you were one person being picked on, not what now amounts to a highly visible corporation. HP is something tremendously popular. The fundies are about as likely to do away with HP books and films as those against fundies will do away with Christianity. It's just too known and popular a thing for them to make any impact. I would agree that in circumstances like yours, it's necessary that the information be made available to the public so that they can react. In this case, no one needs to be too worried that the public will know. I've seen websites that list info down to Harrys shoe size. ;D

And Joe Offer offered: I suppose, though, that it might be good to take a look at the issue from the other side. Are the people who protest Harry Potter really the self-righteous bigots we think they are, or could it be that they are truly afraid of the aspect of the books that they term "occult"? If people are truly afraid of something, do we have an obligation to respect that fear, or at least to accommodate it in some way?

I reply: Absolutely! And the way we can respect and accomodate them is to allow them *not* to read the books, or go to the movie. That's democracy in action...vote with your feet. For them to try to ban the books altogether, or to try to shut the film down is their trying to impose their interpetations on everyone else.

Joe also said: I have a fear of my children being exposed to fundamentalist teaching, and I expect the fundamentalists to accommodate my fear and not expose my kids to their teachings in school. How about the opposite? How do we live peacefully in a society where so many people are so sensitive about so many different things?

I reply: The only way for it to be fair (here in the US)is this: Everything is allowed, or nothing at all. You can't allow bible study and not a pagan studies group. You can't allow "Drawing Down the Moon" on the bookshelves and not the Bible. And dare I say? Can you rightly teach evolution (which still has to be called a theory, as it has not been absolutely proven) and not creationism (also a theory)?

Either it all goes or it all stays.

The thing here in the states is this: The "Seperation of Church and State" was meant to keep the State out of religion, not the other way around, and in the instances where it *is* interpeted erroneously (and someone knows enough to get a decent lawyer), it will lose. Jay Seculo of the "American Centers for Law and Justice" has won many cases that have involved the invoking of the "Church and State" thing where it invloves such situations (religion meshing with the State...i.e.: a church group trying to rent a public hall for religious purposes, or a kid wanting to say something religious in his graduation speech, both of which are legal according to the way our constitution is currently written).

If we here in the US want that changed to go both ways, that's alright...but we need to alter it legally, not try to use text that was written one way to mean the opposite.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: wysiwyg
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 01:30 PM

Here is something that may be useful as some of you contemplate dialog with occult-fearing fundies.

Many Christians who are considered experts in the field of "spiritual warfare" or "deliverance ministries" teach that fear of the occult is, itself, the operation of occult or evil... that the response of fear, preoccupation, etc., that is observable in book-burning mindsets, is, itself, an indication that the book-burner himself/herself is under the sway of a negative spiritual influence.... that the obsession with Evil, even to attack it, is, itself, giving in to evil.

The idea is that if a person is not fully caught up in joy, love, peace, etc. -- all these "good" ways Christianity expresses itself-- not praising the Lord more than they are doing anything else-- they are already far from their intent as a Christian, and have unwittingly given in to a negative spiritual influence that preys upon Christians.

Now, it never helps to TELL them that... but it may help you reach the reasonable person lurking deep within that fear, to know that they are there, and that they are, themselves, already a victim of what they fear.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: sophocleese
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 01:33 PM

Red Herring robomatic. Magic is part of Harry's inheritance (both his parents were wizards/witches) in a similar way that talents like music, art, mathematics etc. can be in your blood. Some idiots will always suggest that because they can play a musical instrument they are better than those who can't but it's not rascist, its just crass.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: Grab
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 01:43 PM

My only problem with the HP books is the use of the word "muggle". Often this is used as an insult in a way which translates very well into history ("muggle-lovers"). And the language of the HP world seems to lack any non-insulting way of referring to the non-magical majority. I'll be interested to see how (or if) JKR addresses that in the following books.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: GUEST,Wesley S
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 01:53 PM

This is what hacks me off about all of this - I don't mind if someone wants to picket the movie like they did in Ft Worth - that's freedom of speech. But when they try to block the entrance or slow down traffic around the theater - that interfears with my freedom of choice. I'm not going to their house to force anyone to read Harry Potter so don't try to stop me from reading what I want.

And another thing - I would respect the objections that some people had to the Harry Potter books if they gave some evidence that they had really read them. The minister in the first post talks about the drinking of human blood. There IS NO drinking of human blood in these books. And an author I saw on the 700 Club last Thursday night says that the fourth book "introduces elements of human sexuality " - not true - what really happens is that the Hogwarts School hosts a DANCE. Perhaps in his mind dancing equals sex but not in my mind. The real underlying message about the dance is that if you ask someone to go right away you have a better chance of going with the person of your choice. And that's a valuable lesson to teach children. Good dating advise if you ask me. The closest this book gets to sex is that someone gets a peck on the cheek. Really racy stuff.

And last but not least there is a song in these books - the Hogwarts School song. I don't have the words with me but everyone who sings it gets to make up their own melody and tempo. So everyone who sings it, sings it differently - much like some of the singalongs I've led in the past.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: sophocleese
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 01:53 PM

Grab, The fourth book gets into it a lot more. The term mud-blood is used to denote a magic user with a muggle parent or two. I forget what the term is that is used for a wizard of wizard family who shows less than normal talent. Some of the tension and conflict in the story come from the factions within the wizard community over the issue of pure-bred vs non pure-bred wizards: can you guess where Voldemort might be on that one? One thing that I find interesting about the HP books is that J.K. Rowling has shown an ability to address issues that arise in one book in a subsequent book. I don't think they are great literature but they are fun and Rowling seems like an intelligent woman.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 01:55 PM

Celtic Soul says
the way we can respect and accomodate them is to allow them *not* to read the books, or go to the movie
That's fine in the marketplace, but what about in the schools? When my children were of school age, I wanted them to be in classrooms where their teachers could teach both evolution and the biblical story of creation, and read to them from both Harry Potter and Chronicles of Narnia. That's why we sent them to Catholic schools. But is it necessary to send our children to private schools if we want them to be exposed to controversial ideas? I admit that I've had very little experience with public schools, so I don't really know what's allowed and what's not.

I always told my kids that my greatest fear was that they would grow up to be born-again Christian Republicans. Well, they're grown up and it didn't happen. Now, if they would only get steady jobs...

-Joe Offer-

By the way, I didn't read Narnia myself. I read Screwtape Letters by Lewis and thought it was too pious, so I bypassed Narnia.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: CarolC
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 02:11 PM

It's not the highly visible corporations I'm concerned about C.S., it's the people, like me, who will be singled out for mistreatment in areas where such things happen (and believe me when I tell you that there are many such places) because they or their children have read books that the fundamentalists consider to be satanic.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 02:27 PM

I hear what your saying CarolC. If it happens though, I would think that the fact that it pertains to something as big as HP would make it a lot easier to challenge.

In your case, the thing that helped you most (if I recall correctly) was that they attacked you for participating in a known entity (homeschooling). If you had been the first homeschooler in the world, they'd have had a much better chance of actually winning. And had you been a national homeschooling coalition or co-op, they would have had a much harder time of attacking you than they did.

I guess, what I am saying is that protecting the film is needless...the corporations that are behind it are very much capable of doing so on their own, and the public will know about it as the whole thing is very popular. If an individual is attacked for reading the books or seeing the film, that is different, but thus far, all I have heard about are people protesting the films/books themselves...not those that go to see it/read them.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: Cllr
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 02:32 PM

I'm a practising Roman Catholic, and I'd rather be socialising with a good pagan than a bad christian. Most religions boil down to worship god(s) and love one another, anything else is window dressing. When fundamentalists of any religion start going on about something I am automatically wary.Cllr


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: CarolC
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 02:34 PM

In my case, the thing that ultimately helped me the most was that I got the hell out of that area. Had I stayed, they had plenty of other ways to make my life a bloody hell. And I would be willing to bet that they are doing the very same thing to other people as we speak. Reading books is one excuse they use to harass people. But they've got many others.

That's why they can't be ignored.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: CarolC
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 02:45 PM

However, to answer what you said more specifically, it wasn't home schooling that they had a problem with. As I said before, it was the fact that I wasn't a Christian.

The attorney who took me to court didn't have anything against home schooling. He felt that I, as a non-Christian, was not fit to home school my son. And keep in mind that this case was the second court proceeding in which he used the fact that I'm not a Christian against me. He also used it in the custody battle two years before. He felt that my not being a Christian was grounds for the court to decide against me. Thank goodness I was vigilant during that proceeding as well.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: CarolC
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 02:48 PM

Not to belabor the point, but here's the scariest part of all of that... this attorney was the one who was appointed by the court to represent my son in the custody battle.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: wysiwyg
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 03:28 PM

Carol, I wish I had been there. I'd have stood beside you shoulder to shoulder. I'd have gotten inside the hearts of the people who did that and gotten them thinking. I am sorry that the only way, apparently, that you could deal with that situation was in an adversarial way-- that they put you in that position. I am sorry that you seem to have lacked allies from among the "opposing" side.

I think one of the greatest reasons for having diversity among our friendships is that sometimes we need someone on the "inside" to help us see what is happening, and how to shift it.

Hardi and I often play that role in our community-- when someone is getting a raw deal from some quarter, we reach out to advocate for them. It often involves offering pastoral resources and caring to the "oppressor," who so often is stuck in some rigidity of their own and who has failed to see the truth of the person they are making into an adversary or target. I don't mean that we "work our connections"-- often these are people we don't even know at the outset. But we do try to help sort out things when we can, and we go to great lengths to maintain enough neutrality in the community that we can be seen as safe and non-toxic to every group out there.

When we talk to our colleagues in our denomination (Episcopal), we find that this approach happens more often than we had thought. It is not always done by the clergy, either, or even necessarily by a Christian-- but many communities seem to have someone who acts informally as a mediator of upsets and unfairness, and who has the trust of the community even when conflict is high.

I think communities need more people who can take that middle place and create bridges with people opposing each other over a firing line.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: CarolC
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 03:44 PM

Thanks Susan. I actually did have some help from some more moderate Christians during the second court proceeding. However, the help came after I sent a letter to all of the home schooling parents in the county about what was going on, and suggested that they come to the hearings because my case could set a precedent that could put their right to home school in jeopardy. These were nice people, but I did have to be very careful about not saying anything about my own spiritual beliefs while I was in their presence.

I do not think that all Christians are intolerant. But my experience has been that there are many intolerant fundamentalist Christians. And I do believe that vigilance is called for with these people.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 03:48 PM

And the language of the HP world seems to lack any non-insulting way of referring to the non-magical majority. I'll be interested to see how (or if) JK addresses that in the following books.(Grab)

Maybe someone should get on to JK and suggest she brings in the term "Mudcat" as a non-insulting way of referring to the non-magical majority. And tell her we love her.

About the Dursleys. I'd have preferred it if she'd approached the host family issue differently myself. Have them being confused and apprehensive, and frightened of magic and so forth, but basically on Harry's side, and unable to really deal with him. And I think that would have made for a much more interesting set-up, with just as much opportunity for a bit of slapstick.

More plausible too. After all there's no law, or even social expectation in England that a family is bound to adopt and care for a foundling, just because he's related to them. There's an inconsistency in the Dursley's being willing to undertake the responsibility. And it's out of line with the precedents in history/mythology, such as King Arthur (or Superman).

But that's how she wrote it, and it was her first book, and it works so far as most people are concerned, I was glad they didn't soften it for the film, because it would have thrown things out of kilter.

The interesting possibility would if JK decides to have the Dursley's get into religious fundamentalism in future books, as their way of justifying their attitude towards Harry...(And that would tie in with being willing to raise him as well.) That would really put the cat among the pigeons.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: Melani
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 04:09 PM

My daughter, who currently considers herself a Jewish pagan (which is not irreconcilable, by the way), has been hanging out on both a pagan website and a multi-theological one. We have both read all the Harry Potter books, and loved them. She was highly amused to find an article posted by a fundamentalist Christian berating Harry Potter in response to an article from "The Onion", the satirical newsletter. The poster apparently didn't realize that "The Onion" is satire. Computer illiterate that I am, I can't include a link, but searching on The Onion should do it. If anyone is really interested, let me know and I'll hold her down and get the addresses out of her.

I think fundamentalists of any religion who insist that everyone should do it their way are dangerous, and should be guarded against. I remember a pair of Christian mothers in a parent's group I was part of debating Halloween. One said she didn't allow her children to participate in a Satanic holiday, and the other said she allowed hers to dress as secular things like ballerinas and baseball players, but not witches or ghosts.

Meanwhile, at my daughter's Jewish nursery school, we were told not to let the children wear costumes on Halloween, because Halloween is a Christian holiday and a traditional time for pogroms. Most of them did anyway. Try explaining a pogrom to a middle-class American three-year-old who just wants a fun costume and free candy.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: Noreen
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 04:16 PM

About the Dursleys, McG- they say that they took Harry in and raised him to 'knock all that nonsense out of him' or some such, as they were well aware of the powers of Harry's parents. Plenty of precedent for that attitude, in fiction and even in recent history.

Noreen


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 04:37 PM

This must be the Harry Potter story you mentioned, Melani:

HARRY POTTER BOOKS SPARK RISE IN SATANISM AMONG CHILDREN

LOCK HAVEN, PA—Ashley Daniels is as close as you can get to your typical 9-year-old American girl. A third-grader at Lock Haven Elementary School, she loves rollerblading, her pet hamsters Benny and Oreo, Britney Spears, and, of course, Harry Potter. Having breezed through the most recent Potter opus in just four days, Ashley is among the millions of children who have made Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire the fastest-selling book in publishing history.

And, like many of her school friends, Ashley was captivated enough by the strange occult doings at the Hogwarts School Of Witchcraft And Wizardry to pursue the Left-Hand Path, determined to become as adept at the black arts as Harry and his pals.

"I used to believe in what they taught us at Sunday School," said Ashley, conjuring up an ancient spell to summon Cerebus, the three-headed hound of hell. "But the Harry Potter books showed me that magic is real, something I can learn and use right now, and that the Bible is nothing but boring lies."

Ashley is hardly the only child rejecting God these days. Weeks after the release of Goblet, the fourth book in J.K. Rowling's blockbuster kid-lit series, interest in witchcraft continues to skyrocket among children. Across America, Satanic temples are filling to the rafters with youngsters clamoring for instruction in summoning and conjuring.

Over protests from Christian Right leaders, who oppose the books for containing magic—and, by extension, Satanic religious beliefs—millions of children are willing their bodies and souls to Lucifer in unholy blood covenants. In 1995, it was estimated that some 100,000 Americans, mostly adults, were involved in devil-worship groups. Today, more than 14 million children alone belong to the Church of Satan, thanks largely to the unassuming boy wizard from 4 Privet Drive.

"The Harry Potter books are cool, 'cause they teach you all about magic and how you can use it to control people and get revenge on your enemies," said Hartland, WI, 10-year-old Craig Nowell, a recent convert to the New Satanic Order Of The Black Circle. "I want to learn the Cruciatus Curse, to make my muggle science teacher suffer for giving me a D."

"Hermione is my favorite, because she's smart and has a kitty," said 6-year-old Jessica Lehman of Easley, SC. "Jesus died because He was weak and stupid."

But as wild as children are about Harry, no one is happier about the phenomenon than old-school Satanists, who were struggling to recruit new members prior to the publication of the first Potter book in 1997.

"Harry is an absolute godsend to our cause," said High Priest Egan of the First Church Of Satan in Salem, MA. "An organization like ours thrives on new blood—no pun intended—and we've had more applicants than we can handle lately. And, of course, practically all of them are virgins, which is gravy."

With membership in Satanic temples reaching critical mass in some areas, many children have been forced to start their own organizations to worship the Lord Of Lies. Houston 11-year-old Bradley Winters, who purchased Goblet Of Fire with his own allowance money at the stroke of midnight on July 8, organized his own club, Potterites To Destroy Jesus, with his neighborhood pals. An admission fee of $6.66 grants membership to any applicant willing to curse the name of God and have a lightning bolt carved into his or her forehead with an iron dagger.

"The Harry Potter books are awesome!" Winters said. "When I grow up, I'm going to learn Necromancy and summon greater demons to Earth."

It's more than just the kiddie set and Satanists, however, who are rejoicing over Harry's success. Educators nationwide are praising the books for getting children excited about reading.

"It's almost impossible to find a book that can compete with those PlayStation games, but Harry Potter has done it," said Gulfport (MS) Middle School principal Frank Grieg. "I have this one student in the fifth grade who'd never read a book before in his life. Now he's read Sorcerer's Stone, Prisoner Of Azkaban, Chamber Of Secrets, Goblet Of Fire, The Seven Scrolls Of The Black Rose, The Necronomicon, The Satanic Bible, The Origin Of Species—you name it."

Less pleased are Christian leaders, who see Pottermania as a serious threat to their way of life.

"Children are very impressionable," said Dr. Andrea Collins of Focus On Faith, a Denver-based Christian think-tank and advocacy group. "These books do not merely depict one or two uses of magic spells or crystal balls. We're talking about hundreds of occult invocations. The natural, intuitive leap from reading a Harry Potter book to turning against God and worshipping Satan is very easy for a child to make, as the numbers have shown."

"These books are truly magical," Collins added, "and therefore dangerous."

But such protests are falling on largely deaf ears, especially in the case of Harry's creator.

"I think it's absolute rubbish to protest children's books on the grounds that they are luring children to Satan," Rowling told a London Times reporter in a July 17 interview. "People should be praising them for that! These books guide children to an understanding that the weak, idiotic Son Of God is a living hoax who will be humiliated when the rain of fire comes, and will suck the greasy cock of the Dark Lord while we, his faithful servants, laugh and cavort in victory."

----The Onion


---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: weepiper
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 04:53 PM

The whole 'mudblood' thing is presented in such a way that it is obviously warning readers AWAY from racism and prejudice in general, in that it's only the unsympathetic characters (Voldemort, Malfoy) who are derogatory about Muggles. And Hermione's parents are Muggles. But I do think it's a good way of introducing kids to the idea that other people have views they may find abhorrent, and giving them ways to deal with it, and even setting the example that it should be shouted about.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: SharonA
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 04:57 PM

This is a fascinating thread!

Celtic Soul: I must emphatically agree with CarolC that the decision to ignore fundamentalist Christians' protest of an icon of popular culture will not render that protest impotent. Far from it! I was raised by "fundies" (which still gives me nightmares – literally) and, speaking as someone who's been "on the inside", I know that many, many of the methods they use to harass non-fundies are quite subtle and insidious. As Carol says, they can damage and even destroy one's community life, since obviously they feel compelled not to accept a non-fundie as part of their community. The problem is that, at the same time they purport to want to "save" the heathen, they seek at all costs to save themselves from the heathen (and, as Carol notes, to rescue others from the heathen, including the heathen's children!).

The worst damage the fundies do, I think, is to their own children (though perhaps I'm biased, as a damaged adult-child of fundies). Not only must these children experience such shock as watching their parents denouncing and even burning books their peers are reading without retribution, but they are force-fed all the self-contradictory fundamentalist-Christian rhetoric all the time, and compelled to go on to do the same to their own children. The psychological violation is unfathomable; basically, the minds of these children are "made to live in a closet under the stairs" with limited nourishment and hand-me-down platitudes, not permitted to enjoy the freedom of thought taken for granted by their non-fundie "cousins". (I would be very surprised if Rowling didn't intend the Dursleys to be a metaphor for fundies!)

It's true that the Harry Potter books and the film, in and of themselves, are so popular and will be so enduring that book-burning fundies will not eliminate them. However, I agree with those who feel that these works need to be protected in a society that protects the right of free speech and expression. But far more importantly, I feel that the minds of children need to be just as well protected from having hatred and fear and bigotry drummed into them. If for no other reason than to show the fundies' kids that it is possible – and acceptable – for them to think for themselves, practices such as book-burning and other forms of censorship should be denounced with as loud a voice as we can muster.

SharonA


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: lamarca
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 06:11 PM

I have a rather simplistic view of the Dursleys' characters. I think that Rowling was trying to make her hero, Harry, someone that "picked-on" kids could identify with. Every child, at one time or another, feels that the grownups in his or her world are treating her unfairly, being mean to him or picking on them in some way. It's a common fantasy to wish "I'm really someone Special, and if they only knew my secret, they'd be nice to me..."

Harry Potter is an example of fulfilling that wish, which is why it's so popular with kids. The Dursleys are deliberately exagerrated by Rowling to give Harry something truly awful from which to escape - as such, it doesn't HAVE to be realistic. Anyone reading the HP books looking for realistic and deep psychological and emotional interactions between the characters is looking in all the wrong places - they should just go read Ibsen or Dostoevsky and let those of us who enjoy moderately well-written Mind Fritos enjoy our guilty pleasures.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: GUEST,Lascivious Librarian
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 06:29 PM

Let us not forget that fundamentalist Christians already have succeeded at banning Harry Potter books in school libraries in more than a few states. As someone mentioned, it is usually the school classrooms and libraries most at risk.

For the record, I work in a public secondary inner city school library, and we have 5 versions of the Bible, but only one version of the Torah and the Qu'ran. Contemporary World Religions is a year long course taught in the school. Students have the right to organize a student group and meet in school (extracurricular) for the purpose of praying. Muslim students have a classroom set aside for them right now to pray during Ramadan.

The idea that public schools are religion free is pretty much an urban myth. However, the important thing to remember is that Christian religion is being taught as one of many religious mythologies worldwide, not as the one and only truth. Creationism and evolution debates are part of the curriculum--but not exclusively in science class. It is also taught in some parts of the social studies curriculum.

But each school is different. The schools in the area where CarolC had her problems is likely much more conservative.

Hope that clears things up for those who are wondering.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: SINSULL
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 06:43 PM

Funny. I remember clearly when Elvis Presley's records were burned in the streets because his music was corrupting the youth of this country. I remember when John Lennon announced that he was more popular than JC (or something similar) and the streets were filled with burning Beatle paraphernalia.Surely the firestarters must realize that their efforts are only symbolic? They are not going to turn the tide of popularity. f course, so far there is no one here to offer their side.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: SharonA
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 07:16 PM

Well, yeah, their efforts are symbolic of their desire to destroy the devil in the people who produce all the Elvis music or Beatle paraphernalia or Harry Potter books or whatever.... kinda like a burning cross on a lawn is the KKK's symbol of their desire to kill the people in the house behind that lawn.

The fundies are not interested in turning the tide of popularity. They profess not to care what's popular in the "natural" world (of course, with the exception of the new car and the new house and the new clothes, etc.). They are interested in purging from society everything and everyone they see as evil (of course, they fail to see themselves as committing any sort of evil act; they are "on the Lord's side"). They are interested in re-creating society in their own image, with no room in it for anyone who is not "saved" by their standards (of course, anyone who is not of their denomination is not "truly" saved).


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: GUEST,McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 07:43 PM

The thing about being young for most kids isn't that they think their parents hate them, it's that they think they don't understand them, and they don't have the same ideas about what is important and what isn't. And they think they know best.

That's quite enough to make the idea of getting away to a totally different world like boarding school pretty attractive sometimes, while frightening as well. That's how it was for me, and in all kinds of ways Hogwarts seemed very familiar.

In my view, by having the parent figures actually hate and persecute Harry, JK was overegging the pudding. It isn't something most kids have any experience of, or needed in order to be drawn in and relate to the hero and the situation. It's a flaw in a pretty good book, which made an even better film, that's all I'm saying.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 08:16 PM

Sharon A pens: It's true that the Harry Potter books and the film, in and of themselves, are so popular and will be so enduring that book-burning fundies will not eliminate them. However, I agree with those who feel that these works need to be protected in a society that protects the right of free speech and expression.

I reply: I am only pointing out that the companies that own these books have fairly deep pockets, and they will be able to take on their opponents if such should prove necessary.

Sharon A also pens: But far more importantly, I feel that the minds of children need to be just as well protected from having hatred and fear and bigotry drummed into them. If for no other reason than to show the fundies' kids that it is possible – and acceptable – for them to think for themselves, practices such as book-burning and other forms of censorship should be denounced with as loud a voice as we can muster.

I reply: I hate to say this, but banning book burnings *is* a form of censorship. So long as they are not burning all the books of it's kind in existence, their burning some falls under their right to "free speech" here in the US.

As for what they do to their kids...I don't know about any of you, but I don't want anyone telling me how to raise my daughter, or what religion is acceptable for me to train her in. You may disagree with the way you were raised, but then I know a lot of people raised by non-fundies (myself included) with equally bad (or worse) childhood stories to tell. No one way of parenting is the "right" way, and I for one do not want the government in the business of child raising. Too much like Big Brother for my sensibilities.

When we legislate things like parenting, whose parenting will be "right" and whose will be "wrong"? Do any of us really want to find that it is *our* way that is deemed "wrong"? I think it better to lay down certain standards that no one can go beyond (beating your kids being the obvious one), and from there, things such as religion need to be at the conscience of the parents.

The government involved in parents raising their children in the religion of their choice *would* be an infraction of the seperation of church and state in this country, by the way.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: Melani
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 10:16 PM

Thanks, Lepus, that's the one. I guess it's just too subtle for some people.

When my daughter's public elementary school eliminated the school Christmas tree, I thought it would have been nice to instead give equal time and space to every religion represented in the school, including atheists. It certainly would have been more educational. I have just been recruited to do a presentation at my son's after-school program on pagan Yule celebrations. It's going to be very short and simple, since it is for a group of developmentally disabled kids, many with speech problems. I guess what I will emphasise is the similarities to other winter solstice customs--almost every culture and religion has them, and they usually involve light and fire. I'm actually not sure how I got fingered as the class pagan, since I was brought up Christian and my kids are Jewish, but they're not far off the mark--I participate in a lot of different religious practices, none of which include drinking blood or cursing people.

As for Harry Potter, any good spell-casting pagan would know that the magic performed in the books is fantasy--it violates the laws of nature, and you really can't do that. You can't turn someone into a frog. Actual magic is pretty much the same thing as prayer--just another format. And the generally accepted rule is that whatever you put out will come back to you threefold, so you'd better only put out good.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 10:20 PM

In the world of HP, a person who is born of Wizarding parents, but who cannot do magic is called a "Squib". The caretaker at Hogwarts, a particularly nasty man by the name of Argus Filch, is one.

Sheesh...I am such a geek ;D

I know what color troll buggers are too...wow.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: Melani
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 10:41 PM

Don't worry, C.S.--in college I had a friend who could speak Elvish.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: Chip2447
Date: 21 Nov 01 - 12:42 AM

Didn't we see the same demonazation of a little game called Dungeons and Dragons about 20 years ago?
We, my current role playing group, have second generation players playing with us now. As far as I know, there isn't a demon worshipper in the bunch.
I for one dont't see any problem with letting our children explore their imaginations. Or, for that matter those adults whose minds tend toward the daydreaming fanasy side either.
Doesn't imagination and creativity stroll hand in hand? Just my 2 cents worth.

Chip2447, who still plays D&D after all these years.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 21 Nov 01 - 04:02 AM

Mrs Gnome made a good point last night. I wonder how many people would burn the New Testament because the hero can work magic? He turned water into wine. Fed 5000 with 5 loaves and 2 fishes. Practised necromancy, raising not only other people but also himself, from the dead. Encouraged his followers to eat flesh and drink blood. Was born in a very unatural way. Spoke with mysterious beings in the sky...

Phew. I think I'll give that one a miss;-)

Out of interest - has anyone else who has read the Silmarilion ever thought that if they did not know either that book or the Old Testament, and then read both, they would not know which one was the accepted religion?

Cheers

Dave the Gnome


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: SharonA
Date: 21 Nov 01 - 10:21 AM

Celtic Soul: Yes, of course the banning of a demonstration of book-burning would be censorship. I didn't say that I thought the government should ban book burning. I said that we (those of us who feel that the desire for censorship that book-burning represents is wrong) should denounce it. In other words, let's not let anyone assume by our silence that we agree with the fundies. We are as free to demonstrate against book-burning and banning of books from libraries as the fundies are to demonstrate against Harry Potter. So write letters or e-mails to newspapers, call your local or state representatives, hold a demonstration of your own – whatever you feel is appropriate – but don't sit idly by and assume that the fundies will eventually give up and shut up, because they won't.

By the same token, I did not say that I wanted the government to legislate parenting beyond the standards you suggest (s.a. beating one's child) (may I add denying necessary medical care). Yes, of course its doing so would be a violation of the precept of separation of church and state. All I'm saying is that, by speaking out, we present to the children of fundies the fact that outside their homes not everyone thinks the way their parents do (the way their parents and their church are teaching them to think). Inside their homes and their church, our way of thinking will be systematically condemned, and these kids will be "sheltered" from it as much as possible. But if they are ever to make a decision to follow one or another denomination of one or another religion (or none at all), they need to be aware that there have a choice and that there are people who willaccept them if they don't choose the fundie way of life.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: SharonA
Date: 21 Nov 01 - 10:31 AM

Oops! Typo alert! The last sentence in my last post should read:

But if they are ever to make a decision to follow one or another denomination of one or another religion (or none at all), they need to be aware that they have a choice and that there are people who will accept them if they don't choose the fundie way of life.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: Grab
Date: 21 Nov 01 - 11:09 AM

Celtic Sould, I'm obviously a geek too. I was just about to post a reply to Sophocleese about that...

Sure, "Mudblood" is obviously insulting, and only done by the eeeehvil characters. But the general attitude to muggles is kind of patronising - protecting them from reality for their own good (cf. attitudes to women) - and many characters do talk down to muggles (think Hagrid with the Dursleys). Even the good characters see the muggles as some kind of backward tribe to be studied at a distance (think of Mr. Weasley). And the magical lot don't seem to see themselves as having any further responsibilities like trying to sort out pollution, disease, wars, etc (Hagrid again, "we're better off out of it").

As I said, maybe JKR will address this in later books. Should be interesting to see.

Graham.

PS. Guess I'm an ultrageek if I can even quote the lines from memory! ;-)


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: lamarca
Date: 21 Nov 01 - 12:16 PM

I think that one of the things that frightens fundamentalists of any sort is the notion that there ARE choices in life. One of the attractions of a fundamentalist religion of any sort is the abdication of personal responsibility for making decisions about your life. If the rules are laid out for you, and you are told "This is the Truth and the Way you must live your life" it gives one a sense of security of not having to make moral decisions one' self.

Unfortunately, once you have decided to follow that route, it becomes extremely threatening to your world view if there are people who have made different choices. It starts that little niggling voice inside your head that says "Maybe I didn't have to do it this way...what if...". The only way to defeat the little voice is to loudly deny the validity of any other choices and to try to prevent other people from choosing differently than you have yourself. This has nothing to do with religion, per se, and everything to do with human psychology.

I think what fundamentalists find the most threatening about the dreaded "secular humanism" is that humanism requires you to make moral choices and behave ethically toward your fellow human beings because it is the right thing to do, and a way you have personally chosen in order to make the world a better place and life worth living, rather than having rules imposed from above by a judgemental Creator who will punish you if you aren't a "good" person - "good" being defined as someone who follows all the rules established by the other human beings who run the particular religious institution to which you adhere.

Those humans who set up the rules base them on their own interpretation of the writings and philosophies of other human beings from the past, and cloak their personal decisions and interpretations by saying THEIR Truth came from God. Sometimes they do it in all earnestness and religious belief, but far too often the leaders who make the rules do it with some secular purpose in mind, which has to do with acquiring power over other people in a political or psychological sense.

The poor sheep in the fold then follow their shepherd's direction, burning books or stoning women, trying "witches" or gassing Jews, because they have abdicated from the frightening responsibility of thinking for themselves.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 21 Nov 01 - 12:18 PM

Burning a detested or feared book is a perfectly good speech practice--IF YOU OWN THAT PHYSICAL BOOK YOU'RE BURNING! In that case you're involved in a symbolic act, which is protected speech, much like hanging Guy Fawkes or Hitler in effigy.

But if you are trying to eliminate the presence of the book in the public library or the school library you are trying to effectively destroy the thoughts represented by the book, by preventing their transmission to the population that uses that library. And of course literally "burning" is not necessary.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: Fortunato
Date: 21 Nov 01 - 12:29 PM

The 'denouncing' of the Harry Potter novels cited above is ludicrous.

When I shop at the food store the tabloids by the checkout carry stories of satanism and demonic posession, alien abduction, bigfoot, Elvis sighting, ghosts and vampires, etc. That is where this sort of horse manure belongs.

Personally I wish that I could still believe in magic. The only evil incarnate lies in the ignorant who would destroy childhood fantasy to control their flocks and fill their coffers.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: SharonA
Date: 21 Nov 01 - 12:29 PM

Thank you, lamarca and DaveO, for saying so much more eloquently what I've been trying to say!


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: robomatic
Date: 21 Nov 01 - 05:23 PM

Man, stay away from the topic for a day and they've blown past so many subjects...Celtic Soul, I agree with the issue that the more the 'fundies' protest, the more ticket sales they create. I expect that most of 'em are cannie to the trend, just a few losers out there who will cut off their noses to improve their faces. You said one thing a couple posts back I wish to take issue with, in the kindest possible way. Evolution is not a theory. Evolution is a fact. It's Darwin's Theory of Natural Selection which explains the mechanism of evolution that is the theory here. And it should be taught in school precisely BECAUSE it's a theory, and subject to the tests and trials of all true theories. Creationism is not a theory in the same sense that it's subject to the same rigor of analysis and testing, in that when it is subjected to that rigor, it falls apart. I would welcome it being taught in the schools because this would become obvious. And of course, the Holy Scriptures never really attack evolution, in fact they support the dispersion of inherited traits if you look at the episode of Jacob interbreeding his white and speckled sheep to increase his herd over Laban's.

Oh, as for Harry Potter, the subject of this thread, er, Good Show!


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Nov 01 - 05:39 PM

I think putting it in terms of "the notion that there ARE choices in life" as a dividing factor is misreading the situation.

The issue is what you do when you have made a choice - when are you entitled or duty bound to try to get other people to go along with it, and when are you duty bound to stand back and let other people make the choice. And in fact for pretty well all of us there are going to be some situations which fall into both categories.

I'd disagree sharply with any trying to resist Harry Potter being readily available to children. But I can quite easily imagine books which I would be very worried about having freely and casually available to young children.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 21 Nov 01 - 06:14 PM

Another Mudcat thread of the type that keeps me here and interested. Fascinating writing.

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: Nigel.Parsons
Date: 21 Nov 01 - 06:24 PM

Sophocleese (any relation to John Cleese ?/ nearly Headless nick): I happily confirm that a person born of wizard parents who is untalented, or weakly talented, at witchcraft is a "Squib". Whether this has the same connotations in the U.S. I'm not sure. A Squib is a firework, a type of "banger" (no pretty show, just a loud BANG) but the term squib seems to now be reserved to fulfil the meaning previously used for a "damp squib" i.e. a firework with no pretty show, and which fails even to produce a good bang. Celtic Soul: Quoting is no bad thing, but unless the U.S. edition has been translated from the English, may I point out that the emenations from a troll's nose are "Bogeys". Buggers are (in English) persons who indulge in sodomy. I realise it loses something in translation.

Finally, HP is about having power, but choosing to use it for the right purposes. I seem to remember another book which could be the subject of book burning. It involved the central character being tempted by a "Satanist" who took him to a high place and offered him the world if only he would swear his allegience... It all comes down to choice.

Nigel Parsons


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: wysiwyg
Date: 21 Nov 01 - 10:09 PM

lamarca, I don't think your view of what disturbs the fundies quite tracks with what I know of the ones who have opened their hearts to me-- but it sure is accurate to the picture they show of themselves, on the outside.

I've been thinking about this more as the age-old struggle for Judeo-Christian people: the one between Grace and Works... the one between the experience of the living Christ and Legalism... the one between ministering to people in love and what Hardi and I call the Excuse From Ministry.

Sorry if that last bit makes no sense at the moment-- it will take a good bit of writing to hash it out so others can follow it, I think.

So I'll write more about that as my thoughts develop. I think I may have some thoughts that will be useful to people who want to interrupt fundie rhetoric and get someone's mind engaged.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: John Hardly
Date: 21 Nov 01 - 10:34 PM

Well, as a fundamentalist Christian I have been watching this thread grow and wondering how to say what I'm feeling in a way concise enough for a forum posting. As I've tried this late in a thread before (this has 107 posts at this point) I know the likelihood is that I will finally word it just as I meant it-----only to find it get lost after I hit the "submit" button. I'll wait 'til someone makes a "Part II" thread and see if anyone is still interested in this topic.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: CarolC
Date: 21 Nov 01 - 10:35 PM

Snosrap, over here (the US), the spelling I'm familiar with is 'boogers'.


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: wysiwyg
Date: 22 Nov 01 - 12:04 AM

Hey John Hardly, write your ideas to me. I'd love to see what you think. We can compare notes.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: Art Thieme
Date: 22 Nov 01 - 12:05 AM

That this is even being argued over at this late date is a huge sign that our thinking we have progressed AT ALL since the days of primordial oooze is nothing but a huge illusion.

A good story is just that-----a good story-- ! Nothing more and nothing less. PLEASE quit trying to control my life.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: CaptainLewis
Date: 22 Nov 01 - 02:22 AM

Wow! great thread, good movie - loved the books. I was raised in a fairly liberal American Lutheran tradition and now am a practicing (until I get it right??) Epicopalian. I took some excursions into what is widely regarded as mainstream "fundamentalist Christianity" during my youth and other areas as well.

One of the things I noticed about this part of Christendom is the focus on the "fundamentals" of Christian belief - as interpreted by several mainline and conservative denominations (called sects in other religions). Many adherents to this interpretation or approach to worshipping Jesus Christ rely on the simplicity of the beliefs to bulwark themselves against the complexity of the world around them. Of course not all fundamentalists are knee-jerk reactionaries. There is as wide a spectrum of beliefs there as anywhere else in the kingdom. The failure is in the round condemnation of any reference to "magic", "sorcery", "spells" and like vocabulary to Satanic influence and wickness.

I've heard in Baptist churches about the sin of being Catholic, in Catholic churches of being any Protestant denomination, in evangelicals of being "charismatic" and so on. The problem is not Christianity, it is human nature. Fortunately as far as the proclaimed gospel is concerned, christians are saved by grace through faith, not necessarily because they are realistically "good" people. I personally hope that like in Narnia however the fruits borne determine the destination.

Just some personal thoughts.

-CLB


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Subject: RE: Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch
From: Noreen
Date: 22 Nov 01 - 04:18 PM

Please go to continuation thread:

BS: Harry Potter: Good or Bad Witch part ll


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