Harry Potter 2
For letters sent after December 2000, click on Harry Potter Comments
Your responses to
Bewitched by Harry Potter
Harry Potter and D&D
Harry Potter Lures Kids to Witchcraft - with praise from Christian leaders
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
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From Jane: I personally think that you should not criticize Harry Potter because it has inspired millions of children to read which is a full necessity in life and I think that you are being highly critical of animes. The animes are CARTOONS and are not hurting anybody.
Oh, sorry I didn't mention that I am 10 years old!!!!!!!!
From Mercutio: I'm a High School Student and in my school I am taking a Journalism Class and we put out a monthly school paper. Each student must write an article each month regardless of whether it goes in the paper or not, and I am currently writing an article concerning Harry Potter and whether it promotes Witchcraft/satanism etc. or not. So of course i read all four books and I went searching online for various sides of the story. And in during my research one of the first articles I came across was yours on your site.
I myself am catholic, i attend church regularly, and my family and I also attend an extra prayer group with many others that offers weekly meetings, various retreats and teachings. But that isn't the reason why I am writing, after reading your article I am wondering how you interpret the various witchcrafts. I have many friends that actually are wiccan and out of my own curiosity i researched it, for my article.
I don't understand how you accuse one book of so much. I read the book, and normally when one reads a book, they read it for plot, characters, etc. No one really searches for what you have in your article.
And I have conducted a thorough interview of many people (from elementary to my school) and not many of them believe that it supports witchcraft it any way what so ever. As in your article you put:
Ten-year-old Gioia Bishop said it well, "I was eager to get to Hogwarts first because I like what they learned there and I want to be a witch." I really doubt that she truly understood what she was saying. A lot of younger kids are like that, they don't actually understand what they're saying, it's like when i was little and i said I wanted to be superman or something.
I myself thought that the book was very good, and I have actually been exposed to various forms of witchcraft and I have been unable to locate anything in that book that actually refers to GOD or denounces HIM in any way. It makes no reference to actual witchcraft and is not really related to it except that the book is about witches and wizards.
... I find no religous qualms in this book and I don't understand why you are reading so deeply into this book making extra interpretations and accusing this book of very immoral things that the average kid doesn't see in a book like this. All i saw when i read it was a kid that went to an imaginary school and triumphed over evil and had a plot that kept me hooked on the books.
Most of the obvious differences between Harry Potter's world of witchcraft and the real world of witches and neo-pagan are superficial. Real witches rarely wear black capes or pointed hats. Nor do they ride broomstics or follow magic maps or communicate with talking pictures. Since contemporary witches look and act like everyone else, many Harry Potter fans simply dismiss the books as pure fantasy.
The similarities are subtle and far more dangerous: Harry Potter's world view, the use of spells and magic, the possibility of communicating with the dead, the invisible forces that carry out the summons or wishes of those who use the occult formulas... all these beliefs and practices are as real today as they were in pagan cultures throughout history. Please read Halloween 2000 - Starring Harry Potter and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
From Ken Ashe: Its fiction. Fiction. Story telling. Grow up people, please! And as for this quote :
"1. Chuck Colson praised Harry and his friends for their "courage, loyalty, and a willingness to sacrifice... for one anothereven at the risk of their lives." Those qualities can be found in almost any culture. But, according to the Bible, a brave person is no more free to pursue paganism than a coward. Harry's occult skills -- witchcraft, sorcery, casting spells, spiritism, interpreting omens and "calling up the dead" fit into a category God tells us not even to discuss. 'For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord....'" (Eph. 5:10-12, Deut. 18:9-12)
Why is it that you, and Chuck, stop short of living by the entire Old Testament? You only quote it when it is convenient for your, modern day, current Christian interpretation. Let me know the next time you sacrifice a 'kid of the goats', I would like to be there. Or next time you stone your non-virgin daughter to death after being returned by her husband (only two chapters further in Deut from what you quote above).
As for the Ephesian passage, back up a couple of verses and look at vs. 8 "for you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light". So, under your interpretation, the Ephesians, all of them, were Wizards and practiced the 'dark arts'. They were not, they were Jews! To the Jew first, then the Greeks. Stop reinterpreting scripture to suit your current day, trendy, all in the name of attracting money contributions, Christianity ! This is bumper sticker theology and is unbecoming of the faith!
From a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, washed in his blood, and written as a saved, Bible believing, Christian. I am so sick and tired of trendy, condemnation, of something like the Harry Potter series. The witchcraft of the Old Testament is as far from the Halloween version as Hitler is to Candy Corn.
You ask some good questions, Ken. The answer is that the Levitical laws of the Old Testament were fulfilled through Jesus Christ when He was crucified. His death as the perfect Lamb of God served as the propitiation needed to redeem all who would believe in Him. No need to sacrifice a goat or lamb or anything else when Jesus Himself met all the conditions for us. That's what the book of Hebrews (in the New Testament) is all about.
On the other hand, the moral laws of the Old Testament are as applicable today as ever. Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 6: 17-20,
"Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven."
We are responsible for knowing and following those guidelines -- not by our own strength, but by His life in us. In other words, as we study His Word (Old and New Testament), know His guidelines, and depend on His life rather than our own, He enables us to follow Him and demonstrate His life.
"Those who dance are considered insane by those who can't hear the music." George Carlin
I have never heard of George Carlin, but I suppose his statement could apply to either side in this debate. Many view Christians like me as insane today. Remember Jesus said,
"If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. ... If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.... because they do not know Him who sent Me." (John 15:19-21)
Second letter from Tayltara: you didn't answer my question. is that because you don't have an answer? as to a reply you made about the muggles locking harry in a closet, it was because they were afraid of what he was. hermione's parents were ecstatic about her being a witch, so no, the book was not trying to show that muggles were bad. you remind me of a story in history. hmmm..... ever heard of a witch hunt in salem?
I answered two of your questions. The other two I didn't understand.
even if people DO want to be witches, why is that any of your business? is anyone trying to attack you for what you believe? no one is starting a site about how you are terribly closed-minded. maybe someone should.
I haven't said it's my business. My responsibility is to answer sincere questions from concerned parents and others who want advice. I don't tell you or an aspiring witch what to do. But I give advice when people ask for it. Then they choose what to do with it.
From Xenia Eggen: I am a school teacher and an Orthodox Christian - Russian - one of the most strict - if you know anything about the Russian Church Abroad.
Ready [reading?] all of the Potter books has been a great joy for me and my children. They are sweet, funny and delightful. I am sorry your life lacks color. We will pray for you. Anything against Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz? How about Cinderella. In Christ,
Berit's letter to Ms Eggen: Thank you, Sandy, for taking time to write us. Would you like me to post your comment? Many would agree with you.
Second letter from Xenia Eggen: Yes, please print. My comments will, indeed appeal to literate individuals that have gone beyond "Chicken Little". Your sister in Christ,
I may be wrong, Xenia, but you sound a bit sarcastic to me. Would you prayerfully re-read your notes, then compare your words with the message in Galatians 6:22? It describes the sweetness of the life of Jesus in the believer:
"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law."
From Canem Cave: Hello. I have some questions regarding your article "Harry Potter and D&D - Like Two Peas in a Pod?" I would appreciate a response. However, I realize that I probably won't get one - critical thinking is not most people's strong point.
- Have you ever played D&D?
- Have you ever read a Harry Potter book?
- Where in the Bible does it state that playing D&D or reading Harry Potter is bad?
- Where in the Bible does it state that *pretending* to be a witch or wizard is bad?
- Where in the Bible does it state that *reading* about a witch or wizard is bad? Does that include reading about a witch or wizard in the Bible?
- Where in the Bible does it state that *imagination* is bad?
Berit’s answers: 1. No, but I have read several books and manuals that show the D&D world, define the rules and describe the characters. I know more than enough to be able to discern how this conflicts with the Biblical world view. I don’t need to “experience” evil in order to recognize evil. The belief that experiential knowledge of evil is necessary to understand it is a deception straight from Satan who wants to desensitize to and trap God’s people in what God calls evil.
2. Of course, I have read the Harry Potter books. Didn’t you notice the quotations from them? Perhaps the most revealing are in the last book.
3. God doesn’t have to mention D&D or Harry Potter to show us the beliefs and practices they promote clash with His Word. Witchcraft, wizardry, magic, sorcery and spell-casting all fit into the list of forbidden practices outlined in Deuteromy 18:9-12. (See Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.)
4-6. Both "pretending" to be a witch or wizard and "reading about" a witch or wizard involves the imagination. If the imagined wizard and witch are as appealing as Harry and Hermione, children tend to identify with the pagan characters and their practices. Children imagine themselves part of that particular occult world, become familiar with it, become comfortable in it, and – in the process – are desensitized to the forbidden realms of the occult. Here are some of God’s warnings against the timeless practice of imagining evil:
“I know your thoughts, and the devices which ye wrongfully imagine against me.” Job 21:27
"...the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth...” Genesis 8:21
“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed..." Psalm 2:1-2
"They also that seek after my life lay snares for me: and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long.” Psalm 38:12
“Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil...." Proverbs 12:20
“Though I have bound and strengthened their arms, yet do they imagine mischief against me." Hosea 7:15
“And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the LORD. Zech 8:17
“He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.” Luke 1:51
More questions from Canem Cave: Some thoughts to think about. Does reading about something mean it's true? Here's some questions along those lines - If you read about A, does that mean you do A?
If you read/talk/think about witches, does that mean you believe in witches? That you are a witch?
If you read/talk/think about Satan, does that mean you believe Satan exists? That you worship Satan?
If you read/talk/think about murder, does that mean you commit murder?
If you read/talk/think about crime, does that mean you commit crimes?
The more you read and think about witches, the more familiar they become. If you keep focusing on witchcraft, you become increasingly desensitized to it. The effect of talking about witchcraft usually depends on the views of the other person. For example, when you talk with a witch about witchcraft, you are far more likely to start believing in it than if you discuss this subject with me.
Specific Article Questions:Why did Amazon also list Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition Player's Handbook as best-seller #6? Could it be that this product was best-seller #6 BECAUSE it sold well? Why else would Amazon list it as #6?
My point was simply that the two books – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and the D&D Handbook – both fit the desires of a global audience. They demonstrate contempory beliefs, values and popular entertainment.
Quoting from Berit’s article: “1. Both immerse their fans in a plausible, well-developed fantasy world, replete with an evolving history, a carefully mapped geography, and wizards that model the thrill-packed and power-filled way of the mythical shaman.”
This comment could be said about any book. For example: Comparing the Bible to a Sherlock Holmes mystery, both ". . . develop a plausible, well-developed fantasy world, replete with an evolving history . . . ." Both have ". . . carefully mapped geography . . . ." Why is this a point to consider? When comparing/contrasting items, this information a given.
Both the Bible and Sherlock Holmes deal with the real world, not fantasy. And while the Hobbit and the Narnia stories showed fantasy world, their worlds were not as plausible as the D&D setting or Harry Potter’s world. The fact that a person can identify with the character or role-play an imaginary part, makes its values and world view all the more seductive.
Quoting: “3. This process is reinforced by innumerable other occult images and suggestions created by an entertainment industry eager to please a global market -- a worldwide base of potential customers that favor "inclusive" and "tolerant" pagan entertainment and turn their backs to Biblical values.”
What "myriad of other occult images and suggestions" are there? Does the "global market" include peoples of other religions? Or should the "global market" only cater to Christianity?
No, I don’t expect global marketing to cater to Christians. I expect global corporations to sell their products to the largest possible market. But that doesn’t mean that Christian parents should buy products for their children that clash with their faith.
Why are "inclusive" and "tolerant" in quotes?
Because they refer to what is inclusive and tolerant in the eyes of the world, not from a Biblical perspective. Those who call Christianity “exclusive” and “intolerant” don’t realize that God, unlike the world’s other gods, accepts anyone willing to come to Him in their weakness and believe in Him without any merit of their own. He “includes” and welcomes people from every culture and of any color.
What is pagan entertainment? What Biblical values are you talking about? Are they the same as Family values? Didn’t Jesus state that he came to replace the old (Moses) Laws with 2 laws: Love God and Be Nice To People (paraphrased)? If so, why even refer to the Bible except for these two laws?
Many use the words "family values" to mean the "traditional American values" established by our founding fathers.
Jesus didn't say he came to replace the old Mosaic or Levitical law. He came to fulfill it. He Himself became the Lamb that died for our sins. Please read this earlier answer to your question. But Jesus did summarize of the moral law, which is as relevant as ever:
"Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." Matthew 22:37-40
Quoting: “4. In the toys and games industry, two trans-national giants have been swallowing up most smaller companies: Mattel and Hasbro. The latter bought Wizards of the Coast, which makes and distributes role-playing games and cards for Pokemon, Magic the Gathering, and D&D fans around the world. What's more, Warner Brothers -- producer of the Harry Potter movie scheduled for release next year -- granted Hasbro licensing rights to produce a variety of Harry Potter toys and games. Pagan fun has become big business!
What does this have to do with this article? Large, trans-national companies have been swallowing up smaller companies all over the world. Large, trans-national companies also make licensing agreements with other large, trans-national companies. What does this have to do with this article?
It helps show the vast financial resources behind today's popular entertainment. The toy and game industry has changed. Fifty years ago, toy makers were concerned about morals and values. Today money is the bottom line, and the toy and game industry continues to expand and erode the old moral boundaries. Their current products are desensitizing their opposition, while their well-researched ads keep raising the demand for their manipulative and values-changing entertainment around the world.
From Lois: Having observed all the fuss about Harry Potter books, I have now read the first two for myself.
As far as I can see, they are in the great tradition of English School stories, of which I read a good many whilst growing up. There are the same characters, the hero and his friends, his "enemies", various types of teacher, nasty members of staff, nice members of staff etc. If you took out the wizards and witches bit, that's what you'd have - a school story.
That's right, Lois. The fact that this fantasy is so close to the real thing makes it easy for children to identify both with the context and the characters. This distinction makes it far more effective in molding a child's values than either the Hobbit or the Narnia stories.
Unfortunately, this genre doesn't sell very well these days; so obviously Ms Rowling had to change the setting to make it more attractive to publishers and the book buying public.
It's fantasy. Children are not stupid. They know you can't zap people with a magic wand or fly on a broomstick or change a pencil sharpener into a mouse in the real world. What is wrong with fantasy?
You're right again. But because contemporary witches don't wear pointed hats or fly on broomsticks, readers also dismiss the very real dangers of spells, magic and dabbling in the actual world of the occult.
I find the Harry Potter books good fun and I'm nearly 40! My son of 14, after much sneering, has read them too, although they are probably a bit too young for him, and we have both enjoyed them. People should be free to read what they want. No one has the right to tell another person what they should read...or think...or believe.
I don't tell you what to believe. Instead we welcome your comments and allow you to tell others what you think and believe. In fact, if you read the other comments, you would see that many angry visitors do tell us what to do. They would love to deprive us of the rights (to pursue our God, share our beliefs and discuss issues in a civil way) and freedoms we treasure in America.
Surely that is a basic civil right? Surely that is what America was founded on? I personally find violent films like "Death Wish" or "Rambo", or films which glorify war and killing and rape much more objectionable than Harry Potter. I don't like such films, so I don't go to see them, but I fully appreciate that some people do like them, and that is their choice.
I would deny that Harry Potter books soften children up for taking part in the occult.
Please read the documentation in Harry Potter Lures Kids to Witchcraft and Halloween 2000, which shows that children -- especially girls -- are flocking to pagan groups where they can learn witchcraft.
I have some knowledge of the occult myself, and if you want books which have a much "darker" edge to them, try "The Weirdstone of Brisingamen" and "The Moon of Gomrath" by Alan Garner. Marvellous stuff, based on Nordic myth. That should get your hair curling!
Maybe I should learn more about my Viking heritage. I knew that ancient Norwegian paganism was evil and violent -- no better than the animism in other other parts of the world. This realization helps put all regions and races on an equal footing, for we all share a history of earth-based occultism.
Finally, Nietzche (spelling!) in his book "Beyond Good and Evil" said: "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he does not also become a monster. And when you gaze long into the abyss, the abyss also gazes into you."
In other words, in your zeal for fighting "the devil" which you seem to see everywhere, you should watch out that you don't become a monster of intolerance yourself! That's all.
Anonymous: Hello, I just want to tell you that I am a 27 year old mother and I have read the first two Harry Potter books and I love them. Also, I think most kids know that they are just MAKE-BELIEVE!!!!!! yOU PEOPLE ARE GOING OVERBOARD ON THIS. And if there are kids who are mistraeated as he was, then the parents are to blame for that not the author of the books.
Also, my son loves Pokemon and even though they fight each other and whatnot, he knows it's not real. I think you people are really misjudging children.
They are pretty smart, you know. Just because people read the books does not mean they are going to practice witchcraft. What about Steven King books? Or murder mysteries? Are those wrong too? If everyone went around not looking at or listening to everything that is so-called "against god's rules" they would have a pretty DULL life!!!!!!!!
Anyway, I'm not trying to cause trouble, just trying to get my point across Thank you!
Another letter from Lois: I very much doubt that Ms Rowling, the English author of the Harry Potter books set out to "indocrinate" children and young people into witchcraft. I think she just set out to write a good story!
I don't believe that people have the right to decide what books other people read. I have about 3000 books of all sorts in my house, and my 14 year old son is free to read any or all of them, as he chooses. He's just read the Mervyn Peake novel "Gormenghast", having seen it on British TV. Now that really does portray another world! But like the Potter books, it's fantasy, not reality. Myth. Make something seem forbidden, and you make it much more thrillingly attractive.
I see that one of your articles refers to a British Catherdral refusing permission to film Harry Potter in it becuase of its alleged "pagan" themes. Well, I'm British, and there's been nothing about this in the newspaper that I read (The Daily Telegraph, an old, authoratitive and highly respected broadsheet newspaper).
Perhaps you don't realise it, but Canterbury Catherdal - the cathedral in question - is the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury, who is the leading churchman in England. It has many ancient historical associations, including with St Thomas a Becket, who for centuries was England's top saint! It's far more likely that these sort of considerations are putting the cathedral authorities off hiring their ancient building out to a lot of pushy firm-makers! IF indeed they are. Cathedrals are always strapped for cash, and I'm sure that the film industry will be offering a fat payment for the use of a suitable building.
Here in Britain, Ms Rowling is viewed very favourably. We do not think that she is plotting to introduce children to the (mythical) concept of Satan. We're just glad that children want to read, instead of slumping in front of the TV or the computer screen. Her books are funny and entertaining, and thumping good adventures to boot. And frankly, I can't see anything wrong with them.
I didn't write about the British Cathedral, Lois. Nor do I have any authority to decide what others read. I just pray that God will use our information, warnings, and encouragements to help families stay close to Him, so that He can bless them in ways that can't be compared to the thrills of Harry Potter's world.
From Chip Seward: In Anton Myrer's military epic, (1976), toward the end, he lists a series of colloquial synonyms for marijuana. One of them is "muggles."
I suppose that any link to Rowling's choice of the word "muggles" for people like us might be just a coincidence, Chip. But then, I don't know.
From Fyriel [Witch fyre]: I recently read your article on how Harry Potter and other fantasy stories were raising concern in Christian circles. Firstly, I am hoping that you are both open minded people, if you are, then please continue reading this email. If you arent, then dont bother because you're won't really be listening to my point of view.
I grew up as a christian and in fact I still worship God. I believe in goodness and being kind to each other.I was a bit alarmed at the your welcome section of your webpage that implied that God wants you to shun those people that you should be fostering a bond with, guiding and serving. God does not want us to segregate ourselves and ignore the truths of other doctrines, because any truth that represents goodness of mind and soul is a truth of Gods. God is in all of us, so by shutting yourself away from mankind and shunning those that are different to you you are in fact shutting yourself away from God.With regards to your Harry Potter article: I would also wish for you that you realize that teenagers joining covens is frowned upon by any self-respecting leader. It is my one regret for Pagans out there that people have made public on the internet spells and potions for children to find. Being pagan is not weaving spells and chanting, although a lot view it as such. It is predominantly finding God in his creation, nature, the earth and meditating in the hopes that it brings your closer to Him/Her/It. It is a common misconception that Pagans hold the Earth and Nature as being deities when in fact it is the spirit of God in all of these things that they are worshipping.I think that what we must remember with regards to stories such as the Harry Potter series, is that children are closer to God than we can ever hope to be and we should encourage that delightful innocence and belief in miracles and magic for it raises them to be adults who do not put their God in a bottle and limit His influence in their lives by not fully experiencing even his most mundane miracle.I think that parents should focus on their children and stop letting the television set be their teacher and babysitter. I think that parents should encourage to read, read to and create for their children as much fantasy lives as is possible because by participating in that magic we parents learn to see more of God in our children's eyes. I hope that this is a lesson that you wanted to learn and that you can take insight away from it.
While we worship different Gods, Fyriel, I am glad you wrote and explained your beliefs. I looked again at the "Welcome" section of our home page, and I can see how my words can be misunderstood. I didn't intend to imply "that God wants you to shun those people that you should be fostering a bond with, guiding and serving." I was actually referring to the religion and its practices, not the person. Here is what I said:
"Joshua encouraged God's people to follow truth, avoid compromise, and shun their neighbors' earth-centered spirituality. His words clash with today's demand for unity, consensus and global values....
"The crossroad - the way of the cross - may be rocky and narrow, and it will never merge with the crowded superhighway nudging the masses toward a global village. But no other way leads to genuine love, peace, and lasting security. The destination is well worth the struggle."
There is a big difference between shunning a contrary religion and shunning the people who practice it. To stand firm in my faith, I must avoid compromise while I show His love to those who follow other gods.
You say that "God does not want us to segregate ourselves and ignore the truths of other doctrines, because any truth that represents goodness of mind and soul is a truth of Gods. God is in all of us, so by shutting yourself away from mankind and shunning those that are different to you you are in fact shutting yourself away from God."
My God is not "in all of us," Fyriel. That may be what your deity ("Him/Her/It") shows you, but it is not what my God says in His Word. (See the last letter in the Pokemon comments.) It sounds nice and tolerant to believe that, but it's not Christianity.
In fact, many of the world's truths sound Biblical but are actually distortions that fit a growing global consensus. Whether they twist His truth a lot or just a little, the message is usually the opposite of what the Bible really says. But since it is natural for people to blend (synthesize) and adapt their beliefs, most people are joining the parade toward a global spirituality that fits your beliefs far more than mine.
Here are two of God's warnings that tell His people not to be deceived. I realize that both Scriptures seem very politically incorrect, arrogant, exclusive and offensive to those who have embraced the global ideal of worldwide unity and spiritual solidarity. But they help show how different Christianity is from all the other religions. They also explain why uncompromising Christians (in contrast to cultural Christians) have been persecuted around the world during the last two thousand years:
"Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ." Colossians 2:8
"O Corinthians! We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections.... What part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will dwell in them.... Therefore 'Come out from among them and be separate,' says the Lord." 2 Corinthians 6:8-17
Second note from Fyriel [Witch fyre]: I appreciate that you actually listened. There are too many Christians, and in truth, too many people in general out there that feel that it is their personal mission in life to "push" their lifestyle or belief system on others. Whether it is because they are shaky in their faith and are desperate for validation or just misguided in their attempts at reaching out to their fellow man, the sum result is that this is not only unfortunate for the people who are being foisted upon but also for the people doing the foisting.
I think that true evil is intolerance, no matter which disguise it takes, and I wish for us all that we become more tolerant and kind to ourselves and then to each other.
From Prof. R.C.: I have read most of the first Potter book and have found it quite oppressive. Having read books of this genre for forty-five years, I was born in 1946, and having taught college courses on fantasy literature at State and Christian colleges, I found the book rather shallow. A literary critique of Potter is one side of the issue, but more importantly, the successful dissemination of its propaganda is abusive and is the dangerous side.
The book definitely has a dark spirit behind it. Despite its positive charm, [pun intended], there are elements of deceit that can easily absorb the innocent child or adult. Most people, of all ages, lack biblical discernment. This is easily observed in defensive stance of the people's letters you have published on this subject.
[A case in point: Anyone reading the last chapter of the book of Revelation can see that the only forehead symbol that is viable is the name of Jesus Christ and that the people outside of God's will, like sorcerers, are compared to coyotes!] It is impossible to draw a comparison of this or any literary subject with godly wisdom unless a person has read the Bible from cover to cover numerous times.
For example, a computer relies on software input as a person [the hardware] depends upon spiritual input [the software] to obtain the ability to discern between right and wrong [the character output]. Therefore, if a person has been a "Christian" for ten years it would be possible to read the Bible five times cover to cover given two years to read from Genesis to Revelation. A person's Biblical I.Q., as it were, can be based on this equation.
With this in mind, if a person has never read the Bible and then reads a Potter book [or Lewis, Tolkien, Lawhead, Morris, MacDonald, Dunsany, or any notable author of this genre] he or she will automatically compare it with any previous input. The difference comes when what is read is compared to the repetitive absorption of the absolute truth of the Bible and the relative or true truths found in any literature. The comparison is what I call Spirit-natural as compared to a supernatural, non-viable or merely human, intellectual interpretation. Only the Holy Spirit can really provide the necessary discernment to discover what God thinks about a novel or short story.
The basic interpretation of your letter writers, and possibly of pastors and other representative Christians, comes from their absorption of the Word in print as propositional truth and the lordship of the Word in the person of Jesus Christ. Otherwise, their lack of biblical input creates the bliss of ignorance. This may not be their fault, most people these days are brainwashed by the cult of popular opinion and have not been heartwashed by the blood of the Lamb. Not many people even attempt to become Kingdom-correct on a politically-correct planet.
This is where the real ministry of your webpage begins, as a resource for intercessory prayer. Potter readers have the task of becoming people of prayer by reading the Bible for discernment and applying this wisdom to all of life, or retaining and perpetrating their limited viewpoint. We will all pray for each other to obtain the mind of Christ on this and other subjects before He comes.
Shalom, Prof. R.C.
Thank you, Professor. I really appreciate your insights and information.
From Dee Searing: I started reading Brave New Schools. I'm glad to have you clarify some of the things going on in schools. We removed our children from public schools several years ago, and we are still criticized by a lot of "christians". Your pinpointing some of the problems will help us in our discussions with others.
On Harry Potter, Pokemon, etc. - Our eight year old son does not watch, read, or play with any of these things. I don't have to explain it to him either. He's saved and God has given him discernment, too. Shocking isn't it? I believe the Bible is very clear on these subjects, but I guess very few people must actually read their Bibles. Now that is shocking! God bless you both!
From Frogknighx: I need to protest your website one last time... Look, christian parents around the world should not MOLD their children into being christians. Since you people are definately not in control, you seek to influence your children into beleive the "truth" of god and the bible. This, to be frank, is simply not true. As I have said inmy previous e-mails, the bible is a mish-mash of contradicting values from a far-away PAGAN culture.
Yeah, if you read my 2nd e-mail, I mentioned (with a link) that jewdeism, Cathicism, and Christianity have a very large basis in a PAGAN religion...god's original name, in fact, was Yahweh-a well-documented PAGAN god. All the religions you put down as untrue (don't say you don't, because you at the very least, imply it)
OK, I got a question for you now. People say sin is sin. Without a doubt. It says that in the bible, there is no righteous sin. So all the WWII vets, vietnam, WWI, Korea, Gulf War, etc...they're bad? Sinful? Going to hell because they did the ultimate sin? Killing? If there is no righteos way to sin, then they will. They killed, they're going to hell because they protected their families and way of life. And the crusaders too, fighting for the holy land. They're all brunign in hell right now, nice and toasty. How can this be true?
It's not true, Frognighx. If they trust God and what He did for them on the cross, they will be with Him in eternity. We are saved from condemnation by our faith in Jesus Christ who gave His life for us. As for the issue of sin and killing, the Bible differentiates -- as do our courts -- between intentional murder and defensive killing. In Old Testament days, He would call His people to battle against nations steeped in destructive practices such as human sacrifice to idols. But this is an issue that I don't feel qualified to address.
From Paul: Is there ANYTHING you believe in this world is good? Or is everything related to satan?
It depends on what you mean by "good" and "world." The Bible tells us that "the whole world is under the sway of the evil one." (1 John 5:19) Obviously, the entertainment and practices he prompts and inspires will not be "good" from a Biblical perspective. God made everything good, but much of His creation has been corrupted. That's why we need discernment each day in order to please God and stay close to Him.
From M.: "Some claim the Potter books lure children into witchcraft." Poppycock. You might as well say Gone With The Wind teaches young readers to be slave owners, or Treasure Island entices children to be pirates, or Peter Pan urges children to run away from home.
When you read Harry Potter Lures Kids to Witchcraft, did you notice the documented facts about children seeking practical knowledge and training in witchcraft from organized Wiccan groups? If you need more verification, read Halloween 2000 starring Harry Potter.
If we started to ban books dealing with the supernatural, we'd be tossing out some pretty good stuff. To begin with, we'd have to get rid of at least four works by Shakespeare: Hamlet (ghost), Macbeth (witches), The Tempest (a spirit) and A Midsummer Night's Dream (fairies).
We'd also have to trash A Christmas Carol by Dickens. Imagine that: banning the most beloved of books because it has four ghosts as main characters!
It's understandable why some are upset at Harry Potter books. Many people just don't understand that writers use the supernatural as a prop. That's different from luring kids to the occult. That said, however, we certainly should respect parents' rights to choose what their own children read. We shouldn't force children to read books they aren't ready for.
But school officials, librarians and teachers must stand firm against any attempt to ban Potter books from S.C. classrooms or schools. This is a state where tens of thousands of children read below grade level. And Porter books are turning kids on to reading. If we ban these books, a dark force stands to be unleashed. It's not the occult. It's ignorance.
OH, and by the way, YOU GUYS ARE PSYCHOS! You're everything that is wrong with america! You're anti-love, anti-woman (thereby anti-life), anti-individual, anti-free speech, and you go against everything that Our Lord Jesus ever preached! Go build you and your frightening christian cultists a little island to go live on and leave us peace-loving people ALONE! STOP RUINING AMERICA!
In Bewitched by Harry Potter I explain why the Harry Potter series differs from all the other books you mentioned. Even so, I have not suggested banning the books. I wrote this to warn parents and to help Christian families make wise decisions that support their faith.
From tim, age 12: The thing is i like what you are doing, but you make FALSE ATTACKS1.harry potter i know you get a lot of letters from angry fans but lots of the EVIL quotes come from the bad guy frogot something there huh. and the quote ''death is but the next great adventure'' is also in peter pan so if its in harry potter its bad and in peter pan ok i dont think so.3.PRINCE OF EGYPT yeh right they did the best they could not to get angry letters4.the last one anime did you know that they try their best to make it sutable for american audiances? write me back
Yes, I did know that changes were made in the Japanese anime before they could be shown in the USA. But the U.S. standard for entertainment doesn't match the Bible's standards.
Tim, please don't think I am telling you what to do. I don't hold non-Christians accountable to God's guidelines. It's up to each of us to choose what is good and right. Of course what is right or good in your eyes, may not be good in God's eyes. It would be wise to remember what God told us in Isaiah 5:20-21:
"Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.... who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.">
From Barefoot Pagan: Do you people ever listen to yourselves. These are cartoons and books. You say you are persecuted for being christians when you are running around persecutin every other religion saying they are going to helle because they don't agree with you.
I haven''t said that I'm persecuted. But Christians around the world are being imprisoned, tortured and killed for their faith. But I have written about new global standards for beliefs and values that rule out Biblical faith. You can find documentation in The UN Plan for Your Mental Health and Mind Control.
Are you forgetting what Hitler did in the name of religion. He said the Jews wer the cause of all problems. Now christians are saying Harry Potter, et.al. are responsible for these problems.
I haven't heard anyone say that.
Why is it christians think they should tell people what to read and what religion to worship. Who died and made you God. If God sees all then don't you think that he knew this was going to happen. If he didn't then he can't be as powerful as you say. Worship your God and let other people worship their own.
You say christianity isn't responsible for the things that other people say. Well who led the crusades? Who burned innocent women and men in Europe and Salem? Who helped Hitler during WWII? Who goes around forcing their religion down other peoples throats? I'll tell you who. The christians.
You'll probably reply to me and say I'm misguided or bewitched but I was raised baptist and I stopped because of the intolerance and hatred it was teaching. You need to go and check your history a little more thouroughly. Stand up for what is right. Stop the bigotry and hatred and maybe other will be more tolerant of you and more people will come to your religion instead of run screaming from it. Christians frighten me because they believe whatever they do is okay because it is done in the name of God.
I agree that many horrors were committed under the banner of Christianity. I discuss some of them on this page: Biblical versus Cultural Christianity. But those horrible acts do not represent genuine Christianity. Jesus "so loved the world that He gave His life..." and He calls us to show the same kind of love. I can't do that on my own -- nor can anyone else, but I pray that He fill me with His life and demonstrate His love through me.
Sometimes His warnings don't sound loving to those who have chosen a different path, but my intentions is to encourage, not hurt people. Truly, I am not telling you or anyone else what to do. I only offering the best advice I know. No one has to pay any attention to me. I am so glad that in the USA, all of us -- including you and I-- have the freedom to choose whom and how we worship.
From Kyle: First of all I would like to say that I am a God loving Christian.
Second of all, Harry potter is not evil. the book is just the opposite. Would you rather have kids plutting up grafitti or reading a book that is not hurting anyone. Yes there is the occosional person who would belive in anything. The people who realy should be persicuting are the parents who don't give the kids any religion to call their own. I'm sorry if this is insulyting but it is the TRUTH.
No, you are not insulting me, Kyle. But I disagree with your opinion, and I can't equate your conclusion with "TRUTH." If you have time to write back, I would love to hear your definition of the word "truth" -- both from a secular and from a Christian perspective.
Your question about the two options doesn't really make practical sense. Parents don't have to choose between graffiti or reading Harry Potter. They have lots of better options than those two. God's beautiful creation offers lots of great adventures and the world of good classical books show a far better view or a reality children need to understand.
From "Carbar": You use the word occult and reflect to paganism a lot in your responses to statements that people left. I find this offensive.
It's interesting to note how so many who profess "tolerance" or promote a panreligious perspective (Al Gore's term) are offended by people like me who think differently or don't agree with them. This reminds me of certain totalitarian countries, where the masses were brainwashed (using sophisticated psychological strategies) into thinking that those who refused to conform to state ideology were enemies of the state who must be reported and re-educated.
I don't see how being an active reader and enjoying a book, makes me a member of some sort of an occult.
I didn't say it would. But it does influence children. As documented by the British Pagan Federation (See Harry Potter and Dungeons & Dragons), the Harry Potter books has stirred a new quest for personal participation in pagan groups and their formulas for magic.
Your reflection on paganism, is offensive also, the people I know that practice paganism believe in a lot of the same "traditions" as Native Americans. The believe in reality, Earth, Wind, Water and Fire. Sounds to me that they believe in God's creativity. If its God's creation that paganisms worship, how is that a sin. These realities I don't find anything "bad" or "Satanic" about. I got the impression that you consider beliefs as a "sin" except the blind faith belief of God. You seem to categorize one of the best selling series published in a long time in that category also.
Do you also belive that Disney movies are Satanic or belong to some occult since they are make believe? I can name several Disney movies that contain wizards, witches, and the use of magic. Are you prejudice against all magic, or just are you selective on what you are prejudice against?
I believe children are growing up too fast in this day and time. Having knowledge about adult issues, that I don't remember knowing about until an older age. Maybe you should practice preaching about the thirteen year olds coming into the emergency room I work in pregnant, shot from a gang related problem, or drunk or on drugs. Maybe you should worry about keeping kids young for just a little longer by letting them have an imagination. Instead of having kids at the age of six with the knowledge of sexual conduct. Trust me they do.....
All Harry Potter books do in my opinion is teach children and maybe adults too, how to use your imagination.
Maybe teenagers would be less likely to get pregnant or shot, join gangs or become addicted to drugs and alchohol if they had been trained to understand and appreciate the real world rather than mythical fantasy worlds. Not only is God's beautiful creation is full of beauty and exciting wonders, it also teaches a certain natural and moral order that is twisted in the world of fantasy and make-believe. God's Word tells us,
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables [or myths]. But you be watchful in all things...." 2 Timothy 4:3-5
From Dr. Sphen Virtur: I am the Regional Executive for the Midwest and South Central sector of the United States. The goal of my organisation is to protect pagan and native american religious rights. So far, we have been involved in the rescue of several sacrid and holy sites from SMAP, a christian organisation bent on destroying anything that is not a site to christian worship.
Harry Potter has brought controversy to America. Many who feel threatened by Potter are screaming from the roof tops of churches proclaiming that Potter is of the mythical devil. On the other hand, christians like Colson, Billy Graham, Ronnie Hoover, James Dobson association are greeting Potter with caution but approval. These groups say that the books have finally pulled children from the telley and computer and have opened a new world for children. Many report that after reading the Potter books, that children look into more traditional fairy tale books. Some have been seen with their noses deep into a text book and yes even the bible. Organisations like yours are about the very few that condemn Potter. Afterall, The author has proclaimed the books fiction.
On the subject of Potter leading children to witchcraft. That is very possiable and I would welcome such an idea if it were fact. However the trend toward witchcraft started long before the books were printed. In 1985 a notiable move from the stale Christian religion began to register on the sensors of the world and by 1990 it had become a flood. A proper reply would be why are the churches being vacated at such high rates?? I cannot answer this but the leaders of the few churches that are loosing membership, The Assembly of God out of Springfield Missouri USA, and The Southern Baptist Group, should look with-in themselves before it is too late.
Wicca is the proper term for witchcraft. My organisation uses the name 'The Craft'. The Craft involves more than just parlor tricks with a few smoke bombs. The Craft involves a more natural approach. In the craft one can worship nothing at all and proclaim themselves to serve no god. Others can worship millions of gods. Some consider God to be similar to the Force of the childrens series, Star Wars. I personally have 7 that I worship in my rituals. These include Thor, Diana, and The Lord and Lady of them all. There are ramifications for attempting to place curses or hexes upon people. This is known in the Craft as the Three Fold law. If you cast a evil spell it instead returns to you three times the strenght it went out and effects you instead of the target. The Craft is harmless. No need to fear it.
Terms like Satan, daemon possession and Haydes do not mean anything to the craft. For the Craft concedes that such are fiction. No craft person believes in satan, daemons or heaven and hell.
Some advice. Tolerence. Probably the best soloution to your delimia which you now face. A delimia you say? indeed, saying that the craft and pagan and natural religions along with those of the Native American are of satan has stung the church where it hurts... People. People are fleeing from the pews in droves. Soon the poor pastors will be on the dowll and accepting handouts. Be tollerrant. I suspect when pastors pratice this, they will soon see their buildings fill to beyond limit and new structures will be necessary for continued growth and service.
Remember. Witches and Pagans are not harmful. Only people who use satan to hoard people into the pew stalls are.
Sphen Virtur, Regional Executive, Mid-West and South Central United States of America (USA)
I appreciate hearing from you, Dr. Virtur, even though I don't agree with you.
Joanne Vukman: I read some of the letters you have received concerning Harry Potter. I was, to say the least, amused. Why do you people flatter yourselves to believe that Ms. Rowling designed these FICTIONAL stories to upset YOU?
Don't you think that's a rather silly question, Joanne?
She has said that she writes for her own pleasure, and for no one else. Fortunately, she is kind enough to have shared her novels with the world. I had to laugh when I read that she knows children are attracted to evil, which is one of the reasons she wrote them. Somehow, that doesn't hold water with me. Children are not attracted to evil, they are attracted to fantasy.
Didn't you notice that those words were part of a statement Ms Rowling made? I was quoting her. The documentation is in Harry Potter Lures Kids to Witchcraft.
We have enough of the real world, fantasy is great for a little escape. I do not believe these people who say that their children were upset because they were reading HP (Harry Potter) in schools and HP goes against their beliefs. I was raised in a Christian home, I believe in and I trust God to show me what is right and what is wrong. I'm not deaf, and God hasn't spoken to me as of yet, so I'm going to continue reading HP.
Are you sure you are "not deaf" to His voice, Joanne? Listen to what God told His precious people in Old Testament days when they turned from Him and chose to delight in the pagan practices of their neighbors:
"Hear this now, O foolish people, without understanding,
Who have eyes and see not, and who have ears and hear not:
'Do you not fear Me?’ says the Lord. '‘Will you not tremble at My presence...'
But this people has a defiant and rebellious heart;
They have revolted and departed. They do not say in their heart,
"Let us now fear the Lord our God, Who gives rain...in its season."
What really amuses me is that the people who complain about HP are apparently the only ones who believe in witchcraft and wizardry. Those of us who read HP know that there is no such thing as magic as it is used in the books. I have read numerous articles, letters, and such about the evils of HP. The only examples that are shown are given directly out of context. These people fail to show why Harry, Ron, and Hermione act as they do. Some of you believe Harry should be punished for saving the world as it is known in HP.
When I saw you chart of occult symbols, I was disgusted. Is nothing safe from your search for evil? What's next, the Bible? When I find a copy of the Bible that does not condemn evil and promote good, I'll stop loving Harry Potter.
Another thing: HP does good outside his books to. My eldest siser and I do not get along usually (she is 23, I am 15). Just about the only time we can have a calm, rational conversation is when we are talking about HP. I also attended a church service where the sermon was based on Harry's efforts to get through to platform nine-and-three-quarters. I also went on a Christian mission trip that was based on that.
I guess what I am saying can be summed up in three simple words: GET OVER IT!!!
p.s. Feel free to use my name if you dare to post this. And on another note, isn't the internet evil? People can share ideas and beliefs that are not approved by the church. Heaven forbid we use the brains God gave us.
From MacBeth: I am writing in response to your page with the comments on Harry Potter books. Very few things have apalled me as much as some of the things I read there. Your religious discrimination against Pagans is disgusting.There is no harm in imaginative fantasy stories for children, and NO EVIL in anything Pagan. Your fascist fundamentalist bigotry is infinitely more harmful than Harry Potter could EVER be.
Keep in mind, you and I see fantasy and reality, good and evil, right and wrong.... from different perspectives. Please see this Chart showing three different world views or paradigms. Each provides a different mental framework for seeing reality. This framework means that we define terms and attribute meaning to events and symbols that might seem quite opposite. (See Brainwashing in America). We obviously don't agree, but we can and should be polite and kind to each other.
As for fascism, you seem a bit upset about my beliefs. I am not at all upset about yours and have not desire to silence you. Would you want to silence me and others who trust God and want to follow Him?
From Michele: I read the last 2 letters you posted in your HP section and I wonder how you can hold your temper!! The wiccan leader made an incorrect statement. He stated that Billy Graham supports HP. Well, I emailed Rev. Graham's organization about HP and they did NOT say reading Harry is okay. Actually they did not come out clearly for or against Harry, but being a person of at least average intelligence, I was able to read between the lines and it seems that Rev. Graham is AGAINST HP but doesn't want to say so point blank. I wish I saved the e mail. I'd forward it to you and let you judge for yourself. But I'm SURE Rev. Graham isn't pro-Harry.
Also, "Dr." Virtur stated that people are leaving the Christian churches in droves? They are? I haven't seen anything of the sort, have you? Maybe on HIS planet! (sorry).
You are right. People are no longer leaving churches "in droves." But churches are changing. Determined to "reach out to the community" and bring its people into the churches, the new church growth and management system calls for all kinds of compromises that will undermine the gospel and silence concerned voices. Many churches teach their members to ignore controversial issues, tolerate sin, and set aside "the offense of the cross." But that's not the way of our Lord. Well aware that we would always be different from the world, He warned His disciples, "If they persecuted me, they will persecute you.... for they do not know the One who sent me." (John 15:20-21. See Conforming the Church to the New Millennium and The People's Church.
I got verbally BASHED again in my Christians Against Harry Potter club. You would think I would build up an emotional callus to it by now. I'm sure you get so many more negative responses than I do. I admire you for your emotional strength. If I had gotten some of the letters you have posted on your web site, they would have reduced me to tears! We have to stand up for what we know is right though, right? Anyway, thank you again for all your help. It is so nice to have someone to turn to when I have a difficult question that I know will give me a good, Bible-based response.
From Willy: Why does your site come up under keyword of Censorship of Books? Second of all I'm not taking away your right to ask questions but keep them to yourself the world doesn't want you and god making our decisions. Just make the ones that affect your family.
Because those words are written by those who falsely accuse us of censoring books, then picked up by the search engines..
Alison Burrow: I am a 33 year old mother of two children, ages 6 and 8. My husband Keith and I decided long ago to send our children to a Christian school in order to help set the proper spiritual foundations we KNOW they will need desperately in their future.
Several weeks ago it was brought to our attention that a set of Harry Potter books were donated to our school library by one of our own board members. As you can imagine, we were horrified. In my deepest heart I sensed a dangerous evil in this material even before I discovered what I know now to be true. But it is very hard to quantify that, so we decided that before we objected, we better get our facts straight and do some serious research. We were devastated that we couldn't just stand on scripture alone on this subject (Deuteronomy 18-10-12 is more then extremely CLEAR), and so the research began.
We read countless articles, from Christian and secular viewpoints, and were very saddened by the popular Christian response (ie. Chuck Colsen). As you can imagine, many Christian threw that in our faces and said that if these people think the books are ok, then they are ok! This did not go over well with us, the last time I checked, God is the only God, and His Word is the only truth and other people's opinions are not automatically so. We then decided to read the material for ourselves, because you cannot make a stand on this kind of thing if you haven't read it (which is, we believe, the greatest error in the Christian community...so many parents have not read the material for themselves and have instead listened to someone else's point of view as a guideline rather then listening to the ONLY guideline which is God's Word).
We went on to the Scholastic's website and read sample chapters from each book. That was it for us, such scary, evil and gruesome material had no place in our lives, our home, a Christian school or in the minds of so many innocent children. We then took on the task of preparing to submit our findings to the Education Committee, Library Committee and the Board of Directors.
Having said all this, I will get to the purpose of this e-mail. Thank you... for the articles you wrote about these books. We are so thrilled to finally read the other side of all that has been said about the merits of Harry Potter, and appreciate so much how inline with scripture they are and how they expose the situation for just what it is. I have just read several other articles of yours on society's trends and halloween that finally confirm to me that our choice to keep our children away from these things is not as "far out" as many other Christians would have us believe. Thank-you for standing firm on these issues as well. I would respectfully ask for your prayers as we begin our battle with our school (isn't that sad that we have to do battle with our Christian school over something that seems so obvious to us?). I would like to e-mail you in the future to let you know how it all turns out. God bless you as you continue to speak out, may He continue to give you HIS amazing wisdom and insight and may you continue to pass it on to the rest of us!
From Judith Bailey: I was recommended to visit your website and found it extremely disturbing on many levels. To make my own position clearer, I am Wiccan and came to your site through discussion with Christian friends who find it of value.
I understand that from a Christian viewpoint, spreading the gospel is of critical importance both to the Christian as part of his/her obligation to his/her faith and to the person who can potentially be saved. Although it is not a belief I share, I have found that most people I encounter in this way have been honorable and motivated by a sincere desire to be service to others.
What does disturb me greatly is the tendency to trivialize or distort the beliefs and experiences that of others. Just a small example from your article "A Twist of Faith". The reference is in chapter 3 and occurs during the discussion of an imagined apology from the established churches to aboriginal people for, among other things, "abusing their children". You follow this with the quotation:
"Abusing their children" meant teaching them to read and follow the Bible.
It meant a great deal more than this. It meant in many, many cases forcibly removing children from their homes and placing them in the "residential schools" mentioned. The children were not allowed contact with their families or even to speak their own languages. It was an organized attempt to destroy cultures and it very nearly succeeded. While you can make the case that the statement the children were taught to read and follow the Bible is a true one, it doesn't seem to me quite honest to trivialize the brutality that this entailed.
Thank you for the correction, Judith. I see how my statement could be confusing, and I don't want to minimize the trauma to the families that were so unjustly treated. To clarify, I have made some changes But the point remains the same. When the phrase you quoted is read in its context, we see that the main reference was not to the forcible removal of children from their parents, but to the attempts to teach them Christianity. The authors of the Sunday school curriculum could not tolerate the belief that the Biblical Christianity is better than Native American religions.
The great irony here is that this is what you apparently believe is now happening to Christian families. Can you approve of or excuse this kind of coercion?
No, I cannot, Judith. I grieve over all the injustices committed under the banner of "Christianity."But as I explained on our page called Biblical versus Cultural Christianity , the perpetrators of such cruelty were not probably not true Christians. God tells us that we will know them by their fruit, and the fruit of genuine Christianity, in contrast to cultural Christianity, is peace, love, joy, kindness. Keep in mind, the worst tortures during the inquisition were aimed, not at witches, but at genuine servants of God who dared to seek Biblical truth outside the politically correct established church.
Your site has left me in some doubt as to what your answer would be. It's clear that you are greatly disturbed by what you see is a culture that routinely belittles traditional Christian beliefs and depicts Christians as evil or unenlightened.
Actually, I am not at all "greatly disturbed" by our culture's attitude toward Biblical Christianity. I mention it often because I believe we need to be aware of- and prepare for the growing hostility toward Biblical absolutes. But I am not concerned for myself, because I know that my life is hidden in Jesus. If I must suffer for my faith, I will praise Him for the opportunities He will give me to serve Him.
My concern is for the children and youth who face subtle but intense pressure to compromise their faith. Unless they know what is happening, they will not resist and stand firm on the truths of the Bible. That may sound narrow and exclusive, but please remember our God doesn't want anyone excluded. While other cultures, nations (including supposed Christian ones) and tribes warred against people who were "different", genuine Christians were willing to give up the comforts of the Western world to share God's love in "different" places where they faced disease, deprivation, unsanitary conditions, etc. They didn't care about race or skin colors. Nor did they other spiritual loyalties and forces, for they trusted God to lead and provide for them - for all eternity.
I realize that much of the world's hostility toward us is built on the horrible examples of "Christian" cruelty during the crusades, the inquisition, the times of burning women believed to be witches, etc. The list is endless. That's why I prepared the chart on Biblical versus Cultural Christianity.
If I'm interpreting your beliefs correctly, I think it would come as a surprise to you that many pagans would actually agree with you (at least to some degree; pagans like other people being diverse in their opinions). To most of us, the point of religious tolerance is the obligation to treat others with respect even if we do not share their beliefs. This would include atheists and agnostics, as well. And it would certainly include respect for traditional Christian beliefs. Most of us, I believe, see Christianity as a perfectly valid spiritual path, although not one we have chosen, and have a great deal of respect and admiration for the many great Christian spiritual teachers and mystics that have lived and taught over the last two thousand years. [As a side note, I include Christian writers and thinkers in my own spiritual study.] I am aware that we are approaching the point upon which many Christians profoundly disagree - i.e., that there can, in fact, be a number of valid spiritual paths.
This, it seems to me, is the question that brings us into conflict, especially in a society that includes people of many faiths and traditions. It's always a little dangerous to characterize other people's beliefs, and I apologize if I mis-state yours, but it seems to me that you dismiss our (pagan and others) emphasis on religious tolerance as a "do your own thing" mentality without moral foundation. This point in itself might be the basis of discussion at another time (if you're interested), but for now let me just ask you to consider what the alternative to religious tolerance would be (and has been) in a society such as ours. Where there is no religious tolerance, you find spiritual coercion. What alarms me the most is that, at times, you come perilously close to saying that traditional Christian beliefs should be the norm and expressed through institutions (schools, government, etc.).
I'm sorry I gave that impression. I don't believe that at all. History shows that when church and governement supports each other, compromise often follows. When that happens, genuine faith begins to die. The most alive churches today are in China and other totalitarian countries.
Other points of view would then be discouraged - or left out entirely. You've made the point that this, in fact, used to be the case and I believe you are correct about this. I think it goes a long way towards explaining some of the current over reaction and yes, you're certainly right about this, the hostility towards traditional forms of Christianity. Please understand that I am using the word explain advisedly; I neither excuse or condone the hostility.
There is alot of distrust here. After all, I still encounter Christians who believe I should be executed for my beliefs. Recently, for example, several men interrupted our Circle to denounce us and express this opinion. This would be the equivalent of someone walking into your sanctuary during a service to denounce your beliefs and call for your deaths. It's not a pleasant experience, especially as everything in these men's demeanor and actions indicated that they did sincerely want us dead. Pagan parents still lose custody of their children for their beliefs. Pagans are still occasionally fired from their jobs for their beliefs. Pagan children are still beaten up in schools or on playgrounds and sometimes face suspension or expulsion from school for wearing the symbol of their faith (the pentacle). The man who is probably going to be our next president has publicly stated that he does not believe Wicca is a religion and thus, it seems, the first amendment does not apply to us.
That's amazing. I didn't know that. Unless we all have the right to choose our beliefs and express our convictions, no one is truly free.
Well, what do we do about all of this? We've both identified hostility and abuses. Do we clash until one "side" beats the other into submission or do we accept a situation in which individuals are allowed to disagree freely? How do we, as a society, educate our children? Do we have to disallow the expression of any religious belief in classrooms in an attempt to create an atmosphere in which children of all faiths (or none) can be treated with respect and without spiritual coercion?
No, we don't have to disallow religious expressions in the classroom. Nor do we need to encourage it. It's hard to create a neutral climate in the classroom, when teacher-facilitators bring their own personal beliefs into the dialogue. That's why I would prefer a return back to the pre-dialogue days when the schools majored on factual learning -- phonics, math, science, history, etc. -- rather than encounter groups, new new math, and fuzzy science. Two plus two is four, no matter church or coven a child attends.
I can understand how you would dislike having Christian children forced in a classroom situation to adopt beliefs and values contrary to what are taught at home (though, frankly, some the things you mention as pagan values seem to me to be no more than attempts to encourage tolerance and I'm a little baffled by your distrust of the environmental movement). As a matter of fact, I think I understand rather well; when I was a child in public school, teachers routinely read the Bible to their classes and led us in prayer [this was actually illegal at the time, but it took a while for the supreme court rulings to take effect]. Some of the values expressed in the Bible are profoundly contrary to the values I was taught at home.
I suppose this must be a particularly difficult question for many Christians, given your belief in the consequences of choosing the wrong spiritual path. I wish I could find in your web site some indication that you are willing to return the respect you want from those of us on different spiritual paths. It goes back to the line I quoted about "teaching children to read and follow the Bible". The one that seems to either approve of, or not notice, the circumstances in which this happened.
From Willy: Do you people really think you have the right to take away our first amendment by trying to ban books. It is not your choice what books the american people read. Just because the book is saying the "n" word or "s" word does not make that book bad. It is trying to teach the readers that the things people did in the past were in fact wrong and we should learn from
them. Would you read a book about slavery that said "that gosh darn black man is working hard." Because I know I wouldn't.
That is not showing how things really were. Just becasue you are really religious and attend church regularly doesn't mean you have to try and convert the whole world. So please stick to controling the books your children read and not me. Because I will read a Censorshiped book weather you like it or not. It says in the 1st Amendment that I have that right.
I am not trying to censor books or control anyone. Nor do I force anyone to visit our site. But you seem to want to censor or control what I say. Do you have rights and freedoms that I don’t have?
From Jason: i am 17 years old. Do you relly don't think that Harry Potter and D&D are that bad do you. You don't have to because iv been reading them and playling D&D for years and i go to the lords house every wensday and sunday have you even red the Harry Potter books because if you haven't you have no room to talk thank you for your time
Yes, Jason, I have read, underlined, and compared the Harry Potter books with the Bible and with other forms of entertainment. If you don't see any conflict between God's guidelines in the Bible and Dungeons and Dragons, I tend to wonder what you are learning in "the lords house." Did you read our article on Harry Potter and Dungeons & Dragons- Like Peas in a Pod?
From Daniel Gregory Perett: I am a Christian, fully orthodox, believing in the real authority of Scripture and of the Church. I have been on leadership for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, I attend church regularly, and so on. In many of the culture wars of this time I am on your side.
And I share many of your basic presuppositions. I do agree that this is a world which is by and large hostile to Christianity. I do think that paganism is false, and deceptive, a way by which people try to find life, but a way which will ultimately disappoint them and lead them to despair. Jesus is the Way and the Truth and the Life. I say all of this, not because I think anyone need have any interest in my biographical details, but because I disagree with you and I want you to know that this is an "in-house" disagreement. I want you to know that while agreeing with you about right and wrong, I can still in this particular case, think that you are in error about Harry Potter....
1. To judge HP from a biblical perspective, one needs to have a knowledge of the Bible. But one _also_ has to have a knowledge of HP. As in any other field, to have a Christian opinion about the field, you need to be both biblically based _and_ knowledgeable about the field.
2. A second criterion for judging a book is an ability to read a book with understanding…. People mention that someone allows himself to be possessed by Voldemort. Yes, _but_ the critical question is whether the book itself glorifies or warns against such behaviour. And once that question is asked, the obvious answer is that it warns against it in no uncertain terms, both because the person who allows himself to be possessed (Quirrell) is the villain of the book, and because we are later told that Quirrell was merely used and then discarded. No one who knows how to read well could understand this to be an encouragement to demon-possession. If anything it would be the opposite.
This may perhaps become clearer if we take it right out of the realm of Harry Potter, and apply it to another book. Even to Scripture, for example. The Bible contains stories of murder, treachery, lies, adultery, blasphemy, and idolatry (I don't say this in order to mock it, please understand). But no one who really knows how to read, could get the idea that the Bible _encourages_ murder, treachery, lies, adultery, blasphemy, and idolatry. In fact, in the Bible those things occur _and are condemned_. My contention is that in the case of Harry Potter, many of the things which are done which are evil are condemned in the book, rather than encouraged
3. A parallel point to the one above about plot, is about quotes. A character may say something in a book without the book supporting what the character says. In fact, the meaning of the book (as a whole) may be exactly opposite to what a particular character says in it. Especially if that character is the villain. For example, the Bible encourages us to worship God and bless Him and seek life in Him and obey Him. (And thank God for it!) But there are characters in the Bible who do not hold this view, in the things they say. Job's companions tell him to curse God and die. Satan tells Eve to eat the fruit of the tree and disobey God. But these two quotes don't show that the Bible is trying to tell us to disobey God, because one of them is from the archvillain of the book, and the other (the one from Job's companions) is later condemned by God in the same book.
With this point in mind, I would like to examine all the quotes you posted. The first is from Professor Snape: "I don't expect you will really understand the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron with its shimmering fumes, the delicate power of liquids that creep through human veins, bewitching the mind, ensnaring the senses." I take it that you quote this in order to show that the book is favourable toward the idea of using potions to control people.
But this is a mistake. Any reading of the Harry Potter books shows that Snape is, if not exactly a villain, certainly a character that you are not meant to like. Snape badly mistreats Harry, the hero of the books, threatens him, and is viewed as "creepy" by nearly everyone. Most of the students express their dislike for Snape. The actual function of the quote you cite is to help build Snape's character as a frightening and mean teacher. (The number of times we are told, either by the narrator or by Harry or Ron or by other characters that Snape is bad is too many to count, and also too many to miss, in any kind of reading of Harry Potter.)
You present your points well, Daniel, but you seem to miss the point I was trying to make. I’m not as concerned about the obvious words and messages from different characters as I am about the subtle seduction of the readers’ feelings and attitudes. Remember, in The Pokemon Movie and Conflict Resolution, I quote a boy who missed all the obvious comments about peace and unity, and came out saying “It made me want to fight.”
Harry Potter stirs the desire to feel the thrills of secret and forbidden domains again and again. Not only do children read the same book six or seven times, thousands are seek real-life tutors in Pagan groups, covens, websites and books. (See Harry Potter Lures Kids to Witchcraft) It’s happening, not because a character tells them, “Go, try it yourself,” but because of the subtle suggestions fed the reader through the seductive images and exciting action.
Yes, it does matter who says what. Children may even try to be nice if a “good” characters in the book tells his peers to be nice. But the suggestion won’t have any lasting effect unless it fits his nature to be nice.
What matters most are the feelings and attitudes the book stirs in its readers. Joanne Rowling knows that well. That’s why she said in an October interview, “"Is evil attractive? Yes, I think that's very true."
She knew children would delight in Snape and Voldemort. Millions of children around the world would probably echo the sentiment of a California boy I quoted. He said,
Hard to believe? Then remember that the most popular Star Wars action figure has been Darth Vader. Such a blend of power and evil is cool. It thrills. So do vampires – another cruel and cool identity. Children like to imagine the evi, identify with the characters and wear their costumed image at Halloween
Reading the words you quoted, most children will delight in the image of that simmering cauldron – and in images that help break down the walls between what is good and acceptable and the forbidden realm of mysticiism and danger exemplified by Snape. By imagining and identifying with the scene, the reader shares a measure of Snape’s haughty disdain both for traditional niceness and for God’s safe boundaries in the real world.
From Kerianne H: Alright, although I know that my words will make absolutely no difference to you and will not change your attitudes, I'm going to send comments, because it'll make me feel a bit better about having had my say. Some of the things on your page literally made me wonder if this is all a joke. You seem to read ridiculously deep into things, finding connections that probably were never intended. What scares me is that some people are agreeing.
The first articles I read on this site were the Harry Potter ones, and since then I've been strangely drawn to read the rest. Not because your one-sided views have somehow "redeemed" me and caused me to renounce my "evil ways", but because it's compelling in a sick sort of way to see what twisted ideas you'll come up with next, what harmless form of entertainment that brings joy to people you will carve up and declare a product of Satan next.
One thing I find it strange that no one has said is that you claim your site is a resource for parents who want to guide their children toward the right faith; however, by suggesting that parents completely cut their children off from such things as anime, Harry Potter, etc., you're actually reinforcing an attitude that will end up doing more harm than good.
It's a known fact that the more you shelter a child, the more trouble they're going to want to cause when they grow up.
It's a well-publicized persuasion or opinion -- not a known fact. Ever since Dr. Spock first began to promote his form of permissive parenting, the liberal media has been highlighting misleading speculations about politically correct psychology and child-raising. While more recent data suggests they were wrong, the media hasn't corrected its error. I know no authentic study that backs your assertion. Do you?
I can already predict what you're going to respond to this (must be one of those ungodly psychic powers I've picked up from reading Harry Potter)... you'll say that by the time a child who's been raised in a household with "good Christian values", they'll be secure enough in their faith that they'll continue to live by those values.
This may be the case, but what you're overlooking is that if a child can be led astray from a certain faith, then perhaps the faith isn't right for them. Basically, what you are doing is advocating the brainwashing of children who don't necessarily believe in the same things the parents do....
You just confirmed my point at the beginning of my latest article. Please read the first few paragraphs of Brainwashing in America
You repeat over and over again that paganism and any other religion besides Christianity is "dangerous". How is it dangerous? Because they're putting themselves at risk of going to hell? Many religions don't even believe in hell. Therefore, your threats are empty and vague.
The above article answers your first question. The danger is to the integrity of your own beliefs and values.
Do you have to see something to know it exists? It doesn't matter whether or not you accept the reality of polar bears or coral reefs. They exist in spite of- not because of what you believe. Your perception is your own limitation. It doesn't limits the object of your denial. Hell is real whether you accept it or not.
I'm not sure what the point of this page is, to tell you the truth, other than causing controversy. If it's directed at non-Christians, to try to get them to see the good in Christian life, the way to do it is certainly not to get up on your soapbox and preach that everything they enjoy is Satanic and evil and should be forbidden. If it's directed at Christians, no one but other religious fanatics such as yourselves is really going to listen to all this doomsday ranting and condemnation. Half the letters in your comments section that disagree with you are from Christians. What good do you think your site is doing, therefore, other than making a lot of people really angry?
Kerianne, please show me an example of my "doomsday ranting"? And where do I condemn any person? That's certainly not my intention. I would gladly correct such an error.
Another interesting thing I noticed is the almost complete lack of POSITIVE articles on your site. Only brief mention is made of good, moral alternatives to the myriad forms of entertainment you've shot down. Your basic mission seems to be to find as much bad as possible in the world, almost completely ignoring the good. You tell us what not to do, but not much mention is made about what to do, except to follow the Bible and God's teachings. Well, following the Bible does not make up a whole life. People need music, television, literature, and other forms of media in their lives. You may not like it, but it's true.
Jesus, my Shepherd illustrates the principle of raising up fences or boundaries that keep the sheep safe. I base my counsel on God's warnings -- the wise boundaries that keep His people from wandering into unhealthy fields or feed on poisonous plants. Within those boundaries the sheep are safe. They can choose their own plot of grass to eat. Those who don't want to follow Him, the Shepherd, can go wherever they like -- but later they may regret their choices. Does that make sense?
I read plenty of books and delight in music, through probably not the same kinds. So do most other Christians I know. I don't need to tell them what to read and hear, since they have the minds and the Spirit to find what meets their need. However, I welcome suggestions and would love to post more recommendations that would help parents make wise choices.
As for television, what makes you think we NEED it? Many don't have the facts and determination to filter and resist much of its propaganda.
One article on your site makes reference to "ungodly tolerance". No phrase could sum up your horribly closed-minded attitudes as well as that one does. It disturbs me that parents seem to be coming to people like you for guidance on how to raise their children. Those children are going to be some really unhappy, psychologically damaged people... but hey, they'll have "good Christian values". Whatever those are.
Ungodly tolerance: (1) today's common attitude of politically correct "tolerance" for people who agree with their position -- accompanied by irrational intolerance toward those whose beliefs offends them. It is expressed by hostile "ranting," emotional outbursts and the absence of rational arguments.
(2) Politically correct "tolerance" for everything God warns us to avoid -- accompanied by intolerance toward all who choose to follow His guidelines.
I suppose I've wasted enough type on people who will read my words, nod condescendingly, and make up a pat little response that seems sweet at first glance, but is poisonous beneath (strange, isn't that what you and others said about Harry Potter?). Reply if you want, post this on your site if you want. Or don't. I feel a little less angry now that I've let you know how I feel, but it's still unsettling that there are attitudes like this out in the world.
Kerianne, you may want to study some of our charts, especially the two that show today's cultural shift. It will help explain why there you will see more opposing philosophies today than we did some decades ago: Charts - 3 Paradigms
Continuation of Daniel Gregory's letter: The second quote you give is in the first book also, in the mouth of a centaur, "We have sworn not to set ourselves against the heaven. Have we not read what is to come in the movements of the planets?" [...] "Or have the planets not let you in on that secret?" (Two different voices, though you don't indicate it.) The first is in the mouth of a centaur, a beast famous in mythology for reading the stars. (Even if that were all, I could still defend this by pointing out that there are two strikingly similar scenes in CS Lewis's Narnia Chronicles.
In one, Doctor Cornelius tells Prince Caspian to meet him on a high tower one night, to witness a conjunction of two planets. When they assemble to do it, the planets pass so close together that Prince Caspian asks if they are "going to have a collision", to which Doctor Cornelius replies, "Nay, dear Prince, the great lords of the upper sky know the steps of their dance too well for that. Look well upon them. Their meeting is fortunate and means some great good for the sad realm of Narnia. Tarva, the Lord of Victory, salutes Alambil, the Lady of Peace. They are just coming to their nearest."
In another place in the book, when Prince Caspian is assembling his army of creatures, we are told of the Centaur Glenstorm, "He was a prophet and a star-gazer and knew what they had come about." And no one, would, I trust be so bold as to declare Lewis a proponent of the occult.) But even if CS Lewis's evidence goes for nothing, and the quote from HP's Centaur is seen as bad, you should, in quoting it, note the context. The Centaur who said the first part of the quote is rebuked by a younger Centaur, who is willing to "oppose the will of the stars", and it is he who says the second part of the quote, "Or have the stars not let you in on the secret?" Thus even in this passage, the moral is _not_ to let the stars guide one's actions. Quite the contrary, in fact.
Daniel, you make some excellent points, and I appreciate the references to the Narnia series. I am not going to defend C. S. Lewis and his use of such symbols and suggestions. In fact, your statements show some of my concerns about his "Christian" message. Like Joanne Rowling, C.S. Lewis makes the reader just a little more familiar with astrology -- one of several popular practices God links to occultism in Deuteronomy 18 and elsewhere.
When I quoted the Centaurs (here I did make the mistake of putting both voices inside one set of quotation marks, so I really appreciate your correction), my concern was not simply whether or not the context put astrology in a favorable light. I just wanted to show that the centaurs expressed a general belief in astrology even if they might interpret its signs in different ways.
The problem here has to do with the power of suggestion. In the context of entertainment, children don't tend to analyze what they read. They usually just experience the story vicariously-- through their imagination. So for a moment, the reader listens in on a conversation between centaurs whose conversation suggests that astrology is a normal part of their lives. As I said in my introduction to those quotes, the readers "build memories based on felt experiences in an occult virtual reality, and they are desensitized to the danger. The talent and knowledge of the author makes this seductive world all the more believable."
I take it that in citing this, you are trying to show that the book encourages fortune-telling. But actually it would be much easier to show the converse. Anyone who has read the third and fourth books knows that the fortune-teller (the "divination" teacher, Professor Trelawney) is a ridiculous figure. She is made fun of by the other teachers nearly constantly. When Harry tells Dumbledore that Prof. Trelawney acted strangely during his exam, Dumbledore asks, "Er, stranger than usual you mean?" There are many, many other examples of Prof. Trelawney being treated as something of a clown by the other professors and students. In fact the two students who take Prof. Trelawney seriously (and might be considered something of a parallel to the real-life reader who reads about divination and wants to try it) are also viewed as silly for doing so, and treated with humour. The implication or moral, if we insist on looking for one in these passages, is that fortune-telers make up their predictions, and that such a practice should not be engaged in.
Perhaps. But at least once, readers see Prof. Trelawney's divination or fortunetelling come true in a dramatic way. Her power to foretell events may be ridiculed by her students, but she demonstrates enough of that power to give it a measure of credibility. In the end, the reader is more likely to ridicule Trelawney's personality than the power she supposedly teaches them to manipulate.
Thanks for helping me think this through, Daniel. You present good challenges. And I fixed my mistake in the article.
Next segment of Daniel Gregory's letter: Your third quote is of Prof. Quirrell, whom, you should perhaps have noted in quoting him, is the villain of the first book. You cite: "He is with me wherever I go," said Quirrell, referring to the murderous wizard Voldemort. "I met him when I traveled around the world. A foolish young man I was then, full of ridiculous ideas about good and evil. Lord Voldemort showed me how wrong I was. There is no good and evil, there is only power, and those too weak to seek it.... Since then, I have served him faithfully."
This is an almost perfect example of the point I was trying to make earlier about the importance of reading the quotes in the context of the rest of the book. For in this passage, the villain is speaking, and moreover, the villain is telling the hero what made him into a villain, and why he is going to kill the hero (Harry). Further, a few pages later, Quirrell makes a bad end, and dies disgraced. Nothing in the book could make the reader think that Quirrell's quick summary of relativism is good.
Quite the contrary. By putting such a speech into the mouth of the villain, the book says implicitly, "Good and evil are real. It's not true that they are fake, it's not true that there is only power. Good and evil matter." This is obvious verbally, because Quirrell says the words in his "villain's victory speech" and structurally, because Quirrell is about to be defeated. In fact, this speech in its place in the book is a useful and sorely needed antidote to the old relativistic lie that is being propagated in our society, that good and evil are subjective. In its place in the book, this sentence discredits relativism, and it is one of the few things in mainstream culture now that do.
Yes, the message is: "good and evil are real." That's part of the problem. In Harry Potter's world, good and evil seem as real as the Biblical standard for good and evil -- or more so. But it's a different set of "good and evil." That's the danger. The final product is similar in enough ways to give the impression that it is actually Biblical. But the distortions turn God's standards upside down. Harry's power remains occult, and the fact that he fights the "dark" side of the force where Prof. Quirrell has invested his loyalties doesn't make Harry's spells and magic good from God's perspective.
You suggest that I "should perhaps have noted in quoting him" that he "is the villain of the first book." I thought I did that, Daniel. I wrote,
"He is with me wherever I go," said Quirrell, referring to the murderous wizard Voldemort....
Could anyone doubt the evil nature of the "constant companion" to the "murderous vizard Voldemort?" But that wasn't my main point. I thought it was interesting that J. Rowling had put one of God's frequent reminders to His people into the mouth of the villain. For example, here are His promises to Abraham and Joshua:
"Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go." Genesis 28:15
"The Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9
You may disagree, but Quirrell's comment is significant. It might not matter to those who don't want to walk with God, but the above reference to occult connections is similar enough to God's promises to distract the believer from a pure delight in God's promise. For example, if next time I quote Joshua 1:9 (one of my favorite promises) as a reminder to myself of His sufficiency in a hard place, the words might also trigger the recall of Quirrell's message. In my mind, there would be a corruption of the purity of God's Word. While I would want to focus on God, my mind would be distracted by Harry Potter's dark opponent.
Worlds are like symbols; they trigger mental connections. That's why many find it difficult to worship our God with a pure and undivided heart these days. We fill our minds with so much junk, so many counterfeits to the very best God offers us.
To be continued.
I may not post your whole article, Daniel. It's pretty long.
From a concerned mother: I checked out a video about The Wizard of Oz from our library over the weekend. My husband had read in a book that L. Frank Baum's book had political meanings attached to it and I was curious to see if this movie addressed that issue.
Anyway, as I was watching, I was struck by the similarities between the Oz books and the Harry Potter phenomenon going on now. I grew up watching The Wizard of Oz and did not think anything about letting my children watch it. But when I saw this documentary about the whole Oz thing I started getting this feeling that Baum's books are no different than the Harry Potter books. I was wondering what you think about The Wizard of Oz.
I actually don't remember the details well enough to comment. But I invite others to add insights that might answer your question. After Christmas, we can start add this to the Q&A section.
From Lisa: No offense to either of you, but I am a wiccan and i fell unto your page thanks to people like me, and to tell the truth I was very offended. We mean no harm to anyone. There are people that use magic for evil, but it was not meant in this way to be like that. It's quite saddening to see others ignorance of our faith to be like this towards us. I'm sorry to see that you think this about others like myself, but those are your beliefs just as our faith is ours. We don'e believe in Jesus or your God, but that is us. Please don't push such beliefs on others. They're faith is their own to find.
Second letter from Lisa: I appreciate the reply, and the apology very much. Feel free to post my message. It is true that Christians do need to learn more about us and not be so fearful. The information on the signs and symbols were as correct as you probably could get them since you aren't really of out faith. The only problem I had with the sight was your segment before the explaining of the symbols and the warning afterwards. I find it encouraging that you are able to interact with Wiccans even though you don't agree with us. It's nice to see that people do try. Thanks again.
See also Comments on symbols
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For previous comments, go to Harry Potter Comments 1.
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Related comments: See Witchcraft & Feminist Spirituality
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