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Harry Potter: Good Witch or Bad Witch

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

From today's Minneapolis Star Tribune:

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

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

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

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

-- Associated Press


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

Joe Offer,

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

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


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


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

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

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

-Joe Offer-


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

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


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

Kay...

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

Oops! Thanks for changing it back Joe!


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

good. BOB


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

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


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

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

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


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

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

~Susan


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

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

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

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

Sheesh!


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

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

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

Maybe I should say "many people."

Peter.


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

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


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

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


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

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

~Susan


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

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


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

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

~S~


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

~Susan


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

-Joe Offer-


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

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

Can you post them?


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

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

~Susan


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

Well, Joe, you raise a very intersting point.

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

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

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

A


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

See?

~Susan


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

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

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


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

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

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

-Joe Offer-


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

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


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

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

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

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

Cheers

Dave the Gnome


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

McGrath,

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Wolfgang


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

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

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


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

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

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

Where is the Church lady when we need her?


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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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