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Source: (consider it) Thread: UM: Harry Potter and Witchcraft--One more time!
Akeldama
Shipmate
# 277

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So Toria did you take part in the role-playing that used to go on at Lancaster on saturday mornings?

It used to freak us out when heading to the football pitches or the bar to see folks dressed as robin hood running around the campus engaged in battle with plastic swords. Bet it frightened the peacocks too.


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Stoo

Mighty Pirate
# 254

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quote:
Originally posted by Toria:
I... spent an unhealthy amount of time in the bar.

huh? i don't understand...

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Posts: 5266 | From: the director of "Bikini Traffic School" | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Toria
Apprentice
# 2100

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Maybe that should of been 'unhealthy mornings after spending too much time in the bar'


As for the live role players, oh yes I remeber them. There's nothing like bumping into people dressed as elves or orcs (usually with green faces) in Spar. Standing in the queue behind an elf with a pint of milk first thing in the morning is an interesting way to start the day.

For any folks who are very confused, some people can think of no better way to spend a saturday morning than dressing up in silly frocks and running around with rubber swords. Come to think of it it all sounds like some forms of alternative worship.

Toria


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Akeldama
Shipmate
# 277

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Well I'm heading North for a weekend in the Alumni flat with a bunch of mates I haven't seen since graduation (1996), I suppose if the role-players are still at it we'll see them wandering around on Saturday morning.

Returning to the topic at hand (sorry about the digression ) I recently watched a documentary about the recording of Iron Maiden's Number of the Beast. The band were astonished that when touring the states people were burning their records and calling them satanists. Again I think it's a matter of perception, people often judge by the cover and bands (and author's) works are misrepresented. I doubt any of the record burners actually knew anything about the content of the record or the thoughts, influences por beliefs of the band. (incidently, Bruce Dickinson's version of 'Jerusalem' on The Chemical Wedding is rather splendid).

Harry potter is a wizard, burn it, ban it. Seems a little kneejerk. But I have a confession to make, never read any JK Rowling so it could be Satanic Rites for all I know, so I'll shut up.


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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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Ignore Wood, he's just trolling for me. He's also totally embarrassed by the fact that he's really into comic books and RPGs himself. When are you going to get the courage to be yourself, Wood

I've never done any LARP, but totally fail to see why it's any weirder a way to spend a Saturday morning than playing with a ball for ninety minutes.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.


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Wood
The Milkman of Human Kindness
# 7

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quote:
Originally posted by Karl:
Ignore Wood, he's just trolling for me.

Damn.

Rumbled.

quote:
He's also totally embarrassed by the fact that he's really into comic books and RPGs himself.

Too right I am. When you look at all the other people into the same stuff... do I want to be tarred with the same brush? I think not. I just discovered over at the 2000AD Message Board that they're all metallers.

Of course it's embarrassing to be associated with people like that.

quote:
When are you going to get the courage to be yourself, Wood

I am myself. It's just myself is fatally aware that I'm into this stuff

I am myself. Myself is fatally embarrassed to be associated with that kind of stuff. Ask me about rowing or mountain biking instead.

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Narcissism.


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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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Wood, me ol' china.

You've repeatedly slated me when I've slagged off dance music, pointing out that it's a matter of taste.

Given that, how can it be bad to be into heavy metal? It's just a different taste.

So your music tastes don't match the majority of comic book readers. So? You might be miffed if people assume you're a metalhead, but why be embarrassed?

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.


Posts: 17938 | From: Chesterfield | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Wood
The Milkman of Human Kindness
# 7

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have you ever been downwind of a group of metallers?

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Narcissism.

Posts: 7842 | From: Wood Towers | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Umbrella
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# 232

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Wood - rowing?

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'It is sad that most ministers have more hours training in how to talk & be with people than how to talk & be with God.' H.J.M.Nouwen.

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Firenze

Ordinary decent pagan
# 619

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quote:
Originally posted by Umbrella:
Wood - rowing?

All together now - 'tis pity he's an oar

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Posts: 17302 | From: Edinburgh | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
daisymay

St Elmo's Fire
# 1480

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Today I visited a small Christian bookshop where they were selling an anti-H Potter book. The woman on duty said she was reading a H Potter book loaned and reccommended to her by her grandson! some confusion here? Or someone who's not going to be over-influenced by the boss?

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London
Flickr fotos

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Siegfried
Ship's ferret
# 29

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Business is business. You sell what your market wants.

Sieg


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David Weaver
Apprentice
# 300

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[irony mode] The spells in Dungeons and dragons actually work! Really how did they find this out? [/irony mode]
Now have this mental image of Alester Crowley sitting with some of his mates "lets curse someone"..."Hang on I'll just get out the 20 sided dice...damn we lost it down the back of the sofa..d'oh we've miss-rolled and accidentally summoned the fire-demon Karaththhshshhhhhhhaaa instead, run lads"
Face it if real satanism resembled dungeons and dragons, christians would have nothing to fear - Especially as most satanists would then be even more social inept than us christians (I make that last comment in jest, just in case there are any D&D players reading this..)
Oh and christian polemics CAN work well as literature - I direct you towards "The devil" and "The kreutzer sonata" by Tolstoy in case you don't believe me. The best books are often the ones with a degree of moral ambiguity because they are the ones which force the reader to decide whether to "take sides" with the protagonists or not. But when reading stuff like the Left Behind series I realize that the morality is so obvious that I don't want to take sides with the main characters. I think this is because I am not a moral person, and thus the books don't reflect my experience of being a christian.
Incidentally I remember reading a book - I think it was by Alan Gardener, which DID feature an actual celtic spell of summoning. There was a footnote in the book saying that the spell was genuine but wasn't printed in full lest someone impressionable try to cast it.
Weaver

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Shake down 1979,
Cool kids never have the time...

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Callan
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# 525

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Originally posted by Weaver:

quote:
[irony mode] The spells in Dungeons and dragons actually work! Really how did they find this out? [/irony mode]

One does wonder what planet the "D&D is a gateway to the realms of Beelzebub" lot are coming from. If the average nerdy adolescent could cast spells on people they wouldn't be spending all that time pretending to be Halibut the Elf, or whoever. (There is, naturally, a highly witty and entertaining Chick Tract on the subject.)

PS The bit about nerdy adolescents was autobiographical, not a dig at anyone else here.

PPS Whaddya mean, Chick Tracts aren't parody?

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How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton


Posts: 9757 | From: Citizen of the World | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tubbs

Miss Congeniality
# 440

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quote:
Incidentally I remember reading a book - I think it was by Alan Gardener, which DID feature an actual celtic spell of summoning. There was a footnote in the book saying that the spell was genuine but wasn't printed in full lest someone impressionable try to cast it.

It was by Alan Gardener - he said that all the spells in the Weirdstone and the follow up were geniune Celtic spells that he'd found at the BL and he didn't write them out in full in case someone impressionable did try to cast it AND because he wasn't keen on the idea of calling something up himself.

Alan Gardener, of course, was not wildly successful so the boycott-this-its-dodgy-brigade never bothered with him

[I used to work in a children's library - the tales I could tell .... ]

Tubbs

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"It's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it up and remove all doubt" - Dennis Thatcher. My blog. Decide for yourself which I am


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Eldo
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# 1861

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I did enjoy the little motivational talk we got at college from some random. Spent a long time explaining just why all role players were evil and we would burn in hell.

[wishful]Then the kindly president of the society told him the CU were next door and he was in the gamers club [/wishful]

But I suppose asking him why its any different from acting, was a bit harsh.

Sorry I'll go away and roll my dice quietly to myself.


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Weslian
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# 1900

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A church youth worker told me yesterday that she has heard that J.K. Rowling has deliberately hooked all these young kids on Harry Potter with fairly innocent stuff, but she has a hidden agenda to promote occult evil. Therefore, as Harry gets older in the later books there is going to be some really dangerous stuff coming out which really will corrupt all the little darlings.

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Sex, Shopping, Work, Christian Doctrine, Entertainment, Art, Sport.

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Chorister

Completely Frocked
# 473

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ooooh, I'm so scared!..... Who are these scaremongerers and where on earth do they get their ideas from? Is it the fault of the Evangelical Alliance newsletter again? I read one once, and you wouldn't believe the scaremongering they were doing about kids having fun at Halloween!

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Retired, sitting back and watching others for a change.

Posts: 34626 | From: Cream Tealand | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
birdie

fowl
# 2173

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Actually I've seen an EA press release on the subject, which is one of the more balanced pieces I've yet seen, after hearing a lot of 'Harry Potter is a danger to all our children' type stuff.
One thing it said was that perhaps the biggest problem the books might cause was the division between Christians who held different opinions but all knowthey're right.
Good point I thought.

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"Gentlemen, I wash my hands of this weirdness."
Captain Jack Sparrow

Posts: 1290 | From: the edge | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Poet_of_Gold
Shipmate
# 2071

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In answer to the question regarding Narnia, not only do I not object to the series, but I would strongly recommend it. Narnia is a polar opposite of HP, with the emphasis on defeating the witches or villains by the power of Aslan, who represents Jesus. Learning magic in this context under Aslan's authority is similar to the prophets of God in Biblical days learning and growing in their abilities. Magic comes from one of two sources: God, or demons. I'd much sooner children fantasize about being magical for God under His direction and power than to have them subconsciously thinking that if one becomes a witch a world of opportunity will open up for them.

If fantasy did not play a very large role in how we behave, the Lord would not have said that to look with lust is to commit adultery in one's heart. If witchcraft is a thing God hates, then we ought not seek it out as recreation. It is like a violent video game wherein the player shoots and kills people in a drippy mess of graphics. This desensitizes kids. It's not necessary, so why do it?

I also do strongly disagree with burning books unless an individual feels led of the Lord to do so. I remember when a pastor had us burn our LP records for his mere fancy, and some of those songs, though not Christian, had morals of peace and joy. It's all in how you look at things. To have something that comforts you torn away against your will is wrong. If you voluntarily give it up for Christ's sake, then you will have a reward. God loves a cheerful giver. More than that, sometimes it is wise to let a few weeds grow in our lives temporarily, because uprooting them at the wrong time can also uproot the healthy plants. We should look to God for direction on what parts of our lives are weeds, and what parts should be modified, and when, and how.


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Nicolemr
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# 28

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i notice you haven't answered my question, poet_of_gold. have you read the harry potter books or are you mindlessly parroting by rote what someone else has told you about them?

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On pilgrimage in the endless realms of Cyberia, currently traveling by ship. Now with live journal!

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caty
Shipmate
# 85

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Hi, wondering if anyone can help?

I've just tried to explain to some folks in church that an article on HP that they've been given is a *spoof*. (I think it's the one from the Onion, with quotes from kids who're now satanists because of reading HP, that kind of thing).

The Onion seems to have pulled it from it's archives - any suggestions of where else I can send them to back my comments up??

Thanks in advance,
caty


Posts: 115 | From: yorkshire | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Fibonacci's Number
Shipmate
# 2183

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Hi,

There are some really good (and well-balanced) articles which explain that the whole Onion article is a hoax. The best one I've seen is at http://www.baptiststandard.com/2001/11_19/pages/potter_hoax.html

Hope this is helpful!

I'm a massive Harry Potter fan, and particularly like the strong moral element in the stories.

However I do have some worries that kids seem to be encouraged by the marketing spin-offs of Sabrina & Buffy, HP etc, to get into "spell-casting" to realise their wishes.

I've heard children talking about using spells as if it's quite natural - does anyone else have views on this?

PS this is my first posting on the boards so... greetings to you all!

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We can't do anything about the world until capitalism crumbles. In the meantime we should all go shopping to console ourselves.
Banksy,
Banging Your Head Against a Brick Wall


Posts: 267 | From: London, England | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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I think if someone gets into spell casting after watching Buffy, Sabrina and HP, then they're going to be terribly disappointed. That sort of magic doesn't exist.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

Posts: 17938 | From: Chesterfield | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
birdie

fowl
# 2173

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I'd agree with that. An 11 year old I know (perhaps actually asking a child what they think might help the discussion...) said that the most exciting thing about the Harry Potter stories was being at Hogwarts "and even if you decide to be a witch, you won't get to go to Hogwarts, so what's the point?"

I haven't noticed her with a wand either....

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"Gentlemen, I wash my hands of this weirdness."
Captain Jack Sparrow


Posts: 1290 | From: the edge | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Fibonacci's Number
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# 2183

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Points taken.

(Although in fact, there's a massive online version of Hogwarts at which you can take lessons and exams in divination, numerology, charms, etc, etc, etc. It's a spectacularly good site although I'm still not sure I'm 100% comfortable with some of the teaching - OK maybe that's just being over-anxious.)

There's a huge difference between "imaginary" magic (such as that in Harry Potter and Sabrina), and actual occultism, and I think the anti-HP hysteria arises from a confusion between the two. For me, there's more of a potential issue with programmes like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where people are actively engaging with "spirits" and carrying out occult/Wicca practices. The issue here is that although a lot of the other elements are imaginary, there is a counterpart in real life, which many Christians would argue is dangerous. This isn't meant to sound like a hardline condemnation, cos I really like Buffy, but... hmmmm.

I agree totally with the view that imaginary magic is not a problem. When I was little, I was completely enraptured by the Worst Witch stories, and obsessed with the idea of obtaining "a Worst Witch outfit and a broomstick that really flies". (I'm still waiting for them to arrive.) Funnily enough, this didn't lead me straight into Satanism, either.

Fib

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We can't do anything about the world until capitalism crumbles. In the meantime we should all go shopping to console ourselves.
Banksy,
Banging Your Head Against a Brick Wall


Posts: 267 | From: London, England | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
birdie

fowl
# 2173

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It is a difficult one though. I think if someone reads and thinks about this stuff and comes to the conclusion they aren't happy about Harry Potter, I don't really have a problem with that. I have a real problem when people tell me this stuff is a danger to kids when they haven't even read it and clearly have no idea what they're talking about.

Although it has got me thinking too... I decided that if I just accepted it as I don't have a problem with it, I was just as unthinking...

In fact that's kind of why I'm here. We're having a discussion group on Harry Potter at church in a couple of weeks and I wondered if anyone could point me in the direction of decent, balanced material on it. I've seen a few things. I'd also be interested to know where some of the more hysterical 'anti' material has sprung from. This was all kicked off in our church by someone reading out a piece of the net which I now strongly suspect was derived from the Onion piece....

Anyway, all suggestions gratefully received. (Well maybe not all ...

Cheers

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"Gentlemen, I wash my hands of this weirdness."
Captain Jack Sparrow


Posts: 1290 | From: the edge | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Reepicheep
BANNED
# 60

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One of the best magical spin-offs of the HP series was a "spell-casting kit"

Inside the instructions were of the (summarised) order

"to get what you want"
"do what you're told by your parents."

"to curse away acne"
then followed some simple, practical advice.

Mostly it was good advice, with some goodies thrown in.

love
Angel


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Tubbs

Miss Congeniality
# 440

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Adrian read John Houghton's "A closer look at Harry Potter" and said it was reasonably sensible. It picked the issues you need to be concerned about - some of the values; parent's ignorence on what children read etc - but was generally favorable to the books.

There's also a SU study guide called Harry Potter by someone called DAMARIS but I don't know what that's like.

You might find these useful for your talk

Tubbs

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"It's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it up and remove all doubt" - Dennis Thatcher. My blog. Decide for yourself which I am


Posts: 12701 | From: Someplace strange | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Stoo

Mighty Pirate
# 254

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the Damaris Trust are generally pretty good.

Don't know what they say about harry potter (cos frankly, old harry's never interested me!!!)

Here's a link to some of their harry potter stuff though.

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Posts: 5266 | From: the director of "Bikini Traffic School" | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
bar_wench
Apprentice
# 2172

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Ok, let's go right back to the beginning.

Storytelling is the oldest profession in the world. Since there was language, there have been stories. A characteristic feature of most fantasy stories is the fight between good and evil. Tolkien, Star Wars, Harry Potter - all good guys vs bad guys. As various people mentioned earlier, moral ambiguity makes it more interesting, cos you get to decide whether you support the characters' decisions or not.

Now, important point: When Harry gets to Howarts, the first thing that occurs is house assignment. Harry makes a choice to go into a 'good' house, instead of the 'bad' house.

So why is it a bad thing for kids to learn to make reasoned choices?

PS: First post so Hello everyone!!

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xxxT

*witty quote or comment*


Posts: 5 | From: London, england | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Gill H

Shipmate
# 68

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Hi bar_wench. (That conjures up pictures of Barbara Windsor in gravity-defying outfits balancing tankards on her decolletage!)

In answer to the request for reasoned stuff on HP, I've seen a book called 'The Spirituality of Potterworld' in several bookshops and that's very positive about it. Interestingly, CARE (Christian Action on Research & Education - a solidly evangelical group) had a piece on HP in their latest newsletter. Their advice came down to 'don't have a kneejerk reaction, read them and see what you think' and they recommended both the books mentioned.

Now that Philip Pullman has started getting noticed by the newspapers, perhaps the heat will be off Harry for a bit. Hope so.

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*sigh* We can’t all be Alan Cresswell.

- Lyda Rose


Posts: 9313 | From: London | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Weslian
Shipmate
# 1900

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What do people make of the theology behind Pullman's 'Amber Spyglass.' ????

Is it a legitimate criticism of an authoritarian hierarchical relgion, or is it actually a denial of the existence of God, implying that you cannot have a God who is not authoritarian and hierarchical?

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Sex, Shopping, Work, Christian Doctrine, Entertainment, Art, Sport.


Posts: 563 | From: somewhere too posh for my own good | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tubbs

Miss Congeniality
# 440

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quote:
Is it a legitimate criticism of an authoritarian hierarchical relgion, or is it actually a denial of the existence of God, implying that you cannot have a God who is not authoritarian and hierarchical?

I read them and although I thought it was fairly scathing about organised religion, some of the comments weren't that bad and some of which I even agreed with

But then I've only read the first two

I was well chuffed it won the Whitbread - until I realised that now Dark Materials is famous the backlash starts here

Tubbs

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"It's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it up and remove all doubt" - Dennis Thatcher. My blog. Decide for yourself which I am


Posts: 12701 | From: Someplace strange | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Oriel
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# 748

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A lot of Christians avoid anything to do with magic, including books featuring it, because it is condemned in the Bible. And it *is*. "Do not suffer a witch to live." But, given that magic doesn`t actually exist, why would God want to condemn it in such strong terms?

I can think of two reasons. The first is that magic appeals to us because it could, if it were real, give us what we want at no cost to ourselves. It thus encourages selfish thoughts, and allows us to indulge a desire to be better than other people. It would be great to be able to levitate/make blue sparks fly from our hands/make beautiful creations with no effort, but not quite so much fun if everybody could do it.

I`ve flicked through a number of what purport to be spell books in bookshops, and they all contain spells to do things like get you the boyfriend/girlfriend you want, get you more money, make people be friendly towards you.. you get the idea. I haven`t seen a single spell for world peace, or even a spell to make a friend happy. Magic, as used in practise rather than fantasy, seems to encourage the worst of our selfishnesses.

The second is that, if magic does not in fact exist, anyone claiming to use it is in fact a fraud. Someone who takes money off people by pretending to do something they can`t. They play on the desires and needs of other people who want or need something normally impossible, but if you pay this person enough then, who knows? The modern equivalent would probably be a televangelist ("Touch the screen, and you`ll be healed.. if you send in your donation, God will bless you"). "Suffer not a televangelist to live." Now there`s a thought.

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Unlike the link previously in my sig, I actually update my Livejournal from time to time.


Posts: 796 | From: Scotland | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
ChastMastr
Shipmate
# 716

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quote:
Originally posted by Oriel:
given that magic doesn`t actually exist

Since when?

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My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity

Posts: 14068 | From: Clearwater, Florida | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Wood
The Milkman of Human Kindness
# 7

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Well, it's fair to say that magic in the terms presented in the Harry Potter books doesn't exist, anyway.

Magic in real life is a lot lower key, and, as Karl has already pointed out, is nothing like any of its portrayals in popular fantasy fiction.

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Narcissism.


Posts: 7842 | From: Wood Towers | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
bar_wench
Apprentice
# 2172

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quote:
Originally posted by Oriel:
"Suffer not a televangelist to live." Now there`s a thought.

I second that!!! Those who shout the loudest are heard first, and boy do those guys shout. If that was your first encounter with Christianity, wouldn't you run a mile? Televangelists are way scary people - with a profit-driven agenda. I believe in subtlety.

PS: about my user-name: I serve real ale to men with beards. I'm pro-active about being politicaaly incorrect, so when someone applied the label 'wench' I refused to be offended and took it as my own. But I'm way too tall to be Barbera Windsor!!!

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xxxT

*witty quote or comment*


Posts: 5 | From: London, england | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Toria
Apprentice
# 2100

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I third that!

Lived for a while in a house with digital TV. not that exciting as we only got the free chanels. Including about five 'Christian Channels.

Christian TV? Oh my. Big hair and big teeth. I still have nightmares.

But I did not watch it without a sense of irony of course. Nothing like reading Harry Potter while some TV evangelist burbles away in the corner.

And is it just me or did all the programmes advertise the books/videos/tapes of the people involved?

Toria


Posts: 18 | From: Hebrides, Scotland | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Poet_of_Gold
Shipmate
# 2071

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In answer to the question have I read the books: No. I have read articles on them, I have read excerpts from them, and I have had friends who love them dearly tell me what happens in the story. I have seen excerpts of the movie. Now, given these bits and pieces, you may say what you like, but I know enough of it to tell that my spirit is repulsed by the flavor of these books.

Try this link:
Test the Spirits

Posts: 204 | From: USA | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tina
Shipmate
# 63

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I'm well aware of the passage from 1 John mentioned above, but I went and read the article poet-of-gold linked to - it seemed like a good idea to know what I was arguing with!

So, on the grounds of this, are we supposed to read only stuff which was written by Christians who were consciously seeking the direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit? In which case I'm going to be pruning my bookshelf fairly drastically, and much which has enthused and challenged me in my faith is for the chop.

Or, is God bigger than we're giving Him credit for here?

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Kindness is mandatory. Anger is necessary. Despair is a terrible idea. Despair is how they win. They won't win forever.


Posts: 503 | From: South London | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Not

Ship's Quack
# 2166

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quote:
Originally posted by Karl:
[QB]I would have thought that if the book-burning brigade wanted a bee in their bonnets Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials Trilogy would be a better target.

QB]


And yes...in today's Sunday Mail (not bought by me)'Why this man is the most dangerous children's author writing today'. A diatribe against Pullman as a sort of anti - CS Lewis setting out to corrupt our children and turn them into promiscuous liberal atheists. Also contains the intriguing suggestion that the Narnia books can somehow save those unhappy tots who have had the misfortune to be brought up by (shudder) liberal parents!

I love both Narnia and Dark Materials - is that allowed? They're both good stories with lots of truth and beauty and sense in them; they're not, unlike that article, polemics.

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Was CJ; now Not


Posts: 600 | From: the far, far West | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Gherkin
Apprentice
# 2238

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This evening I'm cruising through this site for the first time -- Hi, all -- not surprised by all the commentary on HP. One mention was made of someone burning Lord of the Rings; that did surprise me. Generally I've found that people who dislike HP because he "promotes witchcraft" are fine with Tolkein, despite the fact that one of the main positive characters is a real, live spell-casting wizard. So is magic evil or not? I think it's because J.R.R. was pals with C.S. Lewis so he can't be bad.

I've read the Amber Spyglass books and didn't get possessed (as far as I can tell:confused , but I did find the anti-religion stuff, particularly in the last book, very heavy handed and distracting from the story.

One peeve here: It would be nice if people didn't use the "witch" passage from the Old Testament as if the Hebrew word referred to 21st-century Wiccans, role-players and HP fans. It's not so difficult to get a decent Bible commentary and find out what they were really talking about. (Clue: not witches.)

It strikes me that people who complain vs. HP are arguing doctrine but never looking at real people. Kids understand harmless fantasy, and they are quite familiar with the phrase "Let's pretend." Didn't you ever play, didn't you ever make believe? Did it harm you?


Posts: 3 | From: Ocean Park, Washington, USA | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Oriel
Shipmate
# 748

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quote:

From the website referenced above:
God's thoughts are born in the innermost being, intuited, known without being thought through. They are sensed before they are thought, spontaneous, gentle and full of light, higher than our thoughts

So we`re not allowed to think?

I remember hearing a sermon along these lines once. Anything you worked out by thinking something through was wrong -- true inspiration from the Holy Spirit could only come as a wave of supernatural knowledge totally separate from your own thoughts. Apparently, God didn`t give us our brains so we could use them.

*sigh*

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Unlike the link previously in my sig, I actually update my Livejournal from time to time.


Posts: 796 | From: Scotland | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
birdie

fowl
# 2173

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quote:
Originally posted by Tina:
[QB]
So, on the grounds of this, are we supposed to read only stuff which was written by Christians who were consciously seeking the direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit? In which case I'm going to be pruning my bookshelf fairly drastically, and much which has enthused and challenged me in my faith is for the chop.
QB]

This is something that does really irritate me in this type of debate - when people quote bible verses at you but then do not apply them consistently through their lives. I'm not saying that anyone who quotes a bible verse must then be perfect in every way, but sometimes I find that cetain things are said (a good example being 'whatever is true, whatever is good.... think on these things' - paraphrase.. don't have my bible on me!) as if they unanswerable because they are scripture. And I guess they are unsnswerable because of that, but when they are used by someone just to make a point who then does not apply them in other areas of their life, I lose a bit of respect for that person! (I'm not referring to anyone here - I don't know enough about you!! )

I was speaking to a guy at my church a couple of days ago who has a very different opinion on Harry Potter than I do, but I could understand exactly why he felt the way he did, and he also wasn't happy about letting his kids watch violent stuff, and wouldn't be happy about them playing pretend violence. I have a lot of respect for him, even if I don't agree with him, because he is very consistent in his attitude. I'd have a problem with someone who quoted the verse mentioned above as a reason they wouldn't let their kids read Harry Potter, but were happy for them to play with toy guns etc.

I've just read back through this and I don't know how much sense i'm making! But I know what I mean!

I have noticed that I've found a much stronger reaction against Harry Potter from people who were into the occult etc before becoming Christians. Should this make us sit up and listen a bit more?

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"Gentlemen, I wash my hands of this weirdness."
Captain Jack Sparrow


Posts: 1290 | From: the edge | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
birdie

fowl
# 2173

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quote:
Originally posted by Gherkin:
One mention was made of someone burning Lord of the Rings; that did surprise me. Generally I've found that people who dislike HP because he "promotes witchcraft" are fine with Tolkein, despite the fact that one of the main positive characters is a real, live spell-casting wizard. So is magic evil or not? I think it's because J.R.R. was pals with C.S. Lewis so he can't be bad.

Sorry to post twice - can't work out how to get 2 quotes in one post!

The Tolkein Double Standard (as I shall have to call it from now on) has suprised me a lot. Had (yet another) conversation with someone slating HP who then went on to tell me how much they'd enjoyed Lord of the Rings. Too stunned to say anything I'm afraid, and I don't think they noticed the expression on my face. Is it because Tolkein is 'literature'?

--------------------
"Gentlemen, I wash my hands of this weirdness."
Captain Jack Sparrow


Posts: 1290 | From: the edge | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
babybear
Bear faced and cheeky with it
# 34

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quote:
Originally posted by Birdie:
Should this make us sit up and listen a bit more?

No. Simply because they are not objective. They have been involved in occult practises, and can often be 'over-sensitive' and 'see' things that are not really there.

There have been witches and wizards, changlings, elves, fairies, talking animals, casting spellings, in all of our folk tales. These don't lead us into occult practise, and neither does reading a HP book.

bb


Posts: 13287 | From: Cottage of the 3 Bears (and The Gremlin) | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Toria
Apprentice
# 2100

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There are two very clear sides to the Harry Potter argument - those who believe that the books are evil and those who don't. (there are also a significant number of people who don't care either way!) Unfortunately the two main camps can never have any common ground.

- There are those who read the books before all the anti-Potter hype or just haven't taken that much notice of it, found the books a cracking good read and enjoyed them. And usually expect everyone else to feel the same way.
- And those who have been told that the books are 'evil' (or whatever) by someone they trust or whose opinion they regard as worth listening to. This may have been passed on by email, word of mouth, sermon etc. and so they either boycott the books/film or read them with the aim of finding everything that is bad about them. And often expect everyone else to do the same.

Those who fall into the 'anti' camp, if they can be persuaded to read the books, will be able to condemn them on the tiniest point (always backed up with some verse or other from the Bible) and no matter what you can say about the good points of the book if just won't make any difference. Once the idea that they make whichcraft attractive is there that is all the reader will see. I'm sure there's a psychological reason for this.

If you want to come out in favour of the books you could talk about the way the books offer valuable lessons on the problems of friendships, families, growing up, dealing with authority, loyaly, the past, fear etc etc. Harry and his friends do break rules and don't always show respect to those in authority, but they face the consequences of those actions. Harry doesn't always make the 'right' choices, but who does? Unfortunately the simple fact the books are based in fantasy (with magic) means that they can be dismissed with one well chosen verse.

It's probably fairly obvious which side I'm on (I'm looking forward to the next book!). I read them before the 'anti' hype really got going - I was stuck at home with the most appaling cold and found they were a good read. Not long after that I was trying to find out if you get the books in Sweedish (for a friend) when I came across sites calling for the books to be banned. Unfortunately most of the sites I found misrepresented and misquoted the books. In more than one case I was sure they'd read a different book altogether! Where is there any encourgemnt to use Ouiji boards!?!?! When the emails started going around, I found I was having to defend myself for reading them! Then the Onion email planted the belief that JK Rowling is herself a Satanist in so many peoples heads that it's now almost impossible to have a reasoned talk with anyone who's seen it. And you try tellig them that the whole article was a joke! I've heard and read people talking about JK Rowling as planning to do all sorts of things with the last three books to make the occult even more attractive. And this is quoted as fact! This is one Urban Myth that is totally out of control. I find myself feeling very sorry for JK Rowling when I hear and see what is being said about her - almost all unsubstantiated and passed about as fact!

The whole thing paints Christians in a really bad light, fighting amongst ourselves over children books! It all makes me want to scream. I am very fed up with the whole thing now.

Peot-of-gold, I respect how you feel about this, but it is very easy to represent almost anything as 'bad' by the use of strategic quotes. As I said, a lot of the sites and emails I've seen have misquoted the books. I'm not trying to change your mind. If you don't want to read them, don't. If you don't like or appreciate fantasy, you probably won't enjoy them anyway. Just be aware that there some very flimsy and misleading stuff being written about them. And I've been sent a fair bit of it myself.

Toria

PS didn't mean to go on for so long, but It all just sort of came out. If I'm ever asked for my opinion of HP again I think I shall go and gibber in a corner.


Posts: 18 | From: Hebrides, Scotland | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Oriel
Shipmate
# 748

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I was looking for websites about Harry Potter (I was actually trying to find out if anyone had played through the chess game) when I came across this. While it is, on the whole, a positive review, what saddened me was the way they categorised things. Under the "Spirituality" heading is only the stuff dealing with magic and the occult. You have to pick through the various other categories (Discipline, Drugs & Alcohol, Violence) to gain a true picture of the real spirituality of the book.

I looked at other reviews on the same site, and found the same thing. Why do these people seem to think that spirituality is only about the occult and "taking the Lord`s name in vain" rather than the way you treat life, death, love, friendship, and all the rest of it?

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Unlike the link previously in my sig, I actually update my Livejournal from time to time.


Posts: 796 | From: Scotland | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tubbs

Miss Congeniality
# 440

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Actually the whole bod-do-do over this just makes me feel sad.

Surely if “the Church” wanted to take children’s literature to task there are better targets …

The ones that peddle the idea you’re nothing if your not thin or pretty; don’t have a boy or girl friend or enough money to buy whatever you want etc are probably doing far more harm than anything JKR has written. But most adults don’t have a clue about children’s books – unless of course it’s been the subject of a “ban this <insert rude adjective here> aimed at our kids” campaign.

But the personal attacks on JKR make me feel more uncomfortable than anything else … But when you ask people where they heard this stuff or why they’re repeating it they just look at you like you’re a nutter. It seems that all those bits in the Bible about not repeating idle gossip don’t apply if someone’s a) successful or b) a suspected occultist.

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"It's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it up and remove all doubt" - Dennis Thatcher. My blog. Decide for yourself which I am


Posts: 12701 | From: Someplace strange | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged



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