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Harry Potter!!!

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Re: Special Feature: Harry Potter!!!

Postby Tirian12 » Dec 01, 2009 12:53 pm

yeah, they were focusing more on slughorn and riddle in the sixth movie. i really enjoyed the movie (and can't wait till i get the DVD,but i'm not alowed to buy anything for myself this close to xmas :( oh well) it would have been nice for them to tick more closely to the book but i'm pretty sure everything we missed will be put in one of the two upcoming movies.

here is my essay. there are spoilers so those who have not read the books, best not read it (i.e. i talk about the ending of Deathly Hallows).

Harry Potter: What to Make of the 21st Century’s Most Published Books

The Harry Potter Series is a phenomenon. Over twelve years in print the series has done extremely well. It has topped the charts in book sales, and has made the author the only person to become a billionaire by writing books; the fourth book, when released worldwide in the summer of 2000, had an initial print run of 3.8 million copies, which is about 40 times the sales of an average best seller. So that gives one an idea of how popular the books are. Despite their great popularity, the books have been, and still are, a great source for controversy. We will look at those controversies considering both sides of the argument, why I like the books, and the author’s opinion on the books.

If you don’t already know who attacks the Harry Potter books I would say (mostly not all though) the attacks are given by Christians, mostly in America. So now we need to find out why these American Christians are attacking the Harry Potter series. Well firstly I think Christians (being one myself) get their guard up very easily the second they see something very popular in the world. So since Harry Potter is so popular, people on Christian radio shows, TV Etc. start lashing out at the series saying that the magic in books (Harry Potter, the main character, is a from a different race of humans who have magical abilities, also known as wizards) is supporting the occult and should be completely avoided. The argument has grown too; in 2003 Pope Benedict XVI, who was then known as Cardinal Ratzinger said, "[The Harry Potter books] are subtle seductions, which act unnoticed and by this deeply distort Christianity in the soul, before it can grow properly." Not only did the Pope condemn the series but so did Dr. James Dobson of the company Focus on the Family. "Given the trend toward witchcraft and New Age ideology in the larger culture, it's difficult to ignore the effects such stories (albeit imaginary) might have on young, impressionable minds."

Due to all these attacks many Christians have shied away from the series, but on the other hand many other Christians have looked at these claims and said, “what in the world?” and kept on reading the books with no problems. So why did some have problems with Harry Potter and not others? There is lots of magic in the books, and many people think that if children read fantasy novels it will bring them down the path toward the occult. I have thought about this for quite some time and have come to the conclusion that this is not true; fantasy does not lead children astray, nor do the Harry Potter books. If you are going to blame J.K. Rowling, you then have to accuse Lewis, Tolkien, Alexander, L’Engle, and countless other who have written great fantasy novels. What is more, J.K. Rowling has stated that she has no intentions of leading children towards pagan religions, nor is she is involved in anyway with the Satanic church, as she has been accused of on numerous occasions. I do not have it straight from her mouth, but it is said, by a lot of the press that she is a Christian. I will return to the topic of fantasy leading children astray but first I am going to discuss J.K. Rowling.

In an interview with Katie Couric on the Today Show in 2000 J.K. Rowling addressed all the controversies that were going around after the release of the fourth book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. When asked about her morals and the how they come out in the books Rowling said, "A very famous writer once said: 'A book is like a mirror. If a fool looks in, you can't expect a genius to look out.' People tend to find in books what they want to find, and I think my books are very moral."
Now we need to look at the books themselves to see if this is true. The books show a very large line between good and evil, there is at least one time in each of the seven books when Harry has to fight the evil Dark Lord (or some of his vicious supporters, called Death Eater), Voldemort. Each time there is a great battle and after each Harry learns more and more about his background and Voldemort’s background; Harry’s is made up of love, compassion, friendship, and self-lessness, and Voldemort’s is made up of hate, death, destruction, and pure evil. In the end the only way Harry can defeat Voldemort once and for all is by giving the ultimate sacrifice; his own life. But, like the White Witch in the Narnia series, there is a magic deeper than Voldemort bargained for and Harry is brought back to life, able to finally destroy the evilest wizard of all time. Does this sound familiar? death itself being destroyed? Well it should, it is a very common allegory in fantasy fiction and J.K. Rowling’s writing is no exception. After the release of the seventh and final installment of the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Rowling said this, "Those two particular quotations he finds on the tombstones at Godric's Hollow, they sum up -- they almost epitomize the whole series," those two quotations she references are from the New Testament, the first is from Matthew 6, “where your treasure is there you heart shall be also.” And the second is from 1 Corrinthians 15 “the last enemy to be defeated is death”. Rowling has also gone on to say, "On any given moment if you asked me if I believe in life after death, I think if you polled me regularly through the week, I think I would come down on the side of yes - that I do believe in life after death. But it's something I wrestle with a lot. It preoccupies me a lot, and I think that's very obvious within the books." So we see that Harry’s journey is Rowling’s journey; she struggles to find answers to life while Harry does the same, only in a different way. What Rowling has done here is created an artifice, to debate her faith. The artifice (the magic in the book) is simply a way for Rowling to discuss the appalling reality of evil, and how it affects our lives.

Having discussed the books and Rowling’s views on them, we now need to return to the topic of children being lead astray by the magic in the books. I have a theory about this; seeing as Rowling has said she has no interest in getting kids interested in pagan religions etc. we need to see what is leading kids astray. It’s the same with any fantasy book, there is always the opportunity for someone to take it in the wrong way. Think about this; say a kid reads the Harry Potter series and thinks to himself, “Wow, those were great books! I want to read more.” He then goes to the library hoping for another series like Harry Potter, and the librarian takes him to the section on the occult. The kid didn’t want to read a book on the occult, but the librarian didn’t know what exactly the kid meant when he said magic. People can still say this is Rowling’s fault, but if you’re going to blame her you have to blame all the other great fantasy writers. And it has happened, Tolkien was criticized (this was long after his death though) when the first “Dungeons and Dragons” games came out because people said the characters and premises were much like the Lord of the Rings series. Like Rowling said, “people tend to find what they want in books,”

Finally I want to give my opinion on the books. I have already stated why I think the books have lead children astray, but I personally really like them. I also enjoy the Narnia and Lord of the Rings series and I rank the Harry Potter series high on my list of fantasy books, next to those. I really enjoy the characters that are portrayed in the Harry Potter series, I also enjoy how good and evil are separated into two sides; the good side eventually winning in the end. I like Rowling’s writing style, and enjoy how easy it is to read.

Now having looked over the controversies, the author, and her opinion on the books, and my view on the books we can make a conclusion. I enjoy the books and am disappointed when someone does not share my views on them, I would like for everyone to read the books and give their own opinion on them. I think that Rowling is a good author and she has given us a masterpiece in the Harry Potter books. I would encourage anyone to read the books, they are warriors for moral behavior and good in world, and I think everyone should enjoy something that lifts those things so high.

hope you enjoyed it!!! this is still a work in progress, if iget a new idea i add it. if you want further good reading on the subject lesten to Jerram Barre's essay on the matter, you can find it at
http://www.bethinking.org/yourcourse/
look for the link to the article called Harry Potter-J.K. Rowling
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Re: Special Feature: Harry Potter!!!

Postby Gandalfs Beard » Dec 01, 2009 1:10 pm

Great Essay Tirian12 :D .

There are a couple of things worth revising though. Since the advent of Deathly Hallows, the Catholic Church and the Pope have reversed it's stance on the Potter series and has in fact praised it (probably those Bible quotes on the Tombstone helped ;) ). Sorry, I didn't save any links to the articles, but a google search should help you find the confirmation.

Also, despite a measure of Agnostic uncertainty, Rowling is an Official Member of the Anglican Church.

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Re: Special Feature: Harry Potter!!!

Postby Tirian12 » Dec 01, 2009 2:18 pm

THANK-YOU!!!!! :D :D :D
really?thats great (about the Pope, and of course the tombstones helped, my favorite verse is 1 Cor. 15:26) i didn't know, i'll have to find that. yes i have read that Rowling is a member of the Anglican church, i wasn't sure how credible the source was, here is the link
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/book ... otter.html
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Re: Special Feature: Harry Potter!!!

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Dec 01, 2009 3:19 pm

It is a great essay, and thank you for your valuable insights. However, I'd like to comment on this bit:

Think about this; say a kid reads the Harry Potter series and thinks to himself, “Wow, those were great books! I want to read more.” He then goes to the library hoping for another series like Harry Potter, and the librarian takes him to the section on the occult. The kid didn’t want to read a book on the occult, but the librarian didn’t know what exactly the kid meant when he said magic.


I doubt that a properly qualified and trained professional reference librarian would find books on the occult for a kid. I would be more likely to direct the child's attention to the fairy tales and folklore section where myths and legends of many lands can be found. As well as Tolkien, Lewis, L'Engle, Alice in Wonderland, etc. I'd also be looking at literature like Canterbury tales or Hans Christian Andersen, depending on ages of children whether or not I thought they could stand the unabridged forms.

I would think that sorts of libraries where occult material would be available would not be accessible to kids, especially the children of Harry Potter haters ;). Young adults, maybe, but even then you are dealing with adults who would insist they have the right to choose what they want to read, regardless of what others might think. I take your point, though about how a child could be misled into reading things that aren't suitable for their emotional maturity and level of comprehension.

Just check in the HP books, yourself. You will find that Madame Pince demands teachers' permission notes for access to iffy books, and Dumbledore banned from the library the very book Hermione needed to solve the evil that was described in that book.
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Re: Special Feature: Harry Potter!!!

Postby Warrior 4 Jesus » Dec 01, 2009 5:05 pm

A serious number of Christians didn't even bother reading the novels or didn't research their background before they pronounced them evil. A serious amount of Christians didn't use discernment and believed the satire article in The Onion, that said Rowling wanted to induct young people into the occult through her books and that she was a practising witch. This is called stupidity. We need to think critically and not ride on other's opinions without knowing what we're talking about. Otherwise it's hearsay.
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Re: Special Feature: Harry Potter!!!

Postby Gandalfs Beard » Dec 01, 2009 10:33 pm

I perhaps should revise my own statement :ymblushing: . Rowling was an Anglican until after she moved to Scotland in the mid-90s. At some point since then she joined the Church of Scotland which is a Presbyterian Congregation.

She has spoken in interviews about struggling with her faith, and the death of her mother.

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Re: Special Feature: Harry Potter!!!

Postby Tirian12 » Dec 02, 2009 10:08 am

waggawerewolf27
i can say that because sadly enough i've seen it happen. i was at my local library when i lived in canada and saw a kid ask the librarian that very question and saw her lead him to the section on the occult.
in the same way, at the midnight release of HBP i saw next to all the Harry Potter books occult books. the bookstore was trying to make a profit; this is not Rowling, this is the business aspect, but a bad one.
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Re: Special Feature: Harry Potter!!!

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Dec 02, 2009 1:10 pm

It depends on what you mean by 'Occult'. Occult as far as I know is to do with religious ceremonies and practices associated with death and Satanism, Voodoo or seances for example.

Weren't you thinking of 'Parapsychology', that is to say, 130 in the Dewey System, not to be confused with logic or real psychology? That is to say, things like ESP, Nostradamus's prophecies, Feng Shui, Astrology, Tarot, dream dictionaries, reading palms, tea leaves, handwriting and all that sort of stuff? Yes most public libraries would have something about such matters, just like most newspapers have a daily horoscope for its superstitious readers. And yes, I can see someone having read the HP books wanting to know what these well-known methods of divining the future might be, and wanting to know what superstitions and omens people commonly let themselves believe in. Such as the Grim, vampires, werewolves etc.

But I still doubt that libraries commonly have such information in their junior sections, other than in a general encyclopedia in the reference section. Surely it must have been someone of secondary school age to be let into the adult non-fiction section of the library. I can see a bookstore being more profit-driven. Did the bookstore you mentioned, Tirian12, have ghost stories also alongside the Harry Potter books during that release? Also, I think a cannier bookstore might have had other books alongside the Harry Potter books, such as books on religion. ;)

However, the Harry Potter books positively ridicule the usefulness of fortune-telling practices. Professor Trelawney is depicted as a bit of a fraud and a joke, who only makes real prophecies when she is unaware she is doing so. JK Rowling has owls flying by daylight routinely, to mock the superstition about such a sight being unlucky. Over and over again, people like Hermione expose the fraudulence of lucky charms or quick fix-its to help people remember better during examinations. Over and over again, the adventures of Harry Potter and his offsiders demonstrate that to get results in life, one still has to do the work. That even having magical genes won't make up for laziness and inattention.

After all the hullabaloo about Harry Potter put about by Christians who haven't even read the books, I don't understand why the Twilight series gets off so lightly, without being forbidden or without so much as a murmur. Because the Twilight series not only has werewolves and vampires galore, but also has a most unhealthy representation of romantic obsession about it that really could harm gullible people who might like to think that Bella's relationship with Edward Cullen is a normal sort of relationship.

Neither J.K Rowling nor Stephanie Meyer, by the way, are the only Christians to have written about such fantastic creatures. Sabine Baring-Gould, an Anglican pastor who wrote the well-known hymn, Onward Christian Soldiers, wrote extensively about folklore, and also the definitive work on werewolves, which can be found online.
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Re: Special Feature: Harry Potter!!!

Postby Warrior 4 Jesus » Dec 02, 2009 5:09 pm

Stephanie Meyer isn't a Christian but a Mormon. Beliefs differ greatly.

As for why Twilight hasn't received much of a hullabaloo from Christians, I'm not sure why. It's certainly very popular and no secret what the books are about. The vampires and werewolves would be the least of their problems anyway. The abusive and unhealthy relationship models in the books are much more harmful.
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Re: Special Feature: Harry Potter!!!

Postby decarus » Dec 02, 2009 11:45 pm

I thought this thread was about Harry Potter and not whether or not Harry Potter is evil.
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Re: Special Feature: Harry Potter!!!

Postby Warrior 4 Jesus » Dec 02, 2009 11:47 pm

Okay.

Harry Potter books = not evil. Case closed.
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Re: Special Feature: Harry Potter!!!

Postby Tirian12 » Dec 03, 2009 10:32 am

haha! thanks decarus, its just a very big problem, i find it very sad that many people won't read such fantastic books because it is supposed to be evil. please don't get me started one Twilight.
the kid i was talking about was about 11. and yes Trewlawney is a fraud and i think Rowling is actually amking fun of the actual spirit world through her.
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Re: Special Feature: Harry Potter!!!

Postby decarus » Dec 03, 2009 12:41 pm

I actually don't think that Trelawney is a fraud in the books. If you go back and read her predictions she is almost always right. I am not going to talk about whether or not her making predictions about the future is evil because it isn't real and things that aren't real are not good or evil, they are make believe.

Back to Harry Potter, the first two official photos were released this week. One showing the trio right after the cafe attack and the other showing Harry in Grimmauld Place.



There was also a leaked photo showing Harry, Ron, and Hermione all dressed exactly the same standing outside the Burrow. Seven Potters scene.
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Re: Special Feature: Harry Potter!!!

Postby Tirian12 » Dec 03, 2009 1:08 pm

:-o :-o that is awesome!!! i've been dying for some new pics :D :D
well, Trewlawney doesn't know when she makes her predictions that are actually right, the ones she does to her knowledge are all bunk.

Mod Edit: here are somemore pic i found
http://i894.photobucket.com/albums/ac14 ... 67/dh1.jpg
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Re: Special Feature: Harry Potter!!!

Postby Gandalfs Beard » Dec 03, 2009 2:43 pm

Cool Pictures :D . On the issue of Trelawney, I think things are a bit more complex. I'm not talking about her making up predictions about Harry's Death. But consider the following, when Harry runs into Trelawney at the beginning of the chapter, The House of Gaunt.

Trelawney is shuffling a deck of Tarot cards and muttering to herself when harry runs into her. "Two of Spades:conflict"..."Seven of Spades:an ill omen. Ten of Spades: Violence. Knave of Spades: a dark young man, possibly troubled, one who dislikes the questioner-" These references clearly predict: Malfoy's conflicts, the future battle with Harry ending in Malfoy's bloodshed, and Snape's Questioning of Malfoy.

Then she stops dead, looks at a card and says "that can't be right." We aren't given any indication of what card she saw until near the end of HBP. The card is the title of the chapter, "The Lightning Struck Tower", in which Dumbledore is killed atop the Astronomy Tower. So Trelawney is a far better "seer" than anyone gives her credit for. And Rowling makes a point of this in HBP.

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Re: Special Feature: Harry Potter!!!

Postby Rising_Star » Dec 03, 2009 3:01 pm

That's fascinating, GB! I've never thought of it that way, but it makes a lot more sense now. Thanks for posting that! :D

Those pictures are cool, though they don't tell much, lol. I saw some picture of Harry, Ron, and Hermione in tuxes and a dress (respectively) in the middle of the street, possibly right after they Disapparated from the wedding reception.

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