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Harry Potter and Witchcraft

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Wow.  Someone says 'Harry Potter' on a Christian website, and bam, 18 pages later....

It's never been more to me than just a very fun story.  Love all the HP books.  However, I've also not lost my hold on reality.  I can read stories about wizards without compromising my Christian beliefs or running around the woods thinking I can turn trees into bunnies by waving a stick in the air.  If someone's come unglued, they don't need Harry Potter to help them out onto the ledge.  I can separate fantasy fiction from reality and from the church.  I wrote a fantasy book for middle graders, and it's got gargoyles and a banshee in it--both legitimate devices in any fantasy story.  Harry Potter is just a very fun story.  It only becomes dangerous when you think it's real, and magic isn't real.
 

Eastern Mind

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According to the books, Squibs are those born in magical families but have no magic. So, the job given to Squibs is to deny magic exists, even speak out against it, so Muggles won't start to believe in it.

Which meeeeeeeaaannnns

Everyone who hates Harry Potter is a Squib!

#genius
 

orthonorm

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Something that fans of both witchcraft and Harry Potter have in common that will make Christians happy: virginity.
 

Achronos

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orthonorm said:
Something that fans of both witchcraft and Harry Potter have in common that will make Christians happy: virginity.
Someone linked me a video once of Harry Potter in the background and a guy with his sexdoll...
 

orthonorm

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admiralnick said:
How could a novel based on Love, a strong foundation of Christianity be considered the work of the devil?

-Nick
A tree shall be known by its fruit and I am not just talking about Dumbledore here.
 

Achronos

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orthonorm said:
admiralnick said:
How could a novel based on Love, a strong foundation of Christianity be considered the work of the devil?

-Nick
A tree shall be known by its fruit and I am not just talking about Dumbledore here.
Dumbledore didn't fall too far from that tree.
 

TheTrisagion

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Eastern Mind said:
According to the books, Squibs are those born in magical families but have no magic. So, the job given to Squibs is to deny magic exists, even speak out against it, so Muggles won't start to believe in it.

Which meeeeeeeaaannnns

Everyone who hates Harry Potter is a Squib!

#genius
I don't know what any of that means.
 

biro

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newtoorthodoxy said:
Wow.  Someone says 'Harry Potter' on a Christian website, and bam, 18 pages later....

It's never been more to me than just a very fun story.  Love all the HP books.  However, I've also not lost my hold on reality.  I can read stories about wizards without compromising my Christian beliefs or running around the woods thinking I can turn trees into bunnies by waving a stick in the air.  If someone's come unglued, they don't need Harry Potter to help them out onto the ledge.  I can separate fantasy fiction from reality and from the church.  I wrote a fantasy book for middle graders, and it's got gargoyles and a banshee in it--both legitimate devices in any fantasy story.  Harry Potter is just a very fun story.  It only becomes dangerous when you think it's real, and magic isn't real.
Wow, you wrote a book? Cool!
 

admiralnick

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orthonorm said:
admiralnick said:
How could a novel based on Love, a strong foundation of Christianity be considered the work of the devil?

-Nick
A tree shall be known by its fruit and I am not just talking about Dumbledore here.
That was brilliant..... How long did it take you to think up that one?

-Nick
 

Shanghaiski

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orthonorm said:
Something that fans of both witchcraft and Harry Potter have in common that will make Christians happy: virginity.
You haven't been to the naked rites in the forest lately.
 

biro

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Shanghaiski said:
orthonorm said:
Something that fans of both witchcraft and Harry Potter have in common that will make Christians happy: virginity.
You haven't been to the naked rites in the forest lately.
I haven't ever.  :eek:
 

orthonorm

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admiralnick said:
orthonorm said:
admiralnick said:
How could a novel based on Love, a strong foundation of Christianity be considered the work of the devil?

-Nick
A tree shall be known by its fruit and I am not just talking about Dumbledore here.
That was brilliant..... How long did it take you to think up that one?

-Nick
Less time I am afraid than it took for that bio of yours.
 

admiralnick

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orthonorm said:
admiralnick said:
orthonorm said:
admiralnick said:
How could a novel based on Love, a strong foundation of Christianity be considered the work of the devil?

-Nick
A tree shall be known by its fruit and I am not just talking about Dumbledore here.
That was brilliant..... How long did it take you to think up that one?

-Nick
Less time I am afraid than it took for that bio of yours.
Well aren't you just a model of efficiency.

-Nick
 

theistgal

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Something else to keep in mind is that AFAIK there's no law that says every children's book has to be written from a Christian perspective in order to be enjoyable and/or educational.
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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theistgal said:
Something else to keep in mind is that AFAIK there's no law that says every children's book has to be written from a Christian perspective in order to be enjoyable and/or educational.
Well, I certainly agree with that. But I am wary of children's books that are written from an overtly pagan perspective. For example, I remember Judy Blume books circulating in my elementary school when I was a kid. Horrible stuff, very sexually explicit. But these books were read by all of us. I wasn't raised in a Christian home, so I had no spiritual foundation to guard me against such evil influences. Those books sowed poison into my soul, and that's one of the reasons why I am so vigilant about wanting to protect children from literature and entertainment that may be detrimental to their souls.


Selam
 

Eastern Mind

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biro said:
Shanghaiski said:
orthonorm said:
Something that fans of both witchcraft and Harry Potter have in common that will make Christians happy: virginity.
You haven't been to the naked rites in the forest lately.
I haven't ever.  :eek:
Not much fun when poison ivy is in season...
 

Arachne

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Eastern Mind said:
biro said:
Shanghaiski said:
orthonorm said:
Something that fans of both witchcraft and Harry Potter have in common that will make Christians happy: virginity.
You haven't been to the naked rites in the forest lately.
I haven't ever.  :eek:
Not much fun when poison ivy is in season...
Or when the Whomping Willow is on a roll. :p
 

Eastern Mind

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Arachne said:
Eastern Mind said:
biro said:
Shanghaiski said:
orthonorm said:
Something that fans of both witchcraft and Harry Potter have in common that will make Christians happy: virginity.
You haven't been to the naked rites in the forest lately.
I haven't ever.  :eek:
Not much fun when poison ivy is in season...
Or when the Whomping Willow is on a roll. :p
:laugh: Such a misunderstood tree
 

Arachne

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Eastern Mind said:
Arachne said:
Eastern Mind said:
biro said:
Shanghaiski said:
orthonorm said:
Something that fans of both witchcraft and Harry Potter have in common that will make Christians happy: virginity.
You haven't been to the naked rites in the forest lately.
I haven't ever.  :eek:
Not much fun when poison ivy is in season...
Or when the Whomping Willow is on a roll. :p
:laugh: Such a misunderstood tree
What did you expect, being left with nothing but Aragog and his cronies? :angel:
 
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I read the first few pages of this topic and quickly became bored, so I may address points that have already been addressed and such. I have no authority to say the books are or aren't evil. This is just my own personal opinion.

(spoiler alert if you haven't read all 7 books and/or seen the movies)

I was born and raised Orthodox. My mom read the HP books when I started asking about them, then deemed them harmless and allowed me to read them. They were actually the books I learned how to read with. If you can present to me real evidence of bad themes in the book and say it's evil, then I will accept that. However, I find overwhelming evidence that the books actually have harmless, if not good, messages in them.

Harry's parents died, killed by Voldemort (the main villain), when he was a baby. They were trying to protect him. His mother's sacrifice for his life protected Harry from Voldemort until he became of adult age, because her love for him was so powerful.

In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which is the fifth book, Harry feels angry and misunderstood by his peers, so he isolates himself from them. As he begins to isolate himself, Voldemort's hold over him grows stronger, and he begins to feel even more angry and misunderstood. He approaches his godfather, a man by the name of Sirius, and asks Sirius if his anger makes him an evil person. Sirius says "Harry, the world isn't split into good people and Death Eaters. We all have light and dark inside of us, what matters is the part you choose to act on." (The Death Eaters are Voldemort's followers.)

Also in HP and the Order of the Phoenix, there's a scene where Voldemort tries to 'possess' Harry. He makes Harry think of all the awful and horrible things in his life, all of the deaths and the misery. Harry is about to give in and let Voldemort win the battle when his friends enter the room. Upon seeing them, Harry remembers his parents, all of the great times he's had with his friends, his father figures in his life and his love for all of those people. He tells Voldemort, "You're the weak one. You'll never know love, or friendship, and I feel sorry for you." The love is painful for Voldemort to come into contact with, so he recoils and leaves Harry's body.

JK Rowling also mentions many times over an afterlife. Harry was approaching his death, about to sacrifice himself for his peers so that no one else would have to die, and he saw the ghosts of his parents, his godfather, and another strong father figure in his life. They told him they had been watching him all along and not to be afraid of dying. 

Voldemort, to protect himself, has split his soul into seven pieces (by killing people) and placed them into objects that are nearly invincible. As long as those objects exist, Voldemort cannot die. Harry and his best friends, Ron and Hermione, set out to destroy the objects so that they can defeat Voldemort. The objects don't go down without a fight: they play on the weaknesses of the person trying to destroy them, making them see visions or trying to make them doubt themselves, trying to make them turn on their friends, trying to plant seeds of doubt. Each of the times that they come across a piece, Voldemort's soul tries something different to stop them, and by various different means the trio of heroes overcomes the temptations. JKR stresses the importance of keeping the soul whole and intact, and that evil is necessary to break your soul apart.

There are also creatures in the series called "dementors". Dementors live by sucking out the souls of people, which they do by feeding off of the bad things in their life until that's all the person can think about. The way to defend yourself against a dementor is basically to think about your happiest memory. The more powerful your memory is, the more powerful your defense will be. The memory Harry chooses is a very vague memory of his parents speaking to him when he was an infant--because of the love his parents had for him and how happy having a memory of his parents made him, his defense against the dementors was the strongest of any other character in the book.

There are many more examples I could give, but these are the first to come to mind.

Love and friendship conquer all. This is the constant theme of the books and it proves itself time and time again in many situations against many foes with many motivations.


On the other hand, the 'witchcraft' in the book is fantasy magic. Turning the tip of a wand into a flashlight, making objects hover, making pictures move. I have known two Wiccans in my lifetime, and the magic they practice is extremely different.

As a young child, I read the books and mainly dismissed the magic. "Oh, a light on the tip of a wand, that's sort of neat, I guess." And on the flip side--"Wow. 'We all have good and bad inside us, what matters is what we act on'--that's a really, really good quote!"


Also, I am very curious about the statistics mentioned and how the person who did the study decided upon them. What questions were asked? "Are you a Wiccan?" and "Have you read Harry Potter?" That's an unfair study to make, because they could have read Harry Potter after they became interested in witchcraft. Besides, more people have read the books than not, so there could be absolutely no correlation between the HP books and the witchcraft.

Youtube is also an incredibly unreliable source for this kind of thing, because you have basically have no clue who's posting it or what their beliefs are. When it comes to religious questions, I would much rather refer to an Orthodox website than leave myself vulnerable to the opinions of someone who could have a huge agenda I don't know about.

Now, if you have actual examples of evil events or quotes in the book (other than that which is obviously evil and comes to be triumphed against, such as Voldemort), feel free to use those as evidence.
 

Nikolaos Greek

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But HP an lead you to real magic...
And why to enjoy seeing magic while it is evil even if fantasy?
Yeah may love be the main theme.Love may be the main theme also in something else bad like an incest story...
 

Eastern Mind

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Arachne said:
Eastern Mind said:
Arachne said:
Eastern Mind said:
biro said:
Shanghaiski said:
orthonorm said:
Something that fans of both witchcraft and Harry Potter have in common that will make Christians happy: virginity.
You haven't been to the naked rites in the forest lately.
I haven't ever.  :eek:
Not much fun when poison ivy is in season...
Or when the Whomping Willow is on a roll. :p
:laugh: Such a misunderstood tree
What did you expect, being left with nothing but Aragog and his cronies? :angel:
Aragog was also misunderstood. He was just hungry. Yeesh.
 

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Nikolaos Greek said:
But HP can lead you to real magic...
And why to enjoy seeing magic while it is evil even if fantasy?
Yeah may love be the main theme.Love may be the main theme also in something else bad like an incest story...
Anything can lead one to practice magic if the will and the desire are there; Homer, Vergil and Dante might lead one to practice magic.  I have never known anyone who was persuaded to take up magic as a result of reading HP.  You will have to read HP sufficiently to decide that the magic of HP is the same as the magic of the deluded.  As for your final comment, I would not know.


 

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Nikolaos Greek said:
But HP an lead you to real magic...
And why to enjoy seeing magic while it is evil even if fantasy?
Now I have had a thought that might help everyone.  We can use Toulmin's argumentation scheme to sort things out.  I am going to cut some corners, but even a rough approximation to Toulmin will help us enormously.  
According to Toulmin, the first step of making an argument is to stake a claim.  
The second is to provide evidence for the claim.  
The third is to provide a warrant for the evidence.  A warrant is generally a principle or rule that makes the evidence relevant.
The fourth is to provide backing for the warrant.  Backing tends to take the form of institutionally-approved sources of warrants.  
E.g., it is time to go out to eat.  Jack wants to go out for seafood, Jill wants Mexican.  Jill says, “Let’s go to the Mexican restaurant” (CLAIM).  Jack asks why she should pick.  Jill says, “You picked last time” (EVIDENCE).  Jack rather densely asks what difference that makes.  Jill says, “We’re supposed to take turns” (WARRANT).  [If Jill had wanted to be more exact, she might have said, "Equals take turns making decisions."]  Jack wonders why that matters.  Jill retorts, “That’s how we have always done it” (BACKING).  Jill needn't have chosen the backing she did.  She might have retorted, "That's what Aristotle says."  If she could lay her hands on some relevant research, she might have said, "Dr. Whitejacket of Pinkleton University proved that couples who take turns making decisions tend to be happier."  

If you and I stated our arguments like this, things would I think become more clear to everyone.  I'll start.

CLAIM.  The magic of HP is unobjectionable.
EVIDENCE.  Magical ability is a matter of genes in HP, so no SANE person reading HP can have the means of performing it.
WARRANT.  The kind of magic in stories that would be objectionable would provide readers with the hope of performing it.
BACKING does not seem to be necessary here.  Putatively some arguments would use church canons, the Bible etc. for backing.  E.g., I recall a piece of ps.-Chrysostom which mentioned myth-tellers as effectively damnable.  That seems harsh.

If you want to rebut my argument, you have some clearly defined options.  
(1)  You can show that the warrant is false.  E.g., you might want to say that all magic of any kind is evil.  I would challenge that, of course.  
(2)  You might try to prove that the evidence is bogus.  In that case you would have to show that magic in HP is performed with the assistance of demons, that it is not genetically founded, that HP shows exactly how to do magic etc.
Should you decline to rebut my argument, the burden of the argument remains on your shoulders and I skip around merrily with wreath of something in my hair--olive, I think.

For your part, you would have to construct your own case marking CLAIM, EVIDENCE and WARRANT, which would provide me with a clear map to how to devastate your argument.  

I really think all arguments ought to be conducted along these lines.  It would make everything much clearer.  We could always tell who was shirking, who was off-trail, etc.  It would also make everyone more thoughtful about their opinions.  
 

Nikolaos Greek

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Uh,oh you want computer logic?
Well:
Things are split into bad,neutral,good.
Reading books does not fall into one category but depends according to what the book writes about.
So reading books about religion is good.
Reading books with main theme something that is evil like magic, demons(as the main theme) is evil.
Other books can be neutral, they are neither sin nor aid in your spiritual life.
I think that's an argument. My arguments have different construction...
Why it is evil? Your soul darkens. Even if we don't get it soul doesn't like things that are against Christ.
Okay HP shows good wizard. Then if I an assasin is the protagonist and he is shown as the good side then it is good?
 

mike

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There are dozens of religious books that are bad, even the "Orthodox" ones.
 

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Nikolaos Greek said:
Uh,oh you want computer logic?
No.  What I have presented to you is called informal logic.  The value of informal logic is that it makes arguments transparent.  I have told you just where to smite my argument.  If reason is on your side, you will find no difficulty in doing so.  If you refuse to do so, the discussion is over.  At this point, your best bet is to concede that you cannot rebut my argument and propose that we move on to a second topic.  The points you have made deserve thought, so it would be interesting to discuss them, but first you need to close the first case up.
 

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There are several articles about Harry Potter on Marcia Montenegro's website.
http://christiananswersforthenewage.org/Articles.html

A book by Richard Abanes:
http://www.amazon.com/Harry-Potter-Bible-Menace-Behind/dp/0889652015/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1387759003&sr=8-5&keywords=richard+abanes

A book by Michael O'Brien:
http://www.amazon.com/Potter-Paganization-Culture-Michael-OBrien/dp/8362207019/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387759118&sr=8-1&keywords=harry+potter+and+the+paganization+of+culture

An overview of Harry Potter:
http://christiananswersforthenewage.org/Articles_HarryPotter.html

Montenegro has an article on each Harry Potter book (except book 6, which she wrote about briefly in her article on book 7) and an article on each Harry Potter movie. Go to this page and look under Book Evaluations for the articles on the books and under Movie Evaluations for the movie articles:
http://christiananswersforthenewage.org/Articles.html

Another piece of important information. Llewellyn publishers supply more books in America on the Occult, than any other publisher. Their sales have increased since Harry Potter was published.

Potter is nothing other than subtle initiation into the realm of the Occult.
 

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It amazes me how people professing Orthodoxy could defend the demonic Harry Potter, but have no tolerance for Elder Ephraim, who encourages people to be pious and good Orthodox Christians.
 

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I haven't decided whether to give HP a shot yet. I'm collating my books-to-buy list for 2014 at the moment, so I guess I'd better decide soon.  8)
 

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Why buy? The complete set is in every library, and I put down money you'll find it in both the kiddie and the grown-up areas.
 

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Very true. :)  I'll have to get one this week and read 50-75 pages or so, just to get an idea, so I know whether to plan on reading them all. (I try to plan out my reading schedule... which I never end up following through with, but I do enjoy making the schedules regardless)
 

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Keep in mind that the series can be uneven. The first three are short and brisk (and brilliant), and then GoF balloons to over twice their length. One reason later volumes are longer is because they address older children with longer attention spans, but still they could have done with a bit more trimming by the editor.
 

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Incognito777 said:
It amazes me how people professing Orthodoxy could defend the demonic Harry Potter, but have no tolerance for Elder Ephraim, who encourages people to be pious and good Orthodox Christians.
Be amazed! Be very amazed!
 

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Arachne said:
Keep in mind that the series can be uneven. The first three are short and brisk (and brilliant), and then GoF balloons to over twice their length. One reason later volumes are longer is because they address older children with longer attention spans, but still they could have done with a bit more trimming by the editor.
For me odd are good, even are bad.
 

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Michał Kalina said:
Arachne said:
Keep in mind that the series can be uneven. The first three are short and brisk (and brilliant), and then GoF balloons to over twice their length. One reason later volumes are longer is because they address older children with longer attention spans, but still they could have done with a bit more trimming by the editor.
For me odd are good, even are bad.
Yup. 2 is the only even number that's also a prime number. All other prime numbers are odd.
 
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