Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Is Harry Potter merely entertainment?
BP News ^ | 6-3-04 | Phil Boatwright

Posted on 06/03/2004 9:38:49 AM PDT by BobbyBeeper

FIRST-PERSON: Is Harry Potter merely entertainment? Jun 2, 2004 By Phil Boatwright

"Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" Photo courtesy of harrypotter.com

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (BP)--"I love Harry Potter. I think it would be so cool to be a witch," Sharon, age 11, says.

That's my answer to anyone who says J.K. Rowling's adventure series is harmless fantasy.

While the Harry Potter book and film series has held a hypnotic fascination for youngsters, its thematic foundation is troubling. Arguably, perceptive children can view such material without succumbing to the snare of the occult, but it would be naive to think that movies and TV programs containing witchcraft are not aiding the rise of Wicca in our culture.

In a television special titled "Hollywood Spirituality" which aired several years back on E! Entertainment, Raven Mounauni, a professing witch and owner of an occult paraphernalia store, credited the 1996 movie "The Craft" with inspiring young women to explore the world of witches. "I get a lot of teenage girls in here. You can always tell when 'The Craft' has been on TV, 'cause we get a big influx of girls looking for supplies."

Occult practices shouldn't be considered just diverting amusement. Ouija boards, psychic readers and other forms of misleading supernatural entertainment should not be taken lightly. In Leviticus 19:26 we are instructed, "Do not practice divination or sorcery." There are several warnings in the Scriptures, both Old and New Testament, making it clear that we are to avoid witchcraft or anything associated with the occult. So if God is instructing us to avoid occult practices, how can we justify using it to entertain ourselves?

This may not be a popular view right now. The first Harry Potter film installment earned $969 million worldwide. J.K. Rowlings' five books on the young wizard have become a phenomenon, allowing the author to become the richest woman in England, with assets beyond $1 billion. That would indicate that many parents find nothing wrong with these children's adventures.

There are even a couple of books out right now exclaiming parallels between the Potter books and the Gospel. One author suggests the books help relate Christian themes and truths, opening the door for talking about things such as right and wrong, the nature of faith, loyalty, bravery and trust. Honestly, I think that's a bit thin. Yes, Rowlings’ themes deal with honor, friendship and self-sacrifice, but the kids in Harry Potter gravitate to sorcery in order to accomplish these attributes. And even if there are positive elements associated with the series, you simply can't ignore the witchcraft equation.

Members of Wicca teach a philosophy that embraces no absolute truth or sin and replaces the patriarchal male creator God of the Bible with a belief in both male and female gods. Its credo instructs members to embrace spirits and conjure spells in order to control their lives and the lives of others. There are millions of practicing witches worldwide. Indeed, Wicca has become one of the fastest-growing religions in the world today.

OK, it's good that children are reading. But what is it they're reading? Shouldn't that be considered? When an author makes $1 billion on five books that have sorcery as a main theme, and renowned secular critics hail the films as incredible filmmaking without examining their occult roots, I question what's really behind this phenom.

Is it merely entertainment? Or is there a dark spiritual source feeding and supporting it? I realize that may sound like a stretch, but often Satan is most deceiving with a glossed-over package. Wouldn't it be a shame if kids got pulled into witchcraft, while their folks thought of the books and films as merely children's fantasy? --30-- Phil Boatwright is a film reviewer and editor of The Movie Reporter, on the Web at www.moviereporter.com. (BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKAB


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: backtodu; bennyhinn; devilmademedoit; harrypotter; muchadoaboutnothing; potterreligion; theriseoflegalism
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-200 ... 851-894 next last

1 posted on 06/03/2004 9:38:51 AM PDT by BobbyBeeper
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: BobbyBeeper

I'm sorry... I am about as religious as they come and still not in a convent, but I just don't buy that the Harry Potter concerns are any worse than wishing I was the good witch Windy of the Wizard of Oz when I was a little girl. You have to balance these sort of fantasies with good sound foundational training and they are as innocent as believing in Santa Claus.


2 posted on 06/03/2004 9:41:43 AM PDT by Integrityrocks
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BobbyBeeper

The problem isn't so much that there are these popular books on witchcraft; such books have been around a long time. The problem is that children today are morally and spiritually vacuous. Thus witchcraft is filling a void in their lives which should have already been taken.


3 posted on 06/03/2004 9:44:37 AM PDT by SpyGuy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Integrityrocks

I agree. Every generation has their you-are-going-straight-to-hell-for-doing-this controversy. It was Dungeons and Dragons when I was growing up.


4 posted on 06/03/2004 9:45:26 AM PDT by jtminton (Ever notice that Al Qaeda, Al Jazeera, and Al Gore all have the same first name?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: BobbyBeeper

This is just the stupidest issue in the world. When I was a kid I wished my mother could twitch her nose like Samantha on Bewitched...35 years later and I still haven't joined a coven. People who fear Harry Potter need to grow up.


5 posted on 06/03/2004 9:48:16 AM PDT by pgkdan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BobbyBeeper

"This may not be a popular view right now."

Major understatement!!!! Let's all be afraid, very afraid of fictional stories and characters.


6 posted on 06/03/2004 9:48:36 AM PDT by familyofman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jtminton

But Dungeons & Dragons is truly very evil. ;)

http://www.cybermoonstudios.com/8bitDandD.html


7 posted on 06/03/2004 9:49:33 AM PDT by DreadCthulhu
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: BobbyBeeper
Yawn.

I can't believe how long it's taken this time around for the "outrage" over Harry potter to resurface. One day before the U.S. release? The paranoid crowd is getting slow...

It's fiction. Pure and simple. Need I remind anyone (again) that the well known Christian apologists C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkein both had "good" charcters who use magic in their fantasy series?

8 posted on 06/03/2004 9:50:46 AM PDT by kevkrom (The John Kerry Songbook: www.imakrom.com/kerrysongs)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BobbyBeeper
This issue gets brought up with the apearance of every new Harry Potter book or movie.

Don't you loonies ever learn?

So9

9 posted on 06/03/2004 9:51:12 AM PDT by Servant of the 9 (Screwing the Inscrutable or is it Scruting the Inscrewable?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Integrityrocks

I could not agree more! I have read all of the books and seen both movies. There is nothing "instructional' about them. In fact, what I take away from them is: the battle between good and evil, the trust of loyalty of friends and the value of courage"good" people and "evil" people. JK Rowling is not afraid to say out loud that we are up against a great deal of evil in this world and we can fight it.


10 posted on 06/03/2004 9:51:40 AM PDT by luv2ski
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Integrityrocks

"I'm sorry... I am about as religious as they come and still not in a convent, but I just don't buy that the Harry Potter concerns are any worse than wishing I was the good witch Windy of the Wizard of Oz when I was a little girl. You have to balance these sort of fantasies with good sound foundational training and they are as innocent as believing in Santa Claus."

You can be religious and not be discerning. When I grew up, I thought things like ouija boards and tarot cards were just innocnet fun and no worse than believeing in Santa Claus.


11 posted on 06/03/2004 9:51:53 AM PDT by BobbyBeeper
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: BobbyBeeper
"I love Harry Potter. I think it would be so cool to be a witch," Sharon, age 11, says. That's my answer to anyone who says J.K. Rowling's adventure series is harmless fantasy.

Then you would prove them right, because witches aren’t real. It's just something weird lesbians pretend to be.

12 posted on 06/03/2004 9:51:53 AM PDT by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BobbyBeeper

When I was little, I thought it would be cool if I could turn from a car to a robot. I guess I watched too much Transformers. The desire didn't seem to have any longterm negative consequences, and I'm confident the little girl in this story will turn out fine as well.


13 posted on 06/03/2004 9:52:19 AM PDT by LanPB01
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BobbyBeeper

These movies may encourage an interest in the occult, just as a war movie could encourage an interest in history.

I've done some research in the occult, and have determined that it is a total crock. Wicca is just a bunch of smelly hippies looking for a reason to worship trees.

Any kid with an IQ above room temperature will soon realize that spells do not work and that the occult is just a huge con game. Then (like a lot of people) will just forget about it and go on with their lives.


14 posted on 06/03/2004 9:52:22 AM PDT by exile (Exile - Helen Thomas tried to lure me into her Gingerbread House.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BobbyBeeper

Isn't that quote from an Onion article. And anybody that credits "The Craft" with anything but being atrociously dull is simply not all there.


15 posted on 06/03/2004 9:52:25 AM PDT by discostu (Brick urgently required, must be thick and well kept)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SpyGuy
Thus witchcraft is filling a void in their lives which should have already been taken.

This hits it on the head; spiritual people have have no fear of Harry, it's only those who's own "religion" has no strong spiritual base (and you can read into that what you will) that need fear Harry. After all, there really is no "there" there in "Wicca," either. Besides, I'm in love with Herimoine and there's nothing you can do about my love for a beautiful witch!

16 posted on 06/03/2004 9:52:49 AM PDT by Ace's Dad ("There are more important things: Friendship, Bravery...")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Servant of the 9; StoneColdGOP
It has been wayyyyyyy too long since the last "Harry Potter will turn your kid into a satan-worshipper" thread.

Movie opens tomorrow! And I for one cannot wait.

17 posted on 06/03/2004 9:53:21 AM PDT by Bella_Bru (It's for the children = It takes a village)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: BobbyBeeper

I love Harry potter. I stated reading the books because my ex-hubby is a freak and didn't want our daughter to read them.
We are both groupies now (daughter and me)! I rub it in every chance I get too. LOL

I heard that C. S. Lewis "The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe" will be a movie soon. I can't wait.


18 posted on 06/03/2004 9:53:33 AM PDT by GottaLuvAkitas1 (Bush plays CHESS not checkers)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Integrityrocks

I also instill in my kids that although this merely fantasy, REAL witchcraft is a Satanic cult. If they want to learn "magic", I'll buy them some trick cards.


19 posted on 06/03/2004 9:54:13 AM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn't be, in its eyes, a slave.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: BobbyBeeper

"Today I met a gentle-man who told me that upon reading the popular novel 'Moby Dick' he decided to board a whaling vessel and take to the sea, forsaking his beloved in New England and throwing his hope to the god of the oceans, away from our beloved Lord. May the accursed Melville answer to the higher power for his wicked tale of the white whale, which has caused many a right-thinking man to drift oft from our sacred shores in a craft hewn of dispair and discouragement. Ahab is but a hollow cast for the dark lord Satan, and represents not the hallowed balm of our Lord in Heaven. I urge all good people of Christian faith to burn this evil book forthwith."

/this guy's great-grandfather in 1870


20 posted on 06/03/2004 9:54:45 AM PDT by johnfrink
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: pgkdan

For me, it was Barbara Eden on I Dream of Jeannie...


21 posted on 06/03/2004 9:54:50 AM PDT by Frank_Discussion (May the wings of Liberty never lose a feather!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: BobbyBeeper
he kids in Harry Potter gravitate to sorcery in order to accomplish these attributes

Actually, they generally resort to good old fashioned bravery and resourcefulness. Relying on a magic spell to save the day would ruin the narrative structure by some kind of deus ex machina.

22 posted on 06/03/2004 9:56:03 AM PDT by kevkrom (The John Kerry Songbook: www.imakrom.com/kerrysongs)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Integrityrocks
I'm sorry... I am about as religious as they come and still not in a convent, but I just don't buy that the Harry Potter concerns are any worse than wishing I was the good witch Windy of the Wizard of Oz when I was a little girl.

I always blamed the TV show 'Bewitched' as responsible for the downfall of society....Elizabeth Montgomery twikling her nose was just pure evil.

23 posted on 06/03/2004 9:56:36 AM PDT by Always Right
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Bella_Bru

What this thread needs is that "aww, not this SH&$ again" pic...


24 posted on 06/03/2004 9:57:27 AM PDT by flashbunny (Taxes are not levied for the benefit of the taxed.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Blood of Tyrants

"If they want to learn "magic", I'll buy them some trick cards."

You know, witchcraft is pure superstitious garbage, but I don't know if I'd let my kids practice stage magic, either. I wouldn't want them to end up like Seigfried & Roy ;)


25 posted on 06/03/2004 9:57:52 AM PDT by exile (Exile - Helen Thomas tried to lure me into her Gingerbread House.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: BobbyBeeper

"You can be religious and not be discerning." Absolutely. As a matter of fact, that street runs both ways, and you should consider that.


26 posted on 06/03/2004 9:58:36 AM PDT by Frank_Discussion (May the wings of Liberty never lose a feather!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: exile
I don't know if I'd let my kids practice stage magic, either. I wouldn't want them to end up like Seigfried & Roy

Or worse... if they get used to misdirection and hand-waving they could become politicians -- or even journalists!

27 posted on 06/03/2004 9:59:05 AM PDT by kevkrom (The John Kerry Songbook: www.imakrom.com/kerrysongs)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Bella_Bru
Movie opens tomorrow! And I for one cannot wait.

I wish it was one more week - I took tomorrow off to do a whole bunch of errands, and the temptation to play hooky and go see it is awfully strong. I'm looking forward to the movie much more than the next book - the last one needed some serious editing, and it seems that everyone's afraid to edit her now - too important.

28 posted on 06/03/2004 10:00:26 AM PDT by nina0113
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: BobbyBeeper

The Potter books and movies are no threat to anyone. I watched the movies out of curiosity and found them to be entertaining but nothing more. There is no attack on christianity or overt promotion of the occult in the stories.

The Star wars movies have more religious content that the Potter series. Much ado about nothing.


29 posted on 06/03/2004 10:00:26 AM PDT by cripplecreek (you tell em i'm commin.... and hells commin with me.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: johnfrink
I urge all good people of Christian faith to burn this evil book forthwith."

Actually, right on the money about Moby Dick -- read it sometime checking the use of Bible quotes and references. I like Harry Potter, though -- much less anti-Christian.

30 posted on 06/03/2004 10:01:10 AM PDT by maryz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: BobbyBeeper
The movies are pretty vacuous, but the books have a lot of interesting subthemes. I've read each of the HP books as they've come out (after my daughter of course), and have found them to be great opportunities to discuss a number of things brought up in the books, like racism and other less virulent forms of prejudice, justice, destiny, free will and other concepts. The world of Harry Potter is not a perfect place. It has many of the same kinds of evils that exist in the real world, but, being a fictional place, is much easier to discuss with a youngster.

Overall, I like the books. I think many of the people who criticise it are reacting emotionally to the topic without having taken the time to really look into it.

31 posted on 06/03/2004 10:02:01 AM PDT by zeugma (The Great Experiment is over.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: flashbunny

No kidding!


32 posted on 06/03/2004 10:02:22 AM PDT by Bella_Bru (It's for the children = It takes a village)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: BobbyBeeper

More nutso Christian paranoia about Harry Potter.


33 posted on 06/03/2004 10:02:28 AM PDT by jaime1959
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BobbyBeeper
It'd be so cool be be Buck Rogers.

It'd be so cool to be Tarzan.

It'd be so cool to be Foghorn Leghorn.

Get over it... Potter has as much to do with modern paganism as Liberals do with small government.

34 posted on 06/03/2004 10:03:28 AM PDT by Dead Corpse (For an Evil Super Genius, you aren't too bright are you?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BobbyBeeper
"I love Harry Potter. I think it would be so cool to be a witch," Sharon, age 11, says.

That's my answer to anyone who says J.K. Rowling's adventure series is harmless fantasy.


I'd like to be a fakir - you know, those Indian dudes who climb the ropes and such. It would be so cool.

However, like as I might, I AM NOT A FAKIR AND WILL NEVER BE ONE.

Sharon, age 11, is not a witch and will never be one. No matter how many times she brandishes her magic wand, "Expecto Patronus" will never work for her.

Sometimes people are just plain stupid.
35 posted on 06/03/2004 10:04:11 AM PDT by Xenalyte (Lord, I apologize . . . and be with the starving pygmies in New Guinea amen.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Integrityrocks
I am about as religious as they come and still not in a convent, but I just don't buy that the Harry Potter concerns are any worse than wishing I was the good witch Windy of the Wizard of Oz when I was a little girl.

Begone, demon! I cast thee out!
36 posted on 06/03/2004 10:04:54 AM PDT by Xenalyte (Lord, I apologize . . . and be with the starving pygmies in New Guinea amen.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Dead Corpse

"It'd be so cool to be Foghorn Leghorn."

I say, I say, LOL, boy!


37 posted on 06/03/2004 10:05:01 AM PDT by Frank_Discussion (May the wings of Liberty never lose a feather!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: kevkrom
It's fiction. Pure and simple.

It's a little more than fiction -- I think if you look at them critically, you can see that Rowling may be engaged in some religious allegory.

Note, for example, that the HP books have pretty much the same moral message as LOTR and the Narnia books. Indeed, Rowling has adopted many aspects of those universes. For example, many of the HP magical creatures are characters in Lewis's Narnia. The Dumbledore/Gandalf connection is likewise obvious. And of course, we could paint the kids as either Lewis's Pevensie children, or Tolkein's Hobbits....

The symbolism of the houses is suggestive, too -- Slytherin, home of the dark side, is represented by a serpent. Can't think where else the dark side is shown as such... ;-) Gryffindor is symbolized by a lion. (Aslan, anyone?) The Raven (Ravenclaw's symbol) has some interesting and suggestive Christian meanings, and the Badger (Hufflepuff) is likewise suggestive.

38 posted on 06/03/2004 10:05:07 AM PDT by r9etb
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: cripplecreek
The Star wars movies have more religious content that the Potter series.

Yeah, and I tried for years to make that "Force" thing work. I just stopped short of drawing pentagrams on the walls and sacrificing goats in my room though...whew!

39 posted on 06/03/2004 10:05:07 AM PDT by Wyatt's Torch
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: nina0113

Oh, I already took tomorrow off. I put in for that months ago. :-)


40 posted on 06/03/2004 10:05:26 AM PDT by Bella_Bru (It's for the children = It takes a village)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: BobbyBeeper

Harry Potter turned me into a newt once.

I got better.


41 posted on 06/03/2004 10:05:33 AM PDT by Corin Stormhands (Do your patriotic duty: Slap a Lie'bral today!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: kevkrom
Need I remind anyone (again) that the well known Christian apologists C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkein both had "good" charcters who use magic in their fantasy series?

You are clearly nothing more than a pagan apologist. I banish thee!
42 posted on 06/03/2004 10:05:42 AM PDT by Xenalyte (Lord, I apologize . . . and be with the starving pygmies in New Guinea amen.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: BobbyBeeper; Corin Stormhands; JenB

None of the spells in Harry Potter actually ~work~ you know. It ain't ~real~.


43 posted on 06/03/2004 10:05:46 AM PDT by HairOfTheDog (The Democratic Party has jumped the shark.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: exile
And Buddhism is just a bunch of people talking about some fat bald guy.

Judeism is some faceless sky spirit.

Christians worship some guy that got nailed to a stick.

And?

44 posted on 06/03/2004 10:06:03 AM PDT by Dead Corpse (For an Evil Super Genius, you aren't too bright are you?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Xenalyte
I have been trying "Lumos" for a few years now and no luck. I still gotta get up and put the damn light on myself.

*Sigh*

45 posted on 06/03/2004 10:07:22 AM PDT by Bella_Bru (It's for the children = It takes a village)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: Xenalyte
"Begone, demon! I cast thee out!"

Let us know what you reel back in, ya never know when ya use fresh demon...

non-sequitur fishing reference bump!
46 posted on 06/03/2004 10:07:30 AM PDT by Frank_Discussion (May the wings of Liberty never lose a feather!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: exile
Any kid with an IQ above room temperature will soon realize that spells do not work and that the occult is just a huge con game.

See, that's the thing. Children today have ever-shorter attention spans. Give them five or six unsuccessful shots at an "Expelliarmus!" and they will eventually wander back to whatever Harry drew their attention from.
47 posted on 06/03/2004 10:07:56 AM PDT by Xenalyte (Lord, I apologize . . . and be with the starving pygmies in New Guinea amen.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: jaime1959
More nutso Christian paranoia about Harry Potter.

More nutso Potter worship from the Potter geeks.

48 posted on 06/03/2004 10:08:07 AM PDT by AppyPappy (If You're Not A Part Of The Solution, There's Good Money To Be Made In Prolonging The Problem.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: familyofman
If you're concerned, just look at Harry Potter as God's test for kids like He tested Moses in the desert. Some will pass and some will fail. You couldn't have saved those that failed any more than you needed to save those that passed.

49 posted on 06/03/2004 10:08:35 AM PDT by William Terrell (Individuals can exist without government but government can't exist without individuals.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: BobbyBeeper

Nonsense ping


50 posted on 06/03/2004 10:09:20 AM PDT by muleskinner
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-200 ... 851-894 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson