I have always been uncomfortable with the more occultic elements of HP. The stories themselves are very entertaining and compelling, which is what attracts both children and adults alike. However, I agree with those who say that the stories have grown increasingly dark.
Many people also disagree with me, so I can relate to the poster above. One of my managers at the office where I work is also a Minister, who pastors a small church and preaches every Sunday. We speak often, and one day I described to him the closing scene of the most recent HP movie, where Harry is transported from the maze he has been competing in, to a location where Voldmort is waiting. Voldmort then procedes to perform a spell, using HP's blood as a part of the spell, which returns him from his vaporous state to his former corporal body.
When I described the details of the spell, as protrayed in the movie, the person I was speaking with was amazed. He had dealt with satanic cults when he was younger, he said, and he claimed that the spell I described from the movie is identical to a REAL, and very nasty, spell that satanists use.
I don't know for sure if this is true, as I have never hung out with satanic cultists before. However, if true, it begs the question - why the accuracy?? Rowling has said in several interviews that the magic in her HP novels is not "real", that everything is "made up". Then why the surprising "accuracy" in the portrayal of one of the darkest spells shown in the movie (and books) to date??
In addition, at one time I was myself was doing some googling on HP, and came across a wicca site that was set up by people who practice witchcraft, and were using the site as a discussion formum. These wiccans were discussing the HP novels in general, and they were very complimentary of Rowling. They said that she "got her magic right", and that it was all very "accurate".
So, I am not sure what to make of Rowling's claim that she simply "makes up" the maic in her novels. As a result, I think the Father Amorth makes some valid points. For all of these reasons, I maintain that these novels are not for children, and I would not let my kids read them.
I love the HP Books, especially in light of how (IMHO) the events reflect the terror, and evil in the world-both past and present.
The evil, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named rises to power on a platform of racial purity..those not of pure blood must be eliminated.
In Order of the Phoenix, when confronted with the growing menace of evil, murder, and terror, the students are told that non-retaliation and negotiation are the better option by a Government mandated teacher who takes control of the Hogwart's school, and it's curriculum.
The children are told there is no threat, and the government, because it is in denial, refuses to acknowledge that there are those who wish to kill the everyday folks who don't wish to embrace their beliefs.
In the book, one of the heroes says that while evil cannot be eliminated, it can be contained, and some things are worth dying for in that fight against evil.
I could go on about the books for hours-the Death Eaters operate like a terrorist cell-some of them have respectable fronts in the community, but when they get the call (the dark mark), they go into action carrying out whatever task has been assigned to them by their leader.
There are people who exert influence on government by virtue of throwing money around to certain officials.
The lamestream Media in the books tries to discredit those who speak out about the growing menace of terrorism.
I just think there is so much in the books that is relevant to what's going on today, and since the story takes place in a fascinating, magical world..kids are going to be interested in reading it.
As to the spells-I can say "scourgify" all day long, and my house isn't going to clean itself, or "occulis reparo", and my glasses will still be broken.
I can't disagree that there are elements there that may cause curiousity by some to wonder what this or that means or is, but honestly, it's not as if these books are the ONLY source to find info on the occult, magic, sorcery etc...um, the library is full of much darker books than these and not a person has ever said "Ban the evil public library, it is a den of smut and sorcery!!"...context has to be in order...
This is addressed to the general public, not you Zetman, but it's my novel idea that's earthshattering:
If one doesn't want his/her kids seeing it/reading it, don't let them! One can control what the child sees/does for a certain time and then after that one has to have faith that the lessons the parents have tried to instill into their child have taken root...The Holy Spirit blows like the wind...trust in Him and know that despite all the temptation that exists in the world today, He will always bring His children home to Him.