Skip to comments.[PRAYER] Discernment of Harry Potter and Twilight for the sake of our children
Posted on 07/28/2010 8:16:58 AM PDT by mlizzy
Many Christians believe the Harry Potter and/or Twilight series are safe for their children to read and view as movies; I ask you to join me in prayer for discernment by parents, pastors, teachers, etc. in this regard.
Note the words of Cardinal Ratzinger in a letter to Gabriele Kuby (a German critic of the Harry Potter novels), where he writes:
"It is good, that you enlighten people about Harry Potter, because those are subtle seductions, which act unnoticed and by this deeply distort Christianity in the soul, before it can grow properly."Fr. Thomas J. Euteneuer, president of the pro-life organization Human Life International (HLI), and an official Church exorcist, states in his article, "Vampire Logic":
"With the issuing of the third movie in the Twilight series I have to speak out about our culture's twisted fascination with vampires. I don't hesitate to tell people that I am totally disgusted with the new fad sweeping over our youth culture these days. It is not just kids that are taken up with the wiles of the dark world either: many moms of teens are swooning for them too. I think that these seductive creatures are simply the spawn of the Harry Potter culture that has for over a decade now been indoctrinating kids to think that the occult world is normal and that all this evil messaging is harmless when dressed up as entertainment. That's vampire logic - and just what the devil wants us to think."Michael D. O'Brien, Roman Catholic author, artist, and frequent essayist and lecturer on faith and culture, has written a book for discernment titled Harry Potter and the Paganization of Culture. O'Brien states in the Preface:
"I heard so much about the Harry Potter books, and very good people told me they're great. So we bought one [or were given one] and I started to read it. At first I had no problems with it. Then something strange happened. In the middle of a chapter I was suddenly overwhelmed by nausea ... a kind of spiritual nausea. I didn't see it coming because I wanted to like these books. The whole world's in love with them, even a lot of good Christians, so I felt they were probably healthy enough to give to our kids. I just wanted to check it out first. I'm glad I did."
Lord, we ask that you be a guide for the mind and ethics of the adults who read this to children.
I nearly exploded one day and had to leave a public school classroom when H. Pot. was being read to children — mentally diabled children at that!
Lord have mercy!
Potter/Twilight discernment prayer ping ...
CATHOLIC CAUCUS Ping List ping.
(Please send me a PM if you would like to be added to or removed from this new CATHOLIC CAUCUS Ping List. This list will be used primarily for pings to CATHOLIC CAUCUS Religion Forum threads, but also on occasion for other threads of interest for orthodox Catholics.)
If you are going to make a prayer thread, make one, but don’t try to turn a religious argument into a prayer thread.
I think prayer is needed.
Thank you, Salvation. I agree! Prayer is needed in this regard. We all grow as Christians (and obtain knowledge from Christ) through prayer.
...O'Brien, a devout Catholic author and professional artist, begins by reminding us of the importance of symbolism in both the Bible and literature. It was once the case that western culture was based on a Christian world-view which understood the proper use of symbols. Now, however, there has been a culture shift toward paganism, and symbols in children's literature have been perverted to reflect this shift.
Dragons are one of the symbols which is now being used in an inappropriate way (thus, the title of the book). In the Bible and in traditional literature, dragons represent evil, reminding us of the serpent in the Garden of Eden. Slaying a dragon in a story was a victorious triumph over sin. O'Brien says, "In literature of the West dragons have been regarded as powerful agents of evil, guardians of stolen treasure hoards, destroyers of the good and the weak (children, maidens, small idyllic kingdoms), and on the spiritual level, a personification of Satan prowling through the world seeking the ruin of souls."
In modern society, however, dragons are no longer portrayed this way. From "Puff the Magic Dragon" to Disney's Pete's Dragon (he discusses Disney's worldview in the book), dragons are cuddly, helpful, magical and possibly misunderstood creatures. The long-standing symbolism of dragons personifying evil has been turned upside-down, confusing the imaginations of young children in the process.
This is just one example given by O'Brien to explain the trend toward paganism today. Does he suggest that we should therefore avoid all fantasy stories? Not at all. Rather, he gives parents tools to evaluate what is appropriate and why as well as what to avoid. He even names some names although this book was written before the Harry Potter phenomenon (here is an article he later wrote about the Harry Potter stories.) There are also no sacred cows for O'Brien as he points out some ideological inconsistencies in the stories of Lewis, Tolkien and Macdonald while holding them up as generally good examples of the proper use of fantasy literature. He also has a well-reasoned defense of traditional fairy tales.
“I think prayer is needed.”
Harry Potter is a story of good versus evil, like many other kid’s stories. It teaches about moral values and doing what is right. Too many people think it is about witchcraft and therefore a bad story. Well, most children’s stories are not about the Jesus and also preach about good versus evil. Even Star Wars, a movie, is about good versus evil. Westerns are the same, and so are Saturday morning cartoons.
Anyone that thinks any and all children’s stories must include Jesus as the character or else the story should be banned is a raving lunatic.
Then maybe you should pull the main body of the article, because it is full of opinions on the "Harry Potter" series. Using logic, this would seem to imply that the thread would include comments about the series.
Quality 'fantasy' literature for children, abounds. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis immediately comes to mind. It too is filled with great adventure. C.S. Lewis was a Christian and the similarities between Narnia and items in the Bible was intentional. You claim that Harry Potter teaches values. Harry consistently lies - to his teachers, to his friends, to Dumbledore, the headmaster. He and his friends steal potions ingredients from Professor Snape (But who cares? We don't like Snape, so it's ok, right?). In fact, he's rewarded for the first rule he breaks. Then there is Professor Lupin, who neglects to mention to the headmaster that a convicted murderer is quite possibly sneaking into the school disguised as a dog? Why doesn't Lupin say anything? Because it would be EMBARRASSING to him, and lose him some of the headmaster's trust (which he doesn't actually deserve because he's been lying to the man for years anyway). But hey, it's only Harry's life and the lives of other students that's at stake, and the convict has only gotten into the school twice already...so no big deal.
The children in the Narnia books also get into mischief but there are consequences for their actions and for which they are held accountable to Aslan (the figure who represents God). The same is not true in the HP series.
Why defend the defenseless? What is to be gained by that.
They are not my opinions. They were placed in the body of the thread for discernment. This is a prayer thread for discernment on the HP-Twilight series. If you’d like to pray, please join us!
You simply want to state your opinion about Harry Potter without dissent.The opinions on the body of this post are not mine. I'm praying for discernment in regard to the HP-Twilight series.
The rest of FR does not agree with your assertion that Harry Potter is about witchcraft and therefore anti-Christian.The rest of FR does not agree with me? There's probably a few that would like to further discern the series/books on their own. This is a prayer thread in that regard.
You are welcome to start a new "open" RF thread to debate the issues that interest you.
Please pray that this book will help families to become more aware of the challenges involved in childrens and young adults cultural material, and will help them in their discernment. --Michael OBrien