Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Rome's Chief Exorcist Warns Parents Against Harry Potter
LifeSite News ^ | Jan 2, 2002 | Fr. Gabriel Amorth

Posted on 02/04/2003 10:32:00 AM PST by Maximilian

Rome's Chief Exorcist Warns Parents Against Harry Potter

NEW YORK, Jan 2, 02 (LSN.ca) - In early December, Rome's official exorcist, Father Gabriele Amorth, warned parents against the Harry Potter book series.

The priest, who is also the president of the International Association of Exorcists, said Satan is behind the works. In an interview with the Italian ANSA news agency, Father Amorth said, "Behind Harry Potter hides the signature of the king of the darkness, the devil."

The exorcist, with his decades of experience in directly combating evil, explained that J.K. Rowling's books contain innumerable positive references to magic, "the satanic art." He noted that the books attempt to make a false distinction between black and white magic, when in fact, the distinction "does not exist, because magic is always a turn to the devil."

In the interview which was published in papers across Europe, Father Amorth also criticized the disordered morality presented in Rowling's works, noting that they suggest that rules can be contravened and lying is justified when they work to one's benefit.

Of note, the North American coverage of Father Amorth's warnings about Potter significantly downplayed the warnings. The New York Times coverage which was carried in many other media outlets left out most of the information in the European coverage which is quoted above. It only quoted Father Amorth as saying, "If children can see the movie with their parents, it's not all bad." The Times report also fails to mention that the movie version has significantly cleaned up Harry's image, making it less troublesome than the books.

Used with permission LifeSite News www.lifesite.net


© Family Life Center International


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: amorth; catholiclist; devil; earthworship; evil; fatheramorth; fathergabrieleamorth; harry; harrypotter; liberals; lucifer; newage; pantheism; potter; rowling; satan
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-96 next last
Harry Potter Kit

Includes 12 page Newsletter, 60 minute audio tape, and Power Point Presentation sheet. All this for only $10.00!! (plus s&h) - Don't wait - order now!!

Audio tape: Parental Concerns & Questions about Harry Potter with Michael O'Brien (author of A Landscape with Dragons); Vivian Dudro and Father Philip Scott (comments on Harry Potter) Note: We have released the copyright on this tape for you to make tapes for your friends.

12 Page Newsletter: "Is Harry Potter Good for Our Kids"? Articles included are by Vivian W. Dudro, John Andrew Murray, Michael O'Brien and Steve Wood.

Power Point Presentation sheet includes notes on: Books aren't Harmful Are They???, Gallup Survey paranormal beliefs of American Catholic Teens, Entrance in to satanic circles, and the kinds of books children need.

Only $10. Purchase Now!

Special Recommendation for All Parents – Especially Parents with Questions about Harry Potter

A Landscape with Dragons by Michael O’Brien, also author of Father Elijah, is must reading for every Catholic parent. There is a war going on for the minds and hearts of our children. So far, we are losing the war. A full seventy-five percent of Catholic teens cease practicing their faith before leaving their teen years. Catholic parents need to equip their children to withstand the multitude of subtle assaults on the Faith coming from television, movies, and books. A Landscape with Dragons will teach you how to raise discerning children. Michael O’Brien teaches you what to avoid and why. In addition, the book concludes with an extensive and invaluable list of books you will want your children to read. On a one-to-ten scale this book is easily a twenty-five! Get it. Read it. Heed it.

Many of you are wondering whether or not you should allow your children to read the Harry Potter series. In fact, there is widespread disagreement over Harry Potter among Catholic parents. When so many people disagree, it is frequently because only pieces of the overall picture are being considered. Reliable conclusions can be achieved only by learning the broader principles of evaluating children’s literature in the context of our contemporary culture. Although A Landscape with Dragons never mentions the Harry Potter series, the principles found in Michael O’Brien’s book will enable you to definitively answer any questions you have about Harry Potter.

© Family Life Center International

1 posted on 02/04/2003 10:32:00 AM PST by Maximilian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Maximilian
For ten measly bucks Michael O'Brien will try to convince you why your kid should read his books instead of JK Rowlings'.
2 posted on 02/04/2003 10:36:35 AM PST by sinkspur
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Diago; narses; Loyalist; BlackElk; american colleen; saradippity; Polycarp; Dajjal; ...
Here is a different perspective on Harry Potter from the Vatican's so-called approval that was reported on a thread yesterday. Fr. Gabriel Amorth knows whereof he speaks since he works with thousands of possession cases day-in and day-out 365 days a year. He has previously reported on the shocking denials of the reality of the devil that have come from some Church sources, and the refusal of most bishops in nearly every diocese of the world even to provide exorcism services to their faithful -- one of the bishop's primary obligations.

Is it only a coincidence that on the same day when the Vatican supposedly "blesses" Harry Potter, Cardinal Egan shut down the exorcism ministry in the Diocese of New York?
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/835199/posts
3 posted on 02/04/2003 10:38:35 AM PST by Maximilian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Maximilian
I agree with you. I can't get my wife to though. Maybe I will need to get her an exorcist.LOL!
4 posted on 02/04/2003 10:52:46 AM PST by bulldogs
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Maximilian
How does LOTR fit in with all of this?
5 posted on 02/04/2003 10:53:55 AM PST by american colleen (Christe Eleison!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Maximilian
Interesting. I just told my wife Harry Potter was ok, based on the Vatican document and my own reading of it. But I ordered Father Amorth's book, so we'll do more research. Fortunately the library had the other 2 books scupoli(?) mentioned.

I've read the Harry Potter series trying to come to grips with the dispute. Like any novel, you're asked to suspend belief. It's not Tolkien; but putting it down I didn't feel infected with evil, either; reading the whole series at once and seeing the character development, it's hard to say that Harry is any more evil than any public school kid:-)

In any case, I look forward to reading Amorth's work. thanks.
6 posted on 02/04/2003 10:56:25 AM PST by WriteOn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: maximillian
Shoulda added this on my last post - because LOTR seems to be the of same genre as Harry Potter.

For me, this stuff is real small potatoes... I'm more concerned with the kids engaging in oral sex on the schoolbus, in the gym, the sudden outbreak of lesbianism among a good percentage of the middle school kids, problems like that. This all happens in my neck of the woods, every day.

If my kid has a good grounding in the faith, Harry Potter isn't going to be a threat to his/her faith in God. JMO.

7 posted on 02/04/2003 10:59:48 AM PST by american colleen (Christe Eleison!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Maximilian
I was looking for this great article I read last year on Harry Potter and couldn't find it. But I stubbled across this ... and here's a little excerpt:

This brings us to the third difference. The HP books are filled with much more explicit, appalling evil. There is a huge difference between what went on in Lewis or Tolkien and what kids are reading about in Harry Potter.

Just as a small sample, imagine a ten-year-old reading about:

1) The animal sacrifice of a cat[19]

2) Non-magicians like you and I (Muggles) are portrayed as dull, boring, cruel or useless;[20]

3) Power is the ultimate moral choice, irrespective of good or evil;[21]

4) Blood sacrifices;[22]

5) Cutting off the hand of a living person for a ritual;[23]

6) Boiling what seems to be a baby or fetus alive in a cauldron;[24]

7) Possible demon possession;[25]

8) Werewolves [26] & vampires [27]

9) Bringing a evil wizard back from the dead through the shedding of blood [28]

10) Astral project or travel [29]

11) Casting spells and levitation [30]

12) Being able to shape-shift into an animal [31]

13) Crystal gazing or divination [32]

14) A hero (Harry) who tells lies, [33] steals, [34] breaks the rules,[35] and cheats by copying another student’s homework,[36] (cheating is OK in wizard ethics[37]).

15) Approval of astrology[38]

16) Being taught that people can exist without their souls[39]

17) Communion with the dead, dead souls living within us[40]

18) Harry takes mood-altering drugs (which are REAL herbs that are used by witches and shamans)[41]

19) Use of the "Hand of Glory,"[42] a grisly occult artifact that is the severed hand of a hanged murderer. Its fingers are lit and burned as candles. The hand is placed in a house to make everyone in the house fall into a spell.

20) Use of magic charms[43]

21) Belief that death is just the "next great adventure"[44] (which might be true if you were a Christian, but no one in these books is a professing Christian.) For non-Christians like Harry, death is a one-way ticket to hell!

These are dangerous, false ideas, especially for a younger person. Little attempt is being made to keep these books from the hands of children even younger than ten!

http://www.withoneaccord.org/store/potter.html
8 posted on 02/04/2003 11:03:28 AM PST by Gophack
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gophack
I've paged through the Potter books and watched both movies. Rowling is a fluid, talented writer. The general objection that I had was the series (both the movies and the books) teach escapism. But if what you're saying here is true, they're obviously far worse than I imagined...
9 posted on 02/04/2003 11:13:18 AM PST by HumanaeVitae (If the Constitution is a "Living Document", does anyone have his phone number? Address? Anyone?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Gophack; american colleen
I was looking for this great article I read last year on Harry Potter and couldn't find it.

Here's a resource of Harry Potter articles:
The Problem of Harry Potter

And this might be the article you are thinking about:
Harry Potter and the Paganization of Children's Culture

And thanks for the great references in the article that you did stumble across.
Colleen, after reading post #8, do you still consider this "small potatoes"?

10 posted on 02/04/2003 11:13:41 AM PST by Maximilian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: american colleen
Many are connecting the dots on this sort of thing with the "approved" literature...it isn't done in an isolation tank but on the slippery slope of our reality:

"For me, this stuff is real small potatoes... I'm more concerned with the kids engaging in oral sex on the
schoolbus, in the gym, the sudden outbreak of lesbianism among a good percentage of the middle school kids,
problems like that. This all happens in my neck of the woods, every day."
11 posted on 02/04/2003 11:13:53 AM PST by Domestic Church (AMDG)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Maximilian
Finally, a catholic that gets it/
12 posted on 02/04/2003 11:17:32 AM PST by Jael
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Jael
Amen.
13 posted on 02/04/2003 11:19:36 AM PST by bulldogs
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Maximilian
I don't know who this person is, but she found some interesting things and her opinion is that Harry Potter is a parody of the Bible. I don't necessarily think there's a connection between all her "connections" but there are enough to warrant a purview.

http://www.total.net/~pennyo/harry.html
14 posted on 02/04/2003 11:19:43 AM PST by Gophack
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: All
http://www.cuttingedge.org/news/n1568.cfm

I don't know who these people are who put this together, but it shows how throughout Harry Potter he is correctly using Satanism, and there are some scary things here.

I guess what gets me is that I don't understand how so many Christians -- Catholics and non-Catholics alike -- think Harry Potter is innocuous. I can think of two parents in particular, both devout (one Catholic, one Assemblies of God) who think Harry Potter is great because their kids are reading and they're fun and harmless stories. They look at me like I'm a lunatic when I point out the evil themes interwoven in the books.

I admit ... I haven't read them ... but I have read enough articles to know I don't want to. While I'm not worried about my soul being tainted by them because my faith is strong enough to withstand the challenge, I worry very much about my children's faith because they are still growing in Christ.
15 posted on 02/04/2003 11:29:06 AM PST by Gophack
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Maximilian
I am neither for or against Harry Potter because I haven't read any of the volumes. I tried, but found the first one boring and silly and I put it down. Same with the movie (which I did see with my kids) - found it boring and silly.

I have no idea who William J. Schnoebelen is, and I have no idea if what he says the books contain is true.

Geez, I read "In Cold Blood" "The Exorcist" found copies of Playboy under my father's mattress, sat through lectures by the PAULIST Fathers, lectures by the Jesuits in Boston, read stuff about Transendental Meditation - all before I entered Catholic High School where I really encountered a lot of weird stuff (Mary isn't really a virgin, etc.) - and I'M OK!

16 posted on 02/04/2003 11:30:58 AM PST by american colleen (Christe Eleison!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: american colleen
I agree that if someone has a good grounding in their faith that they are not going to be converted to satan worship through the reading of Harry Potter. You and I can handle it. HOWEVER, my children are the age group Harry Potter targets (8-13 years old). These kids ARE NOT grounded in their faith. While they believe and have a child's faith in God, they are also very susceptible to the world around them, their environment, their reading, their parents, etc. There is SO MUCH evil in the Harry Potter books that even if we read them with our children, we would have to explain on every page why Harry was wrong or bad ... and that's no fun, is it?

Why do you think there are so many problems like you described among young people today? Perhaps it is because of books like Harry Potter ... and movies ... glorifying self-worship and denying that there is a Higher Authority to whom all must answer some day. The problems we have today with sex, promiscuity, abortion, out-of-wedlock births, drugs, homosexuality, drug use ... all stems from the radical, free will, anti-Christian, do-it-if-it-feels-good sixties and seventies. We are paying the price with the souls of our children for the hedonism of the past generation.

Harry Potter contributes to the problems we see today. But worse, Harry contributes to the loss of souls for God. That, my friend, is truly scary.
17 posted on 02/04/2003 11:34:26 AM PST by Gophack
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Gophack
I guess it depends on who you read "Who's OK, Harry or the Hobbits?"

This is just not something I lose sleep over. Then you have the Vatican saying Harry Potter fans, relax. The Vatican says the kid is all right.

All in all, I'd rather kids read "Lives of the Saints."

18 posted on 02/04/2003 11:37:10 AM PST by american colleen (Christe Eleison!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Gophack
I respect what you are saying, but I think the reason we have so many problems today -- "sex, promiscuity, abortion, out-of-wedlock births, drugs, homosexuality, drug use ... all stems from the radical, free will, anti-Christian, do-it-if-it-feels-good sixties and seventies" -- are not because of Harry Potter, they are because PARENTS are negligent in their duties as Christian parents. I see it every single day. My daughter goes to school with three girls who are weekly altar girls. Two of them engage in lesbianism. We live in a society where everything is fine and too many parents don't say much of anything regarding faith and morals (right and wrong) to their kids and we who do are NOT generally backed up by our priests, nuns and bishops.

My daughter's faith withstood Harry Potter. It's pretty strong.

19 posted on 02/04/2003 11:44:13 AM PST by american colleen (Christe Eleison!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: american colleen
I am neither for or against Harry Potter because I haven't read any of the volumes.

To avoid the charge of hypocrisy, let me say that I have read all 4 books and so have my children. And I took some of the kids to the first Harry Potter movie, although not to the second. But I've been under a lot of pressure to take them to the second movie, and I haven't absolutely said no.

How did I get in this situation considering the warnings from Fr. Amorth, etc. that I've posted? Gradually, like all bad situations. My sister sent us the first 2 books and I read them along with the kids. They seemed harmless and amusing. They were obviously fantasy and the witchcraft was in an alternate, fictional plane of existence.

Most of all, they were FUNNY. "A teaspoon of sugar makes the medicine go down." (My main complaint with the 1st movie was that it missed all the humor which was what had made the books so popular.) I had the same struggle as I did with watching re-runs of Seinfeld -- "But it's bad, but it's funny, but it's bad, but it's funny, etc."

Then as the third and fourth books came out, the themes continued to grow darker and darker. The first book had seemed like harmless, humorous fantasy. The second book, which arrived in America at the same time, was slightly darker, but not so much that it really brought you up short. But then the new volumes continued to introduce more and more gruesome and demonic characters, with more and more themes that echoed genuine occult themes rather than fantasy from a different, imaginary world. Meanwhile the humor had almost entirely disappeared.

By this point I was wondering what I had got myself and my children into. But I had slid along the slope gradually, finally ending up with my 3rd-grade son reading all those items that are detailed in post #8. Now it is difficult to back out. Was this the plan of the author and publisher from the beginning -- get them hooked, and then keep giving them more?

20 posted on 02/04/2003 11:46:28 AM PST by Maximilian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Gophack
I shoulda added that so many of the kids today are living in less then Christian homes... divorce with boyfriends and girlfriends of their parents staying over in the same house, their own TVs to keep them quiet, no grounding in any sort of faith, parents not setting a Christian example, you know we could go on and on. This is the problem, not Harry Potter. If a book was so influential that it could corrupt kids who read it, why hasn't the Bible in 2000 years done the opposite?
21 posted on 02/04/2003 11:49:02 AM PST by american colleen (Christe Eleison!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: american colleen
My daughter goes to school with three girls who are weekly altar girls. Two of them engage in lesbianism.

Whoa -- just when you think you've heard it all!

But to tie this to the topic of the thread, which one is the correct response to such a situation, to say that my kid is not that far gone yet, or to say that all the signs indicate that we are living in an age of depravity not seen in a very long while? When popular culture has fallen so far that such behavior is considered normal, then maybe we should be suspicious of virtually everything coming from those sources. And Harry Potter shows every sign of NOT being among those few that might seem safe (e.g. Mel Gibson's filming of the Passion).

22 posted on 02/04/2003 11:52:49 AM PST by Maximilian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Maximilian
You could be right - about the author getting them hooked - kind of like a drug addict or a sex addict - bigger and badder highs. I don't know.

Maybe it isn't a big thing for me because I see other things as being more important, maybe it's because my daughter liked the Lemony Snicket "A Series of Unfortunate Events" better than HP, she doesn't care about the new HP movie, and my son has no interest in the books or the movie (he thought the first one was boring and silly - he's not a fantasy kind of kid).

Just like TV (which is far worse than any book a kid can read), you can steer your kids to other things to read and/or watch.

I'm much more concerned about the kids my kids go to school with each day. Talk about losing a soul - schools are first and foremost in your kids lives.

23 posted on 02/04/2003 11:57:53 AM PST by american colleen (Christe Eleison!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: american colleen
As far as I'm concerned, and I'm not a parent, Harry Potter beats the Judy Blume books any day of the week and twice on Sunday. It's fantasy. Completely. Kids can tell the difference, and with good grounding in faith, it's not going to put a dent in it.

Frankly, I've read science fiction which is ten times more objectionable.
24 posted on 02/04/2003 12:05:13 PM PST by Desdemona
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Maximilian
Max, on my soul, that is true about the altar girls. It is fairly rampant in our local middle school. Most familes around here are also Catholics. I started to help our with our new youth group in the parish and spoke about this stuff (and drugs and oral sex) that the middle school youth are engaging in. I asked the nun running the group for some help in figuring out ways that we could address these issues with the kids... she said she was more interested in having an inclusive (as in all religions attend) and socially aware youth group. I quit.

We are living in an age of depravity and it is of parmount importance that our kids have good moral leadership at home and a good grounding in the teachings of Jesus Christ. But we already know that, it is just a tragedy that not all parents do.

Harry Potter? A red herring.

Gotta go - kids coming home from school and then I go to work.

25 posted on 02/04/2003 12:08:13 PM PST by american colleen (Christe Eleison!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: american colleen
maybe it's because my daughter liked the Lemony Snicket "A Series of Unfortunate Events" better than HP

Funny you should mention that -- Lemony Snickett is the latest rage in our household too. And I do find him very troubling, even though once again I'm the one who introduced these books to the kids. I noticed them on the shelf of the library and pointed them out to the kids since they seemed like very intelligent and sophisticated books for kids -- which they certainly are.

But they are also problematic. Has your daughter read the latest, "The Carnivorous Carnival"? And the interim volume, "The Unauthorized Autobiography of Lemony Snickett"? Terms like "bizarre" hardly scratch the surface. Last week there was an interview with some actor in the Wall Street Journal, and he said that the latest book he read was "The Unauthorized Autobiography of Lemony Snickett." He had no idea it was a children's book until someone told him. At which point he said that was totally bizarre because even adults couldn't understand it.

My son brought back with him from vacation (with the same sister who sent us Harry Potter) a book called "Artemis Fowl," I call it "Artemis Foul." It really sinks to a new level of despicable for children's literature. It may not appeal to girls, however, so it may not be a concern for you.

26 posted on 02/04/2003 12:12:48 PM PST by Maximilian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Desdemona
Harry Potter beats the Judy Blume books any day of the week

That's for sure. I'd rather give arsenic to my kids than Judy Blume. But that doesn't make Harry Potter good. Same with the objectionable science fiction.

27 posted on 02/04/2003 12:15:53 PM PST by Maximilian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Gophack
GOP--

Perhaps they're like me on this issue: I found the movies harmless but have only perused the books...I'll check into it more.

28 posted on 02/04/2003 12:24:12 PM PST by HumanaeVitae (If the Constitution is a "Living Document", does anyone have his phone number? Address? Anyone?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: bulldogs
"Maybe I will need to get her an exorcist."

Call my agent.
We'll do lunch.

29 posted on 02/04/2003 12:25:50 PM PST by APBaer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Maximilian
The fellow who lent his "approval" to Harry Potter was Fr. Peter Fleetwood, former member of the PCC. Somehow this was construed in your mind as "Vatican approves of Harry Potter".

http://www.zenit.org/english/visualizza.phtml?sid=30889

Code: ZE03020304

Date: 2003-02-03

Harry Potter Not a Problem, Says Church Figure

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 3, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Harry Potter has them talking -- even at the Vatican.

The name of the fictional wizardly apprentice came up today during a press conference on the document "Jesus Christ the Bearer of the Water of Life: A Christian Reflection on the 'New Age.'"

Father Peter Fleetwood of the secretariat of the Council of European Episcopal Conferences (CCEE) answered a reporter's questions, saying that for a Catholic, "Harry Potter does not represent a problem."

The English priest, a former member of the Pontifical Council for Culture, said that "in each one's childhood there have been fairy godmothers, magicians, angels and witches, which are not bad things but a help for children to understand the conflict between good and evil."

According to Father Fleetwood, J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, "is a Christian, perhaps not in the sense that every bishop would like, but she lives like a Christian and writes as such."

It was the first time that Harry Potter educed a public statement in the framework of the Vatican Press Office.

Those at the press conference included Cardinal Paul Poupard and Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, presidents of the pontifical council for culture and for interreligious dialogue, respectively.


30 posted on 02/04/2003 12:27:19 PM PST by Ethan Clive Osgoode
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Maximilian; Dr. Eckleburg
The exorcist, with his decades of experience in directly combating evil, explained that J.K. Rowling's books contain innumerable positive references to magic, "the satanic art." He noted that the books attempt to make a false distinction between black and white magic, when in fact, the distinction "does not exist, because magic is always a turn to the devil."

In the interview which was published in papers across Europe, Father Amorth also criticized the disordered morality presented in Rowling's works, noting that they suggest that rules can be contravened and lying is justified when they work to one's benefit.

Thanks Max. This has been my thesis since I skimmed the first book.

31 posted on 02/04/2003 12:30:16 PM PST by Aquinasfan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gophack
But worse, Harry contributes to the loss of souls for God. That, my friend, is truly scary.

Well said.

32 posted on 02/04/2003 12:33:44 PM PST by Aquinasfan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Maximilian; AppyPappy
Was this the plan of the author and publisher from the beginning -- get them hooked, and then keep giving them more?

AppyPappy brought up this point many books ago and is being proven right. I wonder how this series will end.

33 posted on 02/04/2003 12:36:47 PM PST by Aquinasfan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: american colleen; ksen; carton253; BibChr
Shoulda added this on my last post - because LOTR seems to be the of same genre as Harry Potter.

No, no, no, no and heaven's no!

First, LOTR is literature that has become entertainment. Harry Potter is fluff entertainment.

LOTR is indeed fantasy, but there are clear-cut themes of good and evil and many mirror Christian teaching. Tolkien was a devout Christian.

Having said that, I've read the Potter books and look forward to the next. They are fantasy. They are make believe.

But if they concern you (or others on the thread) then by all means, don't read them, don't go see the movies.

I don't find them any more threatening than The Wizard of Oz, Star Wars or Spiderman.

BUT I don't want to argue about that. My point was, and is there is no valid comparison of LOTR to Harry Potter.

34 posted on 02/04/2003 12:40:40 PM PST by Corin Stormhands (HHD)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: sinkspur
For ten measly bucks Michael O'Brien will try to convince you why your kid should read his books instead of JK Rowlings'.

So sink, does that anger you? His book are better. --And you know it.

35 posted on 02/04/2003 12:40:41 PM PST by It's me
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Maximilian
'plan of the author'

You better believe that was the plan!!!Glad the kidz are grown and I didn't have to depend on harry for entertainment. Mine were raised on 'Green eggs and Ham'

36 posted on 02/04/2003 12:44:34 PM PST by ejo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Maximilian
Amazing how much people who haven't read the books know about them....

The Harry Potter books are FANTASY. Magic in them has no religious significance, it plays the same role that made-up science and technology does in Science Fiction.

Thee were good and bad magicians in the Narnia books too. Is C.S. Lewis also supposed to be an evil influence?

The main valid criticism of Rowling's books is that they are potentially too scary for little kids. But "Lord of the Rings" is scary too.

The ignoramuses who claim the Potter books are Satanic tools are afraid that children will actually go out and do real magic after reading these books.

There is an enormous cognitive disjunction here. There are 3 kinds of magic:
1) Science disguised as magic ("Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic"--Arthur C. Clarke). This exists and presents no spiritual problems.
2) Non-scientific magic which is morally and spiritually neutral because it depends on underlying "laws" and does not require the agency of supernatural beings. This DOES NOT exist, as far as we can tell -- people used to believe in it, but almost everything "magical" was eventually either shown to be false or shown to really be science (that is, the only "laws" involved were the ones that could be mathematized and analyzed using the scientific method). The Harry Potter books PRETEND it exists.
3) Magic through the activity of supernatural spirits who are not themselves God. If this is possible, AND if Christianity is true, then it is clear teaching that this is an immoral and spiritually dangerous practice. (If the supernatural spirit is in fact God, then it is not "magic", it is by definition a miracle, which may occur in response to a petitionary prayer but cannot be controlled or directed or forced by any human activity or formula).

The critics of Harry Potter are unable to understand the distinction between 2) and 3).

37 posted on 02/04/2003 12:48:29 PM PST by VeritatisSplendor
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: VeritatisSplendor
A clarification to my previous post:

In the Potter books, "Dark wizards" exist, but they are simply evil people who use magic to evil ends. "Dark magic" is magic which is generally used for evil; the equivalent in our modern scientific world would be such researches as the development of deadly biological and chemical weapons, or the development of torture techniques, or the development of criminal skills such as forgery and swindling. Good wizards must learn the same principles and techniques when studying "Defense against the Dark Arts", but do so from a morally correct orientation.

38 posted on 02/04/2003 12:55:20 PM PST by VeritatisSplendor
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: VeritatisSplendor
Amazing how much people who haven't read the books know about them....

Leading with false ad hominem arguments is always a highly recommended strategy for bringing your opponent around to your point of view.

The Harry Potter books are FANTASY. Magic in them has no religious significance, it plays the same role that made-up science and technology does in Science Fiction.

How do you correlate this unsubstantiated assertion against all the items detailed in post #8 ?

The ignoramuses who claim the Potter books are Satanic tools are afraid that children will actually go out and do real magic after reading these books.

Nothing like a few insults to spice up your argument. Meanwhile, the reality of evil is being denied at a time when it's influence is so very tangible all around us. Check out some information on Fr. Gabriel Amorth and his work as the chief exorcist of Rome before you call people "ignoramuses." You might also want to check out this thread:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/835199/posts

39 posted on 02/04/2003 1:00:56 PM PST by Maximilian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: VeritatisSplendor
"Dark magic" is magic which is generally used for evil... Good wizards must learn the same principles and techniques when studying "Defense against the Dark Arts", but do so from a morally correct orientation.

Based on his decades of experience dealing with demonic influence and possession on a daily basis, Fr. Gabriel Amorth opts to disagree with your position:

"He noted that the books attempt to make a false distinction between black and white magic, when in fact, the distinction "does not exist, because magic is always a turn to the devil."
Do you have some comparable experience upon which you base your opinion?
40 posted on 02/04/2003 1:06:04 PM PST by Maximilian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: american colleen
I agree with you that much of the problems of today have nothing to do with Harry Potter in particular, but with parents, education and society as a whole. Harry Potter is but one more contributing factor.

As one writer said (to paraphrase): all the kids who read Harry Potter and go to church and hear about the Transfiguration of the Lord will think FIRST of Harry Potter, not the Lord.

On your second point, you have to read to be influenced.
41 posted on 02/04/2003 1:23:45 PM PST by Gophack
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: VeritatisSplendor
The major difference between Potter and the Chronicles of Narnia or the Lord of the Rings is that in Potter there is a reverse moral order and in Narnia and LOTR the moral order is the same as handed down by God.

In Potter, the ends justify the means. In Potter, there is good magic and bad magic, but the ultimate goal is POWER. In Narnia, it is the dabbling in magic that brings evil to Narnia, and it takes the Christ-figure Aslan to fix things ... not the characters practicing "white magic".

Harry Potter lies, cheats and steals, and is still a hero. In LOTR the supernatural powers used by men are corrupting and repeatedly shown to have a corrupting influence.

One librarian was quoted as saying since Harry Potter, more and more children are seeking books on witchcraft and the occult. They can't keep the books on the shelves because of the high demand. Children WILL go out and experiment when they see magic as portrayed as positive, and morality as subjective. That's why kids shouldn't even experiment with marijuana. While I personally don't think marijuana is all that addictive or dangerous when you try it once or twice, if you get in the habit of using it, you start experimenting with different drugs. Virtually everyone I know who tried marijuana continued dabbling in drugs until they were damaged by it, myself included.

I love fantasy and science fiction, and I am strong enough in my faith to be able to read something that may not be morally pure because I'm able to distinguish, as an adult, the subtle differences between right and wrong and moral ambiguities. Young children are not. The Harry Potter books are aimed at young children and it is THEIR souls that are at risk.

God bless.

42 posted on 02/04/2003 1:39:17 PM PST by Gophack
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: It's me
So sink, does that anger you? His book are better. --And you know it.

Never read O'Brien.

If his books are better, why isn't he on the best-seller lists?

I don't respect people who try to make a living tearing down other people, in this case, another author.

It's cheap.

43 posted on 02/04/2003 1:43:44 PM PST by sinkspur
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: Gophack
I admit ... I haven't read them

"I hate that TV show...I've never seen it, but I hate it anyway."

And, you know what? I hate that person. I've never talked to her, but I've heard enough about her from other people that I know I wouldn't like her.

Gophack, I'm surprised at you. How can you comment on something you've not even read? Even I have read two Harry Potter books, just so I could see if they were as horrible as some of the hysterics say they are.

They aren't.

44 posted on 02/04/2003 1:47:52 PM PST by sinkspur
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Maximilian
I have the same problem finding books for my kids. Mine I think are younger than yours ... my oldest is 9. She likes mysteries, so I got her the Encyclopedia Brown short stories that I read as a kid. She read all the Junie B. Jones books in the summer before second grade, and there are some single-title books I've found that are good. She read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in second grade for an advanced reading class and she started the next book, but didn't get into it.

When I was in 3rd grade, a friend introduced me to Trixie Belden. I read all 36 books, but can't find them anywhere now. I have all but the first 5 in the series. They are great for kids aged 8-12. When I was 10 I started Nancy Drew and read virtually every one (of the original ... the new ones are garbage). I own half the Nancy Drew books, but I think my daughter is a little too young. After Nancy Drew, I read all 80+ books of Agatha Christie (probably starting at age 12). Some went over my head. When I was 14 I started Stephen King and read everything he wrote up until the last few years.

Anyway, my point is reading is so important to introduce to kids, but it is also important to weed out bad books, either because they're just poorly written, or because they could damage them. I read every Judy Blume book and learned things I probably shouldn't have learned when I read them. But some of the books were actually OK (the ones with the younger characters, not the teen-agers!)

If anyone has suggestions on books for pre-teens, pass them along. I did see the Lemony Snickett and the Unfortunate Incident books and didn't think they were appropriate.
45 posted on 02/04/2003 1:48:00 PM PST by Gophack
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: sinkspur
True, I haven't read them and don't care to. I've read enough excerpts and articles from respected Christians that probably would fill a Harry Potter book! When I heard about drinking the blood of the unicorn and the direct correlation to the Holy Eucharist (but in reverse), I lost all interest in reading them for curiosity sake.

I don't need to see a porn film, for example, to know that it's bad for me. I think I can pretty much criticize them without watching them.

46 posted on 02/04/2003 1:51:44 PM PST by Gophack
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: Gophack
When I was 14 I started Stephen King and read everything he wrote up until the last few years

Gasp!

I'm shocked! Shocked!!

Dan
(c;

47 posted on 02/04/2003 1:53:33 PM PST by BibChr (Jesus -- not our feelings -- is the truth!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: BibChr
Yeah, yeah ... but I will say that The Stand (unabridged) which I read when I was 14 is to this day one of my favorite books. Talk about good vs. evil! (of course, it's not a Christian theme ... the evil one seduces people through dreams, etc. which we know the Devil can not read our mind or get in our mind ... but the good people do withstand temptation.)

Still, great book.
48 posted on 02/04/2003 1:55:55 PM PST by Gophack
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]

To: Maximilian
More Harry Potter chatter. I stand second to none in criticizing the whiff of paganism and the blatant anti-Christian sentiments that permeate our culture, but boy has the Harry Potter criticism gone overboard.

I've read all four books. So have my 11 year old daughter and my 8 year old daughter (precocious children and big readers.) Both daughters and my five year old have seen the first Harry Potter movie, though the second movie is off limits to the five year old (too scary). The bottom line: Rowling has created a benign fantasy world of clear good and clear evil. True, this strange England has no Christianity (though it has Christmas holiday), but is that really so different from the real England? Children without religion might find the magic stuff damaging, but then a certain portion of kids who watch Bugs Bunny go playing with hammers and anvils, I'm sure.

There is a real and true anti-Christian children's author who, for some crazy reason, is below the radar of the good folks here at Free Republic and elsewhere. His name is Philip Pullman; his "Dark Materials" trilogy is wildly popular (he won the prestigious Whitbread prize for "Amber Spyglass"); and he is patently, obviously, and unrepentingly anti-Christian. A quote from the Amber Spyglass:

"I thought physics could be done to the glory of God, till I saw there wasn’t any God at all and that physics was more interesting anyway. The Christian religion is a very powerful and convincing mistake, that’s all. (The Amber Spyglass, p. 464)

Pullman says that CS Lewis's Narnia Chronicles, the delightful Christian parable, is "one of the most ugly and poisonous things I've ever read." Where's the outcry, Lewis fans?

And last year, Pullman told the Washington Post that he is "trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief" in his children's novels.

Go Google this stuff. It's there in black and white.

So here's this vicious anti-Christian polluting the minds of children, lauded by the decadent cultural elite, and we're reading tea leaves over Harry Potter? We should not be wasting our time over Rowling while a true nut like Pullman gets a pass.

Remember the name, folks: Philip Pullman. You've been warned.

49 posted on 02/04/2003 1:57:53 PM PST by d-back
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gophack
I don't need to see a porn film, for example, to know that it's bad for me.

Kids aren't flocking to watch porn films, or read pornographic literature. Nobody says that pornography is good, or at the very least neutral, except pornographers. Your analogy is a bit faulty.

In addition, there are far more positive reviews of the Harry Potter phenomenon than negative. Now, I'm sure you'll say that all those who are allowing their children to read Potter are dupes, and don't know what's best for their kids.

What amazes me is how sure some people are that Potter represents some kind of evil. My neighbor's kids view the series as pure fantasy, and they know it is pure fantasy.

There are plenty of people who will tell you what is good for you and for your kids, a great number of them Christians with controlling personalities.

50 posted on 02/04/2003 2:00:28 PM PST by sinkspur
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-96 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
Religion
Topics · Post Article

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