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Potter Mania: Should Christian Kids Read 'Harry Potter'?
Breakpoint with Chuck Colson ^ | 7/20/2007 | Chuck Colson

Posted on 07/23/2007 7:04:00 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback

If there’s a child in your house, then you probably know what’s going to happen when the clock strikes 12 tonight. The final Harry Potter book—Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows—will be unleashed on the world.

The big question that has millions of kids on edge: Will Harry live—or will he die?

But the big question many parents have is: Should their kids be reading novels about wizards and witches and magic?

A Christian expert on Potter mania says, “It depends.”

Connie Neal, a veteran youth pastor and mother of three, is the author of a book titled What’s a Christian To Do with Harry Potter? Neal says parents must use discernment in deciding whether to allow their kids to read Harry Potter. For example, kids with an unhealthy interest in the occult should probably not read these books. Other Christians believe their kids benefit from the moral lessons the Potter books teach.

Neal’s belief that it’s okay for Christians to read secular novels comes from her reading of the biblical book of Daniel. Daniel, you will remember, was a teenager when he was taken away from Jerusalem to live in exile in Babylon. There, he was taught the language and literature of the pagan culture. He studied at a school that trained Babylon’s magicians, astrologers, and sorcerers. The actual practice of sorcery and astrology was, of course, forbidden by God. But Daniel studied it well to understand it.

One day King Nebuchadnezzer called on his magicians and astrologers to interpret a dream; none could do it. In a rage, the king ordered that all of his wise men be put to death. Daniel asked to see the king, who then asked him, “Are you able to make known to me the dream that I have seen and its interpretation?” Daniel responded: “No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery which the king has asked, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days.”

Daniel had immersed himself in his culture’s pagan literature in order to understand it. But, because of his deep devotion to God, he didn’t defile himself. As Connie Neal told BreakPoint, “God put Daniel in Babylon to be a light in the darkness—and he was. He was not afraid to read literature that resounded in the hearts of the people with whom he lived. He used his familiarity with this pagan literature to reveal the true and living God.” And Neal knows some kids who have done the same in our own post-Christian culture.

Now personally, I don’t recommend the Potter books. I’d rather Christian kids not read them. But with some 325 million of them in print, your kids will probably see them and hear others talk about them, and they’re probably going to read them anyway. So use this occasion to teach them to be discerning—like Daniel. Dare them to have Daniel as their role model, not Harry Potter.

And if your kids do enjoy Harry’s magical world, you should give them copies of C.S. Lewis’s Narnia books and Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy.

These books also feature wizards and witches and magic, but in addition, they inspire the imagination within a Christian framework—and prepare the hearts of readers for the real-life story of Jesus Christ.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: breakpoint; christians; harrypotter; nowayjose
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1 posted on 07/23/2007 7:04:02 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback
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2 posted on 07/23/2007 7:05:56 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback (Backing Tribe al-Ameriki even if the Congress won't.)
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To: Mr. Silverback
As Christian children, we weren't told we couldn't go see Dracula, or the Wolf Man, or Frankenstein. We were told that these things were not real, that they were 'legends' or stories made up by people. I think it's the same with Harry Potter. Advertising has made it a phenomena, but parents can make their children understand that it's only a story.
3 posted on 07/23/2007 7:15:38 PM PDT by Shadowstrike (Be polite, Be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.)
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To: Mr. Silverback

“And if your kids do enjoy Harry’s magical world, you should give them copies of C.S. Lewis’s Narnia books and Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy.

These books also feature wizards and witches and magic, but in addition, they inspire the imagination within a Christian framework—and prepare the hearts of readers for the real-life story of Jesus Christ.”

B U M P


4 posted on 07/23/2007 7:17:04 PM PDT by stephenjohnbanker ( Hunter/Thompson/Thompson/Hunter in 08! "Read my lips....No new RINO's" !!)
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To: Mr. Silverback

“And if your kids do enjoy Harry’s magical world, you should give them copies of C.S. Lewis’s Narnia books and Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy.

These books also feature wizards and witches and magic, but in addition, they inspire the imagination within a Christian framework—and prepare the hearts of readers for the real-life story of Jesus Christ.”

B U M P


5 posted on 07/23/2007 7:17:05 PM PDT by stephenjohnbanker ( Hunter/Thompson/Thompson/Hunter in 08! "Read my lips....No new RINO's" !!)
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To: Mr. Silverback

My wife and son are taking turns reading it. I cheated and read the last chapter and epilogue. I won’t give it away.


6 posted on 07/23/2007 7:19:16 PM PDT by NotSoFreeStater
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To: Mr. Silverback

Christian kids, like all kids benefit from fiction reading. If you can get a kid to read a book at all, it’s a plus.


7 posted on 07/23/2007 7:22:34 PM PDT by americanophile
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To: Mr. Silverback

I don’t think any kids should be reading them.


8 posted on 07/23/2007 7:30:38 PM PDT by ColdSteelTalon
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To: Mr. Silverback

Oh no! Not this AGAIN! I am soooo tired of these paranoid attacks! Good grief! Have all of you forgotten your childhood when you tied on a towel and wanted to be Superman? Or better yet, wished you could blink your eyes and wiggled your nose like Genie or Samantha and have your homework done or room cleaned? I went to church and Sunday school every week, yet knew the difference between “fantasy” and reality. My family’s faith and mine was not jeapordized by my childhood fantasies.

Have any of you ever read a Potter book? If you had with an open mind then you would know that Potter and friends is far more about the good values like friendship, loyalty, strength, good versus evil, etc. You even have the characters celebrating Christmas! Not just on one occasion either. In fact, in this last movie they wish each other “Merry Christmas”! When was the last time you had a mainstream film doing that?!?!

You should be happy if your girls think Hermoine is great. She is smart, an avid scholar, strong, feminine, courageous, and loyal.
Ron is funny, loyal, and courageous.
Harry is a defender, a warrior, a teacher, loyal, and courageous. He has faced evil and defeated it. I’d be proud to have him as a son.

Have more faith in your kids. And remember, if they wave a stick around and say something you don’t understand...it is still only a stick and what they are saying is just jibberish. Just like the magician who says, “Abracadabra”.


9 posted on 07/23/2007 7:32:06 PM PDT by oneamericanvoice (Support freedom! Support the troops! Surrender is not an option!)
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To: Shadowstrike

Good for you! I grew up at around the same time, and I’ve been told that I turned out pretty well. The Potter series is good fun, and teaches alot of good values too. People need to get a grip.


10 posted on 07/23/2007 7:34:01 PM PDT by oneamericanvoice (Support freedom! Support the troops! Surrender is not an option!)
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To: Shadowstrike

Agreed. Personally, if your kid cannot tell the difference between a fictional story they read in a book, or a video game that has shooting in it and real life, then you are failing as a parent.

I just think this anti-Harry Potter thing is just silly. I have not read any of them, but I saw the movie, and...I enjoyed it. No reason a kid cannot do the same.


11 posted on 07/23/2007 7:34:17 PM PDT by rlmorel (Liberals: If the Truth would help them, they would use it.)
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To: americanophile
So you'd have no problem then with your child reading Mein Kampf or The Communist Manifesto? How about Playboy or Penthouse? How about any books by Aleister Crowley? How about Manson In His Own Words?

Parents have a responsibility called discernment.

12 posted on 07/23/2007 7:35:23 PM PDT by mountn man (The pleasure you get from life, is equal to the attitude you put into it.)
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To: americanophile

I agree at least the kids are reading. This is not a bad book for kids.


13 posted on 07/23/2007 7:35:29 PM PDT by lndrvr1972
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To: Mr. Silverback
Potter Mania: Should Christian Kids Read 'Harry Potter'?

Hell no.

14 posted on 07/23/2007 7:35:44 PM PDT by Barnacle (The Emperor has no clothes.)
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To: oneamericanvoice

bump


15 posted on 07/23/2007 7:37:00 PM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: stephenjohnbanker

I never knew that Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy was Christian. Did you? And unless someone had informed that C.S. Lewis was a Christian writer, I wouldn’t have known.


16 posted on 07/23/2007 7:37:04 PM PDT by oneamericanvoice (Support freedom! Support the troops! Surrender is not an option!)
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To: Shadowstrike

Excellent point. Back in the late 1990s I saw a book in a Christian bookstore which included a couple of chapters attacking Star Wars because the Force is so similar to Eastern religions, and I remember thinking, “What kind of knob can’t teach his kid that Luke making a run on the Death star has nothing to do with the real world?”


17 posted on 07/23/2007 7:37:06 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback (Backing Tribe al-Ameriki even if the Congress won't.)
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To: Mr. Silverback

If you purchased the book, what did you pay for it?

I bought one for my son at Walmart last evening for 17.88.

The inside cover price was a lot more!


18 posted on 07/23/2007 7:38:47 PM PDT by JRochelle (WalMart's 'Great Value' brand to be renamed, now its the 'Great Wall' brand.)
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To: oneamericanvoice
>>>Have all of you forgotten your childhood when you tied on a towel and wanted to be Superman? Or better yet, wished you could blink your eyes and wiggled your nose like Genie or Samantha and have your homework done or room cleaned?

Or, even better


Tra la laaaaa!

19 posted on 07/23/2007 7:38:48 PM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: ColdSteelTalon

Why don’t you think your kids should? What are you afraid of? BTW, what did you read to them, and what do you allow them to read now?

Did you know that the Potter characters celebrate Christmas in the books and movies?


20 posted on 07/23/2007 7:40:28 PM PDT by oneamericanvoice (Support freedom! Support the troops! Surrender is not an option!)
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To: NotSoFreeStater
My wife and son are taking turns reading it. I cheated and read the last chapter and epilogue. I won’t give it away.

That's good. You see, you'd have to kill anyone you told, and it's very hard to dispose of a body...um, that's what I hear anyway.

21 posted on 07/23/2007 7:41:15 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback (Backing Tribe al-Ameriki even if the Congress won't.)
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To: rlmorel
Agreed. Personally, if your kid cannot tell the difference between a fictional story they read in a book, or a video game that has shooting in it and real life, then you are failing as a parent.

I just think this anti-Harry Potter thing is just silly. I have not read any of them, but I saw the movie, and...I enjoyed it. No reason a kid cannot do the same.


It needed to be said again.
22 posted on 07/23/2007 7:41:24 PM PDT by TheZMan (Texas is no place for pansy-ass liberals. Ya'll move back to California er Mexico er somethin')
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To: oneamericanvoice

You are absolutely correct. These books were written for entertainment and for the things you mentioned. Give the kids a break, let them be kids for a while. I doubt any of them will turn out as wizards, witches, etc. They will turn out as adults with an imagination that a happy childhood brings. I do remeber the towels and masks that we used to be Superman or Batman. I also remember the silver with pearl colored plastic gripped guns we used to play Gene Autry or Roy Rogers while we chased the bad guys. What kind of life we give our kids when we deny them these experiences.


23 posted on 07/23/2007 7:41:41 PM PDT by TDA2
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To: Barnacle

And why not? No nudity, no sex, no human sacrifice. Lots of friendship, loyalty, defeat of evil....yet not good enough for kids?


24 posted on 07/23/2007 7:42:07 PM PDT by oneamericanvoice (Support freedom! Support the troops! Surrender is not an option!)
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To: Mr. Silverback
But the big question many parents have is: Should their kids be reading novels about wizards and witches and magic?

Why ever not? What better way to glean the good lessons of good vs evil from the books, while assuring the kids that no, there is no such thing as magic? If you limit your kids to reading only what supports your and their worldview, how are they ever going to learn the tools to defend their beliefs when they leave home and go out into the big wide world?

The magic in the books is just a vehicle for the moral of the story, that good will win out over evil, and sometimes, folks have to pay a heavy price in order to do that which is good.

I read the last one before the kids got to it. ;o) I've really enjoyed the series, and it's fun to talk about the characters as though they are folks we know, and about the trials and triumphs. They are like any other fiction series in that regard; you come to 'know' the characters very well.

25 posted on 07/23/2007 7:42:26 PM PDT by SuziQ
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To: ColdSteelTalon
I don’t think any kids should be reading them.

I don't think anyone should be reading them.

26 posted on 07/23/2007 7:43:32 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (We all need someone we can bleed on...)
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To: Shadowstrike
"I think it's the same with Harry Potter. Advertising has made it a phenomena, but parents can make their children understand that it's only a story." The point being...what? Parents can also make their children understand that the Bible is just a story.
27 posted on 07/23/2007 7:44:07 PM PDT by Logan1492
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To: Shadowstrike
I read the book backwards and it taught me how to break spells ;'}
28 posted on 07/23/2007 7:45:12 PM PDT by rockrr (Global warming is to science what Islam is to religion)
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To: Mr. Silverback

It isn’t that hard.


29 posted on 07/23/2007 7:46:30 PM PDT by RFC_Gal (It's not just a boulder; It's a rock! A ro-o-ock. The pioneers used to ride these babies for miles!)
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To: ColdSteelTalon; Revolting cat!
>>>>I don’t think any kids should be reading them.

>>>I don't think anyone should be reading them.

I didn't like Them either.


30 posted on 07/23/2007 7:46:57 PM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: Revolting cat!

Why?


31 posted on 07/23/2007 7:47:11 PM PDT by RFC_Gal (It's not just a boulder; It's a rock! A ro-o-ock. The pioneers used to ride these babies for miles!)
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To: Logan1492
The point being...what? Parents can also make their children understand that the Bible is just a story. The point of this thread was -- Potter Mania: Should Christian Kids Read 'Harry Potter?'

I'm going to make a big assumption here, but Christians aren't going to teach their kids that the Bible is just a story.

32 posted on 07/23/2007 7:48:00 PM PDT by Shadowstrike (Be polite, Be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.)
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To: mountn man; americanophile
Please understand that I would almost certainly write these same words even if I agreed that Harry Potter is bad for kids.

So you'd have no problem then with your child reading Mein Kampf or The Communist Manifesto? How about Playboy or Penthouse? How about any books by Aleister Crowley? How about Manson In His Own Words?

Parents have a responsibility called discernment.

And you've shown you have none by comparing a children's novel to the most evil crud ever put on paper.

33 posted on 07/23/2007 7:48:06 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback (Backing Tribe al-Ameriki even if the Congress won't.)
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To: Mr. Silverback

If you believe in God and the Other, yes. Read it.


34 posted on 07/23/2007 7:48:22 PM PDT by yldstrk (My heros have always been cowboys--Reagan and Bush)
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To: Mr. Silverback
Well, Colson seems to think it's sorta OK to read them with qualifications. Whoever said that reading a Harry Potter book constitutes subscribing to a new religion and world-view? They're just stories.

I have never read them and likely never will, but not for "moral" reasons. I've seen all the films, and frankly, I do not find HP and his world all that interesting. But that's just me. I read A LOT, and cannot make time for Potter.

35 posted on 07/23/2007 7:48:44 PM PDT by Sans-Culotte
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To: Shadowstrike
As Christian children, we weren't told we couldn't go see Dracula, or the Wolf Man, or Frankenstein. We were told that these things were not real, that they were 'legends' or stories made up by people. I think it's the same with Harry Potter. Advertising has made it a phenomena, but parents can make their children understand that it's only a story.

The big difference I see between those stories and the Potter stories is that the others show the weird stuff as weird. Where as the Potter stories shows the weird stuff (the occult) as something that can be accessed to one's advantage.

Thus, whereas only the very weird child would aspire to create a Frankenstein or be a Wolf-man. The Potter books present the occult in a palatable sense, with heroic possibilities and broad appeal.

The occult is real, and it's real dangerous.

36 posted on 07/23/2007 7:50:07 PM PDT by Barnacle (The Emperor has no clothes.)
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To: oneamericanvoice
The existence of a soul is quite explicit in these books.
Heaven is very heavily hinted at (the Kings Cross station scene). God gets a capital ‘G’. The books a deist, but not Christian,
37 posted on 07/23/2007 7:50:16 PM PDT by conejo99
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To: Mr. Silverback

Muslim kids should read these books and watch the Movies

TT


38 posted on 07/23/2007 7:51:00 PM PDT by TexasTransplant (NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSET)
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To: Barnacle; ColdSteelTalon

Why?


39 posted on 07/23/2007 7:51:06 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback (Backing Tribe al-Ameriki even if the Congress won't.)
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To: Mr. Silverback

The most interesting thing was... in the latest Potter book, Rowling wrote the best Passion-scene I’ve read in many years.

I think she “came out” in this book and showed her true allegiances, and I like ‘em.


40 posted on 07/23/2007 7:51:40 PM PDT by JenB
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To: oneamericanvoice
And why not?....

Please see post #36.

41 posted on 07/23/2007 7:53:08 PM PDT by Barnacle (The Emperor has no clothes.)
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To: mountn man
The analogies you attempted to make don't work. Equating Potter with Nazism or Communism, sex, etc is downright silly. And a bit disgusting. In the Potter series you find no sex, no totalitarianism, no racism, no disrespect for authority.... You do find loyalty, courage, strength, the triumph of good over evil, responsibility, and yes, Christmas! I wiggled my nose like Samantha, and blinked my eyes like Jeannie...in play. But went to church and Sunday school knowing the difference between pretend and reality. Bet you went to fantasy movies when you were a kid. Did you turn out okay?
42 posted on 07/23/2007 7:53:22 PM PDT by oneamericanvoice (Support freedom! Support the troops! Surrender is not an option!)
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To: JRochelle
Given your tagline, should you have been shopping at WalMart? :-)

Seriously though, i haven't read this or any of the Potter books yet. Other than reading Narnia and Star Wars books to my kids, I've been fiction free (unintentionally) for about 3 years.

43 posted on 07/23/2007 7:53:40 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback (Backing Tribe al-Ameriki even if the Congress won't.)
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To: oneamericanvoice
Did you know that the Potter characters celebrate Christmas in the books and movies?

Of course they do. They also cast spells and practice sorcery.

44 posted on 07/23/2007 7:53:51 PM PDT by ColdSteelTalon
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To: Mr. Silverback; mountn man; americanophile
And you've shown you have none by comparing a children's novel to the most evil crud ever put on paper.

Thanks. I was working on a smart-aleck comeback, but you nailed the truth with your post.

45 posted on 07/23/2007 7:54:07 PM PDT by Corin Stormhands (I drink coffee for your protection.)
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To: RFC_Gal
Why?

"That's not writing, that's typing." -- Truman Capote

46 posted on 07/23/2007 7:55:14 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (We all need someone we can bleed on...)
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To: Revolting cat!
I don't think anyone should be reading them.

The title of the article you might notice says Christian Kids.

47 posted on 07/23/2007 7:55:24 PM PDT by ColdSteelTalon
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To: Shadowstrike

Anti-Christian assaults as a retort to the anti-Potter campaign is just as silly. You just lost your credibility by assaulting their faith rather than sticking to the issue.


48 posted on 07/23/2007 7:55:56 PM PDT by oneamericanvoice (Support freedom! Support the troops! Surrender is not an option!)
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To: oneamericanvoice

Tolkein and Lewis were good friends. LOTR has alot of Christian themes in it.


49 posted on 07/23/2007 7:56:37 PM PDT by Free Vulcan (Show them no mercy, for you shall receive none!)
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To: Barnacle; Shadowstrike; SuziQ
Where as the Potter stories shows the weird stuff (the occult) as something that can be accessed to one's advantage.

Which is exactly why kids should read them. I would never have made it home tonight without using the reparo spell on my flat tire.

:rolls eyes:

50 posted on 07/23/2007 7:56:51 PM PDT by Corin Stormhands (I drink coffee for your protection.)
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