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Harry Potter: 3 More Things I Learned
ExileStreet ^ | 8/1/07 | John Mark Reynolds

Posted on 08/01/2007 6:59:32 AM PDT by ParsifalCA

I am warning those who have not finished the series . . . and there must be still a few of them by now. . . that there are spoilers ahead. I have just finished the last book . . . having spent an enjoyable evening with it thanks to Sam’s Club and an indulgent wife.

I am done with Harry Potter and enjoying the literary aftertaste the way one enjoys a fine meal almost as much after it is done as when it is being consumed . . . though it is a bit sad that the series is finished.

And it is really finished . . .

Will one be able to re-read the books with pleasure?

I think the answer is only a tentative “yes.” If one knows the “puzzles” and “the secrets” of the book, it will not take away the charm of the characters or the fun of a good Quidditch match, but the first read will always be the best.

The strength of these books is in the plot and the second read, when everything is known, will be satisfying for finding all the clues to what happens . . . but I am hard pressed to know if I will want to re-read them a third or fourth time.

A really great book is as good on the fourth read . . . and some children’s books (Little White Horse) are better.

I deeply enjoyed the last book and thought the ending satisfying. For those who found them quite Christian, they will find much in this last book to give strength to their idea.

(Excerpt) Read more at exilestreet.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: childrensbooks; christianity; culture; deloresumbridge; harrypotter; hillaryumbridge; kidbooks; nooccultpractices; strictly4kids; threaddementorsalert; tinfoilwitcheshat
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To: I still care
Hillary does make a good Umbridge

I thought Albright. Simply because the character is repeatedly described as "toadlike". Heh.

151 posted on 08/01/2007 10:22:10 AM PDT by Lil'freeper (You do not have the plug-in required to view this tagline.)
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To: TexasAg1996; PetroniusMaximus
I have no interest in discussing something like this with someone who is so closed-minded and who has very interesting interpretations of several Bible passages. You should go to some of the kook websites where you can talk about the evils of Harry Potter with more like-minded folks. I’ve known many people whose kids have read the books and shown absolutely no interest in becoming “true” witches and warlocks. Fiction isn’t real, you see.

I read the entire Hardy Boys series as a child, yet somehow I did NOT become a detective.
I've read the LOTR trilogy three times and have yet to become a Hobbit, a Dwarf, an Elf, a Wizard, or even an Orc. Nor did I develop a unhealthy passion for jewelry on a chain (maybe I should listen to rap [non-]music to develop that).
I have read Frankenstein several times, yet I have no desire to become a mad doctor who tries to induce life into the dead.
In the interest of full-disclosure, I must admit to having a desire spring into my heart after reading a book. I wanted dearly to build a log raft and lazily float down the Mississippi river with a friend. Guess which book!
My opinion? People of faith who fear the effects of fiction and fictional characters on their children have a weak faith, are weak parents, or both.
PM: Is God so powerless in your life that some children's fantasy stories, written by an everyday English mother, can destroy you and your family?

152 posted on 08/01/2007 10:22:17 AM PDT by Ignatz (NPC's have feelings, too!)
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To: PetroniusMaximus

I am as conservative a Christian as they come - and I thoroughly enjoy Harry Potter. This is FICTION - and there are no exhortation or how to’s for witchcraft. No one doubts Tolkein’s Christianity, yet he wrote of wizards in his fantasy world.

Take the setting away, and there are actually some strongly Christian undertones to the story (intended or not)

My children understand that witchcraft is an abomination, and I have not found one of them trying to cast a spell after reading Harry Potter.

I think more Christians should read the book before they condemn it. I initially read the book to see if it would be OK for my children to read, and found myself enjoying it immensely. I have not missed a book since.


153 posted on 08/01/2007 10:24:10 AM PDT by Mom MD (The scorn of fools is music to the ears of the wise)
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To: Ignatz

And what really seems to be lacking is the idea of parental responsibility. There’s no way I’d give a 9 or 10 year old a book like this (esp. the later ones), and I’d never just give it to them and not talk about it. But I certainly want my kids to read them when they are mature enough (as with any other book)!


154 posted on 08/01/2007 10:25:32 AM PDT by TexasAg1996
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To: I still care
The minister of magic is Bill Clinton.

Depends on which Minister of Magic you mean.

Cornelius Fudge was simply in denial that Voldemort could/did return. I don't think he was inherently evil, but had more of a "if I don't think about it, it won't happen" attitude.

Rufus Scrimgour was more manipulative, but he did believe in the threat. He may be the closest to Clinton as he wanted to use Harry to enhance the image of the ministry.

Pius Thicknesse was in under an Imperious Curse. He was being controlled by Voledmort. Nobody controls Bill Clinton. Not even Bill Clinton.

155 posted on 08/01/2007 10:26:17 AM PDT by Corin Stormhands (I drink coffee for your protection.)
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To: Ignatz; TexasAg1996

“PM: Is God so powerless in your life that some children’s fantasy stories, written by an everyday English mother, can destroy you and your family?”

My faith is not at issue.

What is at issue is that the most popular children’s series of our generation glorifies soemthing that God has called an abomination.


156 posted on 08/01/2007 10:27:17 AM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: PetroniusMaximus
Ok.....so let's take a look at your two quotes.

Speaking .. the Pagan Federation’s Steve Paine,.., said the hit US drama Buffy and the highly successful Harry Potter books were popular amongst practising witches. “They are taken as fantasy entertainment. But they do encourage people to think about different forms of spirituality"

Are you saying that kids shouldn't think about spirituality other than what one religion directs them? Are you denying that man is a thinking animal able to discern good from evil, right from wrong?

"Although saying that the stories were a positive way of showing the struggle between good and evil, he was worried that they could be used as a springboard for exploring more sinister aspects of the occult..."

This is an emotional response with ZERO facts to support it. Try again.

157 posted on 08/01/2007 10:30:30 AM PDT by Pistolshot (Every woman, who can, should learn to shoot, and carry a gun.)
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To: PetroniusMaximus; TexasAg1996

So, what’s worse?

Reading a bit of children’s fiction that uses a make believe magic as part of the story line...

Or studying and obsessing about all of the occult references in pop culture?

Seems like people who aren’t supposed to be reading about witchcraft sure are spending a heckuva lot of time reading about it.

But maybe that’s just me.


158 posted on 08/01/2007 10:30:45 AM PDT by Corin Stormhands (I drink coffee for your protection.)
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To: Mom MD

“I am as conservative a Christian as they come -”

From a previous post...

Now if there was a very popular childrens series about a couple of crack-addicted, teenage, male-prostitutes - and this series described the kids life and habits in detail (making it all seem fun) and also included a bunch of “life lessons” - would you want your kids to read this?

Remember, it’s all just fiction.

So, would you?


159 posted on 08/01/2007 10:30:56 AM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: PetroniusMaximus
What is at issue is that the most popular children’s series of our generation glorifies soemthing that God has called an abomination.

I said it before, and I'll say it again. If she'd called them Jedis and they used the Force, you wouldn't complain one bit. But because they're wizards and use magic, you'll condemn it. How's that for logical, clear-headed thinking?
160 posted on 08/01/2007 10:32:08 AM PDT by TexasAg1996
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To: PetroniusMaximus

Oh he’s back on the teenage male prostitute thing. Let me guess, you recently got back from Thailand?


161 posted on 08/01/2007 10:32:33 AM PDT by discostu (indecision may or may not be my biggest problem)
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To: Corin Stormhands
Rufus Scrimgour was more manipulative, but he did believe in the threat. He may be the closest to Clinton as he wanted to use Harry to enhance the image of the ministry.

Sorry, I don't want to sound picky but I just don't think Scrimgeour should be compared to Clinton, at least, not after his actions in the last book (I don't want to spoil it, but if you've read it, you know what I'm talking about).

162 posted on 08/01/2007 10:33:09 AM PDT by The Blitherer (What would a Free Man do?)
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To: jetson
One thing I have noticed about the Harry Potter stuff. People who are tuned into and follow politics don’t read or watch the garbage. What could this mean?

You're right. Nobody on FreeRepublic would bother reading or watching that garbage. That must be the reason that there haven't been any threads about HP on Free Republic.

Mark

Do I need a "/sarcasm?" I've read all the books, seen all the movies, and enjoy Jim Dale's performance on the audio books: I'm listening to "Prisoner of Askaban" right now at work. Some of you may have noticed that I'm a little bit interested in politics...

163 posted on 08/01/2007 10:33:17 AM PDT by MarkL (Listen, Strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government)
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To: PetroniusMaximus
Something that struck me about the books (and others on this thread have certainly mentioned it) the young wizards have a sort of genetic ability to do magic even before they know about magic. In this way, the magic in Harry Potter differs very much from the Occult practices we see in our own world.

One of the exception is in fortune-telling (as you point out) and tea-reading, astrology, etc. These are "magical disciplines" in Harry Potter which map quite closely to "magical disciplines in our own world. But Look:

The professor for these subjects is Trelawney. She is a fraud. Everyone knows it. She is a laughingstock. The magic that she tries to teach simply doesn't work!

The one exception is that Trelawney makes a prophecy (without intention and without knowing she's doing so)which harks back to the inborn genetic capability that the Harry Potter wizards have.

I think Rowling in telling us how she feels about the Occult when she portrays Trelawney this way.

164 posted on 08/01/2007 10:33:36 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Progressives like to keep doing the things that didn't work in the past.)
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To: Ignatz; JenB; SuziQ; Lil'freeper; HairOfTheDog; ecurbh; Ramius; RosieCotton; Bear_in_RoseBear; ...
I've read the LOTR trilogy three times and have yet to become a Hobbit, a Dwarf, an Elf, a Wizard, or even an Orc...

ooops

165 posted on 08/01/2007 10:33:52 AM PDT by Corin Stormhands (I drink coffee for your protection.)
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To: Artemis Webb
Several people have brought up “I Dream Of Jeannie”. Did that television show glorify occultism? Jeannie practiced magic.

Jeannie's dark-haired sister *was* fairly naughty, as was Samantha's dark-haired cousin Serina. When I was a teenager, I often wished I could take a magic wand to those two. ;-)

166 posted on 08/01/2007 10:34:34 AM PDT by Charles Martel (The Tree of Liberty thirsts.)
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To: I still care
Your tagline caught my eye. Excalibur!
One of my favorite movies! It might have been the first movie I bought after getting my first DVD player. After I saw it the first time, I was so taken with it that I chucked my Christian upbringing and became an occult wizard and was frozen for many, many years, and then.....Oh, wait...that's what happens in Petronious's world, not mine.
Nor ANYONE else I know of.
'Cept maybe Xenalyte.
But she's hot so I'll make an exception.
167 posted on 08/01/2007 10:34:52 AM PDT by Ignatz (NPC's have feelings, too!)
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To: discostu; PetroniusMaximus
Let me guess, you recently got back from Thailand?

Jim Webb's a FReeper????

168 posted on 08/01/2007 10:35:48 AM PDT by Corin Stormhands (I drink coffee for your protection.)
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To: PetroniusMaximus

it would depend on the setting of the book, the age of my children and the ultimate lessons coming out of the book. If they were going into law enforcement or medicine, and needed the info about how this subset of the society lives, and were old enough to handle it (prob late HS, college) I would not object. This would be mild compared to some of the things I was exposed to in medical school.

In most cases no, but the point is the decision is made on a case by case basis. I actually read Harry Potter first, and determined there is nothing that would harm my children by reading it. We also discussed witchcraft (the real kind, not the Harry Potter kind, and how God feels about it.)

There are some Christian books I do not want my children reading due to the graphic nature of the same. Sorry, the arguement does not hold water.


169 posted on 08/01/2007 10:36:37 AM PDT by Mom MD (The scorn of fools is music to the ears of the wise)
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To: Corin Stormhands

And he hates Harry Potter. Probably doesn’t like oil cans either but that’s a joke for another day.


170 posted on 08/01/2007 10:38:11 AM PDT by discostu (indecision may or may not be my biggest problem)
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To: The Blitherer

No I agree. My point was that, if anyone could closely be compared to Clinton it was Scrimgour and his desire to have Harry “hangout” at the ministry to enhance the image of the ministry.

But you’re right, his actions in the last book are definitely NOT Clintonlike.


171 posted on 08/01/2007 10:38:14 AM PDT by Corin Stormhands (I drink coffee for your protection.)
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To: Mercat
If you enjoy audio books, look into them. They are done by Borders.

Geez! You'd think that being a reader for audio books would pay enough for one to at least afford a house!

172 posted on 08/01/2007 10:38:37 AM PDT by Ignatz (NPC's have feelings, too!)
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To: discostu

*snicker*


173 posted on 08/01/2007 10:40:18 AM PDT by Corin Stormhands (I drink coffee for your protection.)
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To: Ignatz
I've read the LOTR trilogy three times and have yet to become a Hobbit, a Dwarf, an Elf, a Wizard, or even an Orc.

I confess, I saw the movies and wanted to become an elf. Of course, that could have been cause I had the hots for Olando Bloom at the time :-) In fact, I'm pretty sure that's the reason, since reading the books never gave me that desire.

*sigh*...Orlando Bloom...

;-)

174 posted on 08/01/2007 10:40:53 AM PDT by The Blitherer (What would a Free Man do?)
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To: PetroniusMaximus
Now if there was a very popular childrens series about a couple of crack-addicted, teenage, male-prostitutes -

Just to end this obsessive rhetoric you seem to repeat so often, no editor worth his salt or author for that matter would consider your fictional 'crack-addicted, teenage, male-prostitutes' as appropriate for children.

Let me repeat so you don't get confused.

no editor worth his salt or author for that matter would consider your fictional 'crack-addicted, teenage, male-prostitutes' as appropriate for children.

Try something new.

175 posted on 08/01/2007 10:41:10 AM PDT by Pistolshot (Every woman, who can, should learn to shoot, and carry a gun.)
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To: abner; altura; Androcles; andyssister; anonsquared; Bigs from the North; Blue Eyes; Caipirabob; ...

Potter Ping!

(Sorry for the late ping! Apologies to anyone I may have left off the list, I’m on a backup computer.)


176 posted on 08/01/2007 10:41:57 AM PDT by retrokitten
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To: Pistolshot

“Try something new.”

It’s a “What-if” question.

Ever heard of that?


177 posted on 08/01/2007 10:43:24 AM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: PetroniusMaximus

It’s a logical fallacy, specifically poisoning the well with a false comparison. Ever heard of that?


178 posted on 08/01/2007 10:44:43 AM PDT by discostu (indecision may or may not be my biggest problem)
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To: ParsifalCA; Corin Stormhands; JenB; Lil'freeper
Rowling writes well . . . she plots fabulously . . . she creates lovable characters . . . but her prose fails her when she gets to scenes of great beauty or pathos. Her battles, to cite just one example, end up reading like her Quidditch matches.

I see this argument all the time, written by ADULTS as though they were critiquing a book written for them. It's a KIDS book!! It is written for tweens and teens, and won't be written in the same way as a typical book for older adults. That's not to say that adults can't enjoy them, but the books shouldn't be judged on how they're written if the person doing the judging is using an incorrect measure by which to do it.

As for the contention that the jargon is too contemporary, and will be 'dated', aren't folks still reading Thomas Hardy and Jane Austen with their stilted language? That's pretty dated, but it doesn't take away from the fact that they wrote some pretty good stories that have held up over time. It remains to be seen if the Harry Potter series will endure, but I think it will, because the struggle between good and evil is timeless.

179 posted on 08/01/2007 10:45:14 AM PDT by SuziQ
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To: Mom MD

“it would depend on the setting of the book, the age of my children and the ultimate lessons coming out of the book. “

There would be no moral lesson - for or against - their conducts. It would simply serve as a “plot device” as magic does in HP.


180 posted on 08/01/2007 10:45:51 AM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: PetroniusMaximus
It’s a “What-if” question.

Ever heard of that?


Someone's getting testy. The shredding of poor logic can sometimes cause that.
181 posted on 08/01/2007 10:46:02 AM PDT by TexasAg1996
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To: PetroniusMaximus

I know you are strongly convinced that the Potter books are evil. I was told the same, but when I started to read them myself I came to the opposite conclusion. I guess the answer is, if you are going to get obsessive over the setting (floating candles, ghosts, etc) it will seem occultish to you. Certain people, especially those who have come out of the occult, have problems with that.

But I tell you the plot and themes are absolutely Christian and conservative. Rowling has made more conservatives than witches, I’ll promise you. The theme is basically Everyman (Harry Potter - you know, Tom, Dick and Harry, and Potter’s Field - her names are highly symbolic) is a young wizard, and his life seems to parallel another young wizard’s, Tom Riddle.

However, Riddle makes all the wrong choices, out of an evil heart, and Harry makes mostly right ones, out of love for friends and under the guidence of wise mentors - despite the fact that he is just as angry about things as Riddle (the heart is desperately wicked).

The book turns into a spiritual and physical warfare between good and evil, with love for others expressed through self sacrifice becoming the redemption of mankind.

A strong subtheme is the desire of government to control the lives of individuals, and how easily that turns to aiding evil. There are many other Christian themes. Actually, I didn’t see any new age ideas in the book at all.

Don’t count on the movies to give you a true picture. The movies were interpretations by worldly folk, and they miss much of the Christianity.


182 posted on 08/01/2007 10:46:02 AM PDT by I still care ("Remember... for it is the doom of men that they forget" - Merlin, from Excalibur)
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To: discostu

“poisoning the well with a false comparison. “

Occultism and homosexuality are a one-to-one comparison in terms of their bBiblical status as “abomination”.


183 posted on 08/01/2007 10:47:38 AM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: PzLdr
And while it isn’t “Lord of the Rings”, it isn’t ‘garbage’.

For a description of Lord of the Rings, check this out...

Randall gives his impression of LotR from Clerks 2

CAUTION!!!! Saying this is NOT family friendly is an understatement. If you play this at work, you will be fired. In fact, just watching this will put you on an express elevator straight to hell. In other words, they use a lot of naughty language, and rude, crude, and socially unacceptable imagery. You have been warned.

Mark

184 posted on 08/01/2007 10:48:34 AM PDT by MarkL (Listen, Strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government)
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To: jetson
One thing I have noticed about the Harry Potter stuff. People who are tuned into and follow politics don’t read or watch the garbage. What could this mean?

Well a few things come to mind, first being what universe could someone live in to make a comment like this?

Then an old Mark Twain quote and an old proverb that say much the same things.

"It is often better to keep one's mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt." --- Mark Twain

Or another version

"It's better to be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and prove it." - old proverb

185 posted on 08/01/2007 10:48:51 AM PDT by billva
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To: TexasAg1996

“The shredding of poor logic can sometimes cause that.”

Examples please.


186 posted on 08/01/2007 10:49:36 AM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: null and void
On many levels, so does the Harry Potter series. It is set in a fictional fantasy universe, but the human lessons are real.

Universality is what makes great and lasting stories great and lasting. Whatever the setting, from Hogwarts to Middle Earth to Narnia to the banks of the Mississippi to Victorian London to fair Verona to Camelot, what rings true is the human motives, good, bad, and ugly. Greed, lust for power, anger and hate; Sacrifice, justice, courage and love.

A common theme of modern literature is that even out heroes have feet of clay -- that is certainly true in Harry Potter. I do not see that as a negative, or as creeping moral relativism. Someone who is human and flawed, but nonetheless heroic, is someone we can choose to be, something we can aspire to -- not some other-worldly celestial being who is too far beyond us to contemplate.

187 posted on 08/01/2007 10:49:58 AM PDT by ReignOfError (`)
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To: PetroniusMaximus

Except of course there is no occultism in HP, thus your comparison is false. Then of course there’s the whole addition of the crack addict thing which you clearly included just to pile on the negative imagery, thus poisoning the well. You’ve got no facts, you site bigoted website and false claimers, and use logical fallacies to construct your argument. You lost, man up and walk away, you’ve proven yourself wrong.


188 posted on 08/01/2007 10:50:38 AM PDT by discostu (indecision may or may not be my biggest problem)
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To: jetson; Corin Stormhands; Lil'freeper
One thing I have noticed about the Harry Potter stuff. People who are tuned into and follow politics don’t read or watch the garbage. What could this mean?

It means your powers of observation are flawed, or you don't know enough people to create a decent sample for your 'survey', or both.

189 posted on 08/01/2007 10:51:10 AM PDT by SuziQ
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To: Ingtar; Lx
I think a little Spell-O-Tape should fix it.

Now you know that Spell-O-Tape on wands leads to tragedies like vomiting slugs.

That's right... You need the Elder Wand."

Mark

190 posted on 08/01/2007 10:51:28 AM PDT by MarkL (Listen, Strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government)
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To: PetroniusMaximus
Examples please.

You. Poor logic and testy!
191 posted on 08/01/2007 10:51:33 AM PDT by TexasAg1996
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To: TexasAg1996
And what really seems to be lacking is the idea of parental responsibility.

I hope that point came across to PM in my post. Parental responsibility and one's faith.

192 posted on 08/01/2007 10:51:33 AM PDT by Ignatz (NPC's have feelings, too!)
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To: discostu

“Oh he’s back on the teenage male prostitute thing. Let me guess, you recently got back from Thailand?”

2nd request.

Please refrain from personal attacks and stick to a discussion of the topic.


193 posted on 08/01/2007 10:52:23 AM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: PetroniusMaximus
I have heard of rational 'what if' questions that lead to discoveries. And I have heard the off the wall, out of this world, 'what if' questions too.

Yours is more the latter than the former. Most of the latter have little basis in reality and often come under the influence of drugs or alchohol.

Your turn.

194 posted on 08/01/2007 10:52:35 AM PDT by Pistolshot (Every woman, who can, should learn to shoot, and carry a gun.)
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To: TexasAg1996

“You. Poor logic “

Please give examples of where my poor logic has been shredded.


195 posted on 08/01/2007 10:53:34 AM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: Mercat
It’s a completely different experience to listen to the books than to read them.

I've enjoyed Harry Potter on audio, read by Jim Dale, and have two of them. However, I recently learned that the British version of the audio books are read by Stephen Fry. I'm gonna have to start collecting THOSE, because I just love his voice!

196 posted on 08/01/2007 10:53:48 AM PDT by SuziQ
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To: PetroniusMaximus

Actually that would be your first request, don’t fib. And it’s not a personal attack to point out that you keep returning over and over to the teenage male prostitute thing, because you do. And it’s also not an attack to mention that I find it a little creepy.


197 posted on 08/01/2007 10:54:09 AM PDT by discostu (indecision may or may not be my biggest problem)
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To: dmz
These books are fiction, so there is none of the activity you speak of actually happening. There is nothing in Deuteronomy that mentions that reading fiction on these topics is an abomination.

I know! I believe that there's something in the Bible that says you're not supposed to commit murder... Does that mean that you're not allowed to read a book where murders occur? If that's the case, I guess we're not supposed to read the Bible.

Mark

198 posted on 08/01/2007 10:54:17 AM PDT by MarkL (Listen, Strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government)
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To: discostu

“Actually that would be your first request, don’t fib.”

See post #102


199 posted on 08/01/2007 10:55:54 AM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: PetroniusMaximus

There’s nothing in there that says anything about personal attacks or a request to stop same. That post has as little to do with personal attacks as HP does with the occult. Maybe you were thinking about personal attacks, but you didn’t write anything about them.


200 posted on 08/01/2007 10:57:39 AM PDT by discostu (indecision may or may not be my biggest problem)
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