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Kids, adults shirking duties under cinematic spell of 'Harry Potter'
The Dallas Morning News ^ | 11/16/2001 | By MICHAEL PRECKER

Posted on 11/16/2001 5:58:33 PM PST by boxlunch

By about noon on Friday, seventh-graders at Richardson West Junior High School should have an up-close-and-personal review of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Ben Buchanan is going to the 9 a.m. show. He promises to make up any missed work, and Mom hopes the teachers will understand.

"We've watched Ben love Harry Potter for several years," Carol Adams says. "I think it's appropriate to honor that." The 12-year-old student recently wrote a book called My Year With Harry Potter, and he and his mom collaborated on a second volume about how to turn your favorite book into a game.

Whether or not that's a good enough excuse, they figure to have plenty of company in explaining their absence back at school or at the office. With the cinematic version of Pottermania officially beginning Friday, young and old fans alike want to beat the crowds that should start as soon as school is out and last all weekend.

"We just had to be at the first showing on the first day," says a Plano mom who's taking her third-grader out of school to catch an 11:15 a.m. show. She doesn't want her name, or her son's, in the paper.

"Last summer when we found out when the movie was coming out, we circled it on the calendar," she says. "He knew he'd get out of school to see it."

At least four area theaters, including General Cinemas at Irving Mall and Loews Cityplace, scheduled showings around midnight Friday for the 152-minute film, probably ensuring some groggy or tardy students later in the day. Plano school spokeswoman Nancy Long says the district expects students to be in class Friday – and to catch Harry Potter on their own time.

"Students reap the most positive educational benefits by attending school each day," Ms. Long says. "Missing school to attend any movie would be considered an unexcused absence."

The 48 third-graders at Ben Milam Elementary School in Dallas won't have to worry about their teachers finding out they're at the 9 a.m. show. The teachers are taking them. "We're using this as a supplement to their learning," says Mary Kaperzinski, one of the three teachers. "These are the things at school you'll remember for the rest of your life."

Ms. Kaperzinski began reading Harry Potter to her class in September. Soon, she says, the children had their own books, either to follow along with her or read on their own.

The teachers channeled their enthusiasm about the books into writing and creativity projects, then got permission for the whole group to attend the movie. Most, she says, are coming in costume.

"They are so excited," Ms. Kaperzinski says. "I'm going to have to bring them down [after the movie], because we definitely have some work to do in the afternoon."

It's not just kids who are rearranging their priorities for Harry Potter. Caroline Prothro, who works for an insurance company in Dallas, doesn't want to face the hordes of young fans who probably will pack theaters from Friday afternoon through the weekend.

"I'm sure it'll be mobbed with kids," she says. "So I decided I'm going to take a half-day off and go to see a matinee. It's the first time I've ever done something like that." ...

... many educators are thrilled at Harry's magical powers to get kids to read, she says some of her son's teachers don't like the supernatural aspects that have offended some religious groups.

"I'll just send a note saying he has to be somewhere," she says. "If he leaves after 9, it doesn't count as a day's absence. But he kind of told the kids on the playground. We hope they won't tell on him."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: harrypotter
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"We just had to be at the first showing on the first day," says a Plano mom who's taking her third-grader out of school to catch an 11:15 a.m. show. She doesn't want her name, or her son's, in the paper.

Not that she's doing anything wrong. She just doesn't want anyone to know about it.

The 48 third-graders at Ben Milam Elementary School in Dallas won't have to worry about their teachers finding out they're at the 9 a.m. show. The teachers are taking them.

And people wonder why we homeschool.

"I'll just send a note saying he has to be somewhere," she says. "If he leaves after 9, it doesn't count as a day's absence. But he kind of told the kids on the playground. We hope they won't tell on him."

Another great benefit, she's teaching him how to lie to his authorities.

1 posted on 11/16/2001 5:58:33 PM PST by boxlunch
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To: boxlunch
Oh, for God's sake, is this ridiculous or what? Puh-lease, children for generations have been missing school days on Opening Day of baseball season and no one is ready to proclaim the end of civilisation as we know it because of it...
3 posted on 11/16/2001 6:02:39 PM PST by BluesDuke
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To: BluesDuke
Here here! As I have posted before, let kids be kids. If little Jane or Johnny misses one day of school nothing bad will happen to them. Furthermore, if it was one day of a public or a liberal private school the child is much better off.
4 posted on 11/16/2001 6:08:12 PM PST by StockAyatollah
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To: boxlunch
she's teaching him how to lie to his authorities

Right. My child will tell 'his' authorities straight up where they can go.

5 posted on 11/16/2001 6:09:41 PM PST by mxbluto
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To: boxlunch
The reason people are interested in Harry Potter is because he has super-natural powers. As soon as the Christian church begins doing the works of Christ, and greater works of super-natural power, the world will be saying Harry who?, Jesus is the one I want to know about.
6 posted on 11/16/2001 6:10:21 PM PST by Russell Scott
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To: BluesDuke
I take the youngest out of school whenever the family has a good reason. Folks (and the school) may not agree with my reason, but I don't care, she's our kid, not the school's. We are very concerned about her education, and she goes to a private school.

It's nobody's business why I'm taking the kid out of school (barring abuse) and if I get quizzed, "None ya" is about the nicest answer anyone can expect. I'm a free adult, I don't have to explain myself to anyone.

/john

7 posted on 11/16/2001 6:12:07 PM PST by JRandomFreeper
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To: StockAyatollah
If little Jane or Johnny misses one day of school nothing bad will happen to them.

This may amuse you:

In a restaurant near Wrigley Field there is this sign: "Any employee wishing to miss work because of death or serious illness please notify the office by 11 a.m. on the day of the game." In that spirit, the teachers of Victoria and Jon Will are hereby notified that, because of an annual April emergency, Victoria and Jon must be in Baltimore Monday afternoon. But Geoffrey Will will be in school, drawn by love of learning (that's a joke, son) and baseball practise. - George F. Will, "An Exacting and Elevating School," 2 April 1989.

But I am also compelled to wonder: Had the little 'uns been kept out of school to attend the premiere of, say, Stuart Little, or Cats and Dogs, would there have been even a sixteenth of the brouhaha being kicked up by young Mr. Potter's film premiere?

(All things considered, I am also somewhat surprised that similar brouhahas are not aroused for Opening Day games of the Anaheim Angels, given that there was once a player - Gary Gaetti, since retired - who surveyed the weird fortunes of the team, usually ill fortunes afield, and became convinced there were witches haunting the ballpark.)
8 posted on 11/16/2001 6:17:14 PM PST by BluesDuke
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To: StockAyatollah
The day of school their missing is not the point. The point is WHY their missing the day and what the parents are teaching the kids by taking them out and lying to the teacher about why their taking them out.
9 posted on 11/16/2001 6:26:34 PM PST by boxlunch
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To: boxlunch
More Cabbage Patch crap? This ain't the end of it...
10 posted on 11/16/2001 6:31:24 PM PST by Libloather
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Comment #11 Removed by Moderator

To: boxlunch
This is going to shock some of you, but I actually WALKED OUT of Harry Potter this evening. I made it through about 50 minutes of the picture, but had to leave.

(Of course, the real reason I left was this damnable toothache I'm suffering, and I couldn't sit still with the blasted thing throbbing like it is. Hope the codeine holds out till Monday (when the oral surgeon is scheduled to remove the thing).

12 posted on 11/16/2001 6:37:36 PM PST by strela
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To: boxlunch
On Nov. 15 (opening day of deer season) here in Michigan, thousands of young'uns dumped school to go out in the woods to see if they could kill Bambi. What's the big deal?
13 posted on 11/16/2001 6:42:29 PM PST by CrossCheck
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To: boxlunch
We went to see Harry Potter this afternoon, just AFTER school let out in case you are wondering!

After all the articles I have read about the evils of the Harry Potter series, I was stunned by this movie! It was fabulous! It is truly a "good triumphs over evil" movie.... the entire story line is based on good deeds and helping others..... the stories of "animal sacrifice" are total bs..... an EVIL being killed a unicorn, and the good people in the story tell Harry that nothing good ever comes from an evil deed.....

I am a Christian, and I believe there is a difference between "fictional entertainment" and some sinister, underlying plot to take over the minds of children....

14 posted on 11/16/2001 6:43:18 PM PST by WhyisaTexasgirlinPA
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To: boxlunch
The point is WHY their missing the day... - Well, with such spelling as yours, one understands why you might be put off by the thought of being kept out of school a day. But would there be such ranting and raving, I ask again, had Mom and Dad taken Junior or Juniorette out of school for a day to go to the ballpark on Opening Day, or to catch such premieres as Stuart Little, or to get a head start on the 'NSync tour premiere?
15 posted on 11/16/2001 6:43:51 PM PST by BluesDuke
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To: overseer5; boxlunch
It's just a movie, c'mon, not like the kids are being taken to a pub or a strip club. Ditto BluesDuke and StockAyatollah, let kids be kids, life's too short not to have innocent fun. If they're god fearing, church goers like mine, they can recocile on Sunday; no harm, no foul.
16 posted on 11/16/2001 6:50:07 PM PST by GalaxieFiveHundred
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To: GalaxieFiveHundred
Tickle me Elmo ...
17 posted on 11/16/2001 6:53:11 PM PST by Mr.E
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To: GalaxieFiveHundred
Okay, okay, now I'm the pot calling myself the kettle black. Wish I had spell check on this thing. Do I? I know, reconcile is not spelled recocile. Dohhhh! At least I can laugh at myself, god knows you have to...
18 posted on 11/16/2001 6:54:43 PM PST by GalaxieFiveHundred
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To: boxlunch
This is what Harry Potter is all about...Lying, cheating, and so on.

Homeschooling is the way to go.

If a teacher took kids to a story about Jesus she would have been fired...It's a very sad state of afairs these days...The world is upside down.

19 posted on 11/16/2001 6:58:20 PM PST by wwjdn
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To: overseer5
I guess your name says it all.<> I have been eagerly awaiting the movie since my child is too young to be "read the books". From the stance of a registered Republican, I am amazed re the negativitity about this pretty simple series of books.<> Have you read them?<> What evil did they impart to you? It's a fairy tale for goodness sakes! If you need a battle to fight, may I suggest the current one? The one the grown-ups are involved with.
20 posted on 11/16/2001 6:58:59 PM PST by sarasmom
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To: boxlunch
Make of it what you will, but when asked by a CNN reporter what he enjoyed most about the movie, a young male fan replied "...the special effects; the witchcraft; all that GOOD stuff". Hmm...



21 posted on 11/16/2001 6:59:46 PM PST by who knows what evil?
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To: sarasmom
You go girl! I mean, maam.
22 posted on 11/16/2001 7:13:23 PM PST by GalaxieFiveHundred
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To: Russell Scott
This post is for Christians, and I am alarmed at the number of those who profess to know Jesus as Lord, who insist there is nothing wrong or bad with Harry Potter, nor do they see the harm in many other print, film, and television media productions today either...DONT BE DECIEVED!

Dont read this post unless you are ready to hear the truth, because you will BE ACCOUNTABLE, and I am accountable also and God help me to cleave to the Lord Jesus because I am telling you God IS going to have a people who desire nothing but to live for Him and follow the Lamb whithersoever He goes. The media-moguls who bring you Harry Potter may not, and probably arent TRYING to turn you from God, but since THEY are not SEEKING God, they certainly cannot lead you to greater heights in God. Invariably they are LOST and going to lead you astray.

God created man with a hunger and a desire for spiritual, or if you will, supernatural things. God of course is an infinite, supernatual being, and as mortal begins we can only fathom very little about Him. God has told us in His Word what is pleasing and displeasing, to Him according to His Will.

The heathen unbelivers do not care about pleasing the heart of God but rather seek every invention to revile the Word of Truth and lash out against God's soverign rulership over man, yet the heathen still have this desire and drawing to the supernatural, for indeed, they have immortal souls and WITHOUT God they are under the gudiance of Lucifer.

How, as a Christian who desires to grow in the stature of Jesus Christ and lead a holy life, obtaining ever-greater light and truth do I discern what are the things of God and the things of the world, flesh and the devil? I look to His Word and through prayer I am led of the Holy Spirit to God's Will and He gives me discernment to walk in the paths of rightousness.

I see clearly that the Word says witchcraft is an abomination to God. You have heard by many there is no such thing as witches, etc - I suggest you read the account of King Saul who defying God's command enlisted the aid of a woman with a "familiar spirit" to bring up Samuel the prophet from the grave, she succeeded and it was revealed to Saul that he would DIE the very next day in battle, all these things came to pass. Harry Potter is not of God, but God has allowed it, if for nothing else, to see who will choose light rather than darkness. Christian, if you know the Word, then you know the difference between Light and darkness. Does Harry Potter bear the Fruits of the Spirit, or the fruit of evil?

When, Jesus the Word in Flesh came up from the river Jordan after begin baptised, the Holy Spirit in the form of a Dove lit upon Him. The princlple of the Spirit lighting on the Word is a major truth. What spirit, pray tell accompanies the words of Harry Potter? Those spirits I do not want in my home, I want the Peace of God to abide in my home so I utterly reject the things that God abhors. Entertainment? Yes, unfortunatley the Christian World is being swept-up in the whirlwind of Hollywood's demonic "entertainment" industry...America is literally paying godless Hollywood to help usher the people into Lucfier's waiting arms & the "broad way" to Hell is paved with the souls of the lost.

No one is saying that Christians CANNOT have fun, enjoy themselves, etc - but be Spirit-led and BY PRAYER let God show you how to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, separate yoursevles from deception and darkness. Seek God, ask forgiveness from your selfish-pleasure seeking ways and let the Blood of Jesus cleanse and refresh your souls. Make time to read and study the Bible and let the waters of the Word make you into a holy temple for His Glory.

23 posted on 11/16/2001 7:17:45 PM PST by Gasshog
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To: Gasshog
Other than that, did you like the movie?
24 posted on 11/16/2001 7:22:08 PM PST by GalaxieFiveHundred
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To: Gasshog
It is a movie for crying out loud. I am a Christian and I can differentiate between reality and fantasy. Get a grip
25 posted on 11/16/2001 7:24:41 PM PST by deadhead
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To: Gasshog
*yawn*
26 posted on 11/16/2001 7:26:52 PM PST by LisaAnne
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To: boxlunch
Children learn what they live.

'nuf said.

27 posted on 11/16/2001 7:27:28 PM PST by Norb2569
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To: boxlunch
My 82 year old mother wants to see this movie but I'm afraid her neighbors will burn her at the stake. I'm praying about it........
28 posted on 11/16/2001 7:31:44 PM PST by Leroy S. Mort
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To: boxlunch

Fortunately...this should all be over by Christmas. And LOTR should blow mediocre "Harry" off the front page.

29 posted on 11/16/2001 7:32:46 PM PST by Kermit the Frog Does theWatusi
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To: boxlunch
I am ambivilent towards the whole Potter thing. I never did buy the books for my kids, they have no interest in the movie. A number of adults have asked my boys if they are excited about Harry Potter and the reaction they get from my boys is pretty funny. My youngest just finished 'Robinson Crusoe' and now he wants wants to see the movie.
30 posted on 11/16/2001 7:35:00 PM PST by Slyfox
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To: Gasshog
OMG! You're Jerry Falwell!!
31 posted on 11/16/2001 7:35:05 PM PST by Norb2569
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To: Gasshog
I have been reading all the posts re: how Harry Potter is "satanic". Other than the fact that it is total fantasy (remember Hansel and Gretal or Snow White?), J.K. Rowling wrote these books because she was a single parent (her husband left) and she was trying to make extra money because her government checks were not paying the bills. She would take her baby in a stroller to the local coffee shop, sit down at her familiar table, buy one cup of coffee (no extra money for anything else), and write while the baby slept. This is just plain old ingenuity created by a woman in crisis, who just happens to be a good writer with a good imagination. I don't believe she was focusing on Satan or anything else as she wrote. I personally applaud her...
32 posted on 11/16/2001 7:36:38 PM PST by FreepLady
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To: Leroy S. Mort
Hmmm, maybe 'Monsters, Inc.' would be the better choice...
33 posted on 11/16/2001 7:36:40 PM PST by GalaxieFiveHundred
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To: boxlunch
Personally, I can't wait until all these kids turn their silly mothers into toads.
34 posted on 11/16/2001 7:38:30 PM PST by babylonian
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To: Gasshog
This post is for Christians, and I am alarmed at the number of those who profess to know Jesus as Lord, who insist there is nothing wrong or bad with Harry Potter, nor do they see the harm in many other print, film, and television media productions today either...DONT BE DECIEVED!

What's the Christian opinion of the Magic 8 Ball? Innocent diversion or Tool of the Devil? (and, it's I before E EXCEPT after C).


35 posted on 11/16/2001 7:39:49 PM PST by Leroy S. Mort
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To: GalaxieFiveHundred
Hmmm, maybe 'Monsters, Inc.' would be the better choice...

I'm not sure. She loved "Bootie Call"......

36 posted on 11/16/2001 7:41:16 PM PST by Leroy S. Mort
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To: Leroy S. Mort
What's the Christian opinion of the Magic 8 Ball? Innocent diversion or Tool of the Devil? (and, it's I before E EXCEPT after C).

Careful, Leroy. You may have put him behind the 8 ball with that question! ;)
37 posted on 11/16/2001 7:46:29 PM PST by BluesDuke
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To: BluesDuke
>Oh, for God's sake, is this ridiculous or what? Puh-lease, children for generations have been missing school days on Opening Day of baseball season and no one is ready to proclaim the end of civilisation as we know it because of it...

Not to mention Star Wars last year. Also, nowadays, they apparently have this senior skip day in high school where all the seniors skip.

These kids could be doing a lot worse things than skipping school to see Harry Potter, most of which involve drugs or sex.

38 posted on 11/16/2001 7:54:21 PM PST by texlok
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To: Leroy S. Mort
Hmmm, maybe 'Monsters, Inc.' would be the better choice...
I'm not sure. She loved "Bootie Call"......
--------------------------------------------
I'm readin' ya loud and clear! How about Apocalypse Now Redux?
39 posted on 11/16/2001 7:55:13 PM PST by GalaxieFiveHundred
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To: texlok
These kids could be doing a lot worse things than skipping school to see Harry Potter, most of which involve drugs or sex.

And the sad part is - a lot of kids already are skipping and so doing. Which is one predominant reason why I never feel the urge to mount the high horse and rail about they're ditching school!! when I see a passel of kids at the ballpark on Opening Day.
40 posted on 11/16/2001 7:59:51 PM PST by BluesDuke
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To: Gasshog
Good post!

Honestly, I cannot understand why so many Freepers are so threatened by people who DON'T want to see this Harry Potter movie. Its like anyone who doesn't want their kids involved with Potter-mania is roundly condemned as a fundy nutcase. Freedom of religion is part of the 1st amendment too!

41 posted on 11/16/2001 8:03:56 PM PST by southern rock
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To: Leroy S. Mort
The point of post was not whether or not I can spell. What you and many others fail to understand is what you call the "Christian" opinion or POV is only truly obtained by a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. The point of the post is to exhort Christians to seek God, rather than blindly follow the pack. I have not felt really compelled to "preach" in this forum until now, but I feel that God's spirit is very grieved with His people concerning this. You probably cannot understand this.

Now, run along and play with your 8 ball.

42 posted on 11/16/2001 8:09:15 PM PST by Gasshog
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To: BluesDuke
"...when I see a passel of kids at the ballpark on Opening Day."

I love it when you say passel!
43 posted on 11/16/2001 8:12:25 PM PST by GalaxieFiveHundred
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To: southern rock
In the process of casting pearls before swine, I hope to reach some who are feeling the grief of the Spirit. This is worth bearing the brunt of the ridicule. I dont usually post such extreme truths but someone needs to hear it, the ones who are reviling me are reviling the truth, they do not want a deeper-walk with God and confronting the truth eases the guilt of their conscience as they continue to believe and hold on to their or their preacher's watered-down ideas of the Word of God.
44 posted on 11/16/2001 8:21:09 PM PST by Gasshog
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To: Gasshog; southern rock
Matthew 6:1 "Be careful not to do your `acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

Still doing the 'acts of righteousness' I see. Enjoy your earthly reward.

45 posted on 11/16/2001 8:25:51 PM PST by CapandBall
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To: CapandBall
The context of the scripture has to do with the Pharisees making pretense of long prayers in public to appear to be holy and pious while on the other hand they robbed the poor and widows without mercy.

I have shared the truth of God's Word, some accept it other reject it - I am merely a messenger not the author of truth.

So, Rather than hitting me with low-blows and spouting foolishness about how Harry Potter is OK, just fiction, let kids have fun, excuses, excuses, excuses - SOMEONE show ME the in the Word of GOD where God condones or winks at witchcraft, sorcerey, wizards, magic, or familiar spirits.

46 posted on 11/16/2001 8:48:44 PM PST by Gasshog
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To: Gasshog
Thank you for your interpretation of Matthew 6:1.
I think it means just what is says, but I will not call you Raca.
47 posted on 11/16/2001 9:04:25 PM PST by CapandBall
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To: boxlunch
It gets worse...last night there were theaters here in the DC area showing the movie at midnight! On the 11:00 news they showed a family waiting in line with a 10-year-old girl. The reporter asked if it was past her bedtime and she said, sure - then her parents chimed in and said, "we don't care! Hahahaha." I said to my husband, well, her teacher is sure going to care when she falls asleep at her desk tomorrow! But, by golly, those parents will sure be able to brag to all their friends that THEY saw the movie first!

I have an 8-year-old who has read all the books and wants to see the movie (as do I, I don't have the patience to read 700-page books anymore), but there is no way he would even THINK to ask to stay up until 2:30 a.m. or skip school to go see it. He was more excited about finishing his school project, and going to his best friend's house for a sleepover and to work on the book they are writing together. I mean, what is the big deal about waiting until Saturday or Sunday? The kids won't be back to school to talk about it until Monday anyway! I think it really is selfish parents who want to brag to their adult friends, or bad parents who have over-indulged their kids and fed them this Harry Potter stuff through the nose so they feel they HAVE to see the movie immediately.

48 posted on 11/16/2001 9:20:40 PM PST by Dems_R_Losers
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To: GalaxieFiveHundred
I love it when you say passel!

Thanks! I'm rather fond of your handle, myself - my father drove Galaxie 500s from 1961 through 1965. (He was an insurance broker/adjuster and could get a fresh company car every year; his firm used a Ford dealership in Hackensack, N.J. for their company cars, and he'd pick off a new Galaxie about every fourteen months after he started with the 1960 sedan. My favourite of the lot was his maroon 1964 sedan with the first Ford air conditioner. He surrendered it when he took ill with the cancer which killed him in 1966. Kind of in his memory, when I had the chance to buy a good one used, I bought a maroon 1987 Crown Victoria couple.)
49 posted on 11/16/2001 9:46:16 PM PST by BluesDuke
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To: southern rock
Honestly, I cannot understand why so many Freepers are so threatened by people who DON'T want to see this Harry Potter movie. Its like anyone who doesn't want their kids involved with Potter-mania is roundly condemned as a fundy nutcase. Freedom of religion is part of the 1st amendment too!

I think it's because so many of the folks who dislike Harry Potter scream that the pro-Harry Potter folks are participating in psychological child-abuse and will be held accountable to God for their misbehavior. Not to mention the fact that their kids will grow up to be masters of the black arts.

Saying stuff like that can be offensive, ya know.

50 posted on 11/16/2001 9:46:20 PM PST by jrherreid
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