Christians and Magic/Harry Potter

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by wandering_wind, Aug 27, 2005.

  1. InLove

    InLove at peace

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    Hi Y'all--What a worthwhile discussion taking place here!

    I won't try and wrap quotes around so many sincere responses--if I did that, I would spend way more time than necessary.

    So I guess I will just add my own thoughts to the train we are on:

    According to an age survey someone launched a while back here in CR, I discovered that I am probably on the verge of qualifying as an "antique" if measured by the staff of this present existence. So what I say here may not mean much to some who are younger--not because they could not understand, but just because they might have to do some research.:)

    So, now, please don't laugh at me for this, but when I was a little girl, I thought that Samantha Stevens (from the original series "Bewitched") was the most beautiful woman and the best mom on television. She was caught in the middle of everything. (LOL--I still love both the character and the actor who played her so well, dear Elizabeth Montgomery, and I admit that I watch for those old episodes and that occasionally I will turn off the awful news and drift back to that comfort zone I remember, where the message was clearly one of selfless love amidst the chaos of evil things like prejudice and greed.

    While I am not sure how that relates to the issue of HP, I'll just bet it does.

    Having said that, I would like to briefly tell you all that recently I took a job at a retail store that takes the name of Christ and effectively sells music, books, greeting cards, gifts, and especially Bibles and educational materials. For those of you who know me here in CR, you will understand that even though this was not my dream job at all, I thought that it would be a safe harbor and a good place for me to make a few much-needed dollars.

    Shall I scream out in agony now???? What a crock of nasty slime it was!!!

    I am not saying that all who sell things Christian are like this--I surely hope not with all my heart--after all, my husband and I are musicians, and much of what we do could be distributed in this way. I mean, I suppose even Paul took money for his tents to support his mission.

    Anyway, you surely would not find a Harry Potter book on the shelves there--but (pardon me) Lawdy, lawdy, lawdy--how they were thrilled when the truck came in with all the promotions of "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe"!!!

    Cha-ching!!!$$$$$

    (We do not think Barbie is a good role model, but we do carry Ruth and all of her accessories, and we are working on the Queen of Sheba.):)

    LOL--well, what I have written is not really what I thought I would write, but then I often find that CR, in its noble experiment, is often this way--we should enjoy the "freewrite" before the copyright laws dissolve everything (twenty years or so down the road???)

    Okay--just one last thing--I am nearing a half-century on this earth in this present life. Yes, I hail from the American Bible Belt (sort of--hahaha--Texas is not Georgia nor Mississippi). Both my parents are still living, and living beautifully. I love them very much--they came from another place, and I am from here. When I tell them about this website, they are still afraid I am going to turn.... (insert whatever religion or belief (even denomination) you like here--whatever it is, they are afraid I am going to succumb!

    Folks--let your children read. Just make sure you know what they are reading. It is not up to Satan to influence your kids unless you give him the reins. Talk with them, listen to them--read what they read. Turn off some of that nasty crap we call "adult", and watch T.V. or go to the movies with them--at least go to a movie they went to or want to go to.

    When they try to talk to you about their research on religion, don't shut them down. Shut up (when need be) and be there. They will see if you will give them a chance. Harry Potter is not going to hurt them if they know the truth. I say it might be better to review the commercials and crappy sitcoms and stuff...

    Well, I suppose I could just go on forever....see ya there:) .

    (Man, that felt good!!!)

    InPeace,
    InLove
     
  2. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Flash of hindsight!

    Nooowwww I understand where I goofed. I shoulda become Amish!
     
  3. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Watch out for them English...:eek: ;)

    It's an Amish thing...

    v/r

    Q
     
  4. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    In that case I'm d*mned if I do and d*mned if I don't, so to h*ll with it!
     
  5. Scarlet Pimpernel

    Scarlet Pimpernel demned elusive

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    :rolleyes: Well said, InLove - and I'm glad to see you're still around, albeit about as sparsely as I am. I hope things are going more easily for you.
     
  6. suanni

    suanni Confused

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    I think for much of this anti HP stuff they must have missed some beautiful little lines(forgive me for misquoting)...'Love is the greatest protector of all' 'Friendship is everything'....There's the fight of good over evil...Is that un-Christian?
    I also think to suggest that children will turn to witchcraft after reading the books is denigrating to the children's intelligence. Children can distinguish fact from fiction. This series of books have sparked the interest of reading in many children. There's not many books that can lay claim to that.
    Let the children have their childhood and enjoy all the fantasy that they can mop up, they're not children for very long.
     
  7. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The latest Harry Potter movie came up in the homily at mass this Sunday.

    What the priest noted, as well as this being the 'darkest' of the HP series so far, were the underlying principles, in particular a quote by Dumbledore, along the lines of "we have the choice to do what is easy, or what is right".

    The presentation in simple form of the idea that good people can fall into bad ways simply by wanting to be liked, is a rich lesson indeed - it's one step from here to Aquinas' notion that no-one is evil per se, but choose 'a lesser good' through their own weakness.

    What do children learn from HP? Magic? I don't think so - I've read three and haven't learned one spell, one occult art, one esoteric practice (whereas in my youth Dennis Wheatley was packed with numerolgy, how to use ouija boards, etc.).

    What kids do learn about, in a simple and mythical form (and the element of myth is tragically missing from the world today) is right and wrong, good and evil, and more importantly are shown the importance of such virtues as love, faith, friendship, loyalty, trust, hope, humility, charity, perseverance ...

    I think HP has a broad appeal, not only because it has a viable heroine as well as hero, but because it's message is essentially 'good' and its view 'optimistic' - I'd rather my daughter imaged herself on Hermione than some 'ho' in a rap music video, although she can be a bit of a swat (Hermione, that is).

    Personally, as a Catholic, I think we could all do with a little more magic in our lives, not less.

    Thomas
     
  8. Awaiting_the_fifth

    Awaiting_the_fifth Where is my mind?

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    Ive been thinking again about this topic.

    Is it possible that children will pick up witchcraft from Harry Potter.

    I dont know.

    But if they do, why is it so undesireable?

    The Wiccan religion is every bit as valid as the Christian religion, in fact it may be more valid as it is so much older! So what is the problem if children are turned towards a different religion? I have known a few people who called themselves witches and practiced pagan rituals. I don't personally know whether they actually had any magical powers, but they were good, honest people who had a deep respect for nature and for other people.

    So I say, bring on Harry Potter to get the kids interested, and give them some "Alternative" religious education. Let them all become pagans, give them wands and teach them spells. At least that way we can avoid yet another generation who think they can do whatever they want to whoever they want as long as they go to church on a sunday.

    Forever
    Awaiting The Fifth.
     
  9. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Namaste @5

    oh such a glorius world you see, allow it to manifest.

    I will stand by you in that vision of a people that don't deride their children or others for being different, for finding their own path.

    A people that fully support and embrace diversity, that seek to understand and learn from all and say, 'You know, that is interesting, it is not for me, but I am so happy you have found your way to express...'
     
  10. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    "Let them all become pagans, give them wands and teach them spells."

    And let us teach them something of the reality, also.

    Remember that a 'spell' is a superimposition of your will upon another person or thing to force them/it to perform according to your desire.

    Remember also that there is evidence enough to believe that the practitioner will evoke any spirit, demonic or otherwise, to support him/her in this endeavour to bend another to his will?

    Reading any text will also highlight the fact that steps must be taken to ensure one's safety in the event of 'backfire'. The circle in which the magician stands is there to protect him/her against any 'fallout' from the invocation going wrong - against 'collateral damage' as modern parlance has it.

    The fantasy is one thing. The reality would be something else altogether.

    Are you sure that's what you want?

    Thomas
     
  11. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    But whose version of reality?

    That is what is expressly at issue here. We have the ever changing science...whose reality changes as our knowledge of the big and small and the web that holds it all together/apart increases.

    And then we have religion, mine, yours, theirs, many of which think the other guy has got it entirely wrong and needs saving...

    Yes, 'Whose version of reality?' is/was a rhetorical question, we all know it is 'mine' that is correct, come to my church, synagogue, temple, my guru, priest, rabbi, cleric has it all together.

    We (the collective we, not all of us, many of us) expressly deny there exist any issues/conflicts with our theology playing the three monkey see/do/hear no evil game when somebody wishes to discuss contradictions.

    Live and let live....no, we can't do that!
     
  12. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    That is what is expressly at issue here.

    No, I think that's an overstatement.

    I would rather my kids didn't practice the occult arts - and I would certainly rather they didn't engage in them on the basis of the contents of a childrens' book. That's all I was saying. I let them read HP, but I do say 'it's a story.'

    Nor are kids stupid:
    "Do you believe in Father Christmas?" this to my teenage daughter.
    "That depends."
    "On what?"
    "On whether or not I still get a present from Santa if I say no."

    Wise girl.

    +++

    As a complete aside - and entirely speculative:

    We have the ever changing science ... whose reality changes as our knowledge of the big and small and the web that holds it all together/apart increases.

    I wonder about this. Has science changed that much? I know the technology has, but the Greeks had the basics of atomic theory? Mathematics, etc. Their optics were a bit of a mess, admittedly. We know in detail a lot more, but generally, I'm not so sure that much has changed.

    What has changed is our subjectivity - and in it our certainties?

    Any policeman will tell you with three witnesses, there's three different versions of an event. But nonetheless, there is a reality - an event was witnessed - is there any way we can approach reality?

    And does that mean we must allow any version of the event? Even that version of someone who was not a witness?

    Just how much are we obliged to live and let live?

    I'm not so sure that our opening the door to the idea that we can say nothing with any certainty about anything, is a failure of responsibility and a retreat from reality as such?

    As such I'm not sure it's science that insists on 'negotiable reality' (if it does then surely its whole foundation is flawed) as a certain strain of nihilistic philosophy?

    And yet we can appreciate, according to the laws of nature, the existence of certitude, of certainty, and therefore objective reality.

    Perhaps I should start another thread?

    Thomas
     
  13. Kaldayen

    Kaldayen Spiritual ronin

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    Greetings,

    I don't want to sound provocative here but isn't that what every christian do? But they believe they pray to The Spirit. The Church itself has an agenda of bending people to its will...

    I think it's only a matter of point of view or "versions or reality".
    ___
    Kal
     
  14. akbar

    akbar New Member

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    Happy Christmiss to all friends.
     
  15. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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    I can understand your points, Thomas, and your concern, but I also see where Kaldayen is coming from. I should note that I am not that familiar with a Wiccan/Pagan protocol or approach regarding spells, so I'm defaulting to my own understanding as an esotericist.

    My feeling is that the Harry Potter books present Magic in the proper Light, or at least in the most positive light I can imagine. It is shown that one can use magical ability for both good & ill, just as we can manipulate the world around us for good or ill without magic. But Rowling emphasizes the importance of White Magic (or Good Magic, to be a bit more politically correct), just as was demonstrated as far back as The Wizard of Oz in popular culture. At root, HP is no different, imho.

    I have not read the HP books, and have only seen the first three movies, plus parts of the Goblet, but I have read about Rowling, and have enjoyed a Biography special about her on the tube. I think she did a marvelous and masterful job of presenting a morality ... without being preachy, and without taking all the fun out it. She allows characters like Hermione to maintain her smarty-pants attitude, but when Hermione confronts Malfoy, we know quite clearly who is "in the right." The actor portraying Malfoy does an excellent job of demonstrating all those poor character traits which I trust every sensible & responsible parent will seek to eschew from developing in his attentive & impressionable youngster(s).

    But when we are speaking of the issue of Magic, and bending wills, and possibly invoking the demon-spawn of hell ... lol ... I'm sorry, but I think we're on very shaky ground if we look to popular culture, or the writings of J.K. Rowling, for a culprit. I would be tempted considerably to delve a bit back into church history (or christian history, since I'm thinking of Salem as much as the Inquisition) for a treatment of this sort of thing - but since the topic at hand is HP, let's compare:

    In esoteric teachings, one is taught that "White Magic" might just as aptly be termed Good Magic, since it is precisely the purpose and intention (or motive) of its practice that defines it. Even Forest Gump knew that. ;) And Dorothy had the good sense to ask Glenda whether she was a "Good Witch or a Bad Witch," NOT recoil in horror, saying, "A witch! A witch! Burn her!" :rolleyes:

    Rowling has simply built upon the well-established foundation of tolerance during the last century or so of non-Christian religions & spiritual traditions, wherein one can definitely have a clear moral distinction between Good and Evil, without appealing to all the same theological concerns as must Christians. But she has gone one step further. She has been able, in a way that I can only describe as magical (!), to captivate her audiences - both young & old alike - so completely, that she has added substantially to some people's understanding of themselves, and of the Magic of Life Itself.

    Of course it's "just a fantasy," and of course this isn't the way our outward, physical world operates. But right down to Hermione's "time-turner," which was able to manipulate time in order to accomplish Good and set things Right ... Rowling presents a fantasy that explores questions we have all asked, and leaves (many) of us wishing it were so - and for the right reasons, I should add.

    I might point out that Occultists, or Esotericists, seeking to walk the path of White Magic, actively manipulate - not the environment, nor others - according to their individual will (aka, `desire'). Rather, they seek to subjugate their (own) entire personality, or lower nature, consisting of body, emotions, & mind ... to the Spiritual Will, or that of the Indwelling Christ (which St. Paul called "the Hope of Glory"). This is done scientifically, systematically, and successfully, and the process is open to any who wish to submit themselves to the necessary self-discipline involved. Thus we have the root of the word `disciple,' as well as the meaning of the words found in Matthew 7:7.

    Harry Potter was quite able, we find, to handle the spiritual energy (pure Christ-Force, as it appears to me) in the Prisoner of Azkaban, when he sought to protect Sirius Black from the Dementors. Now I think it is fairly clearly spelled out for us, that the Dementors in this movie/book, and particularly in the scene to which I refer, are representative of evil, or demons ... while Harry, his wand, his intentions, and his effort to save the life of Sirius Black all represent, unequivocally, GOOD. :)

    Harry did not accidentally invoke these demons as he sought to save his good friend, but he did prove that at that juncture, he was as yet unable to fully harness the Higher Powers - or the Christ-Force (gee, it was pure, white-light energy, you can call it what you like ... I wonder, how did Rowling refer to it in the books?). Instead, he assumed his Father was the one who stepped in and directed the energy. But as he later discovered - and truly spontaneously, in a moment of courage (a strong, heroic quality of character, imho) - he was ready to handle the energy, since his Father was never involved, and wasn't going to show. I admit I read the following message into Rowling's storyline (at least, I presume), but I would go so far as to emphasize the message that - The Lord helps the one who helps himself! So perhaps the importance of self-reliance is also being shown! Regardless, Harry is not wildly invoking demons through his magic, accidentally or otherwise. He is demonstraing, however, just what the healing, salvific powers of Magic can do! And in my own, personal belief-system, that has everything to do with Christ & Christianity! :D

    Cheers,

    Andrew
     
  16. harticulate

    harticulate New Member

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    New Here..........and havn't had time to read all the posts on this.

    All I can say is that ........I have tended to follow Jesus teachings....but don't necessarily consider myself to be labeled any certain religion anymore.

    My 13yr old loves the Harry Potter movies. He will set and watch them all back to back...........sometimes I join in.

    I was sitting at my dads one night and my dad had the Christian channel on per usual and "Hagee" was on ............I think he is hardcore baptist minister. Potter was being ripped to shreds and warnings of witchcraft were being fired out.

    It boggles my mind...........Jesus turned water into wine........the Red Sea was parted for Moses..............and so on.........

    Isn't all life magic.....? I don't get it.............Harry Potter is a good guy.....

    Heidi
     
  17. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Magic, is considered simply the art of illusion, But... Whether it be magic that entertains, or magic that affects others. It is also science as yet discovered.

    Christ never performed magic. He defended the laws of nature. He also made it quite clear that we do not understand all the laws of nature. We, in our arrogant ignorance, think we understand everything. But do we?

    We invent a CPU (central processing unit), yet we still do not understand how, or WHY it works?! Only that it does.

    "That's nuts" some might say. Is it? We invented a mechanical part of the brain (which we still know nothing about). We simply followed a pattern (a rather simple one), that we figured out about the brain.

    And now we have "super computers" doing our thinking for us; ironic, don't you think?

    Magic? Science unknown? If I put a man from 33 AD (ACE...whatever), in front of my computer screen right this moment, what do you think he would think?

    If Harry Potter were sitting in front of a computer screen, what do you think he would think?

    Hate to break it to y'all, but Christians love magic. In fact they expect it everyday (and get it).

    How many others can say the same thing?

    my thoughts

    v/r

    Q
     
  18. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Welcome to CR, harticulate! I'm certain you will find points of interest here.

    v/r

    Q
     
  19. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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    Btw, I know this is tangent, but Quahom, since you mention it ... there are over 100 million transistors in today's tiny little CPU's (my #is probably a little low), and more than twice that many in our GPU's (video chips). I know it's not "magic," but ummm ... WOW!!! :cool: Tiny, tiny little fingers ... ? :p

    Also, I just love the Geico/Neanderthal commericals ... anybody know the ones I mean?

    Andrew
     
  20. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Good points. There are also 10,000 billion plus, synapeses in the human brain

    And...they work in parrallel, not in series...

    find a CPU that does that, and I'll admit to artificial life potential. :cool:

    v/r

    Q
     

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