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Generally, I agree with you.
• Posted by: Dan Sartori
• Date: Sunday, November 17, 2002, at 11:28 p.m.
• IP Address: p-proxy-5-int0.net.wisc.edu
• In Response to: Re: Extremely OFFENSIVE film and music, Potter... (a different Joe)

There's a lot of good stuff in here, and really only a couple things I disagree with.

> I'm sorry, but you're in for it now....

> Calling Harry Potter witchcraft is not right. True, the school's name is
> "Hogwarts School of WITCHCRAFT and wizardry," but if you take in
> the context of the whole name, it becomes the feminine term to the use of
> magic, like wizardry is the masculine term. Doubtless, if it didn't have
> the word "witchcraft" in it, HP would not cause as near as much
> controversy as it is right now. I have read several books on real
> witchcraft/magic (I use "magic" loosely) written by credible
> Christian authors, and if you compare what they say about witchcraft to
> the magic in Harry Potter, or just about any book in the fantasy genre for
> that matter, it's not the same. Real witchcraft tends to deal a lot with
> manipulating demons, and performing a lot of rituals, whereas in HP and
> other fantasy books, the magic used is more about saying some weird word
> to do something that would not be physically possible in our own world.
> Because fantasy worlds AREN'T in our world! Fantasy worlds tend to leave
> out God and Satan, and instead make their own forces of good and evil,
> which isn't necessarily wrong (even Tolkien's works didn't really have
> anything to do with God). I think undue emphasis is placed on the word
> "witchcraft."

Good point. I definitely think it's a stretch to say that HP promotes witchcraft. The type of magic that it uses is the "abracadabra", "say a word and give someone a cold" kind of magic that we see in virtually all magic-fantasy works, especially those written for children. Nowhere near devil worship and the occult really. That would be like saying it's immoral to kiss somebody because it could turn into sexual promiscuity. Let's not go overboard here.

> You have read the books, haven't you? The magic in them is basically the
> same as you see in the fantasy stories/fairy tales that have been around
> for hundreds of years. It's not that much different from Disney either.
> Some is taken from common myths and folk tales, like Halloween. You have
> people in long cloaks and pointy hats riding on broomsticks, like we've
> always associated with "witches." The truth is that real
> witchcraft is far different from what I have just described. I don't think
> I have to explain the physics of gravity, or why people don't just float
> around all day here on Earth, because it's obvious that it's impossible.
> That's why it's called FANTASY. Because it's NOT REAL. So what it comes
> down to is that it's just someone's imagination. I don't think J.K.
> Rowling based her own breed of magic on the real world's witchcraft, but
> rather on the age-old myths, legends, and fairy tales we've all grown up
> with. Why, if you say that HP is bad, are you not ragging on all books in
> the fantasy genre then? Why not condemn The Lord of the Rings, or The
> Chronicles of Narnia while you're at it?

Right on. Both of those works most definitely have elements of magic in them, but they were both written by strong Christians with an impassioned love for Jesus. I guarantee you they weren't trying to promote witchcraft.

> To young and old readers alike, it's just escapism. I will appreciate
> forever my little brother, who persuaded me to read HP and the Sorcerer’s
> Stone. There have been so many times when I wish I could go off to another
> place contrary to our own reality, like Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy,
> like Harry Potter. It's fun for me to see how someone can use the
> imagination that God game him/her. If all books had to relate only to
> reality, to God, then it would get boring very fast. If parents would just
> raise their children to discern the line between fact and fiction, to know
> when to say "that would be cool if it existed, but it doesn't"
> then there wouldn't be any problem with the books at all. Harry Potter
> doesn't "influence" people, it's bad parenting, and crappy
> living situations.

Another great assessment. The problem is not with the work, it's with the discretion of those reading it (or seeing it, or listening to it). Parents have to be involved with teaching their children the difference between fantasy and reality, between what's possible and what isn't. If you're worried about the movie, go see it with your child and then discuss it afterwards. I think that's the better solution than flat out condemning it.

> Yes, Harry Potter does have friendship, courage, good vs. evil, just like
> so many other books. When you say "worldly," you mean
> "non-Christian" which entails that you don't like the book
> because the author is not Christian. Unless there is some record of Ms.
> Rowling saying that she is not a Christian, I don't think you can say that
> she is "worldly." If you're calling the work
> "worldly," you should remember that many Christian authors have
> written books that don't necessarily have anything to do with God. Is this
> bad? NO!

Ah, you have to be careful here. Did he tell you that he was equating "wordly" with "non-Christian"? I didn't see it in his post. It's kind of presumptuous to say that this guy doesn't like non-Christian authors. As far as I can tell, he's just talking about Harry Potter, not all works by non-Christian authors. This is the stuff that miscommunication is made of, so watch out.

Nice use of a Bible verse. The Bible also says that none will know when the last days will be, that Christ will come like a thief in the
> night. Therefore, you can't prove that those days are upon us, or that
> Christians are being deceived and being led astray by reading Harry
> Potter. Here's a Bible verse of my own that I'd like to share: "I
> didn't come to condemn the world, but to save it."

Not to mention there have been literally thousands of people that have tried to predict the end of the world according to "biblical truth" - which is really just their INTERPRETATION of what they read in the Bible, not what it actually says - and ALL of them have been wrong (including Nostradamus).

> I think that the same can be said of the movie, seeing to what great pains
> were taken to faithfully reproduce the book in almost every aspect.
> Regardless of how enjoyable it was for people (I myself loved it), the
> point is that the movie, like the book, has nothing to do with witchcraft
> of our world. It's an entirely different concept, that for some
> unfortunate reason is called to some degree by the same name. I call it
> simply magic. Fantasy.

> ALSO!!!! To imply that film music can be somehow connected to the movie,
> outside having a supporting role on adding different emotions, is
> ABSOLUTELY WRONG! How many times have I been made fun of because I have
> the soundtrack to a stupid movie, or one that just wasn't on that
> particular person's list of best movies? Too many! Many times people have
> looked through my soundtrack collection and said "Oooh! I like that
> movie!" etc. You are obviously someone who doesn't know CRAP about
> music! A film shares little in common with the movie it was composed for,
> and to suggest otherwise is naive and immature. A movie should not reflect
> in any way on the soundtrack. To say that John Williams' excellent score
> (from one who is not a Williams fan, maybe that's why...I just like it
> more than most of his others) is in some way supporting witchcraft is even
> more outrageous than saying the movie/books support it!

Here lies the major problem I have with your post. First of all, for some reason you suddenly loose your respectful tone and lower yourself to the level of an idiot with phrases like "You are obviously someone who doesn't know CRAP about music". Why do that now, and after what was up to this point a very mature post? It's almost like somebody else wrote that paragraph!

Secondly, I would like to challenge your assertion that movie music has little or nothing to do with the movie itself. Certainly a good movie soundtrack needs to be able to be listened to independent of the movie itself - otherwise why sell it? - but to say that the music has no place in the movie other than a minor supporting role is ridiculous and ignorant. I would like to know how you would make the execution scene in Braveheart work without music, for instance. How would any movie sound without musical backup? Much different, that's for sure! Obviously the music is a very important and integral part of any movie, and the best experience is gained when the two are joined to create a glorious tapestry of art. The movie Glory is another great example of a movie that wouldn't be nearly as powerful without its music.

One point I do agree with you on here: John Williams' music for HP definitely doesn't promote witchcraft.

> Throughout history, a person's personal interpretation of their theology's
> beliefs have caused major persecution, inhibiting progress in many ways.
> For hundreds of years, most people in the world believed that the Earth
> was the center of the universe, mainly because they took the Catholic
> Church's misguided information for granted, and never thought it out
> themselves, or did any research in the matter, with an open mind. What I
> see here is the same forceful condemnation directed towards Harry Potter
> with no real facts, that the Inquisition was known for. What's really sad
> it that so many people will listen to outspoken people like you, and never
> read the book and think about it themselves, before they blindly buy in to
> your narrow-minded crap.

An important distinction needs to be made here: that God is NOT responsible for the evil things that we do, even if we do them in His name. Misinterpretation of the Bible is man's problem, not God's. So PLEASE make sure to judge Christianity fairly with this in mind. There are so many people in this world that get this so very wrong.

Cheers!

Dan

> -a different Joe, trying to catch his breath




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