Harry Potter Vs. The Religious Right

Renigirl

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dont know if this has been discussed here or not, but in the us, theres all this controversy surrounding the release of the harry potter movies with some churches holding youth services as an alternative to the movie, some denouncing the books completely, etc etc...

i just didnt know if there was the same controversy in the uk or not and, seeing as how theres a lot of media now and likely to be a lot more after friday, i thought it might be an interesting point to bring up.
 

_schnor

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There haven't really been any anti-witchcraft/etc, feelings within the UK's religious circles, although the books have indeed been banned in various countries across the world who feel that magic(k?) is wholly inappropriate.

I don't really know why the UK differs so much from the US, probably due to more American churches being slightly more hard-line or fervent in their religious leadings.

I haven't read the book or watched the film, but I think it's great that kids are, to some extent, getting interested in reading. And, if they get into magic then IMO that's a bonus :)

Let's face it, some people just take things a bit too far; it's only a book after all :rolleyes:
 

TheHoodedClaw2

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Haven't seen any reaction to the film like that here - possibly one Catholic school banned the books from the school library?

Not surprising since the religious right doesn't really exist in the UK, and most people, whilst nominally members of a church, only ever go for marriages and funerals.

Have you seen the film yet? The reviews have been good over here.
 

roswellcat

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A UK toy chain called The Entertainer has refused to stock Harry Potter toys because of the owner's Christian beliefs. There is a BBC story on it here.

Interesting that they still stock Lord of the Rings, and also stuff like Action Man and his super-duper stabbing/shooting accesories. I don't understand the logic :confused:
 

johnnyboy1968

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There was a bit of a kerfuffle when part of the film was being shot at Gloucester Cathedral, as certain members of the congregation thought it was a bit much having their cloisters sullied by something that they saw as promoting occultism. I think the Dean and Chapter were happy to take the money and run though...
 

Renigirl

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i havent seen the film yet, it doesnt open til the end of the week. my moms an elementary school teacher, grades 4 and 5, so she asked me to read the first book to see if her kids would be able to follow it and i got hooked.

hardcore church folk here simply... like to get up in arms over things like this, i think.

as for me, the idea that the books will make children seek out or believe in magic any more than they already do seems a bit ridiculous. now, granted, ive never grown up, but i can remembering completely believing in magic when i was younger, the whole bit from white rabbits out of hats to fairies and more. maybe things have changed too much.

the advance reviews of the film here are favorable as well. ive got a couple people working on getting me tickets, otherwise, i guess ill be waiting in line for a long time friday. bleh. :blah:
 

Ioethe

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My (American) flatmate maintains that one of the reasons she came over here was because of the intolerance of pagans she experienced in the States. Does anyone else experience this?
 
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I saw the film last Saturday at one of the advance viewings. Quite faithful to the book, I think.
On one hand, I recognise the concerns of some parties with regard to the Occult being made to appear attractive to kids. I read - on these threads somewhere, I think - that it has been reported that many children have developed an interest in such matters after reading the Harry Potter books, and maybe that isn't such a good thing - especially for the susceptible.
However, in the main, I don't think it does any real harm. The books and film clearly distinguish between the goodies and the baddies, just as every other similar work has ever done, from CS Lewis to Star Wars. Good may experience setbacks, but it usually triumphs over evil in the end.
The trouble with overt censorship is that people become curious about the banned. Kids are no different. If parents or schools ban the books, they'll be more motivated to find out what it's all about. Treat it as fun, as fad, and let them get it out of their system.

The other problem with many vociferous critics is that they haven't even read or examined what they criticise. They should note that even church exorcists ('Deliverance ministers' in the modern parlance) are required to study the nature and workings of the 'Enemy'.
 

rynner2

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There's nothing so sure as death and taxes - except for control-freaks telling us what to think.

http://www.springfieldnews-leader.com/webextra/potter111001.html

(A quote: Christian activists have led the effort to ban the Potter books since the initial tale was published in 1997. Although there are more than 50 million copies of the four books in print, the series topped the American Library Association’s banned-book list in 2000.)

Considering that HP is very stereotyped in its depiction of wizards and magic, I can't see how it is any worse than Jack and the Beanstalk, Snow White, and so forth. Or even, in the more modern era, The Wizard of Oz.

(Erm, it couldn't be because it wasn't written by an American, could it? No, of course not!)
 
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Anonymous

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Ioethe said:
My (American) flatmate maintains that one of the reasons she came over here was because of the intolerance of pagans she experienced in the States. Does anyone else experience this?
I'm sure one can experience intolerant pagans in most countries.;)
 
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Anonymous

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Originally posted by Ioethe
My (American) flatmate maintains that one of the reasons she came over here was because of the intolerance of pagans she experienced in the States. Does anyone else experience this?


I've never known it to happen recently; however, they used to burn them in Massachusetts. Now, they hire them to teach at Boston College. It's a non-issue, to be honest; why would the average American take the time to even be concerned with paganism, when it's limited to the cast of Buffy? It's a bit like being worried the Libertarians are going to win a major election or having a phobia about Siamese twins...I wouldn't sweat it. The average American is too busy living his or her life to be concerned with this type of thing, because it's still way out on the fringe. I think "The Pagan Threat" comes in right after capri pants in the official Things to Hate list.
 

Renigirl

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OT a bit.. question about pagans

recently the student newspaper im an editor for attempted to cover the university pagans' samhain celebration, which they held in the middle of campus on a field and we were all very rudely treated. the pagans, apparently, didn't want any exposure even though they'd complained about lack of coverage at another date.

so my question, because i don't know much about paganism, is it a complete secretive thing or were they just being rude? and shouldnt their celebration have been a bit more, well, private if they didnt want anyone else there?

im quite interested in paganism, really, but im afraid ive gotten rather bad impressions from the actions of this group and i want to know if theyre the norm.
 

intaglio

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I'm not sure there is a norm for pagans. Look up what the term meant to the Romans and early Christians (pagani is the root). A lot of people who profess paganism don't know what it means. I have met a few people who have said they practised paganism and they have all varied. One or two were essentially trying to practise the blackest magics.

With regards to banned books, I bet those libraries that ban HP don't ban T. H. Whites "Sword in the Stone". Read how Morgan tries to become invisible - that one turns my stomach.
They certainly won't have banned the Shakespearian plays that give some fairly good introductions to practical magic(k). If you ever want to catch your English teacher out ask how old Juliet was. Then check it yourself. It's at the beginning where Montague is discussing Paris' suit!
 
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From what I have been able to gather from the media, the claims that Harry Potter leads kids into the darkest, nastiest occult practices are largely American. These are the same voices that claim role-playing leads to satanism.

Oddly enough, I had no interest whatever in the occult until some very respectable church people made a total song and dance over it; being told it was wrong and that I shouldn't read about it made me all the more interested in learning more. Now I know all sorts of things that I shouldn't and I have the church to thank for it!
 

dot23

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2 renigirl

Well, pagainsim is in the eye of the beholder certainly. It has mostly been used as a term of abuse, funnily enough by christians, for those that don't support their value system. In truth there is no such thing as paganism per se. What there is at the moment varies wildly from place to place, but can be seperated sociologically into two groups*: Anamists, shamans, totemists and other nature worshippers (i.e. original, indiginous religions) and modern, post-Enlightenment recreations of such beliefs in the West - Wiccans, Satanists, New Agers etc. I'm not discrediting the beliefs of either group, only pointing out that paganism as a religion is pretty much a recent invention. Some people link paganism to pantheonic (i.e many godded) religions such as egyptian, roman and greek, and certainly the language of Christianity has developed with those religions especially in mind, as all were popular during christ's life. The later meanings of paganism derive from the habits of these religions - dionysian drunkeness, sexually charged stories in Homer, and the portraits of Osiris' wanger were so hated by early xians that they defaced them from almost all of the temples (except a few obscure ones!).

I've known quite a few self-confessed pagan's, myself included, and would generalise it as anything non-Christian, non-Monotheistic, with a focus on ritual observance and the natural world. Don't be put off by people claiming it's history for them selves, it goes alot further back.

Oh and it comes from the Latin for country-dweller, or should it be bumpkin ;)


*sociologists can be seperated into 2 groups also: those that believe you can seperate people into 2 groups and those that don't ;)
 
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the only message anyone gets from HP is work hard at school, have good friends, enjoy life, don't be afraid to be the off one out etc...
spent some time in missouri last year and was surprised to discover most americans think they're in the centre of the worst social/moral crisis ever to hit humanity and their country is on the point of going down the pan entirely. eh?
 

rynner2

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Re: 2 renigirl

dot23 said:
Oh and it comes from the Latin for country-dweller, or should it be bumpkin ;)
Interesting. Presumably linked to the Freanch 'paysan' and the English 'peasant'.
 
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Originally posted by jack

spent some time in missouri last year and was surprised to discover most americans think they're in the centre of the worst social/moral crisis ever to hit humanity and their country is on the point of going down the pan entirely. eh?




Jack, where'd you spend your time in MO? University of Missouri-Columbia (a.k.a "Mizzou")? That's where I'm from. And it's not so much Americans worried about the social/moral squalor and stagnation, but maybe a midwestern thing. But, then, we Missourians think the whole world's shot to hell. We're a bit pessamistic about humanity's better points, for the most part. I guess that's a by-product of living in a place known as The Show-Me State.
 
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Anonymous

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TorgosPizza - working in KCMO for a couple of months in the summer - jeez it was hot. how the hell did you guys manage to run a country before air conditioning was invented? also had to drive around rural south missouri for quite a few days - kept feeling like i was on the set of a film about 19th-century settlers were it not for the endless fast food joints, where i just got stared at by freaky american gothic families... really did like the place and people actually, but as you can tell it took some getting used to!
 
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Anonymous

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HP Rules!

I think JK Rowling has started this Moral Panic to encourage sales. It's a great film, totally whimsical, sad, funny the best kids film to come out for a long time.
Go Harry!
 
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Anonymous

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Originally posted by jack
how the hell did you guys manage to run a country before air conditioning was invented?


Jack, my man, it's not the heat, it's the humidty! :) And that's a good question. I'm so hot-natured, I have steam come off me in winter, so summer is a killer.

also had to drive around rural south missouri for quite a few days - kept feeling like i was on the set of a film about 19th-century settlers...where i just got stared at by freaky american gothic families....


Southern MO has always reminded me of Deliverance, with the scary hayseeds and backwoodsy inbred types. I'm talking about way south, near the Arkansas border. There are virgin pine forests down there that seem to be completely unseen by civilized man before.
 

lopaka

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TorgosPizza-I'd have to agree with you about the creepiness level in southern MO. Getting even farther away from the subject of this thread, have you ever heard about/visited something called the Spooksville Triangle? Supposedly multi-colored ghost lights that run roughly on a Joplin to Miami, OK to Columbus,KS line. I've seem to be the only person who's ever heard of it, and can't convince anybody to roadtrip with me to check it out. :(
 
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lol deliverance - we actually went on a float in a canoe down the james river. very odd, like a jurassic gorge, wading it through the shallows, only people we saw were an amish woman in full nineteenth-century costume bathing her kids. almost magical really. visited endless little towns which would have given lovecraft the creeps - a dozen or so abandoned colonial houses overgrown with moss and creepers and a deserted main street, just a couple of guys in dungarees, rusty cars growing out of the ground... apparently all still inhabited but you wonder what century we visited in. found out later that in one place all the inhabitants go to the same tiny fundamentalist church every weekend...
 
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Anonymous

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I say ban Harry Potter, the amount of stick I'm getting for having the same surname is beyond belief.
 
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there's actually a very eminent london barrister called harry potter who must be very pissed off by now:D
 

naitaka

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From the National Post (Toronto) Nov. 21:


PETERBOROUGH, ONTARIO - A man faces charges after allegedly distributing letters attributed to the mayor condemning the Harry Potter movie. Michael Morritt, 18, was arrested on Monday after Mayor Sylvia Sutherland told police about the letters, which were distributed to cars parked around a theatre where the movie is playing. The letter, which featured a picture of Ms. Sutherland, warned of "satanic" and "evil" elements in the film. Mr. Morritt is charged with forgery and falsifying a trademark.
 

Renigirl

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naitaka said:
From the National Post (Toronto) Nov. 21:


PETERBOROUGH, ONTARIO - A man faces charges after allegedly distributing letters attributed to the mayor condemning the Harry Potter movie. Michael Morritt, 18, was arrested on Monday after Mayor Sylvia Sutherland told police about the letters, which were distributed to cars parked around a theatre where the movie is playing. The letter, which featured a picture of Ms. Sutherland, warned of "satanic" and "evil" elements in the film. Mr. Morritt is charged with forgery and falsifying a trademark.
sheesh. next theyll be telling me that e.t. the movie contains "subliminal" elements that tell me to stand in my backyard and wait for ufos.....
 

intaglio

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Politician Says Harry Potter Could Harm Small Kids


Updated: Wed, Nov 21 7:44 AM EST


BERLIN (Reuters) - The Harry Potter blockbuster about an English boy wizard could be bad for small children, a German conservative politician warned Tuesday.

"The Harry Potter film is concerned with the occult and black magic and I don't think that it is a suitable topic for children under 10 years old," Benno Zierer, a Christian Social Union MP, told Reuters Television.

Saw this in breaking news from Reuters see hear.

At least the American Bible Belters arn't alone!
 
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Lopaka: Sorry, but I've never heard of the Spooksville Triangle. There is quite a bit of weirdness in MO, though. At http://www.gcbro.com go to the Missouri sightings, then to Moniteau county, and you can read my very own MoMo sighting. Thing is, I don't believe in Bigfoot; just reported what happened. I guess this post should be under Cryptozoology, huh? Anyway, that "alien videotape" that had a thread a while back happened in MO, too. Funny, though--seems pretty boring around here. With all these armed, half-crocked rednecks around here, I'd think twice before landing a spacecraft. My hillbilly cousins down in the Ozarks would love to have a Sasquatch rug in front of the fireplace, too.

Welcome to Missouri: we hate monsters!
 
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