Harry Potter Vs. The Religious Right

MrRING

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She's Still Having Meetings With School Boards, and Wiccans React

Wiccans React to Book Ban Plan
Reported By: Blair Meeks

A Gwinnett County mother’s push to get Harry Potter books banned from elementary school bookshelves has made it to the state board of education.

Laura Mallory is the mother of three who's fighting against those books. Tuesday morning she pleaded her case to a hearing officer who will make a recommendation to the state board.

Among her arguments is a central theme that the books promote witchcraft and evil, but people who know about real life witchcraft, or Wiccanism, say the witches in the Potter books have nothing to do with reality and a lot more to do with getting children to enjoy reading.

At Inner Space and the Hoot Owl Attic bookstore in Sandy Springs you can find anything you want to know about the mystical world. “We have books on Wicca, Paganism, mystical Christianity,” the clerk said.

And in back they put many of these words into action. They teach and they practice. People like Marcia Gaither. She used to practice Wiccanism, or witchcraft, now she's teaching a class on it.“Do what you will but harm none in the process -- I guess you could say the Wiccan equivalent of the golden rule,” said Gaither.

She says the controversy about Harry Potter is absurd.

“No one tried to take ‘The Wizard of Oz’ away, you didn't see them taking ‘Bewitched’ off the air when it was on; ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch.’ All of these things are fantasy and nothing in any of these are even remotely close to what Wiccans practice,” Gaither said.

She says the real magic the books worked in her life is with her children and teaching them to love to read.

“My daughter doesn't hate reading, but my son did -- and this is one thing that helped us get over the hump,” Gaither said. “And he doesn't follow the same path I follow. It didn't draw him into witchcraft or anything.”


In the classes, they teach about witchcraft and wizardry. They even teach spells, but the spells they talk about don't turn anyone into a frog. It's more like spells for a good job, a raise, or inner peace. They compare them to a type of prayer.

The state school board is expected to make a decision about the books in December. The Gwinnett County School Board has already turned the book banning request down once.
 

GNC

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I presume this crusading mother of three's children read nothing but maths textbooks and watch only documentaries? It's amazing that something as trivial as this is put before the state board of education.
 

kirmildew

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Long will this one rumble on... I wonder how many of these zealous parents have read the books.
The actual amount of magic in the books is tiny compared to the amount of lessons about growing up. Having family problems, getting picked on at school, having too much homework, falling out with your best friend, not getting on with a teacher, being jealous, meeting girls, loved ones dying. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Kids don't read them to try and learn how to summon the Devil, they read them because they are mirrors of school-age life written in a very entertaining and exciting setting.
It's like the furore about ASDA selling Halloween stuff... What a load of bollocks too. I'm sure that talking monster cookie jar and those purple spider stickers are going to turn your children to "dum dum duuummm...." The Occult.
 

ghostdog19

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It's maddening. So magic in narnia is okay, but not in Harry potter? How does that work?

Also, isn't it "magic" that created Narnia in the first place? Also, doesn't Aslan define a difference between "good" magic and "bad" magic (much like Harry Potter does?
 

GNC

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Has J.K. Rowling ever talked about her religious faith, whatever it may be? If she's a Satanist I could understand the fuss, but her heroes and heroines battle against Satan-like foes. The Narnia comparison is a good one.
 

gl5211

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Well and Rowling always stresses "love" as being the strongest magic. Which is not "spell casting" at all. Harry many times wins not because of magic but because of his wilingness to stand up for those he loves and what is right, regardless of the consequences to himself. Oh thats a HORRIBLE message to send to children. :roll:
 

OneWingedBird

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So magic in narnia is okay, but not in Harry potter? How does that work?
presumably because c s lewis was a christian, and incorporated some overt christian allegory into his stories, so um, that must be ok then :?
 

OneWingedBird

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Apparently the evil influence of books like this in schools is responsible for the recent shootings too:

Mother appeals decision on Potter ban in libraries

We reported previously on the Georgian mother, Laura Mallory, who campaigned for the Harry Potter books to be removed from Gwinnett County school libraries because, fundamentally, they "promote and glorify witchcraft." Following a public hearing to discuss the matter in April - in which the support for the novels staying put was predictably strong - the Gwinnett Board of Education ruled the books would remain on shelves.

Mallory, unsatisfied with the outcome, appealed the decision and a second hearing was held yesterday. Mallory rehashed her previous points regarding why the books should go, saying "Witchcraft is being mainstreamed to our kids today but people are not aware of it. They think these books are fantasies but Wicca is a real recognized religion."

Gwinnett County Schools attorney Victoria Sweeny says that under Mallory's reasoning, school bookshelves could become virtually empty, as she began to list many other stories with witches as characters, including Macbeth and Sleeping Beauty.
Apparently she finds the books so disturbing she says she's never completely read any of them. But surely that's a necessity in order to dub them 'evil.'

Additionally, in an effort to strengthen her argument, she referenced the past week's school shootings, saying that "you would think that we would want to do everything we can to get any form of evil out of our schools now."

The board is expected to make a decision in December. Let's hope they finally put this issue to rest.
Article taken from mugglenet.com, as the news link they give isn't working for me...
 

GNC

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Nothing to do with the lack of gun control, then... nope, it's kids' storybooks to blame. When's the last time you saw a witch with a gun, anyway?
 

jefflovestone

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gncxx said:
Nothing to do with the lack of gun control, then... nope, it's kids' storybooks to blame. When's the last time you saw a witch with a gun, anyway?
I take it you're not a fan of the genius that is Dan Brereton and his Nocturnals then?



Although I suppose Gunwitch is more of a zombie than anything else.

http://www.nocturnals.com/gallery/
 

OneWingedBird

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Nothing to do with the lack of gun control, then... nope, it's kids' storybooks to blame. When's the last time you saw a witch with a gun, anyway?
Who needs a gun when you've got Avada Kedavra :D
 

lupinwick

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Aaah lovely stuff. Burn in hell all those that don't agree with us. :roll: So good to see that this brand of xtianity is such a loving and caring religion, even keeping those it doesn't agree with toasty and warm.
 

Kondoru

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but does any one care about this nonsense?

I grew up in a JW family, and so was exposed to more than my fair share of junk, but it didnt make any impression on me whatsoever.

(except the very vague worry that they were obsessed with sex...)
 

lupinwick

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Probably not. I was bought up a methodist and so by comparison fairly liberal. I suspect that this kind of stuff is more geared towards worried parents.
 

kirmildew

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It makes me laugh that they actually try. That nutty woman actually believing that stories like Sleeping Beauty and Snow White were disturbing too and should be removed from schools. Hellooo... the witches all die horribly!!
That tract about Harry Potter leading to Satanism and ...gasp... 'The Occult' was sheer comedic genius. You couldn't get a better advertisement for staying clear of Fundamentalist Christians if you tried :lol:
I sleep soundly in my bed at night knowing I'm not a seriously mentally compromised, laughably intolerant bigot. Well, I would if I weren't having leg cramps and heartburn. :shock:
 

gl5211

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It's funny that he mentions that she was lead to use tarot cards, ouigi boards and such from harry potter considering they aren't mentioned in the books. There is a crystal ball, but all the fortune telling stuff is sort of blown off as mumbo jumbo, hardly a huge endorsement to influence children into practicing it. If anything i would think it would do the opposite. Of course this is all the same things they said about D&D. Almost word for word.
 

Kondoru

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<shrugs>

well, if it stops kids growing up like my new agey pals, its probably a good thing...
 

ghostdog19

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gl5211 said:
It's funny that he mentions that she was lead to use tarot cards, ouigi boards and such from harry potter considering they aren't mentioned in the books. There is a crystal ball, but all the fortune telling stuff is sort of blown off as mumbo jumbo, hardly a huge endorsement to influence children into practicing it. If anything i would think it would do the opposite. Of course this is all the same things they said about D&D. Almost word for word.
Has a kind of "pot leads to heroin" angle, doesn't it?

I think it's a pity because to me, it demonstrates a lack of faith. But then that's my opinion and my view of what faith ought to be, so, perhas I speak out of line (I certainly don't intend to offend anybody), but whenever stuff like this crops up, be it this or the vatican designating people to debunk the devinci code, it makes me wonder 'where is their faith?'
 

jefflovestone

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ghostdog19 said:
Has a kind of "pot leads to heroin" angle, doesn't it?
Harry Potter as a gate-way book? Rowling selling 'single page' bags outside school gates?
 

Heckler

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jefflovestone said:
Harry Potter as a gate-way book? Rowling selling 'single page' bags outside school gates?
But only the first one is free..... ;)
 

gl5211

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Has a kind of "pot leads to heroin" angle, doesn't it?

I think it's a pity because to me, it demonstrates a lack of faith. But then that's my opinion and my view of what faith ought to be, so, perhas I speak out of line (I certainly don't intend to offend anybody), but whenever stuff like this crops up, be it this or the vatican designating people to debunk the devinci code, it makes me wonder 'where is their faith?'
_________________

I know exactly what you mean. As if by questioning your faith you negate it. If you never question your faith, how do you know if you truly believe. My personal philosophy is question it everyday listen to all the arguments against it and at the end of the day if you can still believe then you have true faith. I once had an argument with someone and it was about the movie the last temptation of christ. I have seen it and don't understand what the hullaballoo is about. He said if god is divine then he wouldn't be tempted by sex. I said well it says in the bible "he was tempted in ALL the ways of man". I said so he was tempted with everything BUT sex? That doesn't make sense. Then he went on to basically tell me if christ could be tempted by sex then he couldn't be the son of god. Which is the most assinine thing i have ever heard. Not other temptation matters, but if he is tempted by SEX, he isn't the son of god. I just had to shake my head.
 

ghostdog19

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Exactly. What I find most puzzling is that it is religious leaders speaking like this.
 

MrRING

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LINK
Ga. board: Harry Potter books can stay

By GREG BLUESTEIN

ATLANTA - The Georgia Board of Education voted Thursday to uphold a local school board's decision to leave
Harry Potter books on library shelves despite a mother's objections.

The board members voted without discussion to back the Gwinnett County school board's decision to deny Laura Mallory's request to remove the best-selling books.

Mallory, who has three children in elementary school, has worked for more than a year to ban the books from Gwinnett schools, claiming the popular fiction series is an attempt to indoctrinate children in witchcraft.

"It's mainstreaming witchcraft in a subtle and deceptive manner, in a children-friendly format," said Mallory, who is considering a legal challenge of the board's ruling. "The kind of stuff in these books — murder and greed and violence. Why do they have to read them in school?"

Gwinnett school officials have argued that the books are good tools to encourage children to read and to spark creativity and imagination. Banning all books with references to witchcraft would mean classics such as "Macbeth" and "Cinderella" would have to go, they said.

J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books have been challenged 115 times since 2000, making them the most challenged texts of the 21st Century, according to the American Library Association.

The challenges most often claim that the series encourages children to question adult authority and promotes witchcraft, said Deborah Caldwell-Stone, the deputy director for the association's Office for Intellectual Freedom.
 

kirmildew

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"Questioning adult authority"? Why not? Adults are by no means always right or even having the best intentions!
 

Bistoinferno

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Harry Potter as a gate-way book?

It was for me. I started out reading Harry Potter recreationally, you know as all my friends were doing it, next thing I knew I had a £6.99 a book Dark Materials habit.
 

Leaferne

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The questioning of authority is a common theme in works taught in schools, i.e., The Chocolate War, The Chrysalids, Romeo and Juliet.... I don't see the HP books as being a particularly egregious example of same.
 

lupinwick

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kirmildew said:
"Questioning adult authority"? Why not? Adults are by no means always right or even having the best intentions!
Isn't that the point of being young?
 

Pietro_Mercurios

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lupinwick said:
kirmildew said:
"Questioning adult authority"? Why not? Adults are by no means always right or even having the best intentions!
Isn't that the point of being young?
As far as I can see, the Religious Right take the very Willhelm Reichian view that the Family is an extension of the State. Control the Family and you control the Individual. Family Values and all that. Father and God, from Whom Father's Authority derives, is always right, etc.

An idea for in your Christmas Stocking:
http://www.amazon.com/Mass-Psychology-Fascism-Wilhelm-Reich/dp/0374508844
 

ghostdog19

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Bistoinferno said:
Harry Potter as a gate-way book?

It was for me. I started out reading Harry Potter recreationally, you know as all my friends were doing it, next thing I knew I had a £6.99 a book Dark Materials habit.
Dark Materials is an excellent book. Very bold and the manner in which he addresses Christianity from an atheist stance, very well thought out and realized. I especially loved the dead fish.
 
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