Harry Potter-Antichrist Jr.

Just heard there are some parents in Alabama who want the Harry Potter books out of the libraries because he is portrayed as a wizard,and there is much occult indoctrination in the books. I feel I should have put this in the pit,because I personally,wouldn’t want my son to read this. I do believe it is occult,and therefore evil.I am sure no one else here agrees with me,and pl will probably burn my butt,but…let me say I don’t agree with banning the books. I just don’t want my child reading them. I was,way back when,slightly involved in the occult,it’s real, and no fun at all. Should parents draw the line at all,anywhere? Are there any books You wouldn’t want your child to read? Should they be banned from school libraries? Thank you.


If you can read this,youre too close.

Methinks there is a difference between occult and fantasy. Shall we ban the following, all of which have references to “the occult” and/or magic: The Wizard of Oz, Lord of the Rings, Hansel and Gretel (sp?), Macbeth, Star Wars, and The Chronicles of Narnia? Folks may be getting carried away. This talk of banning took place in Metro-Atlanta too. My thought was the kids were lining up outside a freaking BOOKSTORE to buy a BOOK to READ, instead of buying a video game, watching TV, or going to the movies, and someone has to find fault. Fantasy is a part of childhood. Reading should be too.

There was a book I remember reading, set in the Middle East. It seems there was this man, who was leading his ethnic group through a very dry region, who had been given some sort of a magic wand by a diety. He used the wand to get water for his people. Would the parents consider this occult indoctrination?

Actually, I also remember a part in the book about a soothsayer, who magically healed and fed people, and claimed his powers derived from his descent from a diety. I’m a little fuzzy on the details, but later on this individual, more or less a demigod, was executed. So, it’s a pretty violent book with lots of occult overtones. I don’t think it’s banned though.

Whenever I have a child, there are plenty of books I won’t want him/her to read. (At a certain age, of course. Once they reach teenagerhood, they can read whatever the hell they want…)

However, banning books ain’t the solution here. OC, I think I’m in agreement with you when I say that if you don’t like a certain book, it’s the PARENT’S job to decide if it’s appropriate for their child. Not anyone else’s. What I think is okay may not be the same as anyone else’s, and I don’t feel I have the right to impose my decisions on anyone else.

BTW, OC, I applaud you for saying that even though you think the books are “evil” (which I disagree on), you don’t think they should be banned. If only everyone thought this way… sigh

Boris,very funny :smiley:


If you can read this,youre too close.

If parents don’t want their kids reading H Potter, then they shouldn’t let them. But don’t make the libraries ban them because they are too lazy to monitor what their children are reading. There are plenty of books in most public libraries which are worse than Mr. Potter’s works, should we ban every book that deals with occult themes?

My parents were smart enough never to censor my reading material, even though my teachers were upset that I was reading “grown-up” books in elementary school. My mother was called in to discuss this and told my teacher, “well, if little Flora doesn’t understand what’s in the book, then it won’t hurt her, and if she does understand it, then she’s obviously old enough to read it.”

Goodness, I was reading Charles Addams and Edmund Pearson’s “Studies in Murder” and my father’s Playboys when I was eight! As of yet, I haven’t become a serial killer or a sex maniac. Give kids a little credit for intelligence, and maybe they’ll develop some.

Orangecakes said:

Not having read the books myself, what, exactly, makes you believe this? Have you read any of the books?

I do applaud your stance in opposing the book banning and taking actual parental involvement.

“Real” how?

Well, I’ve mentioned this before, but I got in trouble in high school for reading Andersonville and The Caine Mutiny, which various school personnel thought I shouldn’t be reading; and I got in big time trouble in the service when the first sergeant found a copy of The Communist Manifesto on a shelf above my bunk in the barracks. But I was allowed to read whatever I wanted to----and my parents would discuss with me what I was reading. They were involved, and I think that’s the key point here. You have to know what your kid is reading, and you have to know how it’s affecting him or her.

Do I think books should be banned? Absolutely not. I think there are some that kids should probably not be exposed to until they reach a certain age; say, Helter Skelter, or The Satanic Bible, or The Anarchist Cookbook, or The Illustrated Pictorial History of Operational Gas Chambers at the Treblinka Death Camp (ok, I made the last one up—but you get the idea), but I certainly would not ban them. In any case, the kids are going to be too young to understand them anyway, until they get to be a certain age. I do not agree with banning books. Any books. The only time I’d start to worry is if the kid grows up and runs for office with an idea of using The Prince for his domestic policy, or if he suddenly expresses a desire to marry the girl down the street while he has a copy of The Graphic History of Countess Elizabeth Bartholy’s Sadomasochistic Torture Chambers under his arm. (Ok, I made that one up, too—but you get the idea. :))

Dang it, orangecakes, it took you one minute to get my clever gag! So I guess it wasn’t very clever, or maybe you’re just very quick with gags. I feel so inadequate!

Not really. Actually, there is an interesting point here. There isn’t necessarily a difference between religion and the occult, except that religion is the mainstream and the occult is the underground. I mean, isn’t Harry Potter a good guy? Doesn’t he fight bad so justice and weal will triumph? I’m not very familiar with the books, but that’s the idea I’ve gotten.

Harry seems like kind of the same thing as Superman or Beowulf or Heracles - a good guy with non-Biblical super powers. I just hope no one bans Beowulf or classical mythology from the schools.

Orangecakes, if you were into the occult, and it wasn’t fun, then you simply weren’t doing it right.


Uke

From the original post:

Have you read any of the books? They are a light-hearted presentation of magic, I’m not sure how they can be classified as “evil”.

I’m sure that’s happening already, with the consent of a vast majority of parents. I doubt any school library has the latest issue of Hustler magazine, or “120 days of Sodom” by the Marquis de Sade. I doubt anyone could succesfully start a large-scale movement to make those available in schools, either.


Jacques Kilchoer
Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains.

The only evil I’ve found in the Harry Potter books is in the third one - the word “sherberts” (p.197). I certainly don’t want children seeing that!

I, for one, have read the first book in the Harry Potter series (HP and the Sorceror’s Stone). Both my wife and I read it, and we both liked it very much. Kind of Roald-Dahl-meets-(insert your favorite hack fantasy writer here). Generally light-hearted, but definitely some stuff that would be too intense for a very young child. We decided that our 4-year-old was too young for it, but when she’s seven or eight, we’ll probably let her have it if she wants. Seems to be pitched more at the 10-12 year old market, though (Harry is 11 when he goes off to wizard school).

Anyway, since the messages of the book (such as there are) include the value of honor, loyalty to your friends, good triumphing over evil, good sportsmanship, and the dangers of getting everything you want, I don’t see how anyone could see it as evil.

Rick

I agree. The Harry Potter books are light-hearted, with a fantasy setting. Magic isn’t occult by default, and if you read these kinds of books one of their points they are making is that it’s how you use it that counts. If you use it for evil, then you’re evil, if you use it for good, then you’re good. Just like with anything.

Mind you, Harry Potter does keep breaking the school rules all the time. I’m not so happy about that aspect myself.


“Waheeey! ‘Duck!’ Get it?”
“Errr… No…”
“Duck! Sounds almost exactly like fu-”

I have read all three Harry Potter books, as has my third-grade son. News out yesterday that S.C. state school honchos being petitioned to ban books from all school classrooms and libraries because of wizards, magic, etc. What a shame. These are good kids’ books, with better characterization and more interesting to today’s kids than, say, the Wizard of Oz books. Certainly better than Animorphs, Goosebumps and their ilk. The problem to some may be that the wizards and witches are the good guys, and that religion simply isn’t mentioned at all, pro or con. That seems like a plus to me. After all, if religion were featured in all children’s literature, whose should it be?

No,I haven’t read the books. I know that Harry is supposed to be a self-discovered wizard,and I do know a little about wizardry,much of which Is mentioned as wrong in the Bible:Not using divination or powers that come supposedly from the devil. So I would rather not my son read this and think,hey maybe I can cast spells. I’ve done so in the past. Real?Well,not by James Randi’s viewpoint,but I don’t always have witnesses around me. What if there were popular kids books on the market that had the main character throwing cats in the river? I wouldn’t want him reading That either! Like I said,I don’t want books Banned;I thought it was quite legal for Mr. Flynt to publish his joke about Mr. Falwell,and pretty stupid of Jerry to make a huge publicity thing about it.


If you can read this,youre too close.

oc:

I would be very curious to know more about the spells that you say you have cast.

I’m more interested in my viewpoint, actually.

Offhand, I can’t imagine for even a moment that a book with a protagonist who throws cats into the river would do that well, but I suppose that it’s possible.

And I admire you for not wanting to ban books, but simply to exercise parental authority inre which books are acceptable for your son, but I hope you accept that eventually, he will do whatever he wants.

Waste
Flick Lives!

Personally, I don’t see any harm in the Harry Potter books. I think that kids are a lot smarter and more perceptive than we give them credit for, and they can tell the difference between reality and fantasy magic in a storybook. I read Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s Magic repeatedly when I was around seven or eight or so, and I certainly didn’t grow up to be Anton LeVey II.

And look at it this way: even if they succeed in banning them, so what? They’ll be in good company. Consider books like Catcher In the Rye, which dealt with teenage angst (could be dangerous!!!) or Slaughterhouse Five, because of the sexual innuendo concerning Montana Wildhack (gasp!); or Huckleberry Finn, which was denigrating to blacks because Jim talked like Stepin Fetchit. (Big deal. It took place in what, 1850? Did black slaves talk that way at the time? Yeah. So what’s got your garters in a twist? It’s historically accurate, then. Relax.) Are those books still around? You betcha they are; you can walk into any Barnes and Noble and walk out with brand-new editions of all of them, and many more that have been banned over the years. My prophecy is that we’ll be seeing Harry Potter around for a long, long, time, banned or not. Which is as it should be.

Orangecakes said:

Um, if you haven’t read the books, how do you know they are occult/evil/whatever?

So, then, you don’t plan to allow your children to ever read, say, The Hobbit? Or pretty much anything in the fantasy section of the bookstore? It’s fantasy fiction here; we’re not talking about Harry Potter’s How-To Guide on Becoming a Wizard.

If your son watched Star Trek, would he think he can beam up to a starship? If he watched Star Wars, would he think he can use the force? If he watched The Wizard of Oz, would he think he can ride a tornado to a land of short people? I really do have to say that I think you are underestimating your son’s ability to distinguish between fantasy and reality.

I do admire the fact that you are not trying to ban these books for anybody else, but I also think you are overreacting a bit for your own child.