Harry Potter: Every now and then one hears a story that just makes you say ‘f**king hell’ about the mere stupidity of it all - this is one of those stories. UK’s The Citizen newspaper reports that protesters are preparing to picket Gloucester Cathedral if plans to shoot the live-action film version of the children’s novels goes ahead there as proposed. Seems some outraged churchgoers are “fiercely opposed to any portrayal of ‘witchcraft’” and have been quoting passages from the book of ‘Deuteronomy’ to reporters. Nevertheless they’re not united in their views, take the cathedral’s Dean for example who sees it as a great opportunity: “Gloucester Cathedral is a particularly atmospheric place and the cloisters must be among the most exciting and beautiful architectural gems in Europe. The Cathedral will make a stunning backdrop for parts of the story”. Nevertheless local Paula Clare is adamant in her views: “We dispute the view of the Dean, who thinks only 'one or two Christians are upset. The question is not what man thinks, even a man who calls himself a Christian – it’s what God thinks that really matters”. Thanks to ‘Phil’
(The last line is especially telling - the woman claiming to speak for God.) I’m sure that the whole Harry Potter vs the hysterical fundies thing has already been discussed to death somewhere in the forums, and certainly this latest bit should come as no surprise to anyone. In a way, it could make us Yanks feel a little less alone in our embarrasment about the extremists in the US who want to burn the Harry Potter books.
On the positive front (if you will excuse me for being positive in the Pit), I just started work at a bookstore. I asked if anyone ahd come in complaining about Harry Potter. I was told that only one person had…but then came back later all sheepish-like after having actually read the book. Score one for the Potter team!
Please…she’s probably reading some horribly mis-mashed translation like the New American Bible or the New Revised Standard Version. Trying to use those as an instruction manual works about as well as using any other book written by human beings and claiming to be the literal word of God.
What exactly makes her interpretation more correct than the that of the Dean of the cathedral (a highly educated man), as well as the great majority of good Christians who see no problem with Harry Potter?
I work in a bookstore. As an occupational hazard, I have read all the Harry Potter books. I’m not a Christian, but I have a working knowledge of Christianity, and I can’t see that anyone who has actually read the books would be offended or upset with the books. A couple of my coworkers are practicing Christians, and both of them enjoy the books. One in particular is in charge of the kids books, and ran the whole Midnight Opening thing and got totally into the release of the fourth book. (She has a reader’s copy of the first book autographed by Ms. Rowling, btw, wow, is that worth a lot of money!) Anyway, what upsets me most about this crap is that it is clear that none of these people have read these books. They’ve heard a few things and decided it was evil and won’t even see for themselves. “Oh my god, my child says the characters celebrate Halloween and learn magic! Clearly evil, subversive, and turning my child to Satan! I must take this fun, well-written, enjoyable book away from my kid. No more reading!”
We’d be more apt to believe His words if we saw His book being quoted more often. Anyone can say “In the Bible it says” X thing, but some of us are a bit wary of that without chapter and verse quoted as well.
It’s also pretty easy to take a quote completely out of context (from any book) and make it appear to support one claim.
In addition, we’ve the problem of the language barrier, as the Bible wasn’t originally written in English, despite claims from some to the contrary. You lose a good deal of the meaning when translating from any language to another, especially when the two languges are not in the same family.
Andros, to give you some perspective, I’m Catholic and have 0 problem with HP. My father is a monk and has no problem with it. My godmother sells the books through her website and she’s very Catholic (used to be a nun, IIRC). I have an aunt who teaches public school, used to be a nun (for several years, in fact) and has 0 problem with the books. I’ll ask my parish priests when I next see them.
Damn. I had some great ideas, really. I thought I could bullshit a devil’s advocate role for a while. But I just can’t, without resorting to mindless dogma. Sigh.
lucie, like many purely arrogant reactionaries, her version is right simply because it is. For more evidence of this, browse through Great Debates and read some posts from *Friend of God or College Student. Time after time it’s:
“Why is your particular interpretation precisely the right one?”
“Because it IS. God tells me so.”
There’s no way to counter that.
Seems like that is always the way with these over-zealous fuckwads. Those dim-witted shits who protested over the movie Dogma comes to mind.
“No, we really don’t know what it’s all about, but we know it’s bad because somebody else said so, and since we don’t have any brains of our very own, we’re joining this protest to protect the sanctity of our Lord.”
andros, I have found that when people say “because it is” it’s either because you’re debating whether 1+1=2 or someone’s personal belief (i.e. religion). It’s useless to try to debate with someone who is going on belief/“knowledge” rather than facts. Also it’s more likely their faith will grow stronger because of it.
Yeah, I’ve read though a number of the religious debates in GD, but I generally stay away from them because many years of belonging (?) to a very fundamentalist-leaning family has taught me the uselessnes of trying to have a faith vs. reason debate. I will never be able to change their minds about religion, and they will never be able to convice me of the error of my heathen ways. I have no problem with either science or religion, but I don’t try to mix them because I do not beleive they should have anything to do with each other.
Oops, getting off the subject here.
Harry Potter books are entertaining and kids actually put down the Pokemon trading cards to read them. Besides, anyone who thinks that a kid old enough to read and understand a Harry Potter book would be unable to tell the difference between fantasy and reality needs to seriously review their own ability to do the same. I was reading CS Lewis, Bradbury, Hienlein, and Tolkien by age 10, but do not recall believing in elves, talking animals, spellcasting, rockets to Mars, etc. In fact, my fundie parents bought the books and enjoyed them as well. What’s with today’s fundies?
There may only be 7 books, but if the movie franchise makes the $$ everyone expects it to, we’ll have HP movies for decades (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry Potter Meets Jason & Freddie, Star Wars Part XV - A New Harry, etc.) Which gets on to another hoary old flame subject - bad movie sequels (is that redundant?).
I believe sometime last year I started a Harry Potter: Antichrist Junior thread. I don’t have the link to it though.
From what i know, most “chrsitians” think it is bad for children.
Haven’t read it myself.