Harry Potter series prompts religious controversy

The pope has criticized them, churches have burned them.

But the books are still being read.

The “Harry Potter� series, which released its sixth volume Saturday, has inspired three blockbuster movies and millions of young readers around the world.

Educators call the books a gateway to reading.

Religious leaders call them a gateway to the occult.More, from The Brownsville Herald.

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Re:Oh give me strength...

-- the book's been out less than 24 hours and already they're burning it.

Now, now; be fair. They're not "burning it" on its own merits already, are they? Any antipathy against HP&THBP is merely a knee-jerk reaction carried over from the rest of the previous books by drooling, subliterate morons who couldn't read six hundred pages in a month much less a day.

And, by the way, haven't you heard that the City of Chicago has banned candies that taste like marijuana? It seems they find the candies to be a gateway to gateway drugs, even though there is no THC in them at all.

If people like that ever stopped to think their heads would probably explode, but they might realize that by the "gateway" rationale, coffee, coke, and cigarettes (especially) are more powerful gateway drugs than Harry Potter or a taste extract.

Oh, and Lot didn't schtupp his daughters, they schtupped him. Lot was just a falling down drunk of a reprobate; like Noah.

Re:Oh give me strength...

Personally, I think flying on a hippogriff would be easier on the mind that worrying about whether or not your row mate is a raving lunatic.

"And I beheld another beast rising out of the earth; it had two horns like a lamb, and spoke as a dragon...
Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding calculate the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six." -Revelations 13: 11 & 18.

See? There you go, the beast is a hippogryph!

Objectively though, look at that first sentence of the Biblical quotation. First off, that sentence could easily fit in any book of fantasy and tell of some prophecy of a beast come to end the world... but only if the good wizard and his barely dressed female paladin don't stop it first. Second, and here's just a small matter of zoology, lambs don't have horns! Okay? They don't. A sheep may have horns, depending on the breed, but lambs? They don't. And finally, the beast speaks like a dragon.

Like a what? Dragon? Dragons are mentioned throughout the Old Testament. However the Bible speaks of them only once in the New Testament and only in the Revelation. So let's see, the Bible has wizards, dragons, mystical heroes, magical powers, and great battles. Strangely enough, so does Harry Potter. Actually, from the description above, I could be talking about the Bible, or the Lord of the Rings.

Give our kids some credit as the majority today's children are saavy enough to realize that Star Wars, Men in Black and Harry Potter are just made up characters.

The argument that violence in media begets real life violence always puzzled me. Generations of children grew up watching violent films. Look at the B westerns of yesteryear with their barfights and shootouts. Or the horror movies. I don't care what these "violence in the media" people say, there's been scads of violence long before the advent of movies, TV, and video games. Just read your Bible. The problem lies not in the media or religion. I lies in parents who aren't parents to their kids.

I grew up with violent TV shows like G.I. Joe and Transformers. I played (and still play) violent video games. I've got access to guns. Always have had access to guns. I love horror flicks, especially Japanese horror flicks because they're like American horror flicks, but unbound and with better writing. If anyone should have gone out and done some random ultraviolence, it should have been me.

Re:Oh give me strength...

Personally, I think flying on a hippogriff would be easier on the mind that worrying about whether or not your row mate is a raving lunatic.

With our growing fear in these turbulent times, we have forgotten how to live and enjoy things for what they are, which in this case is a simple book. Why did the people who make "It might give the children bad ideas" rules leave Superman and Spiderman and their "powers" to leap around and jump off buildings but ban W. E. Coyote because he bought ACME products to chase an oversized road runner? You'd think they would believe children would rather emmulate Superman or G.I. Joe knowing that coyotes don't walk upright. Plus, these "shoot'em up" cartoons are still in existance!

It seems to me that they are still on because they had nothing to do with base religion. In truth, the Harry Potter books are being banned out of an old fear of the unknown and fear of religion. Believe me people, the "who's right, who's wrong" religious argument will rage as long is there are at least two humans drawing breath on opposing sides. Give our kids some credit as the majority today's children are saavy enough to realize that Star Wars, Men in Black and Harry Potter are just made up characters.

Oh give me strength...

Religious leaders call them a gateway to the occult.

Give me a freakin' break. If Harry Potter books are gateways to the occult, then Louis L'Amour books must be gateways to dressing up as a cowboy, riding horses, and gunning down your enemies in the middle of the street while everyone watches.

If religious leaders are going to speak about things like "we are what we read" then I hope to god no one else ever reads the Bible, or the Koran, or the Bhagavad Gita, or almost any other holy book for that matter. There's very few holy books out there, Bible included, which don't contain great amounts of death, war, murder, bizaare sexual relations, and practices which can only be described as occultic in nature. So, looking at things from an objective standpoint, the materials the clergy wants us to read are no better than Harry Potter.

Re:Oh give me strength...

Well, that took long -- the book's been out less than 24 hours and already they're burning it.If Harry Potter is a gateway to the occult (not that I'm saying it is), does that mean the Old Testament is a gateway to schtupping your daughters, a la Lot?

Re:Oh give me strength...

I'm not sure where are you coming from (It's been one of those days) so let me clarify what I'm coming from. A hippogryff (my apologies to the HP world for any missfacts or spellings) is a cross between a bird and a horse. The one in HP looked like a cross between a Jay and a grey horse. Not a dragon so I'm not understanding what your comparison is.

"And I beheld another beast rising out of the earth; it had two horns like a lamb, and spoke as a dragon...
Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding calculate the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six." -Revelations 13: 11 & 18.

See? There you go, the beast is a hippogryph!


Also, with regards to being violent from reading/seeing violence, my point was that it seems to be more in the eye of the person making the rules versus in the eye of the reader and how they process the image/words. While I wouldn't advocate some of the imagry in the HP books to some of the younger readers, it is, IMHO, best left to the individual parents. Not some preacher or president who lords over us all with much abandon.

But you have to admit that we have become a more violent society. It's as if we have gone back to prohibition and having shootouts is an accepted way of life. Unfortunately, the guns are much better these days.

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