Harry Potter - Who said kids weren't reading anymore?

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I'm sorry my children are now too old to be included in the avid Harry Potter fan category. There were other authors that encouraged their love of reading, but J. K. Rowling has taken the world by storm.

I just finished watching a T.V. interview with Ms. Rowling, but I've been following the news on Harry Potter for several days. The most recent publication is the 4th book published in a series of 7, and children around the world were waiting for it. It's over 700 pages of fantasy that many children complete within 2 days' time. Children ranging in age from 6 to 14 have literally consumed the first three books, including children with dyslexia and children who've never been interested in reading before.

Harry Potter

I'll be looking for these books as time moves on, and all three of my children will receive copies [after I've read them.] I poo-poo the opinions of those who suggest that wizards and fantasy are not good role models. A good tale will always be a good tale, and THIS tale [which the author states is simply ONE book separated for the convenience of the reader into seven parts] has had the greatest impact on society since that of Dickens.

-- Anita (Anita_S3@hotmail.com), July 09, 2000



I thought Beanie Babies had the greatest impact on society since Dickens. It's just so hard to tell one FAD from another.

By the way, wizardry and witchcraft are not appropriate role models for children. Unless, of course, you think sacrificing the neighbor's German shepherd is appropriate behavior.

-- J (Y2J@home.comm), July 09, 2000.

Some of our "favorite" Christian Y2k Doom Sayers are railing against Mr. Potter, Young Wizard, at this very moment. HARDLY a "suitable role model" and obviously a partner or even a veritable creation of Satan Himself.

Even "The Church Lady" has come out of forced retirement to join the Wizard Hunt.

Meanwhile, in the real world, "everyone knows" that the STAR WARS Series is a far more influential Artistic Work inspired by the Eternal Theme of "Good Guys"(US) vs. Bad Guys in Black (them).

OTOH, I am stunned today after having seen the 14 yr. old in "Freaks and Geeks" deliberately break up with Ms. Cindy, rising Cheerleader and future Ms. America. That was almost as shocking as witnessing his older sister turn "Dead Head".

One must view that as a publicity stunt by the writers out of material in the TV Vast Wasteland.

-- cpr (buytexas@swbell.net), July 09, 2000.

Harry Potter putters on puters in his Porta-Potty

-- (nemesis@awol.com), July 09, 2000.


I read to my children of wizards and other fantasies when they were too young to read anything themselves. They all started reading at age 4. They developed a love of reading that continues to this day, and have never sacrificed a dog. [Where do folks GET these ideas?]

Science fiction and science fantasy are read by most folks I know in IT and mathematics, and two of three of my children turned out to excel in mathematics and computer science. Oddly enough, those are the two who still read this stuff.

You're right, Charlie. Harry Potter is a classic story of good versus evil.

-- Anita (Anita_S3@hotmail.com), July 09, 2000.

Most of the children I saw on TV didn't really seem as interested in actually reading it as much as just being able to stay up late and be the first to get a copy because the media hype led them to believe that this was equivalent to being the first to get the toys for the latest Star Wars movie. The next day they run around the neighborhood bragging to their friends that they got a copy before they sold out, while the book sits on a shelf collecting dust. This is the sad truth about the erosion of any real quality value system in the lives of our children due to the materialistic-based instant gratification consumeristic society which the establishment has created for us.

-- Hawk (flyin@hi.again), July 09, 2000.


I don't know what YOU saw, but what *I* saw were kids excited about the characters. Did you know that the FIRST Harry Potter book had no publicity AT ALL? A kid read it and began discussing it on the playground, another kid read it, continued the discussion, and THAT'S how Harry Potter became popular...word of mouth on the playground.

The author is TOTALLY opposed to marketing ploys such as lunch boxes, sleeping bags, etc., and stated as much in her interview. This isn't a fad like beanie babies. This is a case where youngsters have read a tale, shared the tale with their friends, and those friends were somehow encouraged to read the tale themselves. Don't avid readers do this as adults? Did you post the information about the internet version of Stephen King's short-story because you were the first to download it, or because you've enjoyed Stephen King?

-- Anita (Anita_S3@hotmail.com), July 09, 2000.


"Where do people get these ideas"?

Well, people who practice Satanism surely were influenced somewhere in their life. Let's see, was being exposed to witchcraft, or basket weaving more influential? I just don't know.

The fact that your kids didn't sacrifice any dogs doesn't mean that reading to them about witchcraft was a good idea. It's akin to me saying that since I have let my kids play with matches for years, and they never burnt anything down, it must have been a good idea.

-- J (Y2J@home.comm), July 09, 2000.

"Did you know that the FIRST Harry Potter book had no publicity AT ALL? A kid read it and began discussing it on the playground, another kid read it, continued the discussion, and THAT'S how Harry Potter became popular...word of mouth on the playground."

Lol! If you believe that, I think CPR has some swampland in Florida you'd be interested in.

Go to Amazon.com... what's the first thing you see? Harry Potter. Go to your regular news site or watch your regular evening news... what do you see? Harry Potter. The libraries are full of excellent books for children to read, many much better than Harry Potter. What you are seeing is Big Time Media Hype Mass Marketing, and you have bought it hook, line, and sinker. Don't forget to take some extra cash, there's a McDonald's on the way home from the bookstore!

-- Hawk (flyin@hi.again), July 09, 2000.

Anytime a child picks up a book (Any book) and reads.It's a good thing.It's a lot better then playing the mindless video games.Or watching Barny the dinosaur.Or (Gag,those sickening little creatures who go hopping around the lawn looking at pop up tvs)For over 50 yrs I have had the need to read.If it has printed words on it I will read it.The sides of milk cartions,the ingredients on soup cans.In fact the people on this forum..Reads..You may have noticed there a not a hell of a lot of pictures on this site.I do think that standing in line late at night,waiting for a store to open is laughable.Those chillen should be in bed.

-- Dan Newsome (BOONSTAR1@webtv.net), July 09, 2000.


I doubt that folks who practice Satanism got their ideas from fantasy books in their youth. It's more likely that they got the ideas from feeling isolated in adolescence.


I'm quite familiar with the childrens' books available at the library. I spent many years there acquiring the books that I read to my children, as well as the books that they read themselves. Did you miss the FIRST book part of my statement? This is the 4th book that's being advertised publicly. [I'm sure they're advertising the first 3 as well, as the 4th would be NOTHING without the first 3.]

Did you know that Koontz wrote a children's book, Hawk? My kids do. They're all grown now, and that was so many years ago that they may have forgotten about it, but I doubt it. I saw it on the shelf of the library, brought it home, started reading it in stages to the kids, and they'd do ANYTHING I asked to get me to read the next chapter. Harry Potter started out the same way.

I'd be interested in discussing authors of childrens' books with you, Hawk, since you claim to have extensive knowledge on the subject.

-- Anita (Anita_S3@hotmail.com), July 09, 2000.

"I'd be interested in discussing authors of childrens' books with you, Hawk, since you claim to have extensive knowledge on the subject. "

WHOOOAAAHH!!! Where did you get THAT from?? LOL!!!

-- Hawk (flyin@hi.again), July 09, 2000.


These were your words in a previous post on this thread, were they not? "The libraries are full of excellent books for children to read, many much better than Harry Potter."

Would you make a statement like this if you didn't have personal experience with the excellent books for children in the library?

-- Anita (Anita_S3@hotmail.com), July 09, 2000.

LOL! Yes, I would. I have enough "experience", as I think anyone who has completed grade school does, to know that libraries are full of excellent books for children, and that some of them are probably better than Harry Potter. Are you trying to say that this Harry Potter is the best book for children to read in the history of literature? Sorry, I'm not buying it.

I think we have gotten off of the point I was trying to make, and that you seem to think I am making a personal attack against your post. I was only pointing out that IMO, there is a tremendous media hype about this book that many other books did not get. The reason? I don't think it is necessarily because this book is so much better than others, but it is because the publisher is taking advantage of more recent marketing strategies, paying the media to hype this thing as if it were a Star Wars movie. More power to them, but I don't always believe something is better just because of clever marketing scam. NEVER did I give any indication that I have EXTENSIVE knowledge of children's books. Please don't put words in my mouth.

-- Hawk (flyin@hi.again), July 09, 2000.


I think we've reached the point of agreement. It's NOT that Harry Potter is so much BETTER than other childrens' books. It's not.

The point of posting this thread was to emphasize that children have NOT lost their love of reading. In addition, the 4th book in Rowling's Harry Potter series of 7 is over 700 pages long. This is equivalent to War and Peace for an adult. In the interview I saw, she stated that she KNEW book 4 would be LONG, but she didn't know it would be THAT long. Book 7 will be her LONGEST, she said, as she will say "Goodbye" in that one to Harry Potter.

Most novels that 7-year olds read are within the framework of 24-300 pages. Scholastic has endorsed Harry Potter, which means that educators across the country have agreed that the books are worthwhile.

Children are growing up with Harry Potter. He's not stuck in space like Curious George, Madeline, or other characters in childrens' books. Each book has him a year older, and his readers are a year older as well. This is atypical, and the children know it.

-- Anita (Anita_S3@hotmail.com), July 09, 2000.

During the late 40s and early 50s my parents fed me a steady diet of books and magazines which resulted in a lifelong love of reading. I am convinced that there can be no greater habit for a youngster to acquire than the love of reading. In my early days we had our own Harry Potter, called the Hardy Boys. I believe there were over a hundred books in this series and a good deal of my lawn cutting and paper route money went towards the newest book in the series. For the girls it was Nancy Drew. My children are now in theyre 30s and devour books in the same manner that I still do.

My Granddaughter was three years old when I started buying books for her. At first it was the Baby Sitters Club series, which she still has every volume, then on to others as she grew. At 12 years old she loves to read and I just this morning presented her with the 4th volume in the Harry Potter series.

People, the greatest gift you can bestow on those you love is the treasure that reading will bring to their lives. It will transport them to places of the imagination and develop their mind far beyond this weeks offering from Saved by The Bell. Ms. Rowling is bringing hundreds of thousands of young people into the wonderful world of reading and for that she should be honored. Is this the greatest childrens series to ever hit the shelves? Probably not but that is not the point here. Kids of all ages are captivated by the fantasy and this will kickstart theyre reading habits that will hopefully last for a lifetime.

Oh, -- J (Y2J@home.comm, pay no attention to the strange scratching noises coming from inside the walls of your home. Most likely nothing to it.

-- Ra (tion@l.1), July 09, 2000.

Mr. Newsome,

Children reading is a good thing, I would agree. Children reading ANYTHING is not a good thing, however. Surely you would agree that children should not be reading Penthouse Forum, for instance.


That's a nice viewpoint. Poor teenage me, nobody likes me, so I will just go sacrifice this German shepherd to the Devil for the power that it will bring me. Witchcraft isn't some science fiction fantasy, Anita. You should learn to differentiate the two.

As far as the author being "TOTALLY opposed to marketing ploys", you should check out www.bloomberg.com.


-- J (Y2J@home.comm), July 09, 2000.


I'm afraid I completely missed your point. Would you care to elaborate for me?

-- J (Y2J@home.comm), July 09, 2000.

From the link Anita provided:

"This is a quest story, like Sir Gawain and the Green Knight or the Arthurian legends. As with all quest stories, what the hero conquers isn't the headless knight or the fire-breathing dragon, but his own fear. What the hero finds isn't the Grail, but himself.

That's one of the beauties of the Potter books, especially this one. Young readers can relate to a story crowded with classes and team sports and friends and enemies. It's like their own world, just made large with magic. And they can thrill to the real excitements of the books: finding your way, finding courage, keeping hope. As Dumbledore, the benevolent headmaster of Hogwarts, says near the end of "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire": "It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be."

This book sounds like a winner to me.


I agree with your statement:

"I poo-poo the opinions of those who suggest that wizards and fantasy are not good role models. A good tale will always be a good tale..." :)

-- Debra (...@....), July 09, 2000.

J, thought you might. Read more often and your comprehension should ratchet up a notch or two. Take your time, get back to me later.

-- Ra (tion@l.1), July 09, 2000.


You're massively OVERreacting. What is it with you and these dogs? Did I miss something on "News of the Weird?" Harry Potter is now comparable to Penthouse forum? If you don't know MY feelings on personal responsibility, Y, I suggest you read some other threads. I make no excuses for ANYONE, least of all the children of MINE who have been reading about witches, witchcraft, and wizards all their lives.

It's true that Ms. Rowling sold the movie rights. She's closely involved with how the movie handles the characters, and I, personally, think her responsibility stops THERE. That the movie production company has an interest in Enesco is outside of her control. She openly stated on public television that she discouraged ANYONE from buying the products sold under the Harry Potter name.

-- Anita (Anita_S3@hotmail.com), July 09, 2000.

Anita, I have heard you describe the way you raise your children and I think you are the exception to the norm these days. Didn't mean to detract from your comments, but unfortunately I think there are a lot of mothers who will take their kids out to get the book because they will feel guilty the way the news made it look like all the kids were getting it. I'm sure yours will read it and enjoy it, and you deserve to be commended for instilling them with the proper inspiration. I happen to love stories of wizards and magicians. One of my favorites, which isn't too heavy for older kids or teens is the Magician Series by Raymond Feist.

-- Hawk (flyin@hi.again), July 09, 2000.


I'm not overreacting. This is an internet forum, afterall. I am just discussing current events with other forum participants. I never questioned your feelings on personal responsibility, so don't overreact. : )

I just don't believe that witchcraft and sorcery are as benign as you believe them to be. I am sure that you are/were a good mother to your children, and if you believed that witchcraft and sorcery were doorways into an evil spiritual realm, you would never have exposed your children to them. With that being said, yes, Harry Potter is comparable to Penthouse Forum; neither is appropriate fare for children, in my opinion.

The author sold the movie rights for big dollars, and for nothing else. Don't get me wrong, I am a capitalist, and I applaud her efforts to make hay while the sun shines, so to speak. I must take issue with you stating that she is "TOTALLY opposed to marketing ploys", however. For you to believe what she SAYS in her interview, while seeing what she DOES with her newfound goldmine, is terribly naive.

-- J (Y2J@home.comm), July 10, 2000.


Thanks for the stroke, but I don't deserve it. The EXCEPTIONS are the folks that have kids that grow up to engage in Satanism or other weird stuff. Unfortunately, the news media doesn't report on the 99% of the population that raise kids to be productive adults. They concentrate on the exceptions.

I haven't seen ANY folks buy books out of guilt for their kids, Hawk. I saw folks buy stuff to puff their OWN egos, [like classic Barbie dolls, etc.], but they never thought about books. The difference is that classic Barbie dolls will be WORTH something in 30 years. They're securing THEIR future in buying this stuff, as well as presenting an air of "caring" about their kids. In contrast, Harry Potter will eventually go the way of The Hobbit. We don't pay more for that now, do we? [outside of inflation]

-- Anita (Anita_S3@hotmail.com), July 10, 2000.


The fact that you are alluding to a literary work which I have not read does not reflect poorly on my reading comprehension skills. The fact that you believe that it does, however, reflects poorly on your reasoning skills. After all, how could one be unable to comprehend that which one has not yet encountered?

Furthermore, your condescending tone is boorish. After all, I could point out that one should not write, "J, thought you might". Instead, one should write, "J, I thought that you might". That would only serve to belittle your writing skills, though, and not to further debate.

-- J (Y2J@home.comm), July 10, 2000.

Anita, I guess I'd agree that the extreme exceptions are the kids that get into satanism or suicide and that type of thing. I was talking about parents that instill decent values and integrity and character and courtesy in their children. Again, I think you are among this minority, and I think your stats are wrong because I do think it is a minority, not even near 99%. I'm taking a wild guess that you live in a fairly rural or sheltered suburban community, away from larger cities. Start getting into cities with populations over about 200,000 and it seems like half the parents let their kids roam the streets like punks and the only reason they buy things for them is to because they are too lazy or scared to raise their kids in a decent fashion. "The Simpsons" and "Married with Children" taught these kids that they don't have to respect their elders, so the parents don't know how to handle them.

-- Hawk (flyin@hi.again), July 10, 2000.

I'm confused now, J. In the interview Ms. Rowling confessed that she'd sold the movie rights to a production company. She discussed her participation in the movie and felt bad that she had given up her rights to BAN sales of products that the production company might attempt.

When asked why she didn't have five cars and a helicopter, Ms. Rowling also confessed that she didn't drive. Her only interest is in ensuring that she and her daughter don't have to suffer in poverty, which is where she was before the first Harry Potter book. You're painting a picture of a woman that I just didn't see.

Do you think YOU could move from a welfare state to a state of wealth so graciously, J? Do you think YOU would consider the ramifications of a movie offer down to the details of extraneous goods? I don't think *I* could. I'd be just like she was...so glad to be off the welfare system that I'd sign ANYTHING to ensure I wouldn't have to go there again.

-- Anita (Anita_S3@hotmail.com), July 10, 2000.

Bad guess there, Hawk. My three grew up on the south side of Chicago. We moved to Texas about 6 years ago, and lived in a city between Dallas and Fort Worth. We've SEEN rural, but we're not at all familiar with the philosophies of rural.

We know of people here, and we knew of people there that let their kids roam, etc. The only reason they came up was because their weirdnesses were so obvious. Life just isn't what it SEEMS to be, despite the news.

-- Anita (Anita_S3@hotmail.com), July 10, 2000.


Sorry I forgot to include this in my last post, but it's getting late and I make more errors when tired. My kids and I watched The Simpsons, Married With Children, Roseanne, and Beavis and Butthead for many years TOGETHER. I know how you feel about these shows, but I agree with that March for Bullshit guy on this one. T.V. shows don't CREATE problems. They REFLECT problems. Art imitates life. Life doesn't imitate art.

-- Anita (Anita_S3@hotmail.com), July 10, 2000.

Well, it seems there are an awful lot of punks dropping out of high school and cruising the streets these days causing trouble. The media doesn't say much and parents don't seem to care. Perhaps it isn't as bad as I think, but I don't believe that anywhere near 99% of families are raising their kids to be productive adults.

Back to the hype behind this book... it makes a lot more sense now that J has pointed out the rights were sold for a movie. That's why it is getting almost as much attention as a Star Wars movie, it IS going to be a movie! Undoubtedly the film studios do have a lot more "power of influence" in the media than just a typical book publisher. That explains it!

-- Hawk (flyin@hi.again), July 10, 2000.

Again, you are referring to YOUR kids. Lots of other kids watched those TV shows without parent supervision, and many have problems knowing the difference between TV shows and reality.

-- Hawk (flyin@hi.again), July 10, 2000.

I should have added, I like those shows, but I think they are suited for adults and MATURE children. Many younger kids, say under 8 years old, got the wrong impression from them.

-- Hawk (flyin@hi.again), July 10, 2000.


All right, you got me. I am a cynic to the core. I will graciously concede that the author is a fine woman who indeed does regret that she relinquished her rights to BAN product sales (regardless of how many dollars that she received for those rights) that the movie production company will pursue.

I would also be showing my cynical nature if I asked why an author so worried about the rampant commercialism surrounding her goldmine, er, literary work, felt compelled to sell the movie rights in the first place? Wasn't she going to earn plenty from the book royalties to keep her and her child out of poverty?

Remember, I am all for the free market system, and if she wants to make millions milking every angle, then I am all for it. Just spare me the, "I really like the money, I just don't like the commercialism" routine.

Besides, my main beef is that the content of witchcraft is not suitable for children.

-- J (Y2J@home.comm), July 10, 2000.

Currently my 9 year old is reading The Yearling, next will be Harry Potter number 4. She's read the other 3 and enjoyed them even though our Catholic Reveiw didn't recommend them. She's an A student, a year ahead in school and her favor books to date are The Red Badge of Courage, Call of the Wild and The Last of the Mohicans. I see no harm in her reading this Potter series at all. I've read them and there actually very well written and some of the first books some of her friends/classmates have ever read from cover to cover. Which doesn't say alot for our countries 5th grade reading skills as far as I'm concerned. (She also attends a catholic school where reading "X" amount of books per year was suppose to have been a required thing for a few years now, so much for requirements).


-- viper (letthekids@read.now), July 10, 2000.

Condescending tone J? Sorry. I should have known to be a little more direct with an idiot like you. Put your home magic set away for a minute and read slowly. My comments to you were in reference to your absurd parallelism between the Harry Potter books and satanic worship. Your mind apparently has not developed a mature ability to reason if you find evil behind every fantasy. In addition, I cant help but wonder about you personally, what with your fixation on Devil worship and animal sacrifices. You must be a big hit with the neighborhood pets.

-- Ra (tion@l.1), July 10, 2000.

Mornin', Anita.

Thanks for starting this; a very important subject.

I wasn't planning to go on line much today, but I saw your thread, noticed this neat little essay, and couldn't resist.

from In Defense of Harry Potter

In Defense of Harry Potter

The wildly popular Harry Potter books offer an essential value: the benevolent depiction of a world in which good triumphs over evil.

By Dianne L. Durante

What book has sold several hundred thousand copies, even though it wont appear in print until July 8th? Parents of school-age children wont be surprised to hear that its the fourth installment in the Harry Potter series. Over 20 million copies of the first three books have been sold, despite the fact that activists across the country are crusading to have the series banned from school libraries, claiming it encourages interest in Satanism and the occult. These critics  and even many of the books supporters  entirely miss the point, and the value, of these books. In fact, children desperately need such books in school libraries, just as much as they need nutritious food in school lunches.

It is true that Harry Potter lives in a world where hats and paintings speak, broomsticks fly and goblins run banks  but these are non-essential details. The essential element is the inspiring depiction of a boys triumphant struggles. These books tell the story of an eleven-year-old orphan, despised by the relatives he lives with, who discovers he has a rare talent and works hard to develop it. In the course of his education, he learns to think for himself, to be honest and to be self-confident. He finds friends who share his values and he earns the respect of his teachers. He battles the class bully as well as the most evil wizard on earth, and we rejoice when, with considerable effort and courage, Harry prevails.

What is the educational value of this? A child needs to learn concrete facts, of course, but that is not enough. In order to organize and utilize such facts, a child urgently needs as a framework a basic, abstract view of life  and he needs it in the form, not of an abstruse treatise, but of a concise, easily graspable presentation.

This is what literature provides. By means of the theme, plot and characterization  particularly as they involve the hero  every childrens story implicitly addresses such broad questions as: Is the world fundamentally a benevolent or a malevolent place? Can one rely on ones own mind or not? Is life to be eagerly embraced or fearfully skirted? Can the good succeed or does evil ultimately win?

The Harry Potter series appeals to so many children (and, incidentally, adults) because the answers it gives to these questions are overwhelmingly positive. It shows a world in which happiness can be achieved, villains can be defeated, and the means of success can be learned. When my seven-year-old races around the dining room table swathed in an old bathrobe, with a broomstick made of a mini-blind wand and cardboard, she is not expressing an interest in witches or the supernatural. Rather, she is trying on the personality of an independent, courageous, intelligent individual who conquers evil. She is enthusiastically endorsing a positive philosophic perspective on herself and on the world.

It is a storys abstract meaning, not its physical setting, that influences the reader. The Wizard of Oz, for example, is set in a land inhabited by witches, Munchkins and talking trees  but it really is about Dorothys, and her friends, determination to attain difficult goals. Little Lord Fauntleroy is not a manual for how to inherit an earldom but a portrayal of a child whose honesty and integrity see him through adversity.

By contrast, consider the ghoulishly titled Say Cheese and Die! (from the popular Goosebumps series, by R. L. Stine). Here, a cursed camera causes death and destruction whenever it snaps a photo. The main character, who repeatedly capitulates to his friends insistence that he use the camera, is cowardly, panic-stricken and ineffectual. The story ends on a foreboding note, as the indestructible camera, which had been hidden away, is discovered by local bullies, who prepare to use it again.

This book is appalling not for its supernatural elements but for its sheer malevolence: the hero is powerless, innocuous-looking objects wreak devastation, evil is invincible. A child overexposed to the malevolent universe of Goosebumps  or Beavis and Butthead, or South Park  might well wonder why he should risk getting out of bed in the morning, never mind why he should strive to master his schoolwork or to excel in sports.

What crucial need does the Harry Potter series fill? In a culture where cynicism is too often the dominant note, it provides a reminder that life is good  that it is challenging and full of exciting possibilities. The books are, in short, fuel for a childs maturing mind. As vitamins and minerals are essential to a childs healthy physical development, so literature with this view of the world is essential to a childs healthy mental development.

Dr. Durante is a bibliographic researcher and a senior writer for the Ayn Rand Institute in Marina del Rey, Calif. The Institute promotes the philosophy of Ayn Rand, author of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. www.aynrand.org

-- eve (eve_rebekah@yahoo.com), July 10, 2000.


I'll try to make this perfectly clear. Pause the vcr so that you won't miss any of Grumpy Old Man, er Men, and read slowly. Fantasy, like dreaming of being an astronaut, fireman, baseball player, etc. is a good thing. It stimulates children's reading and imaginative skills to read about such things. Witchcraft, is NOT harmless fantasy. It is a doorway to an evil spirit realm. Follow me here, Ra. Evil spirits = demons. Demons = from the Devil. Devil = bad. Got it?

You may be an atheist, which would somewhat excuse your position (there is no God, so there is no Devil, so witchcraft is harmless fantasy). Most likely though, you go to church, you believe in God, and you believe that there is a Devil. Your mind apparently has not developed a mature ability to reason if you can't see the evil in witchcraft. In addition, I can't help but wonder about your reasoning skills if you can't see that letting kids read about witchcraft is dangerous.

Anyway, thanks for clearing up your reference. I thought that you were alluding to some book that I had not yet read, but you were just making something up off the top of your head.

-- J (Y2J@home.comm), July 10, 2000.


-- Ra (tion@l.1), July 10, 2000.

Satanism has a lot more in common with Christianity than paganism or wicca. Geez, wicca doesn't even have the same cast of supernatural beings as Satanism and Christianity.

-- Tarzan the Ape Man (tarzan@swingingthroughthejunglewithouta.net), July 10, 2000.

>> ...content of witchcraft is not suitable for children. <<

Ooops! There goes Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, The Wizard of Oz, The Odyssey, the Arabian Nights Tales, Sabrina the Teenaged Witch, and many Bible stories. Give me a couple of days and I'll come up with a much longer list.

-- Brian McLaughlin (brianm@ims.com), July 10, 2000.


Sadly J probably believes that those stories should be burned along with the Potter books, the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Been said before but, any book that challenges a child to read and read with enjoyment and anticipation is good for them in the long run. Good reading skills, including the desire to read for the fun of it, help immeasurably in the ability to do well in school.

Keep in mind that these kids know that it is fantasy and do not necessarily believe in every thing that they read. Unlike many who followed North and Yourdon.

Oooops. That last one just slipped out.

-- Monkey Spanker (monkeyspanker0@angelfire.com), July 10, 2000.


Good comeback.

-- J (Y2J@home.comm), July 11, 2000.


Wicca can call their supernatural beings anything they want, but the fact remains that they are either angels or demons, and they are not angels.

-- J (Y2J@home.comm), July 11, 2000.


Your list is mixed, in that, if a story points out that a witch is evil and instructs the reader (directly or indirectly) to steer from the way of the witch, then it may, indeed, be acceptable for children. Also, I am not trying to be legalistic, as the main tenet of Christianity is love, not strict adherence to rules. I do, however, disagree with the appropriateness of a supposed children's book series where the main character is a wizard, and where that character is portrayed in a positive light.

-- J (Y2J@home.comm), July 11, 2000.

Monkey Spanker,

Sadly, your debating skills are quite lacking. Maybe a little less time spent in the pursuit of the activity your handle so proudly proclaims would free up more time to pursue cerebral activities.

I do not believe that any books should be burned. I do not succumb, however, to the politically correct belief that anything in print is suitable for children. Good reading skills are indeed important to scholastic success, but this hardly justifies children carte blanche access to all literature. As I posted above, surely you can't believe that Penthouse Forum is appropriate for children. Of course, considering your choice of handles, maybe you do.

-- J (Y2J@home.comm), July 11, 2000.

>> I do, however, disagree with the appropriateness of a supposed children's book series where the main character is a wizard, and where that character is portrayed in a positive light. <<

Well, I know about this series of four books, where the main character turns water into wine, walks on the surface of the sea, and raises a man from the dead, and he still is portrayed in a positive light? Would that be OK? Or not OK?

-- Brian McLaughlin (brianm@ims.com), July 11, 2000.


That would be OK. Jesus is not a wizard. Jesus is the Christ, the Savior, the Messiah. The miracles that He performed were of God. The magic that wizards perform is not of God. There is a big difference between the two.

-- J (Y2J@home.comm), July 11, 2000.

Thanks J.that was most generous of you. Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming. I will be the last person to deny the existence of Satanism in our society. We have all seen the ugly results of certain groups and individuals that practice satanic rituals. I suspect these people are predisposed to weirdness and this just happened to be the vehicle of choice.

Should we ban all suggestion of fantasy from our lives? Should all good Christians flee their religion due to the lunatic ravings of nuts like Al-d? A certain segment of society will always seek out the bizarre but I dont feel a need to be protected from them. Life is a constant series of options and decisionsbring em on I say.

-- Ra (tion@l.1), July 11, 2000.

With all due respect towards my religious brothers and sisters, I don't think anything that could possibly be said will convince people, who are against the Harry Potter books due to their (the readers') religious principles, to change their position.

Their position is Biblically (or other religious text) -based, and therefore is just not open to argument that would tend to undermine their belief system.

-- eve (eve_rebekah@yahoo.com), July 11, 2000.


I do not believe I said that children should be allowed to read anything that they want. I specifically don't think I said that Penthouse Forum (a publication you must be intimately aware of given the number of times you use this as an example) would be suitable material for a child, though my son might think otherwise. If you look at the title of this thread you will see this is a discussion of the Harry Potter books.

My daughter is an avid reader, a trait she developed early in life. I believe that this joy of reading has helped her to develop essential skills that have helped her achieve a very high level of success in her school work. I believe that these skills will serve her very well in her life.

My son on the other hand has never really been interested in reading for fun. We introduced him to the same environment of books as my daughter but it just never caught his imagination. That is until he started the Potter series. He has read each of the books with great enjoyment and surpisingly (given the length of the novels) in a shorter amount of time than any other books. I am fully in favor of the Potter books because obviously they can spark an interest in reading, not just in my son but for thousands of other children as well. Hopefully, this will lead to an expansion of interest in other boooks. Even if he just rereads the Potter books he still will be improving his reading skills.

Despite the subject matter I have not witnessed he and his friends forming a coven to practice withcraft. He is not boning up on incantations in order to cast spells on his enemies. The neighbors dog is alive and well (by the way where did you get the sacrificed dog thing?). If his friends talk about the books it is to say "Good book" or to discuss their favorite parts of the story.

It appears to me that you object to the theme of the book because it teaches children bad things. My point is that it is a "story", not real, entertainment,not a guide to life.

As far as your scintilating comments on my handle. Nice debating skills you have. If you have followed this forum you might be aware that I picked my handle from a go around with my friend Hawk. Love ya Hawk! In fact it is a satirical response to a post Hawk made. You apparently would not understand satire if it bit you on your ass. "Ignore those scratching sounds" by Ra was sarcasm. Again you did not pick up on it.

My comment to your concern over my "handle" and the topic of this thread "Don't always judge a book by its cover".

-- Monkey Spanker (monkeyspanker0@angelfire.com), July 11, 2000.

"Wicca can call their supernatural beings anything they want, but the fact remains that they are either angels or demons, and they are not angels."

This is a fact? Really? Prove it, using verifible data and the scientific method.

-- Tarzan the Ape Man (tarzan@swingingthroughthejunglewithouta.net), July 11, 2000.


I don't believe that any books, fantasy books in general, or the Harry Potter series in particular, should be banned. I never suggested anything about book banning (or burning, for that matter). My point was, and is, that the content of the Harry Potter books is not appropriate for children.

You said, "A certain segment of society will always seek out the bizarre but I don't feel a need to be protected from them".

I believe in liberty, and I agree with your statement unless that bizarre behavior infringes on someone else's rights. The Harry Potter series doesn't infringe on anyone else's rights as far as I can see, so I am not for banning it. Satanism is wrong from a biblical standpoint, but from a legal standpoint, people should have the freedom to worship the Devil if they want. If a Satanist kidnaps a child for one of their ritual sacrifices, someone else's rights have obviously been infringed.

To summarize, from a legal standpoint, I don't want to legislate away someone's freedom to make poor choices, but I want those poor choices punished if they infringe upon the rights of others. From a biblical (moral) standpoint, I want to see people avoid those poor choices from the start.

-- J (Y2J@home.comm), July 11, 2000.

>> That would be OK. Jesus is not a wizard. <<

Just as a thought experiment, suppose I wrote a series of four books. These four books just happened to duplicate the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in almost every detail, but with a few tiny exceptions:

- everywhere the word "Jesus" appears in the originals, I substituted the word "Hezbodiah".

- everywhere the word "Christ" appears in the originals, I substituted the word "Sanctified".

- everywhere the word "Messiah" appears in the originals, I substituted the words "Good Shepard".

Clearly, these four books are no longer about Jesus Christ, the Messiah. They are now about Hezbodiah Sanctified, the Good Shepard.

Are these books now harmful to children?

-- Brian McLaughlin (brianm@ims.com), July 11, 2000.

Monkey Spanker,

You said, "any book that challenges a child to read and read with enjoyment and anticipation is good for them in the long run". By saying "ANY", you include even the most inappropriate literature, including Penthouse Forum (which, by the way,I am not intimately aware of, but it was the most child inappropriate piece of writing of which I could think). Yes, this is a discussion of the Harry Potter series, and my point in referring to Penthouse Forum, is that not all literature is appropriate for children.

I agree wholeheartedly with you about your daughter's reading skills. I believe reading is an essential part of every child's educational growth. My children are also encouraged to read, just not books that promote witchcraft and sorcery. I feel that gaining increased reading skills at the expense of exposure to witchcraft is a high price to pay. Surely there are other books that your son would enjoy reading that don't contain such a potentially dangerous subject matter.

It is a good thing that your son and his friends have not formed a coven, or started casting spells on their enemies. However, if you believe that the books a child reads (especially when his peer group is reading the same books) don't have the potential to influence that child's life, you are greatly mistaken. The books a child reads, the music a child listens to, the movies and TV shows a child watches, all combine to help to form his culture, especially when his peer group is reading, listening to, and watching the same things. This has a tremendous influence on a child.

I apologize for my comments on your handle. I was put in a defensive mode by your suggestion that I "probably believe" certain books should be burned.

Finally, I understand satire quite well. I just didn't think Ra's satire was very good, that's all. To give him the benefit of the doubt, I asked for clarification to see if I was, in fact, missing it completely. Anyhow, I don't want to get started in a pissing match with Ra, I just want to discuss the point at hand.

-- J (Y2J@home.comm), July 11, 2000.

You know J, having grown up on the streets of Detroit I admire anyone that keeps on swinging in the midst of a gang beating. Hang in there!

-- Ra (tion@l.1), July 11, 2000.

Ra, you took the words right outta my mouth -- and I mean right down to a Detroit neighborhood! The only difference is that my Detroit neighborhood was a Jewish one on the northwest side (in the '50s and early '60s) -- so the kids there really weren't that rough. I think I saw a boy get his underwear pulled up in the back once, though...

J -- while I disagree with your Biblical premise, you've made some good points and I admire your spunk. You're doin' us all proud.

-- eve (eve_rebekah@yahoo.com), July 11, 2000.


That would depend on whether Hezbodiah Sanctified, the Good Shepard (Sam or Alan :) ) translated to Jesus Christ, the Messiah, or whether Hezbodiah was a completely different man.

In and of itself, reading about the performance of supernatural feats is not bad for children. It depends on where the power to perform the supernatural feat comes from that determines its impact on children.

-- J (Y2J@home.comm), July 11, 2000.

Ra and Eve,

Thank you both for the words of encouragement. : )

-- J (Y2J@home.comm), July 11, 2000.


Sorry for getting to this thread late, and hope this hasn't been discussed in great detail already, but how do you feel about C.S. Lewis' Narnia series (it also deals with magic/fantasy, and C.S. was using this setting to express Christian philosophy)?


-- Someone (ChimingIn@twocents.cam), July 11, 2000.

>> That would depend on whether Hezbodiah Sanctified, the Good Shepard [...] translated to Jesus Christ, the Messiah, or whether Hezbodiah was a completely different man. <<

I'm not sure I get your drift. Hezbodiah would be a character in these four books. This character would not be identified as Jesus Christ, or as the Messiah. However, Hez would be portrayed as performing all the same miracles, speaking the same words, having all the same attributes as Jesus.

>> In and of itself, reading about the performance of supernatural feats is not bad for children. It depends on where the power to perform the supernatural feat comes from that determines its impact on children. <<

OK. I am pretty sure the stories about Hezbodiah would pass muster under this standard.

What about Harry Potter? Would it be more acceptable to you if the Harry Potter stories showed Harry getting his powers directly from God, like Moses?

Don't misunderstand. I am not trying to corner you. My questions are not (like a prosecutor's) predetermined and aimed at some trap I am hoping to spring on you. It is just that you seem to be proposing a very black-white, either-or, deterministic kind of rule set and I am curious how sturdy it is. So, I guess it's fair to say I am testing you, but not with malicious intent.

So, would Harry Potter pass muster if he were performing his feats explicitly as miracles of God, but with all the rest of the plot apparatus intact? (That would certainly take care of the "where the power to perform the supernatural feat comes from" condition.)

Or are there other conditions where he fails?

-- Brian McLaughlin (brianm@ims.com), July 11, 2000.


I am not completely in the know on the Harry Potter series, having not read them. From the information that I have read, the plot involves young Harry learning to be a wizard. Wizardry, witchcraft, and sorcery can not be from God. I think if Harry's power came from God, the rest of the plot apparatus could not be left intact, as it wouldn't make sense.

-- J (Y2J@home.comm), July 11, 2000.


I am ashamed to admit that I have not read the Narnia series, so I can't really comment due to my ignorance of the topic.

-- J (Y2J@home.comm), July 11, 2000.

Eve, you wouldnt remember the old Oak Park neighborhood around 9 mile and Greenfield would you? Back in the 50s and 60s the City of Southfield was just starting. Things they have a changed.

-- Ra (tion@l.1), July 11, 2000.

>> Wizardry, witchcraft, and sorcery can not be from God. I think if Harry's power came from God, the rest of the plot apparatus could not be left intact, as it wouldn't make sense. <<

If left to my own devices, I don't think I could possibly tell the difference between Moses throwing down his staff before Pharoah and it becoming a serpent, and any other acts of "wizardry, witchcraft, and sorcery". If I read the story rightly, neither could Pharoah tell the difference. And yet, Moses's power to perform this act came from God.

I guess what I am questioning is, how might a person objectively determine when the power to perform a supernatural action originates with God, and when it originates with Satan?

Surely, we cannot trust a report from the person involved or any lazy observor. Satan is the Father of Lies. Words (even words like "wizardry, witchcraft and sorcery") can be twisted and misapplied so easily and mislead us so completely that they are not a reliable guide. Could not Satan use our very revulsion against the word "wizard" to hold us away from God, as easily as he uses his blandishments to draw us further from Him?

Nor should we be able to rely on the outward appearance of the action, for example, the shape of the hat worn by the person, or the color of her robes, or whether he used a wand or a pinch of dust. We must believe that God is capable of turning any of these mere props to His own good purposes. Or should we think these apparatus have a power greater than God's?

So, how on earth can a person decide if certain supernatural acts are of God or of Satan, if not by their fruits? Isn't that the standard the Bible teaches? Isn't that the one sure, true test?

You are hastening to the conclusion that the Harry Potter books, because they portray the classic accoutrements of sorcery, must be bearing evil fruit. Others here are assuring you that the Harry Potter books are bearing good fruit. Children are learning good lessons from them. Harry embodies many moral qualities and exemplifies a spirit of goodness.

I honestly don't know, because I haven't read the books. But it puzzles me that you haven't read them, either, but seem able to understand the fruits of the book without any familiarity with them.

Why not read one of the books and see what you think? If you have a sudden urge to barbecue the neighbor's dog, then it's a cinch your original conclusion was correct.

-- Brian McLaughlin (brianm@ims.com), July 11, 2000.

Ra, I lived just south of Oak Park in Detroit near 8 Mile between Greenfield and Schaefer. I know Oak Park was WAY Jewish, although I had little experience over there. And I do understand it's WAY different now. We moved to the suburbs in the mid-sixties, so I just missed going to Mumford High. That's where Eddie Murphy's character (Axel Foley?) in Beverly Hills Cop went -- well, at least he had the T-shirt.

What part of town were you from? And what does this have to do with Harry Potter? No matter...we're resourceful -- we'll find a tie-in somehow.

-- eve (eve_rebekah@yahoo.com), July 11, 2000.


"I am not completely in the know on the Harry Potter series, having not read them."

I echo Brian's last sentiment. I admire your strength in your beliefs, BUT I am always sorry when I see someone forming their opinion based on someone else's tale. It is intellectually dishonest- though in your case I do not believe you intend it-to condemn something you have not read. This was my problem with those who decried the move "Last Temptation of Christ" without ever having seen it. Sure it was not exactly the story, but the attempt to show the human side of Jesus and the outstanding performance of Willem Dafoe were highly entertaining-and no one was hurt by viewing it.

I have to ask you-At what age do you think it would be "safe" to have children read the Old Testament?

-- FutureShock (gray@matter.think), July 11, 2000.

Eve, nothing to do about Harry but I always enjoy reminiscing with an ex-Detroiter. I grew-up in the Corktown section of Detroit, which is long gone. This was a great old Irish neighborhood near Nevin, I mean Briggs, no make that Tiger Stadium (Michigan & Trumbell). That was the absolute purest Baseball Park in the country and I saw all of the Tiger greats play there. My favorite? Al Kaline, hands down. I spent many years in the military and returned to start my family in the fall of 1968. Before moving to California in the early 70s we lived in Ann Arbor, Royal Oak, and Farmington Hills. Although I could never return to Detroit to live I am grateful for growing up there.

-- Ra (tion@l.1), July 12, 2000.

I'm wondering where this "from the devil" implication ends. If a wizard has abilities that others don't, and uses those abilities for only good purposes, does this make the wizard any different than say the little boy in The Sixth Sense who could see dead people where others could not? The whole concept seems archaic to me, in that certain subsets of the population have ALWAYS been able to tap into abilities not understood by others.

Would telekinesis be considered "from the devil?"

-- Anita (Anita_S3@hotmail.com), July 12, 2000.


You really should read them at some point. They are written for young adults but are entertaining for adult adults as well. Start with "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe", it was the original "first" book to be read, but not the chronological first in the series. I understand newer versions have a different book (The Magician's Nephew) first, and it won't make as much sense or be as good of a read.


-- Someone (ChimingIn@twocents.cam), July 12, 2000.


You pose some very good questions.

Pharaoh's heart had been hardened by God, so that he could not tell the difference. "Left to your own devices", (to paraphrase) you may not be able to tell the difference, either. That is why you should seek God with all your heart and mind and soul, so that He may reveal the difference to you. Part of the way He does that is through the Bible.

Galations 5:19-21a NIV says, "The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like".

Galations 5:22-23 NIV goes on to say, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law".

You ask, "how might a person objectively determine when the power to perform a supernatural action originates with God, and when it originates with Satan"?

My answer is to check it against Scripture.

You then go on to ask, "So, how on earth can a person decide if certain supernatural acts are of God or of Satan, if not by their fruits? Isn't that the standard the Bible teaches? Isn't that the one sure, true test"?

Again, my answer is to check it against Scripture. The Bible does teach to judge by the fruits. If you read the Scriptures from Galations that I posted above, you will see that the list of bad fruits (the acts of the sinful nature) includes witchcraft. Therefore, witchcraft, by definition, is bad fruit. Bad fruit is not from God. Therefore, I have concluded that the Harry Potter series, due to its positive portrayal of witchcraft, IS bad fruit, and IS NOT from God. Unless those that are defending these books are incorrectly characterizing the content of the books, I don't need to read the books to know that this is true.

As far as others assuring that the books are bearing good fruit, children learning good lessons from them, and Harry embodying many moral qualities and exemplifying a spirit of goodness, I would say that Satan is indeed the father of lies (John 8:44), and he is not above using that which is good to further his agenda of evil.

-- J (Y2J@home.comm), July 13, 2000.


See my post above to Brian. Unless the book reviews that have been posted on this thread and linked to from this thread are incorrectly characterizing the content of the books, I don't need to read the books to know that condemnation of them is correct.

Now you better sit down, because I am about to agree with you. : )

I have still not seen the Last Temptation of Christ, but I agree with you that to dismiss it out of hand as being inappropriate was wrong. Hebrews 4:15 NIV says, "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are- yet was without sin".

The words "in every way" would lead me to believe that Jesus was tempted by sex as all men are. To acknowledge that in a movie is hardly blasphemous, but rather, it is Scriptural.

That being said, I have my doubts that Scorcese adhered to Scripture, and made sure that Jesus was portrayed as having been tempted, "yet was without sin". Call me a cynic, but Hollywood rarely portrays Christianity in a good light.

I think that it would be "safe" for children of any age to read the Old testament.

-- J (Y2J@home.comm), July 13, 2000.


Not all supernatural powers are from the Devil. Some supernatural powers are from God. For example, the disciples performed miracles.

Witchcraft and sorcery are not from God, though. Thus, a wizard COULDN'T use his abilities for ONLY good purposes. He could use his abilities for good purposes sometimes (to deceive), but he could not use his abilities exclusively for good, since the source of those abilities is evil. I would even go so far as to say that a wizard might be deceived into believing that he was doing good, while the giver of the power (Satan), was doing evil.

-- J (Y2J@home.comm), July 13, 2000.


I know that I should. So many things to accomplish, so few hours in a day. Anyway, thanks for the tip on how they should be read if I can make the time to read them.

-- J (Y2J@home.comm), July 13, 2000.


I did almost fall out of my chair-wink wink. I think I have to disagree about the old testament-How do you explain rape and castration to a child of "any age"? There are so pretty "r" rated to "x" rated passages in the old testament.

Serious question: Would you edit the old testament for young children? There are nightmares lurking in that there text, especially in Leviticus, where in part it stated that anybody who works on Sunday should be stoned to death. Explain that to a child whose mother or father have to work on Sunday. The child may be terrified their mommy might not come home.

-- FutureShock (gray@matter.think), July 13, 2000.


No, I wouldn't edit the Old Testament. There are potential nightmares lurking in lots of things, even the Bible. That's why it is important to be available to your children to discuss what they are reading with them, even when they are reading the Bible.

By the way, I wouldn't encourage a young child to read specifically about rape or castration, but if they did, I would use it as yet another teaching point. When you have children, life is one teaching point after another. Not all of them are easy.

-- J (Y2J@home.comm), July 13, 2000.


Thanks for the answers to my questions. At least you are fully systematic in your beliefs.

As for the Last Temptation of Christ, Scorsese based the movie on a novel by Nikos Katzanzakis, who in turn based it on scripture. The actual point of the book and of the movie was not that Christ was tempted by sex (which Christ was no doubt strong enough to withstand) but that he was tempted to embrace his humanity and abdicate his divinity.

This, too, is scriptural. In Gethsemene, Christ is said to have prayed that this cup (his self-sacrifice) might be passed from him. This is the moment of temptation that Katzanzakis fastens upon and embroiders. He imagines that Satan would also have heard this prayer and prepared a trap for Christ.

On the cross, as he is dying, Christ hears a supernatural voice that tells him he has been spared death, that his being nailed to the cross was a sufficient sacrifice and his work is done. The temptation to believe he neeed not die gets the better of Christ. He believes the voice. Christ is allowed to cast aside his cross, to marry, have children and grandchildren, and live to a revered and respected old age. Finally, in old age and near death, Christ understands that his work was not done and that he must finish it.

Christ then chooses voluntarily to foresake all the blessings of being human, to erase all the decades of his human happiness and make them as if they never were, and returns to the cross, where he dies in agony as a young man, on the intended day.

Essentially, all that Katzanzakis and Scorsese have done is to take one detail of the passion and enlarge it imaginatively, as a way of making the full import of the passion come live for the hearer. They don't pretend that this added twist is gospel, but maintain that it is fiction written in accordance with the spirit of the gospel.

-- Brian McLaughlin (brianm@ims.com), July 13, 2000.


It is indeed, Scriptural (Matthew 26:39 NIV) that Christ was tempted to "embrace His humanity" as you put it. But it is in that very same verse where we see Christ overcome that temptation by saying, "Yet not as I will, but as you will".

Your words show that you see where Katzanzakis and Scorcese depart from Scripture. You wrote, "The temptation to believe he neeed(sic) not die gets the better of Christ". "Gets the better of" means that He would have succumbed to the temptation. It means that He would have sinned. This is not Scriptural. As I said in an earlier post, Hollywood rarely portrays Christianity in a good light.

-- J (Y2J@home.comm), July 13, 2000.

>> It means that He would have sinned. This is not Scriptural. <<

No. It is not scriptural. It is fictional. In the book and the movie Christ not only repents of his sin, but fullfills his repentance by dying on the cross. By showing Christ sinning in this way and showing him repenting in this way, it makes Christ a tad more human than scripture does. Same outcome though.

>> As I said in an earlier post, Hollywood rarely portrays Christianity in a good light. <<

I don't get it. How does this reflect on Christianity?

Now, if you were to say that Hollywood seems incapable of accuracy, I'd agree. But Christians aren't Christ. How does a repentant Christ throw you into a bad light?

-- Brian McLaughlin (brianm@ims.com), July 13, 2000.


I just wanted to let you know that I appreciated our little spot of reminiscing about Detroit -- and I could have gone on forever -- but I bowed out as I didn't want to disrupt this fascinating thread too much. Thanks for sharing that cool stuff, though, and I'll talk to ya later.

Ok, folks...please carry on...

-- eve (eve_rebekah@yahoo.com), July 13, 2000.

Why thank you Eve. I wouldnt worry too much about disrupting this or any other thread. They tend to wander about but that is the charm, is it not?

M go Blue!!

-- Ra (tion@l.1), July 13, 2000.


Earlier you wrote, "They don't pretend that this added twist is gospel, but maintain that it is fiction written in accordance with the spirit of the gospel".

Fiction that speculates on the specifics of the temptations (not specifically detailed in the Bible) that Christ endured could be written in accordance with the spirit of the gospel. Fiction that portrays Christ as sinning cannot be written in accordance with the spirit of the gospel.

You also wrote, "By showing Christ sinning in this way and showing him repenting in this way, it makes Christ a tad more human than scripture does. Same outcome though".

I truly am not trying to be rude, but you really don't grasp Christianity. In Old Testament times, sin was atoned for through blood sacrifice. A lamb was the typical animal used for this purpose. The lamb, innocent of wrongdoing, became the proxy for the punishment of the sinner.

Jesus is the sacrificial lamb of the New Testament. His blood was shed on the cross in atonement for our sins. Just as the lamb of the Old Testament was not guilty of the sin in question, Jesus must be without guilt (sin) to be a proxy for us as sinners. If Jesus had sinned, His blood would have atoned for His own sin, not ours. Thus, if Jesus had sinned, there would have been a far different outcome.

If Christianity can be likened to a building, then Christ would be the cornerstone. Hollywood's portrayal of Christ as sinner is akin to removing the cornerstone from the foundation. The whole building comes tumbling down.

-- J (Y2J@home.comm), July 14, 2000.

J [and Hawk]:

Thanks for provoking an interesting discussion on this thread. The world would be a dull place if everyone agreed, and I learned quite a bit about how others see things.

-- Anita (Anita_S3@hotmail.com), July 14, 2000.


I'm a little dissapointed that no one seemed to recognize the Narnia series. It was an important part of my childhood and helped me understand a lot about life.

They are excellent books for children and show the need that children have for a positive authority in their lives.

They are good books for parents to read to children, they can remind parents of childrens needs to be children and the fact that children are not experienced enough to be able to make good judgments all of the time.

They also showed me how it is sad that some people forget the fasination and majic of childhood.

They should be made available to children to read.

-- Cherri (sams@brigadoon.com), July 14, 2000.

Cherri, you touched on something I haven't seen discussed here (or anywhere, for that matter).

At what point in our lives (as adults) did we lose the power of our imagination? This is the one, single, GREATEST thing about childhood (at least to me, it was). I had a fabulous imagination, as did many of my little friends. We'd come up with all sorts of stories and scenarios (many of which grew out of refrigerator boxes -- it's a Brooklyn thing). We'd play for hours in our little worlds of imagination. I think we were some of the best "storytellers" I have every seen or known.

I believe these books (the Potter series, the Narnia series, and any similar) are a terrific way for ADULTS to realize just how important it is to not lose the power of one's imagination, simply because one became An Adult.

It reminds me of that book, The Neverending Story. That one certainly made me think about all of this and had a profound impact on how I viewed "adulthood".

-- Patricia (PatriciaS@lasvegas.com), July 14, 2000.

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