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Harry Potter And The Forbidden Books


lilah

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pretty cool story of a fundie lite kid who was not allowed to read Harry Potter but always wanted to. When she was 15 she was finally allowed to read it and it became a symbol of her rebellion.

not breaking the link since it's NPR

http://www.npr.org/2014/05/31/315204299 ... dden-books

I have a cousin whose family banned him from reading HP because of the evil satanism. However she will let her kid play violent video games that have magic in them.

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I never understood why Harry Potter was such a big deal to conservatives and fundies. I mean, the moral outrage over the books has been way out of proportion to what they are. If you really look at the books, they emphasize using your talents for good and heck, the characters even celebrate Christmas.

I have long been confused about why all the outrage was over Harry Potter, but the His Dark Materials trilogy has been almost completely ignored. The author (Philip Pullman) is an atheist and in those books, the characters kill God (!). Even when the movie made about the first book (The Golden Compass) with Nicole Kidman came out, very little was mentioned about the religious themes in the books. It makes a hell of a lot more sense to me that these books would be the ones boycotted and shunned, but no.

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Minor point, perhaps, but there's a brief line early on in Deathly Hallows where Harry thanks God. I don't think he's praying to the almighty, though, he was just saying it in passing because he was relieved about something. I'm re-reading it right now and caught it, I forget what page.

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Reading Harry Potter was a really big step for me too since I had always been told they were evil. I think I was 15, and while my parents had told me that they now trusted me enough to choose to read them or not, I did read them in secret at first. When my mom first found a HP book in my room (actually it was a little sister who found it and brought it to her) she actually cried when she confronted me with it (other kids have stories of parents catching them with alcohol or cigarettes, but mine was Harry Potter). I wasn't actually in trouble because I did have permission to read them, but I don't think she expected me to actually do it and she was pretty disappointed.

They did relax on it though once they saw that I didn't turn evil. My dad even bought me the 7th book and went to the 5th movie with me, and he ended up finding that it wasn't as bad as he thought.

I know a couple people who were some of the most virulently anti-Harry Potter people I knew who, once they actually read the books for themselves, became huge Harry Potter fans. One of them now posts something on facebook every other day it seems on the Christian messages in Harry Potter.

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My sister in law forbid my niece to read them, but she was allowed racy romance novels instead. :cray-cray:

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I STILL need to understand this. WHY is Harry Potter forbidden, but LoTr and Star Wars are acceptable?

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My sister in law forbid my niece to read them, but she was allowed racy romance novels instead. :cray-cray:

I have often wondered how and why parents find certain things to be acceptable for their children to be exposed to while other things are completely off limits.

My mother had absolutely no problem letting me watch horrifically violent movies from a very young age - I spent years having night terrors about some of the things I saw in these films. My mother didn't have a problem with it, and I often wasn't allowed to leave the room when she chose to watch such films.

On the other hand, she had serious problems with anything regarding sex and sexuality. We were watching a film in a theater once, and she completely lost her shit when an exposed breast appeared on screen. We had to leave the theater because she was convinced that seeing a part of the human body was going to warp me for life.

I've gotta say, out of all the nightmares I've had, axe murderers and killer clowns were a much bigger issue than breasts ever were.

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I never understood why Harry Potter was such a big deal to conservatives and fundies. I mean, the moral outrage over the books has been way out of proportion to what they are. If you really look at the books, they emphasize using your talents for good and heck, the characters even celebrate Christmas.

I have long been confused about why all the outrage was over Harry Potter, but the His Dark Materials trilogy has been almost completely ignored. The author (Philip Pullman) is an atheist and in those books, the characters kill God (!). Even when the movie made about the first book (The Golden Compass) with Nicole Kidman came out, very little was mentioned about the religious themes in the books. It makes a hell of a lot more sense to me that these books would be the ones boycotted and shunned, but no.

I've wondered that too. I think it's because Harry Potter was a much more popular series and movie franchise.

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It's because Harry Potter has the good guys doing "witchcraft." Seriously, that's it. I think there would have been much less opposition had the magic been called something other than witchcraft. Magic isn't real so it's acceptable in fantasy, but witchcraft is and the Bible prohibits it, so if there is any witchcraft in the story it has to be bad. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is acceptable, for example, because the witch is clearly an evil character.

The Christians I know who changed their position on HP did so because they realized that, despite the name, the witchcraft in the books really has nothing in common with any witchcraft someone could attempt in the real world.

And there was a big fracas over Pullman when the one movie came out, but it didn't do particularly well and didn't have nearly the same popularity as Harry Potter, so I think it just isn't high on many people's radars.

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It surprised the heck out of me when I noticed this attitude here, in my blue-collar New England town, among fundie-lite evangelical types. I heard some "but aren't those books a bad thing?" comments from a hairdresser chatting with her customer, and could hardly believe my ears.

A club I belonged to once went on a tour of a private charitable organization we were sponsoring for Christmas (called "Master's Manna"). It was a food pantry/clothes closet kind of place that had a doctor and dentist come in once a week as volunteers. All in all, a laudable enterprise--then the director mentioned the kinds of things she wouldn't accept: "revealing" outfits for girls, and "anything Harry Potter or Pokemon." Oh, COME ON, I thought--I've heard of the Harry Potter hate, but freaking POKEMON as evil-ish?

Not long afterwards, I read a newspaper article that mentioned, among other things, the director's, um, colorful romantic life, and thought, "Ohhhhhhh--one of THOSE Christians."

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Oh, COME ON, I thought--I've heard of the Harry Potter hate, but freaking POKEMON as evil-ish?

Oh yeah, I grew up on stories of kids affected by demons they unknowingly invited into their house through Pokemon cards. :lol: Pokemon was definitely off-limits and I actually still don't really know anything about it.

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t's because Harry Potter has the good guys doing "witchcraft." Seriously, that's it. I think there would have been much less opposition had the magic been called something other than witchcraft. Magic isn't real so it's acceptable in fantasy, but witchcraft is and the Bible prohibits it, so if there is any witchcraft in the story it has to be bad. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is acceptable, for example, because the witch is clearly an evil character.

The Christians I know who changed their position on HP did so because they realized that, despite the name, the witchcraft in the books really has nothing in common with any witchcraft someone could attempt in the real world.

And there was a big fracas over Pullman when the one movie came out, but it didn't do particularly well and didn't have nearly the same popularity as Harry Potter, so I think it just isn't high on many people's radars.

I totally agree. I read Pullman's trilogy out of curiosity, but found his "I'm gonna push ATHEISM on you morons, dadgummit!" attitude more than a tad offputting.

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The Baptist school near my house was very anti-Harry Potter when I was growing up. I never got the full story, even when I was friends with the son of the principal, but i think the popularity was a big part of it. There was a list of other books that weren't allowed, and there definitely were other magic books not allowed The school also was strict about celebrating easter and christmas; no santa and easter bunny allowed at school, even for the little kids

Funnily enough, my brother ended up going to that school in his mid teens for a while and he got sent home (we live really close) once for talking about how he watched Star Wars on the weekend.

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I never understood why Harry Potter was such a big deal to conservatives and fundies. I mean, the moral outrage over the books has been way out of proportion to what they are. If you really look at the books, they emphasize using your talents for good and heck, the characters even celebrate Christmas.

I have long been confused about why all the outrage was over Harry Potter, but the His Dark Materials trilogy has been almost completely ignored. The author (Philip Pullman) is an atheist and in those books, the characters kill God (!). Even when the movie made about the first book (The Golden Compass) with Nicole Kidman came out, very little was mentioned about the religious themes in the books. It makes a hell of a lot more sense to me that these books would be the ones boycotted and shunned, but no.

Really? I thought the main reason why "The Golden Compass" movie didn't do so well was because Bill Donohue and his fax machine raised so much of a stink about it being anti-Catholic.

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I STILL need to understand this. WHY is Harry Potter forbidden, but LoTr and Star Wars are acceptable?

First of all, and always, you have to remember that fundies have very poor reading comprehension plus they tend to see or read what they want into things.

Can't explain Star Wars, but the LoTR is a whiter-than-white world despite the dwarfs & orcs. It is also a male world populated by manly men with only a few maidenly women.

Fundies seem to overlook, however, the fact that both Tolkien & C.S. Lewis were Catholics.

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The Baptist school near my house was very anti-Harry Potter when I was growing up. I never got the full story, even when I was friends with the son of the principal, but i think the popularity was a big part of it. There was a list of other books that weren't allowed, and there definitely were other magic books not allowed The school also was strict about celebrating easter and christmas; no santa and easter bunny allowed at school, even for the little kids

Funnily enough, my brother ended up going to that school in his mid teens for a while and he got sent home (we live really close) once for talking about how he watched Star Wars on the weekend.

Fundies never cease to amaze me...you'd think they'd get tired of policing kids' lives but they always find new material to condemn as "ungodly". Why the obsession with witchcraft? The Chronicles of Narnia is full of magic, and C.S. Lewis was a Christian who included many Christian ideas throughout the series. The Bible also bans eating pork and shellfish, but I don't see many fundies boycotting those foods (true, Jesus negates those laws in the New Testament, but fundies never seem to have a problem citing Old Testament scripture when it comes to purity or homosexuality).

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Lewis' Narnia was known to be intentionally allegorical. Fundies typically give Tolkien a pass because, despite scholarly evidence to the contrary, they know Tolkien was friends with Lewis and choose to believe that his work is also allegorical.

I cannot explain why Star Wars is often acceptable, except to those as rigid as the Maxells and Shupes who believe all fictional entertainment is evil.

Potter is a wizard, and there is witchcraft. Few fundies who have opposed the Potter books have ever even read the books. They will argue that they do not need to know anymore than this, because witchcraft and sorcery is strictly prohibited and evil according to their bible.

We actually just moved back south, back into the fundie strong Bible belt, this year. My fifth grader was horrified to discover that Harry Potter is not permitted at her school library. Another of my children, who has a rich imagination and writes stories about magical worlds and creatures has been told by well meaning friends that she must stop because she is practicing witchcraft for writing her stories, and as such she will go to hell if she does not.

I may have told her to tell her "friends" that you can only go to the Christian hell if you first believe it exists, and since we don't, she should be safe to continue with her story writing.

The son who was dumped on our doorstep by fundies showed up actually scared of Harry Potter. He still won't read the books, but we bribed him into watching the first movie after telling him that we would not require him to read them, but we would not allow him to disparage the unless he first read them to know what he was talking about. All he knew was that the fundies who had indoctrinated him had stressed that it was witchcraft and sorcery and people who engage in that stuff go to hell. He LOVES the movies. He's afraid his reading skills may not be sufficient for the books, and he doesn't like reading anything because it was shoved down his throat but he has no issues with the Potter books NOW. He literally had no clue what they were about.

My experience is that his completely lack of information is stereotypical for fundie responses when they ban Potter. They haven't got a clue. They just know witchcraft and sorcery is evil and sends you to hell, so you cannot go near Potter.

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I totally agree. I read Pullman's trilogy out of curiosity, but found his "I'm gonna push ATHEISM on you morons, dadgummit!" attitude more than a tad offputting.

I never saw his work as "I'm going to push atheism." I mean I can see how people took that away, but it's not how I read the stories.

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Lewis' Narnia was known to be intentionally allegorical. Fundies typically give Tolkien a pass because, despite scholarly evidence to the contrary, they know Tolkien was friends with Lewis and choose to believe that his work is also allegorical.

I cannot explain why Star Wars is often acceptable, except to those as rigid as the Maxells and Shupes who believe all fictional entertainment is evil.

Potter is a wizard, and there is witchcraft. Few fundies who have opposed the Potter books have ever even read the books. They will argue that they do not need to know anymore than this, because witchcraft and sorcery is strictly prohibited and evil according to their bible.

We actually just moved back south, back into the fundie strong Bible belt, this year. My fifth grader was horrified to discover that Harry Potter is not permitted at her school library. Another of my children, who has a rich imagination and writes stories about magical worlds and creatures has been told by well meaning friends that she must stop because she is practicing witchcraft for writing her stories, and as such she will go to hell if she does not.

I may have told her to tell her "friends" that you can only go to the Christian hell if you first believe it exists, and since we don't, she should be safe to continue with her story writing.

The son who was dumped on our doorstep by fundies showed up actually scared of Harry Potter. He still won't read the books, but we bribed him into watching the first movie after telling him that we would not require him to read them, but we would not allow him to disparage the unless he first read them to know what he was talking about. All he knew was that the fundies who had indoctrinated him had stressed that it was witchcraft and sorcery and people who engage in that stuff go to hell. He LOVES the movies. He's afraid his reading skills may not be sufficient for the books, and he doesn't like reading anything because it was shoved down his throat but he has no issues with the Potter books NOW. He literally had no clue what they were about.

My experience is that his completely lack of information is stereotypical for fundie responses when they ban Potter. They haven't got a clue. They just know witchcraft and sorcery is evil and sends you to hell, so you cannot go near Potter.

I think that Star Wars is allowed because many Christians see it as the bible in space. Heck, the bible is filled with all sorts of magic, but it's okay because god determines your magical powers. Likewise, the Force ("holy spirit") determines your abilities. And, they dont use "witchcraft," they use "Jedi powers." Totally different. Cause witchcraft is "of the devil" while "Jedi powers" is not condemned in the bible.

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I attended a sort of fundie-lite school in fourth grade and one day we got one of those Scholastic book order things. The teacher was reading through it mentioning what sort of things we could buy and she came to Harry Potter and said, "I hope none of you buy those." The anti-Harry Potter thing wasn't really a big deal at the time because only three of the books had been published and I don't think the movie had even been announced yet, so there wasn't as much hype as there would be a few years later. I had no intention of reading Harry Potter because I generally hated fantasy, but I remember wondering what my teacher's problem with it was. My mom convinced me to read the books that summer and of course I was totally hooked. By that time I had left the fundie-lite school because the incessant religion got on my nerves and I enjoyed knowing that I was reading something they wouldn't approve of.

A lot of the kids at this school also watched pretty violent horror movies that, even if my parents would have allowed me to see, I had no interest in. And yet, we once had to spend an entire afternoon having a discussion about why we shouldn't say "oh my gosh" because it was almost like saying "oh my God," which was bad. :roll:

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I cannot explain why Star Wars is often acceptable, except to those as rigid as the Maxells and Shupes who believe all fictional entertainment is evil.

It was definitely forbidden in the church I grew up in. 'The force' was a false god and the the whole ideology was pantheistic. Or something. I can't remember, except that I thought it was a load of crap.

DPIAT pushed a similar line, IIRC.

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I never saw his work as "I'm going to push atheism." I mean I can see how people took that away, but it's not how I read the stories.

Although Pullman is definitely an atheist, I think that he is really more anti-church than anti-theist. In the books, the Authority just turns out to be a paper tiger, whereas it's the Church that's doing all the evil. I've always thought that it's a very European view of religion (which makes sense since he's British), where there's a single, top-down, buerecratic church that operates as a shadow government. As an American, it seems like the real danger in religion is what we see with the Duggars and the other families we snark on, where people voluntarily join abusive, decentralized religious groups and retreat from mainstream society.

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Star Wars is no problem because it came out when they were kids. They know about it and they know that it was fun and awesome.

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I found this archived Christian newsletter a few months ago that was a special edition talking about why Harry Potter was evil. It was hilarious and I think they got into why Tolkein was OK but Harry Potter isn't... might have had something about bad attitudes too. If I find it again I'll come back and post it.

Anyway, my sister and I love(d) Harry Potter and we grew up in an area that is mostly Catholic so not a lot of the "Harry Potter is evil" belief (some of the priests at my church growing up read the books). One time in kindergarten or first grade she had a friend over and I had decorated the basement with Harry Potter for one of the movie releases. My mom invited the friend's mom inside when she came to pick up her kid, and I guess the other mom flipped out at my mom for having the devil in her house because of the Harry Potter stuff. :lol: I'm STILL sad I was not home to witness this lol! (This was the beginning of the crazy with that mom, btw. She went on to be the town crier about everything that was not up to her standards, like teachers reading "Oliver Button is Not a Sissy" in their class aka indoctrinating kids against traditional gender roles.)

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I never saw his work as "I'm going to push atheism." I mean I can see how people took that away, but it's not how I read the stories.

I'm basing what I said above on what Pullman said in interviews. His atheist stance does show in his trilogy, but not as blatantly.

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