Mormon Inquiry

Mormon Inquiry


Boy Wizard rattles Christian cages

posted by Dave Banack

Some, not all. Harry Potter is back in theaters this week, to the consternation of some conservative Christians. See the lengthy Wikipedia discussion under “Religious debates over the Harry Potter series” for a gentle summary. The Catholic position has changed for the positive recently: “Harry Potter Finally Receives Vatican Blessing.” Few Mormons have any problem with the books or movies. For some interesting reflections on why not, read the recent post “Harry Potter, the Supernatural, and Modern Mormonism.”



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Bill Kilpatrick

posted July 15, 2009 at 9:50 pm


I can understand why certain groups get uptight when it comes to Harry Potter. They see a story involving magic and witchcraft, which is enough to have them circling the wagons. Their worldview doesn’t have a sense of humor – or innocence – when it comes to a lot of things. Everything is taken at face value. Their souls are in constant jeopardy. It’s a bunker mentality.
That’s unfortunate, for them, just as it’s unfortunate that some people can’t dance and their children can’t trick-or-treat.
Harry Potter is good, clean, fun. The values behind the series are the same values children learn in Sunday school.



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Charles Cosimano

posted July 16, 2009 at 12:04 pm


I rather like it that religious nutbars get weirded out over poor little Harry. It makes it really easy to get the public to dismiss what they have to say on anything else by simply saying, “These are folks who worry about Harry Potter.” Once you do that, everything else is drowned in laughter.



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The Nutbar

posted July 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm


My wife has had two friends leave the Church to become Wiccans, one of the fastest growing religions in the United States. Pretty funny, huh Charles? LOL!
“And it came to pass that there were sorceries, and witchcrafts, and magics; and the power of the evil one was wrought upon all the face of the land…” (Mormon 1:19)
I’m sure Mormon was only talking about bad witchcraft, as opposed to the good witchcraft we have today.
Of course, witchcraft is all just harmless fantasy, and we should ridicule all those who think otherwise. Ha ha!



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Your Name

posted July 16, 2009 at 10:29 pm


I was working for the Barnes & Noble company when the 1st Harry Potter book came on the scene and have been following this ever since.
At the time, the 8-12 year-old age group section was the smallest section in the stores. IOW …. that age group did not like to read. The selections were few.
Harry Potter changed all that. I think children, with parental help, separate fantasy from reality just fine. I was raised with violence (Roadrunner vs Coyote) and transvestite rabbits (Bugs Bunny dressing up like a lady with lipstick) and I think I made it through such trauma just fine.
IMHO, the hardline Christian-types that criticize H. Potter should get busy and write some books/movies that appeal to that age group that they approve of. Then come back and complain.
As it is, they have no alternative to offer.



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Jettboy

posted July 17, 2009 at 10:28 am


“My wife has had two friends leave the Church to become Wiccans, one of the fastest growing religions in the United States. Pretty funny, huh Charles? LOL!”
I hardly think it was because they read Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings for that matter. Going out on a limb, I would guess it was more that they became hyper-feminists and/or environmentalists than the allure of black magic and witchcraft. More people become Wiccan for those reasons than any other.



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The Only True and Living Nathan

posted July 17, 2009 at 3:42 pm


“As it is, they have no alternative to offer. ”
Apparently you haven’t seen the dozens of YA Left Behind spinoff books.



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Appalachian Prof

posted July 17, 2009 at 5:00 pm


Dear Nutbar: The “witchcraft” in Harry Potter is not the Wiccan religion, nor is it necromancy nor any other occult practice. It is a fictive device which is actually a metaphor for technology and knowledge. One of the most valuable things you learn in this series is that just because you CAN do something, doesn’t mean you SHOULD do it.
There is nothing in Harry Potter that can instruct anyone in occult practices.
Really, you MUST define your terms.



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The Nutbar

posted July 18, 2009 at 2:05 pm


Appalachian Prof,
Do you think you could describe to me the differences between the witchcraft in Harry Potter, and the witchcraft mentioned in the scriptures? Help me define witchcraft.



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Appalachian Prof

posted July 20, 2009 at 7:07 pm


Dear Nutbar
First, forgive my delay in answering your question. I haven’t returned to this blog since I posted my remark.
Witchcraft in scriptures=roughly translated, necromancy; invoking the dead and/or demonic spirits to control others/environment (think of the witch of Endor calling up the prophet Samuel for King Saul).
Witchcraft in Harry Potter: it is the stand-in for technology in the parallel universe created by JK Rowling. The characters do not INVOKE spirits, but use a technology available only to them. That magic is a metaphor for technology in our world can be seen in the flavor of moral dilemmas posed in HP’s world; specifically, the questions posed are the following: What can be done? What should be done? What are the limits that should be placed on certain courses of action? These moral dilemmas are presented to Christians every day, and the most striking parallels are in the life issues, stem-cell research, abortion, the development and manufacture of weapons of mass destruction, environmental degradation, etc. This also ties in with the limits of knowledge: Voldemort, the character who has willed his totally depraved state, has done so by the pursuit of forbidden knowledge: he seeks to conquer death by murder. Harry conquers death by voluntarily giving up his life.
The series does not endorse or advocate necromancy or devil worship. On the contrary, it presents great Christian truth through fiction.



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Gwyddion9

posted July 21, 2009 at 12:48 am


Harry Potter has nothing to do with Wicca. As a Wiccan, I love the movies, have read all the books but again, Harry Potter has nothing to do with Wicca. This claim is simply baseless.
The Nutbar,
“I’m sure Mormon was only talking about bad witchcraft, as opposed to the good witchcraft we have today.” “Of course, witchcraft is all just harmless fantasy, and we should ridicule all those who think otherwise. Ha ha!”
All right then, shall we discuss the Mormon Temple Endowment ceremony? I truly doubt you have any understanding of what Wicca is or what its beliefs are. Do you know or understand the Masonic ramifications that are in the Endowment or even the garments worn? My point is not to offend but simply raise the point of understanding.
Jettboy,
“I would guess it was more that they became hyper-feminists and/or environmentalists than the allure of black magic and witchcraft. More people become Wiccan for those reasons than any other.”
Truth be told, yes, I’ve met some people who joined Wicca because of feminist reasons or environmental reasons. Those who join for the “black magic or witchcraft” are generally young people who do it for attention or for the shock value, or simply get their kicks out of pushing the envelope or scarring people. This type offends me the most. Personally, I joined Wicca 14 years ago simply because I found Christianity to be wanting, on many levels and in studying the history, found many of its claims to be assumptions and not facts.
Witch Craft in the scriptures also had to do with poisoning. The early translation of witchcraft is poisoner. Which to primitive people made some sense simply because you could poison someone, do or say what ever and they died. The magic in Harry Potter is seen as magic. In the stories one reads that magic and technology do not work together, that somehow magic interferes with technology, which is why if you ever see a machine in the movie, such as an old victrola. In the stories, the people who use magic, find ways to duplicate what the normal or non-magical people have invented.
And the last statement, HP has nothing to do with Devil worship. Like Wicca, the HP series has nothing to do with the Devil in anyway, shape or form.



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