On Harry Potter, rock music and children entering the occult
One of the Catholic blogs I regularly visit has a post concerning the satanic influence of Harry Potter books and films upon young children. I'll not mention the site by name or link to it, but the comment box is full of those who enthusiastically assent to that idea. Those of us who would disagree are characterized as dupes of Satan. Neat trick, I make an unsubstantiated claim and if you agree you're as wise as I am but if you don't you're hopelessly stupid. No proof required.
Do I believe in the real presence of Satan in this world? You can bet your sweet bippy on that one. I've seen too many human lives that were train wrecks in progress, known of too many victims of truly evil acts, have unfortunately personally known a few truly evil people. So yes, Satan is actively working in this world. If that makes me a nutcase, then eh, so what?
Do I think all too many young people are falling under the baneful influence of evil in our culture? Yep on that one too and for most of the same reasons already cited in the answer to the first question.
Do I believe that Harry Potter books & films will singlehandedly lead impressionable youngsters into the world of the occult? No way, no how.
If a kid is led into donning magician robes, drawing pentagrams and reciting spells you can bet it won't be solely from reading a book. This will have been preceded by a severe lack of proper teaching on the part of his parents/guardians. The resultant spiritual vacuum will be eventually filled by something, it won't be good either. That something could be alcoholism, drug addiction, involvement with the occult, strong athiestic beliefs, etc.
In reading the comments mentioned above I kept searching my memory for the example of a similar boogeyman that had been blamed for the lack of morality & religious beliefs in the young. At first I hit on the flap & furor that came about when role playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons became popular. That was close but no cigar.
Finally I realized what the hyperventilating hysteria most resembled IMO and that would be the subject of subliminal messages in rock music. THAT particular conspiracy theory goes at least all the way back to Elvis and is still flourishing today with as much basis in fact as the current Harry Potter bugbear.
Honestly, if someone's kid is ripping and running, doing what he/she shouldn't and thumbing their nose at the parents then it's probably due in large part to a problem with those parents. As the old Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young tune goes, "Teach your children well..."
They may still drive you insane with their antics, but chances are better that it will be minimized by that teaching you did and that they'll return to those teachings of their youth in time.
Just the opinion of a retired turdchaser with two adult children still needing my prayers and three smaller children he hopes to do better by.
I've never read any of the Harry Potter books and since it came out when all my kids were grown, I've never felt the urge to look into it. But as far as the occult, you could see that kind of stuff from the time that TV and cartoons came upon the scene. Look at how many fairy tales and cartoons about fairy tales have witches, warlocks, spells, curses, etc. in them!
Like you said, those that get into the occult are those who have some void to fill and it takes parents who will teach the children about God who will fill that void.
(BTW, my blog is up and running again. I hope you can stop by. Sorry for the long absence...a real mess to deal with took longer than I hoped. It's still not over, but there's a light at the end of the tunnel.)
Zero problem with HP and friends. One of the first things children should learn- the difference between fantasy and reality. Some learn the hard way. How many kids have donned a cape then broken some bones after discovering they couldn't fly like Superman?
HP teaches a valuable lesson. Sometimes, it really is up to YOU to take a stand against evil, whether you volunteered for the part or not. A second sub-lesson in it- never trust a bureaucracy.
Happy Easter to you and your family, subvet! I'm sure the kids are going to be busy today...translated, you and your better half will be busy today!
Thanks for stopping by at Bad Habit yesterday! So good to talk to all my blogger friends again!
Just because you can do something doesn't mean that it's good for you and the cumulative effects of what you allow into your mind can have long term consequences.Since sorcery is clearly forbidden by G-d,(Lev 19:26 "'Do not eat any meat with the blood still in it. "'Do not practice divination or sorcery.), is it a good thing to allow your children to fill their minds with it even in a fantasy situation? Looking at it from the positive, what should we be filling our minds with? Phl 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. There is so much that I have seen and heard over the years that I wish I could erase yet it's forever recorded in my mind to mysteriously reappear on the screen of my conscious thought.
Mary Ellen, glad to see you're back in action. Thanks for stopping by.
Harold, I agree completely. Parents should BE parents and not just run their families on autopilot. IMO thats the whole problem with kids going astray, "Litlle Johnny" isn't necessarily bad or evil but without proper moral guidance from his guardians he'll inevitably go astray.
Bill, you wrote "...is it a good thing to allow your children to fill their minds with it even in a fantasy situation?"
If we're talking about a steady diet of escapist literature there will definetly be problems. The readers shouldn't immerse themselves in this or any other genre.
IMO the HP books are NOT for young children. I've read them all and seen all the films, while the first one might be acceptable for those under ten, things go rapidly downhill from there. The violence and gore will upset the younger set, so those who speak of these books as suitable for the really young should take the time to read them themselves.
They're fit for teens and up, they're better equipped emotionally to handle the more graphic scenes. By that age if a child has been properly reared by their parents they'll also recognize Harry Potter as pure entertainment. There ARE positive lessons to learn from the books, as an example; Harry is something of a dope at times and enthusiastically proves it by getting into trouble when disregarding the advice & counsel of adults. His problems always seem to start or be tremendously exacerbated from that point on. So that lesson is always easily seen.
Like anything else, even with teens, these books require adult supervision & guidance. The negative effects are seen when parents put everything on autopilot. That would be true for a lot of things, not just escapist literature that will be completely forgotten ten years from now.
Thanks for stopping by.
Harry Potter is a hard one. The books were written to be at the reading level expected of a British Pupil at the end of the school year depicted in the story--so the youngest kid who should read them is 11, for the first book.
But recurring theme, through each book, is the redemptive and protective nature of sacrificial love. JK Rowling describes herself as a Christian, and she is--although of the liberal European type. The theme, of sacrificial love overcoming evil, is repeated in each book, one way or another, and the climax of the story arc depends on it.
I wouldn't read these books to younger kids, or let them read them. But i feel they are good books, that use the medium of fantasy to communicate a great truth.
people who turn to the occult generally have a void, and a problem with self esteem. A book won't do it. Bad rising will. I know this, because I was involved with the occult and the pagan movement for years. Everyone there had a self esteem problem. All of them.
The truth of the matter is that it is really easy for parents to blame something than be proactive and actually parent their children.
There is also a lot of hipocrisy here, parents don't want their kids to watch certain Tv and shows and books, but the parents watch the same stuff. If a parent is not going to lead by example then they have failed or as the kids today say EPIC FAIL
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