Friday, 20 July 2007

Reading Magic

"You're inviting Satan into your home and opening yourself up to him". That's what one of the ladies (a Christian) at work said when we started talking about the Harry Potter series. I disagreed and said I thought there was more of a problem with the romance novels (soft porn for girls) she enjoys. We agreed to disagree.

Kate and I put down our current novels last week to re-read The Half Blood Prince in prep for tomorrow's release of The Deathly Hallows (AWESOME!). I noticed something interesting about the books we replaced - Kate: 'The Hobbit' and Me: 'Kiss Kiss' by Roald Dahl (a collection of short stories) both are from authors in who's writing magic features heavily. I distinctly remember, as kids, Dad refusing to let us read 'The Witches' by Dahl (along with banning cartoons featuring bad guys with red eyes - evil?).

I was wondering if there was such a problem with these two well loved and widely read authors back in their day? Why does Harry pose such a problem? Is it the setting of a magical realm within our reality as opposed to Tolkein's other worlds or Dahl's wildly imaginative parallel?


Mattt said...

Check out this article. An exorcist's opinion on Harry!

michelle said...

The (Christian) school I attended banned Harry Potter when it first came out (not sure that ban still exists, I'll ask Drew). I never really understood why. If you're going to remove Harry then you need really to remove any book that contains magic or fantasy (actually, a friend of mine is a teacher in a Xian school and she had a parent do exactly that to the class bookshelf).

Maybe it is that magic is set in the real world that people don't like it, but the way Rowling sets it up she's very 'pro-Muggle', and it's not like she's encouraging kids to go do magic. The 'Dark Arts' are pretty obviously portrayed as evil, wrong and detestable, so it's not like she's encouraging kids to dabble in them...

I personally wouldn't let young kids (maybe under 10) read them, not because I think they're Satanic, but because they are a bit scary and I don't think little kids would really understand.

I disagreed and said I thought there was more of a problem with the romance novels (soft porn for girls) she enjoys. I agree with you here- I once heard someone say that just as real pornography (aside from being downright wrong) gives guys unrealistic and unhelpful understandings and images of women and relationships, that this kind of fiction gives girls totally unhelpful (and often ludicrously fantastical) expectations of relationships and men.

Mattt said...

Thanks Michelle. I agree that it need to be one extreme or the other and extremism is not always helpful.

This friend of mine asked also if I thought I was immune to being possessed by an evil spirit and I said - Yes, I was immmune. With God's spirit inside us how could anything stand, let alone survive to dwell in us also. After talking to her I did a Bible search for the times Satan, Devil, Evil, etc occur in relation to control in our lives and found that the opportunities the Devil has are the ones we give to him when we sin - classic examples are 1 Cor 7:5 and 1 Peter 5:8.

Libby said...

Did you notice the bible verse in the book? Matthew 6:21

Mattt said...

Saw that. Didn't really trigger though :). Nice one JK. I wonder what she believes?