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HOLLYWOOD JESUS
NEWSLETTER #30
Pop Culture From A Spiritual Point of View
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HJ News #30 Main Page
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This page was last updated
January 7, 2002

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Main Topic:
HARRY POTTER

FORMER ASTROLOGER SPEAKS AGAIN
Subject: Harry Potter
Date: Sun, 6 Jan 2002
From: "marcia"

Dear David,
I have no idea if you read responses to your response (to my letter on HP on page 4 of Comments under "Former Astrologer Speaks"), but I find your response rather odd. You say:

Response: You bring up curious points. Are you promoting yourself here? Are talking hats, giants and flying broomsticks really real and dangerous? Did we see the same film? Hmm. I do not agree with you. However, thanks for sharing. I know many will agree with you. -David

Why would you ask me if I am promoting myself just because I wrote a comment? Do you ask that of others? Is that not an ad hominem argument? Attacking my character with no basis is rather unchristian, it seems. I happen to have a ministry, Christian Answers for the New Age, and am a missionary who speaks in churches and conferences, and I've been on radio shows speaking on the occult and New Age due to my background. I am also a seminary student working on a degree in Apologetics. Before trusting Christ, I was President of the Astrological Society in Atlanta, GA, and chairperson of the Board of Astrology Examiners for 3 yrs. (and on the Board for 4 yrs.). I was involved in the occult and the New Age for most of my adult life, which was quite a few years. My "curious" points in my letter are not curious at all; they are based on fact. I was very clear that while some things in HP are fantasy, other things are not. I pointed these out -- the runes, divination, astrology, casting spells, and scrying. I stated there is an amoral worldview in HP and I document it. Good and evil in HP are not absolute, but two sides of the same coin. This is symbolized by Harry's connection to Voldemort and in other ways. I also found it interesting that the movie leaves out Dumbledore's statement to Harry at the end of book one, "To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure." Did they not want parents who had not read the books to hear this line? Was this line too strong for the kiddies? If so, why is it okay in the book?

I appreciate the fact that you publish comments and take the time to respond, but I would appreciate it if you would either explain or retract the statement about me promoting myself. My ministry has to do with promoting Christ, and taking Him to those lost in the New Age and the occult.
Sincerely, Marcia Montenegro
http://cana.userworld.com

Response: I did not attack your character. It was a question. Also, I see no harm in self promotion. I was just wondering if that was what you were doing? Nothing "unchristian" about wondering. I have no statement to retract. Do you think you are being a little sensitive? And after reading your latest email I am still wondering if this is self promotion -which is okay. -David

COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS OF WITCHCRAFT
Subject: Harry_Potter
Date: Sat, 05 Jan 2002
From: "Alisa Webb"

With all due respect to this site and those who have posted, I wish to comment on the usage of the term "witchcraft".

The term "witch", in modern society, has become somewhat interchangeable with the term "Wiccan". As someone of that faith, I am saddened by the lack of tolerance some Christians have of things they do not understand. A true "Witch" is not evil. They DON'T perform rituals in the name of satan, nor do they try to influence others to their way of thinking. In old times, witches were an accepted part of society.

I think many Christians automatically hated the Harry Potter books and movie because of the references they had to Witchcraft. They are fully entitled to their opinions. However, I don't remember this much fuss over the T.V. movie "Merlin", which portrayed the life of the famous mythical wizard. What is the difference? The difference is the common MISCONCEPTION about the word "witch".

I understand that many Christian parents are concerned about what their children read or watch. But when it comes right down to it, PARENTS, not a book or a movie, are going to mold a child's values.

Response: Thanks for your insight! I hope other Wiccans respond. There is a lot of misconception out there. Please feel free to keep your comments coming. I appreciate your participation. -David

THOUGHTS FROM A BRIT
Subject: Newsletter 30
Date: Fri, 4 Jan 2002
From: Steve Kennedy.

I am a teacher in an inner city primary school and wondered if I could contribute something to the HP debate. In my opinion there is a spiritual dimension to movies as in life that can be good and uplifting,(Chariots of Fire) or very troubling and evil (The Exorcist.) As a child Fantasia scared me to death with the 'Night on Bare Mountain' sequence and I had difficulty getting to sleep for days.

Personal experience does not always count for much in today's tolerant world, however, I have known several very damaged children in the inner-city who have exhibited spiritual behaviour of a foul nature. One boy, the son of spiritist parents had real problems with 'unseen presences'. So why my concern about Harry Potter? Isn't that just a fantasy medium for a spiritually searching generation? Well I know that is possibly where you are coming from, but my concern is for those whose childhood is so seriously damaged that it takes on some deeper significance. The bible notes Christ's healing of a demonised child that was being destroyed. Some things are no different today. Should we not speak out for the vulnerable, however unpopular in today's culture?

I remember the days of Dungeons and Dragons and several of my work colleagues getting very obsessed by it and one becoming an apprentice witch searching for spiritual reality. I had great opportunities to share about the Lord's power to redeem. Wonderful for young people, but not always easy for children in an abusive situation.

Harry Potter's portrayal of evil as something good, even if done through the fantasy medium of flying brooms, is my concern, especially when targeted at children. The first film maybe in the family film tradition, and that doesn't make it right, but by the fourth book in the series there are quite disturbing parts which one British paper commented as being unsuitable for Children (The Independent). And doesn't the devil come as an angel of light? (2 Cor 11v14.) Traditionally, in most works of fiction, witches were not seen as a force for good. Indeed C.S. Lewis notes that a witch in the community was considered to be a genuine source of spiritual barrenness to the women.

Having seen what the consequences can be for undiscerning people who have come out of a background of the occult, both young and old, isn't there a place for prevention, warning and discernment about the realities of witchcraft, no matter how tastefully and cleverly marketed.

Anyway, I suppose the final thing to say is that any spiritual interest aroused could be used to discuss the claims of Christ and the fate of the two magicians, Simon and Elymus, in the book of Acts. I hope that is a useful contribution to the debate.
Steve Kennedy.

POOR ROWLING
Subject: Poor Rowling Newsletter_30 Harry_Potter
Date: Fri, 4 Jan 2002
From: Jeff Harvey

When I first looked into the whole "Harry Potter" phenomenon, I read the bogus interview that was supposedly held with it's author. She was made to look as a sapient trickster whose sole objective was to deceptively draw in the youth of America to her dark world of witchcraft and sorcery. Fortunately, I found out that this article was as fictitious as the Harry Potter books themselves. Personally, this type of blatant sophistry has done more damage to our reputations as Christians than attempting to do accurate research.

The articles that I read from reliable sources that actually did interview Rowling portrayed a much more accurate portrait of a woman who had thought of and then scripted a story that she would have enjoyed hearing for herself. Simple as that. It's a fun story: simple, fulfilling all children's (as well as adults') desire to be special and to be seen for their own uniqueness.

She had no agenda when writing this story (aside from selling it), but we were quick to make one up for her. She is now the one having to endure these attacks on her character. I, however, am glad that she's now able to live without welfare and has had a new start to her life.

My father is a pastor and was chastised by other Christians for letting me read the stories of JRR Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. If it weren't for such stories, however, I would have never learned to love reading novels. They had spiritual overtones and magic, yet they did not cause those who read them to join Wicca or leave their faith.

Look at what the world has thrown at us before: Dungeons and Dragons, Star Wars, countless music videos, all with a much stronger and more harmful message of witchcraft, magic and dangerous philosophical viewpoints. Harry Potter is innocent in comparison with much of what we have seen before.

I would encourage those looking into the whole Harry Potter issue to simply do that, look into it. Research it for yourselves and don't buy into the hysteria of the moment.

PHEW, AT LAST...
Subject: harry_potter
Date: Fri, 4 Jan 2002
From: Helen

It's nice to see that there are some Christians out there in cyberspace who don't want to make me feel guilty for loving Harry Potter! It's true that magic features in many stories - good and bad. Arabian Nights tales, fairy godmothers, Narnia (!)... all over the place. I used to fantasise I was the fairy godmother from Cinderella, which would probably have struck most people as cute. Magic is fun as a tool of the imagination - it is blatantly obvious to most people who have enough knowledge that Harry Potter and real witchcraft are incredibly dissimilar.

But most of all, the thing that excites me is the comparisons with the message of Jesus... who knows, maybe someone will hear the gospel and think 'Hey, it's like Harry Potter!' and it will make sense.

(On an aside, of course parents should be careful - if they aren't being careful on matters aside from Harry Potter I want to know why.) I find the sensationalist regard of Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings for that matter, a bit misguided at best. Love this site, keep up the good work.
Thanks, Helen
-<:Punctuality is the thief of time:>-

Response: Thanks for the kind words. -David

HOW CAN YOU DISPUTE GOD'S WORD?
Subject: Harry Potter
Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2002
From: "Carol Carlini"

David,
After reading many of the comments about Harry Potter, and all issues set aside accept the following word of God taken from His Word the Bible,

Deuteronomy 18:10-12
"There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For whoever does these things is detestable to the Lord; and because of these detestable things the Lord your God will drive them out before you."

How can any human being created by God Himself not heed God's word and choose not to enter into any thing at all that has to do with or makes trivial the power of witchcraft and satan.???

I don't understand with all the Great Christian films and fantastically written Christian children books why any parent would choose things such as Harry Potter. There is just too many good things out there to choose. So why pick such things that our very own Lord stated He DETESTS.

Response: All the great Christian films? Hmm, I missed them. Do you have a list? I do not disagree with the Bible. But, I do disagree with your application of scripture. My views are posted elsewhere on this passage. Apples and oranges. -David

HARRY POTTER COMMENT
Subject: Newsletter_30_Harry_Potter_Is_Dangerous
Date: Sat, 29 Dec 2001
From: Spota

Dear David:
I just stumbled upon your website today searching for reviews of the Harry Potter movie. I believe that we should be tolerant of the differences of opinion among brothers in Christ -- however, I was surprised at the "tone" and sarcasm of your answers. If you like the film -- that's o.k. -- but you seem to take it a step further, and really feel it necessary to DEFEND it. Something about your manner of response deeply bothers me. I wonder if we are reading the same Bible, because from your comments, it is difficult to see the fruits of the spirit in you.

I looked at your website because it had "Jesus" in the title and so I thought it would be from a Christian perspective. Surprisingly, you seem combative against Christians, and often "slam" them.

Response: Actual I thought the movie was weak and I do not defend it as great film making. It is reaction against it that I find curious. More specifically, it is the witch hunting by certain Christians that I dislike. Your comments are couched well, but your remark "I wonder if we are reading the same Bible" is as much a "slam" as anything I might say. Welcome to the club. -David

MOM SAYS DANGEROUS
Subject: Newsletter_30_Harry_Potter_Is_Dangerous
Date: Sat, 29 Dec 2001
From: Spota

I agree with your opinion that SOME Christians look for devils behind every bush -- however, I do have some reservations about introducing concepts of witchcraft to young children. As a teenager, I was very interested in the supernatural... God, as well as the occult. I read lots of astrology books, had my tarot cards read, and was interested in communicating with the dead. I think you will agree that all of these things are forbidden by God. What began as an innocent curiosity became an obsession with me -- I began to believe what my cardreader told me, and every time I had a problem or question, I couldn't wait to consult her.

As an adult, I became a born-again Christian. Based upon my background, I am alarmed to hear parents telling their kids that witchcraft and satanism is "just fantasy" or "just pretend". If you do not believe that Satan is alive and real -- you are mistaken. I don't believe he is just focused on bad people, or evil people -- he has already won them. I believe that Satan's last frontier is the Church -- and the minds of our children. That is who Satan came to kill, steal and destroy -- the children of God.

I do not want to return to the days of witchhunts; however, I believe that we, as Christian parents, must be careful to analyze the books and movies we are allowing our children to consume. There is a Black Dog and a White Dog in all of us. Whichever one you feed grows.

Response: Thank you for being a concerned mom. Harry Potter, to me, is fantasy and in no way underscores anything I know of Witch Craft in the real world. Apples and Oranges. -David

JUST SAY NO
Subject: Newsletter_30_Harry_Potter
Date: Thu, 27 Dec 2001
From: Wendy Pirtle

Harry Potter is about witchcraft. The first verse I could find on God's view of the subject was Exodus 22:18, "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." While we do not put witches to death in our present culture, that does not mean Christians should be ambivalent toward witchcraft. Verse 19 states, "Whosoever lieth with a beast shall surely be put to death." (What does bestiality have to do with Harry Potter? And how does the fantasy "witchcraft" in Harry Potter connect with the pagan witchcraft mentioned in Exodus 22:18? The same Exodus chapter also says that we are to stone a non-virgin bride to death (verses 20-21). Further it commands a rape victim to marry to marry the rapist! (verse 28). The chapter is extremely problematic. It is especially difficult to make a direct connection such anceint Israelite laws and modern day fantasy/fairy tales. Would you advocate killing non-virgins? Would you advocate victims marrying their rapists? Of course not. I am sorry to be so blunt. But I get tired of scripture being used out of context. The verses you carefully selected and use against fairy tales and fantasy, come from a text that has a very different context and self apparent application, indeed. Apples and oranges. -David)

Deuteronomy 18 has a whole list under the heading of "Abomination to God": making children pass through fire, divination, soothsaying, observing omens, enchanter, witch, sorcerer, charmer, medium, wizard, necromancer; also man lying with man as with a woman. Seems quite clear to me. (Perhaps to you. But I say nothing of your biblical list in Harry Potter. I know Christians have a long history of taking things of paganism and turning them to the use for God's glory. But I believe Harry Potter is trying to use Christian values to make it's not-so-subtle wickedness more palatable to us. I choose not to allow it in my life or my children's lives. Just as I explained that we don't support Pokemon because it is wrong to make your pets fight. (I appreciate your motherly concerns. Bravo! Please do watch being overly protective. -David)

There are so many wonderful things in literature and film that are truly worthy that I see absolutely no reason to be entertained by questionable material. (Is Lord of the Rings and CS Lewis okay? What about the fantasy wizards in those books? Do you forbide Star Wars? Are the Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan, Cinderella, and Mary Poppins unfit for your children? Etc. Etc. Etc. -David)
Wendy Pirtle

HARRY POTTER, TOLKIEN ETC
Subject: Newsletter 30
Date: Tue, 18 Dec 2001
From: Bob Hanson

Dear David
I've just visited your site for the first time and was encouraged by the positive attitude you show towards popular culture in general from a Christian perspective. As a British Christian, I'm sometimes alarmed by a spirit of hysteria and judgmentalism that we sometimes see among American Christian responses to the media and current affairs. Attitudes like that shown in your site are reassuring evidence that there is more to the picture than we are sometimes shown.

A brief note on Tolkien for the benefit of Jen who writes: "Although Tolkien himself may not have been a Christian, there are Christian values that are still presented to readers in his story." Tolkien was himself a believing Catholic and a good friend of CS Lewis: in fact, Lewis cited him in "Surprised by Joy" as being an influence on his own conversion to Christian faith. Both writers had a love of mythology and a surprising respect for pagan traditions. Lewis chose to express this (and this is from vague memory rather than an authoritative quote!) by suggesting that we should not simply see Christianity as the One True Faith among other utterly wrong faiths, but as the Best Possible Faith among faiths created by humans earnestly striving to interpret the world and, sadly, missing many aspects of the Truth. In CS Lewis's sci-fi trilogy ("Out of the Silent Planet", "Voyage to Venus" and "That Hideous Strength") he suggests a fictionalised hierarchy of the angelic beings whose most holy and powerful members have special responsibility to each of the planets of the solar system, though all beneath God, and implies that the ancient Greeks and others were misinterpreting a glimpse of this in ascribing to those powerful angels the status of gods. Both Lewis and Tolkien and, indeed, others of their Christian academic circle, were wondering whether the pagan religious worldview was originally born out of a real awareness of God, and maybe a real sensitivity to the presence angelic spirits too, that had inevitably become distorted and unbalanced by the fallen nature of the world. The ancient pagans may have been granted a glimpse of the glory of God, but sin led them into tragic misinterpretation. Something of this view is what informs "The Lord Of The Rings", whose Valar should not be seen as Norse and Greek-style gods but as powerful angelic beings given responsibility for the mortals of Middle Earth. (I hope I don't give the impression that I'm unhealthily obsessed with this stuff!)

As for Harry Potter, I have very little fear that the film or the books will draw children into Satanism. The stories are aimed squarely at older children - over sevens, say - who are well able to tell the difference between fantasy and reality, but still have the enviable ability to wholly suspend disbelief and fully enjoy magical fiction. The characters in the books and film show excellent qualities of loyalty, determination and a sense of fairness and right. The evil characters are seekers of power for themselves - the most dangerous element of real-life occultism. The witches and wizards only disapprove of the non-magical world of us "muggles" for its materialism, banality, status-obsession, unfairness and so on: Christians are concerned for these very things. The bad wizards scorn the weakness of muggles, the ones wish to protect them (this all comes out in the fourth book, if you haven't read it). They are wonderful, exciting stories which I hope one day to share with my own children.

Sorry to have gone on so long!
Bob Hanson

WE AS CHRISTIANS SHOULD NOT SUPPORT SUCH WITCHCRAFT
Subject: Harry Potter
Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2001
From: matthew

I am an 18 year old born again christian living in NZ. While reading some of the thoughts by christians it promted me to write in. Harry Potter in blatant witchcraft and sould not be supported by any christians. Here are a few snippets from an email I received from Jim Schofield of godisnowhere.org Ministry. The full email can be found as an attachment.

POTTER-CRAFT: REAL OR FANTASY?

Potter defenders claim that Rowling's books have nothing to do with real-life occult or witchcraft. Not only is this patently untrue, but Rowling admits that she has done extensive research into real-life witchcraft, pagan religions and other aspects of the occult, stating several times in interviews that roughly one third of the witchcraft in her books is real.

The title of the book refers to an object revered in real occult circles as the Philosopher's Stone. If there's any doubt as to whether it is the same thing, note that in Canada and some parts of Europe, the book itself is instead named The Philosopher's Stone. This object, in the book, is said to grant its creator and wielder unlimited wealth and power and immortality -- things Satan typically offers in tempting us to corruption. The real-life version does the same thing. In the book, it was created by a man named Nicholas Flamel. (Side note: Nicholas is a name often associated with Satan in folk lore, but this could easily be coincidence.) The book says that Flamel "turned 665 last year." Odd that the author doesn't want to say what his age is this year. The book lists his wife as Perenelle. What's frightening is that Flamel actually existed. His wife was named Perenelle. Modern witches and other occultists believe he was probably the only person in history to succeed in making a real Philosopher's Stone! He was born... 666 years before the publication of Rowling's book.

Most of the other adult wizards in the stories are named after real-life figures in the history of witchcraft and the occult. Prof. Minerva McGonagall is named for a pagan deity, godess of agriculture and weaving. Prof.Sibyll Trelawney is named for the pagan fortuneteller of that name in ancient Greece. Professor Vablatsky is clearly named after and inspired by turn-of-the-century major occult figure Madame Bavlatsky. Even Harry's friend, Hermione, is named for a figure in Greek pagan mythology. Rowling also refers to people with similarly pagan names like "Circe" and "Morgana" and "Cliodna," the last of whom is a banshee worshipped as a pagan goddess of beauty in Ireland and Scotland. Rowling also refers to books within the story which, unknown to most Potter readers, are actually real! These include Arthur Edward Waite's Standard Book of Spells (for those who don't know, Waite designed the most famous Tarot cards which most people think of), Eliphas Levi's A History of Magic, and even one book by Adalbert Waffling called Magical Theory. The real-life "mad" Archbishop Adalbert of Magdeburt wrote this book and was a mystic who claimed he could see the future and read thoughts. He sold amulets made from his own hair, skin and nail clippings, and even set up an altar for the purpose of his own worship. He invoked demons through mystical prayers. He was convicted of sorcery in 745 A.D. and condemned to imprisonment for the rest of his life. This is one of the real people who Rowling uses as a source of knowledge and enlightenment in the Potter books for her fictional students to learn from.

NO INSTRUCTIONS INCLUDED?

Some Potter defenders claim that Rowling portrays magic but doesn't really show how to do it, per se. This is only a halfway adequate defense. While she rarely teaches specifically how to practice witchcraft, she often does demonstrate some of the details of real magic and occult practices. In one book, Harry visits a magic store and sees a "Hand of Glory," which was cut off a murderer while still being hanged, then pickled and so on; specific directions are given for how this talisman is made. Another student with his father shows interest in buying it. The shop owner replies, "Ah, the Hand of Glory. Insert a candle and it gives light only to the holder. Best friend of thieves and plunderers. Your son has fine taste, sir!" Rowling also often refers to astrology and describes Harry and other students getting their charts done by Prof. Sibyll Trelawney, who also teaches in detail how to scry using a crystal ball, mirror and other means, explaining how to achieve an altered state of consciousness with similar instructions to what one will find in a real-life book on the subject. Similar instructions are given regarding reading of tea leaves and other such means of divination. POTTER ETHICS Also troublesome are the ethical values portrayed in the story. Harry consistently lies, cheats, steals, and generally disobeys the rules any chance he can get. Worse, he is not only rarely punished but usually rewarded by the professors and other adults in the stories.

Most of the time, the "voice of reason" is Harry's friend, Hermione, who keeps warning him not to break the rules and defy authority. Just like all other characters who believe in following the rules, she is portrayed in a negative light, although only at first because she is soon changed by her friendship with Harry and coming up with her own schemes to get into trouble and lie about it afterward.

CHILDREN DON'T TAKE IT SERIOUSLY, DO THEY?

According to an Aug. 4, 2000 article that appeared in the British publication This Is London, the Pagan Federation has had to appoint a new youth officer to deal with a "flood of inquiries following the success of the Harry Potter books." Children are known to send in messages such as:

"I like Ron, Hermione, and Harry a lot. Professor Dumbledore is great too... I would love to be a witch or a wizard." -- 14 years old

"I like what they learned there [at Hogwarts] and I want to be a witch." -- 10 years old

"I thought the story really made you feel like you could be a witch or a wizard." -- 11 years old

"This book is amazing and contains magic spells I wish I can do in the real world." -- 12 years old

"I think Harry Potter books are absolutely fine! I like how they can use witchcraft for fun/good purposes." -- 11 years old

"I wish Hogwarts were real because then I could go and learn magic instead of quadratic equations." -- 13 years old

The Harry Potter books aren't just about "fantasy magic" ala Lord of the Rings or the Chronicles of Narnia. They are about real witchcraft and occult, portrayed as happening in the real and modern world. The ethics and morals portrayed in the books Even Rowling admits this. As Christians, should we support the indoctrination of children via these manuals of pagan.
Jim Schofield
godisnowhere.org Ministry

Response: Harry Potter is real witchcraft? Talking hats and flying broom sticks? I don't think this is real witchcraft. The so-called article from you mention is totally bogus. A lie. Constructed by liars. Hmm, who is the father of lies? But, thanks for you thoughts. -David

LET'S BE HONEST
Subject: Harry Potter Newsletter_30
Date: Wed, 12 Dec 2001
From: Greg

All I can say is that the most dangerous error is that which is closer than the truth. The fact of the matter is that maybe Harry Potter does portray certain "good" points/values but it still is not founded on the truth. Jesus made it quite clear that it is the Truth that will set you free. I would never encourage ANYONE to go and watch Harry Potter and open themselves up to the demonic. Are you unaware that the lady who wrote the books is a witch herself? How would this movie or these books help young people in their walk with God. Lets be honest, trying to pull out the good points is a shoddy cover up for compromise.
Greg Cockrell (Administrator)
Covenant People Family Church

Response: "Let's be honest" you say? Well the author is not a witch. Where did you get that urban legend? You need to be honest. She is a Presbyterian Christian. And how does your deceptive letter "help young people in their walk with God"? "Lets be honest" indeed! Go see the movie and be informed. Also, the witch hunts are over. The day of accusing people of witchcraft are over. -David

CONGRATULATIONS ON A GREAT SITE
Subject: Harry Potter
Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2001
From: "Matt Seargeant"

David:
From time-to-time I drop in on your site and each on each occasion I am treated to a rational discussion on the media and religion. THANK YOU!

I am a fairly liberal United Methodist pastor and enjoy reading the reviews and comments on various films.

I was intrigued to find most of your reviewers had positive comments on the Harry Potter film. I have read all four books and found the film to be well done and entertaining. It may not be Shakespeare, but neither is it satanic.

Again, thanks for your site and your work!
Matt

Response: Thank you for the kind words. -David

RESOURCES
Subject: Harry Potter
Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2001
From: Bill Turner

Dear David:
If you want a good resource on Harry Potter from a UK guy, try Confronting the Harry Potter Culture by Rev Dr Mark Stibble. It is available from Word and Spirit Resources 37 Quickley Lane, Chorleywood Herts. 5AE UK. I found this very helpful and well researched on the CS Lewis issue and not a knee jerk fighting fundy response! Great web site. God bless: Deep in the UK jungles:
Bill Turner.

Response: Thanks! -David

IT'S LIKE SATAN IN THE GARDEN
Subject: Harry Potter
Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2001
From: CJP YOUTH

I have read and understand all your reviews about Harry Potter. The central truth however is that although there are "Christian themes" in this movie and in the books they do not excuse the fact that witchcraft is the central theme. You see, even Satan himself often plays on our values to make wrong things seem right. For instance, in the Garden Satan used what Eve knew as the "Goodness" and "Willingness of God to give us all good things and not harm us" in order to confuse her and led her into doing that which was wrong before the Lord. The truth is when you read the books and Harry is saying spells- your child and/or you are reciting them along with Him and others and thus possibly inviting true evil spirits, curses, and hexes (which by the wayare very real) into your home and your child/your life. I say, if you want good values in the movies your children watch- then let them see movies that also do not conflict the spiritual truth: You cannot mix what is bitter with what is pure and expect that the bitter will simply disappear. Instead, it will in fact, only make what was pure now bitter.

Response: This is a "Mary Poppins" type film. Relax. Flying brooms and talking hats are not to be equated with the fall of humanity in the garden. Apples and oranges. -David

SLICK FLICK
Subject: Harry_Potter
Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2001
From: Grim Stripper

I think all Christians who are upset over the Potter mania should calm down. My dad for example, he has never read a single Potter book but during the initial days when book 4 was coming out there was a flurry of comments, reviews and criticism, notably was 1 article "Harry Potter may spark a rise in satanism" in the new. And my dad immediately proceeded to give me a lecture on God and occultics and where we as Christians stand. In my mind I was thinking "does he know what he is talking about?"

Also during the filming of the movie, many Christians were upset that parts of the movie would be filmed in a church. They wrote letters to the newspaper saying it was blasphemy and stuffs. In my mind they are potraying a negative image of Christianity, its as if we were still in the dark ages and practicing witch huntings

I think in this new millenium Christians should be more rational and more tolerant of others who differ from us

Response: Amen! -David

READ THE POSTINGS
Subject: Harry Potter
Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2001
From: Ken

Greetings Hollywood Jesus--
I've been reading through the postings on Harry Potter and I find them fascinating dialogue. I can see both sides of the story, and though I haven't read the books or seen the movie YET I am leaning more towards the "pro-Potter" side. I'm sure I'll have more to say once I see/read it. I've always loved the world of fantasy, and I think it's God will for us to be creative and use our imaginations. And yeah, the devil is powerful and deceiving, but Jesus is the creator of the universe!!!!!! I'd like to think He has more power.

One thought that has flashed into my brain, using my imagination, don't you think it would frustrate the devil greatly if people, especially children, could actually use "witchcraft"/magic for fighting against him? It would be like a taste of his own medicine. I like the image of the devil on a leash, getting to a certain point and then getting choked. When devil-inspired hatred caused millions of Jews to die in World War II, he must have thought, "At last I have them!" And then...the Nazis were defeated, Hitler shot himself in the head and the Jews regained the state of Israel like God said they would. "Drat!" said the devil. When Jesus was crucified, the demons partied, and then...

If Harry Potter was a story about kids using witchcraft to fortell the future, bully other kids, or kill people, I think there would be much reason for concern. Otherwise, I'd say probably not. I'll get back to you once I've seen it.
Praise Jesus!
Ken

SMOKING POT
Subject: Newsletter_30_Harry_Potter_Is_Dangerous
Date: Sat, 8 Dec 2001
From: juliana diaz

In order to truly understand the dangers of advertising witchcraft in a positive light, I believe we need to look at those who have been involved in witchcraft and how they began. While it is true that we can learn Godly principles from almost any story, we must not negate the power of a whisper. Satan is not an idiot. He knows that most people do not change their lifestyle over night, but over time. People who are addicted to heavy drugs usually start out smoking pot. Not to say Harry Potter is like smoking pot, but how are we going to protect our children from opening the door to witchcraft to their lives. As adults, we can appreciate the value of Biblical principles in a worldly story because we have learned Biblical principles. Instead of leaving our children at the mercy of "I hope they see the value in this", why don't we take that time to teach them the principles we know so well. If you want to protect your children from a journey of deceit, you don't have to sign any petition or join any witch hunts, just make a decision not to open that door in their life. If parents can't even say no to peer pressure, how in the world are we going to teach our children to?

Response: And as parents why don't we enter into the world of fantasy with them? We don't need to protect ourselves from Harry Potter, but rather we parents need to protect ourselves from ourselves. -David

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