Thursday, December 9, 2010

Harry Potter, good or bad?

Question; One more quick thing, harry potter, good or bad? I've heard that it should be shunned by the Church because it has magic and that's evil, but to me it seems like trying to live in a bubble of protection from the world is impractical. The more aware of what's around us, the better equiped we can be to fight it, right? And I don't even think it's that bad, as long as we realize that magic isn't real at all and that nothing can contradict God's power. what do you think? and for when I try to bring this argument to school, how do Protestants view this "dilemma"?

Jesus prayed for us that we should be 'in the world, but not of the world'- so in a sense you're right that we shouldn't create a bubble around ourselves. I think one of the things that most discredits Christianity and our message is our unwillingness to intelligently dialogue with people of opposing views- and that the consequence of this is that we are considered irational, and shoved out of the marketplace of ideas.

The Church doesn't take a stand, per se, on things like Harry Potter, but there is a healthy debate in the Church. The most intelligent argument I have heard against it is that witches are actually real (and they are) and their power is not from God, but is of a supernatural nature, so it is thus from Satan. If someone wrote a kids book about drug dealers, but they were good drug dealers... of course, everyone would object. But if there are characters that are using power that essentially comes from Satan, but using it for good, we are all OK with it. This blurs the distinction between good and evil, and lends itself to relativistice thinking.

However, Catholic writers such as Tolkien also employed Wizards for good, and treated magic as though it were fantasticv and not real, which is what happens in the Potter series.

I think as Christians the more we object to this kind of stuff, the more ridiculous we look, and the more we effectively promote the stuff by stirring up controversy. I myself am listening to the series on CD as I drive back and forth from Wetaskiwin. (I also deliberately read both the Dan Brown books). I would not choose it as reading for my kids, as there is a lot of bettre stuff out there, but I don't think I would ban it either.

I think my opinion is pretty much in keeping with the Church- there is no definitive answer, and frankly it's not a big enough deal to care. By the time my kids are old enough to read, Harry Potter will just be a vague cultural memory. Something worse will have come along!

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