Friday, July 22, 2005

Harry Potter - An Honest Look at Book 6


Since the very first I heard of the controversy surrounding the J. K. Rowling's book series about Harry Potter I have been interested. I wanted to investigate the books from a Christian point of view. As a point of reference I have read all the books. At first it was for research, but then I began to like them. I have enjoyed each one, but now I find myself troubled by books number 5 and 6, but not for the reason you might think.

The original argument against Harry Potter for Christians is that it teaches kids that it is ok to become a witch or wizard and they might become interested in the occult because of Harry Potter. I will confess this may be a danger with some children, but the danger is very small. Harry Potter is realized to be a fantasy book, much like the Star Wars series, Lord of the Rings, or even the Christian based series The Chronicles of Narnia. I admit the Harry Potter books are not Christian based or even pro-Christian. I believe they are neutral on the issue, I don't believe Rowling is trying to make a statement with these books or convert children to witchcraft. She is simply trying to write an entertaining children's book series. Which is were I find a problem. The books have all been in good fun, up until the last two.

In this last book we find very violent and graphic scenes. Scenes which I believe would be very disturbing for children younger than 8. The children reading these books have read several detailed description of death. The book also uses some crude language and we find a couple of the main characters "snogging" (making-out) several times. I am not a parent and do not confess to know the child mind very well, but I don't think I would let my five or six year old read or listen to these books as many people have. If you saw the news last week then you realized that people all over the country were lined up on Friday night awaiting midnight, when they could legally purchase the book. Many of these people were not geeks or insane extremists or even witches, but many were children. However much I enjoy these books, in the back of my mind I feel some uneasiness that children all over the world are reading these books.

And, no I do not believe these books are wrong for a Christian to read. If we throw these book out then we must throw out every other book or movie that mentions wizards, witches, or magic; including The Wizard of Oz and Cinderella. Let me know your thoughts on the subject of Harry Potter, especially if you have read the books.

6 comments:

JTapp said...

I'd heard that these new books have Harry hitting puberty and thinking about girls... is that true, and how bad is it?

When I was little I used to read Frank Peretti's books for kids. They were all Christian based, but seemed to dwell a good bit on the forces of evil including demonic influence and witchcraft. Pretty graphic for kids. I got so freaked out that I quit reading them (I was older than 6 though).

Parent's discretion is always advised.

I think that it's sad that adults lined up at midnight, and let their kids stay out that late just to celebrate the book.

SMITTY said...

Gotch,

good post, i agree with you 100%. I'm glad to see a conservative baptist who isn't obsessed with eradicating HP.

Bowden McElroy said...

I don't think HP books were ever intended to be "children's books"; rather, they seem to be directed to the "young readers" or "tweens" (10-12 and up).

I read the first book because my daughter (now 14) was excited about it... I kept reading because it's a good read.

Vaard said...

one thing about the Potter books...

they have matured as Harry has....

when they first started, harry was 10 or 11... the books held the wonder that a child that age would find in discovering the world of wizardy...

each book, in my opinion, has grown as harry should and has...

he is 15-16 now.... at that age, most teens are thinking about.. and trying.. to "snog".... which is common usage for britians...

Lambo said...

I don't know about the books being directed to 5 and 6 yearolds. I don't think that i could even read back then.

However i like the books and i am tired of hearing "church people", especially ministers, bashing them. Its almost as stupid as the SBC boycotting Disney.

merkin said...

'missionary style' really is that boring, huh?