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13 July 2005 @ 07:13 pm
News: New Pope Slams Harry Potter, says Article  
Pope disapproves Harry Potter, letters suggest; believes that the Harry Potter books subtly seduce young readers and "distort Christianity in the soul" before it can develop properly (according to comments attributed to him by a German writer.) Apparently, this is rather interesting because the former, now deceased, Pope suggested that the Harry Potter books were harmless towards children and actually liked the series himself. Everyone has different opinions though, but this starts the flaming wars of deeply religious folk arguing against a fairly popular children's series. They did this for Lord of the Rings many moons ago when it first came out as well, but once realizing that it was written by a religious man they left it alone. Huh. Very interesting, indeed.

Here's an excert from this article that I find hilariously biased and ignorant, which doesn't surprise me one bit:
"'It is good that you enlighten people about Harry Potter, because these are subtle seductions which act unnoticed and by this deeply distort Christianity in the soul, before it can grow properly,' Benedict wrote, according to the excerpt."
This is the extended version of the sentence I've written above, but this also brings up the major question: what if children don't follow in Christianity or believe in God? What if they are of a different religion altogether or have absolutely no religion at all? Granted, I shouldn't be opening the can of worms for those of religious backgrounds. I know and understand that it's the Christian duty to try and share the Word of God to nonbelievers, have them converted to know the path of Christ and everything following that notion. However, not everyone is a Christian or on a branch of Christianity. So, personally, Pope Benedict's statement that "enlightening people about Harry Potter" is sort of redundant. If you chose to enlighten people of Harry Potter, then enlighten them that all other children's stories are false and misleading them away from God, as well.
"Kuby [author of Harry Potter - Good or Evil] maintains the opposite, listing among 10 arguments against Harry Potter: 'The ability of the reader to distinguish between good and evil is overridden by emotional manipulation and intellectual obfuscation.'"
After a Vatican had approved of the Harry Potter books, regarding them as a perfect learning tool for children to distinguish between good and evil of the world, Kuby retorts saying exactly the opposite leading to her argumentative statement above. Should I retort back in a way that Dr. House would be proud of? Should I use snarktastic sarcasm that'll have their panties in an even bigger twist them this woman's (and the Pope's) already is?

Perhaps not. I understand that this misunderstanding of Harry Potter versus Religion is going to continue even after years when the series is finished, so arguing back and forth furiously like an endless game of ping-pong isn't going to go anywhere, especially when both sides hold firmly to their personal opinions and beliefs of faith. However I shall say one thing regarding this woman's statement: teaching children to distinguish between good and evil at an early age, whether it be showing them through books that are considered heathen-material or otherwise, will help them become better respectable and decent individuals in their adulthood, even if you believe it to be a false way to teach them of God. Children are smart, and they will learn to become smart when they have an intelligent teacher teaching them these differences.

Also, reconsider this: If you feel the Harry Potter books aren't appropriate for your children at this time of their life, then by all means don't permit it as nighttime reading. When children grow older and are curious, they will begin reading things that you will disapprove -- but this means they're expanding their minds and choosing which books/reading level are right for them by their personal tastes. Religions aside, reading is a powerful way to gain knowledge. It's better for expansion than going down a narrow one-sided road down life; let them experiment, and then later in their approaching adulthood they'll make their own decisions themselves. There's nothing wrong with it, either. Let children know that, without dismissing their personal religion, they have a choice during crossroads. Don't raise an ignorant child because your preferences are different; theirs will be, as well.

I know parents have different parenting strategies and will be concerned over their children's well-being and constantly will be worrisome over their decisions while growing up, and I respect this fact. But the entire argument over a simple book series, any book series, is rather ridiculous, if not fairly amusing at the same time.

I actually wonder what Pope Benedict thinks of Paris Hilton. *ponders*
 
 
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