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Old 09-05-2008, 11:10 AM   #31
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You've lost me slightly there. I don't recall any mention whatsoever of religion in Harry Potter - or is it that which is perceived to be the problem?
I believe "witch," "wizard," and "magic" are the "offensive words" in this case. Never mind that the series as a whole can largely be taken as a treatise against racism and other forms of discrimination.

I once wrote an analysis of the Harry Potter books in comparison with the Ten Commandments. I think only the first 4 books were out at that point. The sticking point is generally Exodus 22:18 (though many contemporary scholars would translate the word in question as "poisoner" rather than "witch"). Deuteronomy 18:10-11 gets mentioned a lot, too.
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Old 09-05-2008, 11:14 AM   #32
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Some dictionaries list as first meaning "1. a man who is a stupid incompetent fool [syn: fathead]".
OT
it appears that in English feminine genitalia ended up by becoming insults, while in Italian they mean "cool" and "beautiful"

sexist, but interesting
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Old 09-05-2008, 11:16 AM   #33
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You've lost me slightly there. I don't recall any mention whatsoever of religion in Harry Potter - or is it that which is perceived to be the problem?
I don't believe any of this but here it is:

Many conservative Christians believe that all magic is evil because it originates from Satan. Even magic used for good is inherently evil because the source is evil. That's why there was/is a movement to remove the HP books from libraries. This also applies to LOTR and Star Wars. Interestingly, some of these same people don't think twice about going to Disney World or watching Disney cartoons/movies that contain magic.

One parent in particular at my daughter's school used her parental prerogative to forbid her son from checking out any books containing horror or magic themes. She also tried to get many of these books pulled but was unsuccessful.
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Old 09-05-2008, 11:16 AM   #34
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That's interesting, Neko, because there are lots of instances in the Bible where people OTHER than believers in the Judeo-Christian God do "magic" too, and there no particular suggestion that it's "wrong" that I can recall.

Eg, the scene in Exodus (I forget the reference, but I'm sure you know the bit I mean) where Moses goes to Pharoah's court and requests him to let the Israelites leave. Pharoah's magicians turn their staffs into snakes, and stuff like that. Of course, Moses counters them with better tricks, but there's absolutely no suggestion that what the others are doing is not "real magic".

I wonder how the fundamentalists would counter that?
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Old 09-05-2008, 11:18 AM   #35
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I don't believe any of this but here it is:

Many conservative Christians believe that all magic is evil because it originates from Satan. Even magic used for good is inherently evil because the source is evil. That's why there was/is a movement to remove the HP books from libraries. This also applies to LOTR and Star Wars. Interestingly, some of these same people don't think twice about going to Disney World or watching Disney cartoons/movies that contain magic.
Thanks - I wasn't aware of that particular belief.
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Old 09-05-2008, 11:24 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Eg, the scene in Exodus (I forget the reference, but I'm sure you know the bit I mean) where Moses goes to Pharoah's court and requests him to let the Israelites leave. Pharoah's magicians turn their staffs into snakes, and stuff like that. Of course, Moses counters them with better tricks, but there's absolutely no suggestion that what the others are doing is not "real magic".

I wonder how the fundamentalists would counter that?
There are examples of approved biblical figures performing divination, as well. I know a member of the faculty here who is quite bright and usually quite logical, and he honestly believes there are no contradictions in the Bible. I can't answer for that viewpoint, as I don't hold it myself.
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Old 09-05-2008, 11:48 AM   #37
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Many conservative Christians believe that all magic is evil because it originates from Satan. Even magic used for good is inherently evil because the source is evil.
While _The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrode_ is considered a Christian allegory and required reading and study in many Christian elementary schools. I just don't understand the view and why this attitude about a work of FICTION.

BOb
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Old 09-05-2008, 01:23 PM   #38
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I think it has more to do with an underlying tendency to divide the world into "us" and "them." For some people, their personal boundaries seem to be defined mostly by what they are not (and they tend to hate and/or fear everything outside of that boundary). It's not my worldview, but I think that's where this sort of thing comes from.
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Old 09-05-2008, 01:34 PM   #39
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It is, I think, reasonable to assume that books aimed at young children will not contain obscene language. It's not a matter of "freedom of speech", but what sort of language you'd want your own children to learn is appropriate to use. Children of that age are not in a position to judge for themselves what is, or is not, good language use - how many 10 year old are going to know what the word means, do you think? Isn't that one of the reasons that we encourage children to read, to improve their command of the language?

If you buy a children's book it's perfectly reasonable to assume that it won't contain sex scenes, strong language, extreme violence, etc, IMHO.

I have no issues with the use of such language in books aimed at an adult audience, obviously.
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Do you read in advance every book that your children get their hands on to make sure that it's appropriate for them?

I'm sorry to disagree, but I think that it's perfectly reasonable to expect certain "standards" in such things as sex, strong language, violence, etc, in books aimed at young children. And I'm certainly no "prude".

There ARE standards for such things in TV (at least in the UK, no such things are permitted to be broadcast before 9pm).
I'm one of those parents who read every book before giving it to my children -- up until they were 14 or 15. And, I read every book that was assigned to them in school so that I'd be aware what they were being exposed to in the classroom.

When some parents at the kids' school petitioned to have a book removed from the high school library for foul language, I bought a copy and read it. The novel (can't remember the title or author right now) was about a 16-year-old boy who steals his older brother's ID and joins the army to "go fight the Germans" in WWII. The foul language was spoken by the drill instructor at boot camp. In other words, it was appropriate in context.

Parents must assume the responsibility for deciding what their children will read, view, and hear. It is wrong for those same parents to impose their own choices on others. My kids weren't allowed to watch The Simpsons on TV, because I didn't think they were mature enough to understand the irony/sarcasm inherent in the story lines. I would have been opposed to any movement to remove the show from the lineup.
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Old 09-05-2008, 02:17 PM   #40
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That's interesting, Neko, because there are lots of instances in the Bible where people OTHER than believers in the Judeo-Christian God do "magic" too, and there no particular suggestion that it's "wrong" that I can recall.

Eg, the scene in Exodus (I forget the reference, but I'm sure you know the bit I mean) where Moses goes to Pharoah's court and requests him to let the Israelites leave. Pharoah's magicians turn their staffs into snakes, and stuff like that. Of course, Moses counters them with better tricks, but there's absolutely no suggestion that what the others are doing is not "real magic".

I wonder how the fundamentalists would counter that?
Actually some people extend their beliefs beyond what the Bible teaches. It is basically true of human nature to some degree and goes toward any thing of authority. What the Bible really condemns is fortune telling but this gets extended to all forms of magic by some and others are against card playing specifically because cards were used by fortune tellers although they themselves may no longer even know why they are against card playing. These kinds of things take on a life of their own and shape beliefs just because someone said so. By the way miracles are different from magic.

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Old 09-05-2008, 02:24 PM   #41
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By the way miracles are different from magic.
Dale, generally I thought you gave a good response, but just a point: when HarryT mentioned the lack of condemnation of magic in the Moses story, I believe he was referring to the acts of the other magicians at the Pharaoh's court. Presumably the other magicians did not have access to miracles, but were using some other form of power which was demonstrated to be inferior to the miracles Moses produced, but was not described as being inherently evil.

Though I suppose the other magicians could have been using trickery and sleight of hand.
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Old 09-05-2008, 08:13 PM   #42
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With all of the words available, with all of the Languages available, with the possibility of endless creative insults... this is the word she chose?
Using this word is a way to confer a total lack of class and originality and as such, I wouldn't have been interested in her books anyway (now or when I was 10)
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Old 09-05-2008, 08:57 PM   #43
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Dale, generally I thought you gave a good response, but just a point: when HarryT mentioned the lack of condemnation of magic in the Moses story, I believe he was referring to the acts of the other magicians at the Pharaoh's court. Presumably the other magicians did not have access to miracles, but were using some other form of power which was demonstrated to be inferior to the miracles Moses produced, but was not described as being inherently evil.

Though I suppose the other magicians could have been using trickery and sleight of hand.
Bob Brier in his Teaching Comapny course about ancient Egypt ( http://www.teach12.com/ttcx/CourseDe...and%20Medieval ) mentions that he found a "magician" in Egypt and asked him to show the trick with the snake, and others described in the Bible. The magician knew what tricks those were and was able to show them.
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Old 09-05-2008, 09:13 PM   #44
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Bob Brier in his Teaching Comapny course about ancient Egypt ( http://www.teach12.com/ttcx/CourseDe...and%20Medieval ) mentions that he found a "magician" in Egypt and asked him to show the trick with the snake, and others described in the Bible. The magician knew what tricks those were and was able to show them.
I certainly did not mean to imply in my post that I thought the Pharaoh's magicians were doing miracles. When I talked about miracles I was talking about what Moses demonstrated.
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Old 09-06-2008, 12:48 AM   #45
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Given that the book is aimed at 10 year old children, I think this is entirely appropriate, myself. I think that I would have been among the "complainers" if I'd bought it for my 10 year old nephew and seen language like that.
I agree. It's inappropriate for children that young.
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