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[Fwd: Harry Potter as Satan's agent]

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  • Ted Sherman
    From a colleague at UCLA. ... -- Dr. Theodore James Sherman, Editor Mythlore: A Journal of J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Charles Williams and Mythopoeic
    Message 1 of 15 , Sep 17, 2000
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      From a colleague at UCLA.


      > From American Atheists News, 17 September:
      >
      > CHRISTIAN GROUP CHARGES WITCHCRAFT PROMOTION AT LIBRARY
      > The Popular Harry Potter Books Remain A Contentious Target
      > A library in Jackson, Florida is being accused of promoting witchcraft
      > and violating the separation of church and state when it handed out
      > certificates to youngsters reading the popular Harry Potter series of
      > books. The charge is coming from parents represented by the Liberty
      > Counsel legal defense in Orlando, and stems in part from a July
      > incident where a branch library hosted a party for the release of the
      > latest Potter book by author J.K. Rowling.
      > An estimated 20 million copies of the series books are now in print,
      > published in 25 languages and 130 countries. The fourth title, "Harry
      > Potter and the Goblet of Fire" (Scholastic) was unveiled this summer
      > amidst live media coverage, parties and other promotional hoopla. It
      > enjoyed a record printing of 3.8 million copies for the first edition,
      > well ahead of the closest contender, a John Grisham novel which had an
      > initial press run of only 2.5 million.
      > The series began in 1997, and chronicles the adventures of a young
      > orphan who escapes his abusive families and treks off to a wizard
      > school. The plots have captivated a new generation of readers, much
      > to the pleasure of parents, educators, librarians and booksellers.
      > There are critics, though, who charge that the Potter books manifest
      > an antiauthoritarian overtone, and promote everything from witchcraft
      > and new age pseudoscience to Satanism. In many communities, churches
      > and activist religious parents have charged that the colorful novels
      > are a training ground for witchcraft, and indoctrinate vulnerable kids
      > in the occult. In Columbia, South Carolina, for instance, parents
      > objected when Potter books found their way into the local classrooms.
      > Concerned fundamentalists point to a passage from Deuteronomy 18:10-12
      > which warns, "There shall not be anyone found among you who makes his
      > son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth
      > divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter of a witch. Or a
      > charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a
      > necromancer. For whoever does these things is detestable to the
      > Lord..."
      > The influenctial Focus on the Family group headed by James Dobson
      > denounces the Potter series, insisting that they promote interest in
      > the occult, violence and "worldly values." The rage over the popular
      > juvenile wizard, though, is seen as an opportunity to discuss why the
      > books have found such a wide audience, and present Christian themes
      > like salvation and spirituality.
      > Others say that the books help to develop children's' imagination, and
      > note that most works of the juvenile genre touch upon themes rooted in
      > fantasy, myth and inventive story telling. New York Times writer
      > Richard Bernstein notes that the Potter books discuss important issues
      > in the lives of youngsters who find assurances in the struggle of
      > young wizard Harry in overcoming obstacles.
      > For angry parents in Jacksonville, though, the Potter books and
      > library promotion are simply a ruse to indoctrinate young readers in
      > the occult. After librarians handed out certificates to young readers
      > for completing "Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry," Liberty
      > Counsel swung into action with its threat of a lawsuit.
      > "Witchcraft is a religion," said Matthew Staver, the group's
      > president, "and that certificate of witchcraft endorsed a particular
      > religion in violation of the First Amendment establishment clause."
      > Staver founded Liberty Counsel in 1989 to "help preserve religious
      > freedom." A graduate of ministerial school, he has served as a
      > contributing columnist to Jerry Falwell's "National Liberty Journal,"
      > and often appears on Falwell's nationally television program. The
      > group has been active in cases opposing the Vermont same-sex marriage
      > statute, and the ban on pre-game prayer at high school athletic
      > contests.
      > Staver told the Jacksonville Times-Union newspaper that witchcraft is
      > part of the Wiccan religion, and that the library should not have been
      > issuing witchcraft certificates. Liberty Counsel first heard about
      > the controversy when pastor Paul Zink of the Jacksonville New Life
      > Christian Fellowship church began raising the issue during Sunday
      > sermons.
      > Library Director Ken Sivulich told the Times-Union that the
      > certificates were a gimmick to encourage youngsters to read, and that
      > he was surprised by the furor that has emerged. One person raising a
      > commotion has been Jacksonville resident John Miesburg, who complained
      > about what described as evil, occult themes before meetings of the
      > library board and the Jacksonville City Council.
      > "It's a travesty that the city of Jacksonville and our library would
      > be promoting the evil of witchcraft to our children," said Miesburg,
      > who home-schools his six children. He criticized the books for
      > containing themes of death and promoting disrespect for parents.
      > "If the library system wants to do this, then ... they should also
      > encourage children to read the Bible and pass out certificates of
      > righteousness," he added.
      > Mr. Sivulich announced that as of July 19, the library had stopped
      > issuing the witchcraft certificates. He said that between 200 and 300
      > of the certificates had been distributed, and told reporters that the
      > decision was made before being contacted late last month by Liberty
      > Counsel.
      > The flap over Harry Potter touches on many issues, running the gamut
      > from concerns over the content of books in libraries and stores to
      > control of youngsters and generational authority. Last year, the
      > Harry Potter series had the dubious distinction of topping a list of
      > books that parents and organizations had attempted to have censored
      > from libraries, says the American Library Association. Although they
      > have been in print for only four years, the ALA says that young
      > Harry's tales have already risen to the number 48 slot on the group's
      > list of the 100 most challenged books of the decade.
      > That has not put a dent in the popularity of the series, though. The
      > Jacksonville library system reportedly has about 1,000 copies of
      > Potter books circulating out of its main library and 14 branches.
      > About 80% of them are checked out at any time, according to the
      > Freedom Forum.
      > Many groups hostile to the Potter books, though, have had more classic
      > works of literature in their target sights as well. In the last
      > decade, authors of the most challenged books have included J.D.
      > Salinger -- his "Catcher in the Rye" is a perennial object of protest
      > -- Mark Twain, John Steinbeck, Maya Angelou, Michael Willhoite and
      > Judy Blume. The American Library Association compiled 5,718
      > challenges to library books during the 1990-1999 period.
      > Concerns about occult or new age themes in books lag behind the more
      > prosaic calls for censorship. ALA estimates that 1,446 challenges in
      > the decade of the 1990s concerned objections to explicit sex, thus
      > making Judy Blume's book such as "Forever" a tempting target.
      > Homosexual topics accounted for 497 challenges, with Michael
      > Willhoite's book "Daddy's Roommate" topping the category.
      > **
      >

      --
      Dr. Theodore James Sherman, Editor
      Mythlore: A Journal of J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Charles Williams and
      Mythopoeic Literature
      Box X041, Department of English
      Middle Tennessee State University
      Murfreesboro, TN 37132
      615 898-5836; FAX 615 898-5098
      tsherman@...
      tedsherman@...
    • Ted Sherman
      Here s the reply I sent to the other list where I got the original post about HP. Ted ... -- Dr. Theodore James Sherman, Editor Mythlore: A Journal of J. R. R.
      Message 2 of 15 , Sep 17, 2000
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        Here's the reply I sent to the other list where I got the original post about
        HP.

        Ted

        Ted Sherman wrote:

        > You know, being an Orthodox Christian (and by that I mean a member of the
        > Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese), I get extremely put out when I read about
        > Christians of whatever stripe condemning books that they haven't yet read!
        > The arguments that are made against the Harry Potter books are not new.
        > Rather, they were (and still are) leveled against Madeleine L'Engle's
        > wonderful series of fantasies for young adolescents that are generally known
        > by the moniker "the time trilogy" (now up to five books, so the "time
        > quintet): A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, The Swiftly Tilting Planet,
        > An Acceptable Time, and Many Waters. These books have been condemned because
        > they have a character called Mrs. Which (who may be a witch of sorts) as
        > well as characters who can "divine" the future. Moreover, the same logic
        > could be used to condemn such classics of modern fantasy as Tolkien's Lord
        > of the Rings (it has magic and wizards afterall, not to mention spirit
        > beings) and Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia (for witchcraft and talking
        > beasts).
        >
        > If these banners and censors would actually read the HP books, they would
        > see that the books are not value neutral, nor do they portray witchcraft as
        > a way of life to be practiced in the real, everyday world. Rather, they
        > would see, if they were at all perceptive, that the characters in the books
        > act according to their motivations, some of which are morally good and
        > others are morally bad. And the "good" characters don't necessarily have an
        > easy time of it. They have to face the same kinds of decisions we all have
        > to face, and when it comes down to making a decision, they can't and don't
        > rely on their magic. Instead, they rely on the information they have at hand
        > and what they believe to be the good and honorable things to do.
        >
        > Sigh.
        >
        > Ted
        >
        > Jack Kolb wrote:
        >
        > > From American Atheists News, 17 September:
        > >
        > > CHRISTIAN GROUP CHARGES WITCHCRAFT PROMOTION AT LIBRARY
        > > The Popular Harry Potter Books Remain A Contentious Target
        > > A library in Jackson, Florida is being accused of promoting witchcraft
        > > and violating the separation of church and state when it handed out
        > > certificates to youngsters reading the popular Harry Potter series of
        > > books. The charge is coming from parents represented by the Liberty
        > > Counsel legal defense in Orlando, and stems in part from a July
        > > incident where a branch library hosted a party for the release of the
        > > latest Potter book by author J.K. Rowling.
        > > An estimated 20 million copies of the series books are now in print,
        > > published in 25 languages and 130 countries. The fourth title, "Harry
        > > Potter and the Goblet of Fire" (Scholastic) was unveiled this summer
        > > amidst live media coverage, parties and other promotional hoopla. It
        > > enjoyed a record printing of 3.8 million copies for the first edition,
        > > well ahead of the closest contender, a John Grisham novel which had an
        > > initial press run of only 2.5 million.
        > > The series began in 1997, and chronicles the adventures of a young
        > > orphan who escapes his abusive families and treks off to a wizard
        > > school. The plots have captivated a new generation of readers, much
        > > to the pleasure of parents, educators, librarians and booksellers.
        > > There are critics, though, who charge that the Potter books manifest
        > > an antiauthoritarian overtone, and promote everything from witchcraft
        > > and new age pseudoscience to Satanism. In many communities, churches
        > > and activist religious parents have charged that the colorful novels
        > > are a training ground for witchcraft, and indoctrinate vulnerable kids
        > > in the occult. In Columbia, South Carolina, for instance, parents
        > > objected when Potter books found their way into the local classrooms.
        > > Concerned fundamentalists point to a passage from Deuteronomy 18:10-12
        > > which warns, "There shall not be anyone found among you who makes his
        > > son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth
        > > divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter of a witch. Or a
        > > charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a
        > > necromancer. For whoever does these things is detestable to the
        > > Lord..."
        > > The influenctial Focus on the Family group headed by James Dobson
        > > denounces the Potter series, insisting that they promote interest in
        > > the occult, violence and "worldly values." The rage over the popular
        > > juvenile wizard, though, is seen as an opportunity to discuss why the
        > > books have found such a wide audience, and present Christian themes
        > > like salvation and spirituality.
        > > Others say that the books help to develop children's' imagination, and
        > > note that most works of the juvenile genre touch upon themes rooted in
        > > fantasy, myth and inventive story telling. New York Times writer
        > > Richard Bernstein notes that the Potter books discuss important issues
        > > in the lives of youngsters who find assurances in the struggle of
        > > young wizard Harry in overcoming obstacles.
        > > For angry parents in Jacksonville, though, the Potter books and
        > > library promotion are simply a ruse to indoctrinate young readers in
        > > the occult. After librarians handed out certificates to young readers
        > > for completing "Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry," Liberty
        > > Counsel swung into action with its threat of a lawsuit.
        > > "Witchcraft is a religion," said Matthew Staver, the group's
        > > president, "and that certificate of witchcraft endorsed a particular
        > > religion in violation of the First Amendment establishment clause."
        > > Staver founded Liberty Counsel in 1989 to "help preserve religious
        > > freedom." A graduate of ministerial school, he has served as a
        > > contributing columnist to Jerry Falwell's "National Liberty Journal,"
        > > and often appears on Falwell's nationally television program. The
        > > group has been active in cases opposing the Vermont same-sex marriage
        > > statute, and the ban on pre-game prayer at high school athletic
        > > contests.
        > > Staver told the Jacksonville Times-Union newspaper that witchcraft is
        > > part of the Wiccan religion, and that the library should not have been
        > > issuing witchcraft certificates. Liberty Counsel first heard about
        > > the controversy when pastor Paul Zink of the Jacksonville New Life
        > > Christian Fellowship church began raising the issue during Sunday
        > > sermons.
        > > Library Director Ken Sivulich told the Times-Union that the
        > > certificates were a gimmick to encourage youngsters to read, and that
        > > he was surprised by the furor that has emerged. One person raising a
        > > commotion has been Jacksonville resident John Miesburg, who complained
        > > about what described as evil, occult themes before meetings of the
        > > library board and the Jacksonville City Council.
        > > "It's a travesty that the city of Jacksonville and our library would
        > > be promoting the evil of witchcraft to our children," said Miesburg,
        > > who home-schools his six children. He criticized the books for
        > > containing themes of death and promoting disrespect for parents.
        > > "If the library system wants to do this, then ... they should also
        > > encourage children to read the Bible and pass out certificates of
        > > righteousness," he added.
        > > Mr. Sivulich announced that as of July 19, the library had stopped
        > > issuing the witchcraft certificates. He said that between 200 and 300
        > > of the certificates had been distributed, and told reporters that the
        > > decision was made before being contacted late last month by Liberty
        > > Counsel.
        > > The flap over Harry Potter touches on many issues, running the gamut
        > > from concerns over the content of books in libraries and stores to
        > > control of youngsters and generational authority. Last year, the
        > > Harry Potter series had the dubious distinction of topping a list of
        > > books that parents and organizations had attempted to have censored
        > > from libraries, says the American Library Association. Although they
        > > have been in print for only four years, the ALA says that young
        > > Harry's tales have already risen to the number 48 slot on the group's
        > > list of the 100 most challenged books of the decade.
        > > That has not put a dent in the popularity of the series, though. The
        > > Jacksonville library system reportedly has about 1,000 copies of
        > > Potter books circulating out of its main library and 14 branches.
        > > About 80% of them are checked out at any time, according to the
        > > Freedom Forum.
        > > Many groups hostile to the Potter books, though, have had more classic
        >
        > > works of literature in their target sights as well. In the last
        > > decade, authors of the most challenged books have included J.D.
        > > Salinger -- his "Catcher in the Rye" is a perennial object of protest
        > > -- Mark Twain, John Steinbeck, Maya Angelou, Michael Willhoite and
        > > Judy Blume. The American Library Association compiled 5,718
        > > challenges to library books during the 1990-1999 period.
        > > Concerns about occult or new age themes in books lag behind the more
        > > prosaic calls for censorship. ALA estimates that 1,446 challenges in
        > > the decade of the 1990s concerned objections to explicit sex, thus
        > > making Judy Blume's book such as "Forever" a tempting target.
        > > Homosexual topics accounted for 497 challenges, with Michael
        > > Willhoite's book "Daddy's Roommate" topping the category.
        > > **
        > >
        > > ---
        > > You are currently subscribed to alsc-net as: [tedsherman@...]
        > > To unsubscribe, forward this message to Leave-ALSC-Net@...
        >
        > --
        > Dr. Theodore James Sherman, Editor
        > Mythlore: A Journal of J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Charles Williams and
        > Mythopoeic Literature
        > Box X041, Department of English
        > Middle Tennessee State University
        > Murfreesboro, TN 37132
        > 615 898-5836; FAX 615 898-5098
        > tsherman@...
        > tedsherman@...
        >
        > ---
        > You are currently subscribed to alsc-net as: [tedsherman@...]
        > To unsubscribe, forward this message to Leave-ALSC-Net@...

        --
        Dr. Theodore James Sherman, Editor
        Mythlore: A Journal of J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Charles Williams and
        Mythopoeic Literature
        Box X041, Department of English
        Middle Tennessee State University
        Murfreesboro, TN 37132
        615 898-5836; FAX 615 898-5098
        tsherman@...
        tedsherman@...
      • Sophie Masson
        I guess I was being a bit snobbish there and reckoning that religion needs to have stood the test of time and not have been invented recently, as such.
        Message 3 of 15 , Sep 18, 2000
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          I guess I was being a bit snobbish there and reckoning that 'religion' needs
          to have stood the test of time and not have been invented recently, as such.
          Neo-pagans are not the same as traditional pagans--such as the animists I've
          met in Java for instance, who have a very robust, amazing and secretive
          religious practice. But I have neo-pagan friends too and know that they
          firmly believe in the authenticity of their --very gentle and rather
          airyfairy--brand of 'religion'. Traditional pagan religion in the Western
          countries was not really like that--I don't think.
          Sophie
          Author site:
          http://members.xoom.com/sophiecastel/default.htm

          -----Original Message-----
          From: Margaret Dean <margdean@...>
          To: mythsoc@egroups.com <mythsoc@egroups.com>
          Date: Tuesday, 19 September 2000 0:22
          Subject: Re: [mythsoc] [Fwd: Harry Potter as Satan's agent]


          >
          >Sophie Masson wrote:
          >
          >> The thing is too that witchcraft is not a religion; as such that was an
          >> invention of Puritan maniacs like the Witch-Finder General.
          >
          >Wellll . . . there are some neo-pagans out there who describe
          >themselves as "witches" and/or their practices as "the Craft."
          >Of course their religion bears little or no resemblance to what
          >the abovementioned Puritan maniacs invented, but you can't
          >(entirely) accurately say that "witchcraft is not a religion."
          >
          >
          >--Margaret Dean, nitpicking as usual
          > <margdean@...>
          >
          >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
          >
          >
        • Sophie Masson
          I suppose too that as someone who s been interested in Celtic myth and religion since i was about 10, I find the neopagan stuff rather insipid. Sophie Author
          Message 4 of 15 , Sep 18, 2000
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            I suppose too that as someone who's been interested in Celtic myth and
            religion since i was about 10, I find the neopagan stuff rather insipid.
            Sophie
            Author site:
            http://members.xoom.com/sophiecastel/default.htm

            -----Original Message-----
            From: Margaret Dean <margdean@...>
            To: mythsoc@egroups.com <mythsoc@egroups.com>
            Date: Tuesday, 19 September 2000 0:22
            Subject: Re: [mythsoc] [Fwd: Harry Potter as Satan's agent]


            >
            >Sophie Masson wrote:
            >
            >> The thing is too that witchcraft is not a religion; as such that was an
            >> invention of Puritan maniacs like the Witch-Finder General.
            >
            >Wellll . . . there are some neo-pagans out there who describe
            >themselves as "witches" and/or their practices as "the Craft."
            >Of course their religion bears little or no resemblance to what
            >the abovementioned Puritan maniacs invented, but you can't
            >(entirely) accurately say that "witchcraft is not a religion."
            >
            >
            >--Margaret Dean, nitpicking as usual
            > <margdean@...>
            >
            >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
            >
            >
          • Stolzi@aol.com
            In a message dated 09/18/2000 10:55:26 PM Central Daylight Time, ... I once found a book in the bookstore on reviving the Norse religion. Was totally
            Message 5 of 15 , Sep 19, 2000
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              In a message dated 09/18/2000 10:55:26 PM Central Daylight Time,
              smasson@... writes:

              > But I have neo-pagan friends too and know that they
              > firmly believe in the authenticity of their --very gentle and rather
              > airyfairy--brand of 'religion'. Traditional pagan religion in the Western
              > countries was not really like that--I don't think.

              I once found a book in the bookstore on reviving the Norse religion. Was
              totally disillusioned by what they wrote about conducting a sacrifice. As I
              recall the sacrifice had the succinct name of "Blod." Well, these namby
              pamby pagans wanted to have a Blod by just pouring out milk, or wine, or
              something.

              Pah! :)

              Mary S
            • alexeik@aol.com
              In a message dated 9/19/0 10:10:53 PM, Mary wrote:
              Message 6 of 15 , Sep 20, 2000
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                In a message dated 9/19/0 10:10:53 PM, Mary wrote:

                <<As I
                recall the sacrifice had the succinct name of "Blod." Well, these namby
                pamby pagans wanted to have a Blod by just pouring out milk, or wine, or
                something.>>

                No, it's actually a _blót_, and it's perfectly traditional. It consists of
                passing around a drinking horn and offering a libation to a divinity while
                swearing an oath of allegiance to the company (and, originally, its ruler).
                Remember the scene in _Beowulf_, where Wealtheow is passing the cup around to
                Hrothgar's _comitatus_?
                Alexei
              • Theodore James Sherman
                Yes, but that episode in Beowulf has nothing whatsoever to do with a sacrifice or libation. It is a welcoming ceremony and symbolic of the hospitality of
                Message 7 of 15 , Sep 20, 2000
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                  Yes, but that episode in Beowulf has nothing whatsoever to do with a sacrifice or
                  libation. It is a welcoming ceremony and symbolic of the hospitality of Hrothgar
                  and the Danes.

                  ted

                  alexeik@... wrote:

                  >
                  > In a message dated 9/19/0 10:10:53 PM, Mary wrote:
                  >
                  > <<As I
                  > recall the sacrifice had the succinct name of "Blod." Well, these namby
                  > pamby pagans wanted to have a Blod by just pouring out milk, or wine, or
                  > something.>>
                  >
                  > No, it's actually a _blót_, and it's perfectly traditional. It consists of
                  > passing around a drinking horn and offering a libation to a divinity while
                  > swearing an oath of allegiance to the company (and, originally, its ruler).
                  > Remember the scene in _Beowulf_, where Wealtheow is passing the cup around to
                  > Hrothgar's _comitatus_?
                  > Alexei
                  >
                  > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org

                  --
                  Dr. Theodore James Sherman, Editor
                  Mythlore: A Journal of J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Charles Williams and
                  Mythopoeic Literature
                  Box X041, Department of English
                  Middle Tennessee State University
                  Murfreesboro, TN 37132
                  615 898-5836; FAX 615 898-5098
                  tsherman@...
                  tedsherman@...
                • alexeik@aol.com
                  In a message dated 9/20/0 5:16:54 PM, Ted Sherman wrote:
                  Message 8 of 15 , Sep 20, 2000
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                    In a message dated 9/20/0 5:16:54 PM, Ted Sherman wrote:

                    <<Yes, but that episode in Beowulf has nothing whatsoever to do with a
                    sacrifice or

                    libation. It is a welcoming ceremony and symbolic of the hospitality of
                    Hrothgar

                    and the Danes.>>

                    A _blót_ is *not* a sacrifice. For the relationship between the ceremony
                    depicted in _Beowulf_ and its pre-Christian antecedents, cf. Michael
                    Enright's wonderful book, _Lady With a Mead Cup_ (1996).
                    Alexei
                  • LSolarion@aol.com
                    In a message dated 09/17/2000 6:22:11 PM Pacific Daylight Time, tedsherman@home.com writes:
                    Message 9 of 15 , Sep 30, 2000
                    • 0 Attachment
                      In a message dated 09/17/2000 6:22:11 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
                      tedsherman@... writes:

                      << For angry parents in Jacksonville, though, the Potter books and
                      > library promotion are simply a ruse to indoctrinate young readers in
                      > the occult. After librarians handed out certificates to young readers
                      > for completing "Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry," Liberty
                      > Counsel swung into action with its threat of a lawsuit.
                      > "Witchcraft is a religion," said Matthew Staver, the group's
                      > president, "and that certificate of witchcraft endorsed a particular
                      > religion in violation of the First Amendment establishment clause.">

                      Having actually belonged to the "religion of witchcraft," I can testify that
                      there is nothing similar. Hogwarts professes no theology, worships neither
                      gods nor goddesses, and their magic actually works; all these factors are the
                      opposite of witchcraft as religion.
                      Would Staver then support banning all books containing Christian characters,
                      on the grounds that a literary character having a religion amounts to
                      promoting that religion? Ridiculous!

                      > Staver founded Liberty Counsel in 1989 to "help preserve religious
                      > freedom." >

                      No doubt by promoting the censorship of every religion but theirs. Sometimes
                      I almost wish that all these people would infest somebody else's religion and
                      stop giving mine a bad name. But then I remember that "the world will always
                      hate thee."

                      <The group has been active in cases opposing ... the ban on pre-game prayer
                      at high school athletic
                      > contests. >>

                      Would they oppose a ban on praying to Isis or Artemis, I wonder?
                    • LSolarion@aol.com
                      In a message dated 09/17/2000 6:22:11 PM Pacific Daylight Time, tedsherman@home.com writes:
                      Message 10 of 15 , Sep 30, 2000
                      • 0 Attachment
                        In a message dated 09/17/2000 6:22:11 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
                        tedsherman@... writes:

                        << He criticized the books for
                        > containing themes of death and promoting disrespect for parents. >>

                        One wonders what he would make of "he that hateth not his father and
                        mother...", not to mention the crucifixion.
                        And where do the Potter books "promote disrespect for parents"? If he means
                        the Dursleys, they are Harry's uncle and aunt, not his parents. Which parents
                        would he rather live with, Ron Weasley's or Draco Malfoy's? I know what my
                        choice would be.
                      • LSolarion@aol.com
                        In a message dated 09/18/2000 12:12:03 AM Pacific Daylight Time, smasson@northnet.com.au writes:
                        Message 11 of 15 , Sep 30, 2000
                        • 0 Attachment
                          In a message dated 09/18/2000 12:12:03 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
                          smasson@... writes:

                          <<
                          The thing is too that witchcraft is not a religion; as such that was an
                          invention of Puritan maniacs like the Witch-Finder General.
                          Sophie >>

                          Actually, the situation nowadays is much more complex (as is everything else,
                          it seems). First, no one to my knowledge practices the "witchcraft" religion
                          invented by the witch-finders. No one did then either, I suspect. However,
                          there is a new religion concocted by Gerald Gardner and associates in England
                          in the 1940s, known as "Wicca." It purports to be a revival of the ancient
                          European Paganism, which, according to discrdited theories of anthropologist
                          Margaret Murray, survived underground during the Christian era. This claim is
                          demonstrably false, unless the ancient Pagans somehow had access to the
                          ravings of Aleister Crowley, who heavily influenced Gardner. (Sorry, I am
                          trying to keep this brief and simple).
                          Wicca in turn, together with feminist movements and hippie survivals, spawned
                          a swarm of offshoots, developments, imitations, rebellions, distortions and
                          inventions which make up the modern "neo-Pagan movement." Basically, it takes
                          ancient myths, especially Greek, Celtic, and Egyptian, and reinterprets them
                          according to a modern pantheistic, relativist, anti-authoritarian mindset,
                          totally ignoring the moralistic emphasis of ancient Paganism in favor of a
                          "do your own thing" anarchy.
                          They are also heavily influenced by the various occult and kabbalistic
                          movements of the late 19th century, and profess to "work magic" and "cast
                          spells." Most of these are old wives tales and superstitions; I have never
                          known any to work.
                          Anyway, that's the down-and-dirty from one who has been there. Most
                          neo-Pagans are ex-Christians who are reacting against both real abuses and
                          distorted interpretations of historic Christianity. They need our prayers.
                          Steve
                        • Mary Kay Kare
                          ... Excuse me, but if I want your prayers I ll ask for them. As I do not feel in need of them, I don t that s for you to determine. MKK
                          Message 12 of 15 , Sep 30, 2000
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                            LSolarion@... wrote:
                            >
                            > Anyway, that's the down-and-dirty from one who has been there. Most
                            > neo-Pagans are ex-Christians who are reacting against both real abuses and
                            > distorted interpretations of historic Christianity. They need our prayers.
                            > Steve
                            >
                            Excuse me, but if I want your prayers I'll ask for them. As I do not
                            feel in need of them, I don't that's for you to determine.

                            MKK
                          • Melinda Jane Harrison
                            Hi: I had to jump in on this one because of something that happened recently to my husband and I. Organized Christian prayer is a very hot issue in our county.
                            Message 13 of 15 , Oct 1, 2000
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                              Hi:

                              I had to jump in on this one because of something that happened recently to
                              my husband and I.
                              Organized Christian prayer is a very hot issue in our county. And so is
                              witchcraft and Harry Potter, etc. Well, we get letters to the local paper
                              ALL the time on praying and how "they" have ruined the school systems
                              because they took "God" out of it. Well, one fellow recently, against his
                              better judgement and asking for forgiveness at the same time, wrote in and
                              said "that the Christians ought to be leaving well enough alone and let the
                              ruling stand or the next thing you know, our kids will be having to say all
                              kinds of prayers in school, like Muslin prayers and even Catholic prayers."
                              This guy was so ignorant, he didn't even realize he was being a bigot. I
                              mean it. He was totally sincere. He went on and on about the ACLU and how
                              if good Christians just leave well enough alone, we can keep the right kind
                              of praying going secretly, etc. It was unbelievable, right there in print,
                              and telling it just like it is from their viewpoint. My husband just
                              couldn't leave it alone. He wrote this wonderful ironic letter, praising
                              this man while kindly putting him and others in their place. It dripped
                              with wit and satire and an equal share of compliments. At first they
                              wouldn't print it, but John faxed it in every week until they finally did.
                              It was hilarious, only copies of my husband's letter apparently through
                              went churches all over the neighboring counties like wildfire and one copy
                              finally landed in the hands of his father who does not even take a paper or
                              hardly talks to a neighbor. But someone at his church gave him one because
                              they were concerned for John's soul. Since then, my dear husband has had
                              to go through hours and hours of "witnessing" and talking about God,
                              religion, and America. See, I am Catholic, and so are our 3 sons. In our
                              county in Mississippi, Catholics are equal to Jews and Muslins and right
                              above Blacks.

                              So it's not just Artemis and Isis prayers. If I went to school and demanded
                              that the Hail Mary be said for my 3 kids once a month, they would all
                              croak!!!!!!!!!!! However, I have made no such demands.
                              And for years, my kids have had to suffer quietly because they are a
                              minority religion. Most people don't even consider them Christians. Of
                              course, I find this all pretty amusing myself. And have taught my sons
                              that tolerance is a good thing. They just laugh it off and go on. And yes,
                              Harry Potter is an evil agent of the devil. All witches are, even
                              metaphorical ones.

                              Jane

                              >Would they oppose a ban on praying to Isis or Artemis, I wonder?
                            • Joan Marie Verba
                              This discussion is getting WAY off topic for this group. Again, please remember that others on the list may not have the same religious beliefs as yours.
                              Message 14 of 15 , Oct 1, 2000
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                                This discussion is getting WAY off topic for this group. Again, please
                                remember that others on the list may not have the same religious beliefs
                                as yours. Please try to keep discussions in the context of Mythopoeic
                                Literature or the Mythopoeic Society.

                                Thanks,
                                Joan
                                List Administrator
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                                List Administrator for DocEx, Mythsoc, MNSCBWI and
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                              • Wayne G. Hammond
                                I ve had the following message from a student in Poland, Pawel Hibner. His subject is mostly beyond my knowledge, and his question about an academic exchange
                                Message 15 of 15 , Nov 15, 2000
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                                  I've had the following message from a student in Poland, Pawel Hibner. His
                                  subject is mostly beyond my knowledge, and his question about an academic
                                  exchange is outside my experience, so with his permission I'm forwarding
                                  his queries in case any other member of this list can help him. If so,
                                  please write to Pawel directly, at <phibner@...>.

                                  Wayne Hammond

                                  ----------

                                  I am writing to you as I really don't know who to get in touch with.

                                  I am a Polish Ph.D. student writing on gender and power in fantasy and SF.
                                  I am looking for any ideas, views, articles, essays etc, that would help me
                                  write and accomplish my dissertation.

                                  I was also advised by my supervisor to get in touch with a university where
                                  I could attend some sort of exchange scholarship or fellowship in order to
                                  consult my written piece and to broaden my knowledge on the topic right on
                                  the site before I present my dissertation down here in Poland.

                                  please forgive me my bothering you but believe I have nobody to ask for
                                  advice or help.

                                  Pawel Hibner
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