Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Matt 24 Watch, 27: Perils of "Pottermania" as Book No 7 comes out in July

In the early years of the Harry Potter phenomenon, several major Christian leaders praised the general moral tone of the writings of Ms Rowling.

However, as one who has monitored the series to date, I must note that the moral and general tone of the series has got darker and darker over the years, as Harry and the other characters have grown up. Indeed, as of the last two books, it is safe to say Harry Potter has become not just a hero who occasionally steps over the border on principles and rules, but that he is now an outright anti-hero.

Now -- as the always worth a look (but sometimes erratic) WND news-site informs us -- even more troubling questions have to be faced, now that the final book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is due for release in July.

As Jennifer Carden observes in the just linked article:

If early buzz proves accurate, however, the whirlwind of Pottermania accompanying the July release of J.K. Rowling's seventh and final installment, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," will catapult the series to new heights in the world of literary accomplishment.

But, contends author Steve Wohlberg, what many people don't know is that when Harry Potter and his Firebolt whoosh off the shelf, he's not alone. A victory for Harry Potter means a victory for Wicca, a religion that practices various forms of witchcraft.

And the acclaimed DVD program, "Harry Potter: Witchcraft Repackaged, dramatically documents Potter references to evolution, reincarnation, sorcery, divination, spells, curses and other occult factors.

Wohlberg's new book "Exposing Harry Potter and Witchcraft: The Menace Beneath the Magic," asserts that "Harry Potter" purchases are often accompanied at the sales counter with materials on Wicca. Increasing numbers of young readers also frequent Wicca websites, cast "Love and Money Spells," and practice "white magic." . . . . The Potter readership is comprised of a wide demographic, from children well under eight years old to adults, but Rowling's use of juvenile themes specifically markets witchcraft to a young, impressionable audience, Wohlberg says . . . .

"There's a big difference," said Wohlberg, between Harry Potter and other children's fantasy fare. "J.K. Rowling has publicly admitted that at least 30 percent of her novels is based on real occultism. The 'Harry Potter' novels are a unique blend of fantasy and reality."

"They refer to real places, real occultists (Aldabert Waffling and Nicholas Flamel), real practices (astrology, palmistry, fortune-telling, divination), and real occult philosophy. Based on my research, the extent of real occultism embedded into 'children's literature' is unprecedented" . . . [Read it all . . .]

So, we should note the caution, and take time to look at the possible dangers.

Now, too,while I will of course read the book when it comes out, that will be as a part of my ongoing monitoring on spiritual influences on our region and the wider world.

I strongly urge parents, youth ministers and other church leaders to take note of the warning above, and counsel caution.

But also, isn't it high time for Christians (including in our region) to produce a new generation of high quality children and youth fiction, to match C S Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia, or J R R Tolkein's Lord of the Rings -- which all date back a half century now? END

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