July 6, 2000
9:16 PM   Subscribe

While I'm not a fan of Harry Potter books (yet - I'll get around to checking them out someday soon), I find it interesting to see some folks still strongly oppose the stories of sorcery, while it seems the average CNN.com reader doesn't see a problem with them (the poll is 97-3 as I write this). It seems that every few years, some fiction strikes the fancy of kids, and parents rally against it, even though it piques kids' imaginations and gets them reading. What's so wrong with Potter books?
posted by mathowie (15 comments total)
Forgive me, mathowie, for the sin of self-promotion...
Do you realize what is IN that new book??
...but I'm awful proud of this nonsense, and maybe a few of the jokes can be turned into good talking points.
posted by wendell at 10:29 PM on July 6, 2000

"No infants are sacrificed in the entire book."
Pffft! Exectly why I don't need my children to "reed" such "non-sense". I say we protest in front of a local B&N.
posted by tiaka at 5:58 AM on July 7, 2000

I'm sure the Potter opponents have their own idea of approprate reading material. Jack Chick tracts, maybe?
posted by harmful at 6:05 AM on July 7, 2000

In that article, the prophet Rev. Lori Jo Schepers said,

As we expose our kids to the occult, we expose our kids to blood, to violence, and desensitize them to that. What I can expect is those kids, as they mature, have a very good chance of becoming another Dylan Klebold and those guys in Columbine.

1) Kids are going to grow up, get in fights, play video games, watch Reality TV, see R rated movies, and become desensitized to violence anyways, you foolish woman. Stifling their imaginations now won't help.

2) Kids are excited about fiction for the first time since the Sweet Valley Twins series, which (pardon my french) sucked. Educators cannot afford to waste this oppurtunity for discussion about the elements and ideas that go into writing.

3) Your average child is going to have a hard time finding unicorn blood to drink.

4) As we expose our kids to the King James Bible, we expose our kids to blood, to violence, and desensitize them to that. What I can expect is those kids, as they mature, have a very good chance of becoming another Dylan Klebold and those guys in Columbine--if not for the fact that the Bible is taught within a supportive, moral community that encourages questions and explains the lessons offered by the text.

5) Coincidentally, that's how schools are supposed to operate.
posted by sixfoot6 at 6:33 AM on July 7, 2000

Bravo! Author, author!

posted by baylink at 7:04 AM on July 7, 2000

The only people who would oppose fictional stories of sorcery, are people who believe in sorcery. With that I would not trust them to teach my non-existent anything, much less provide a reading list. The Potter series is so innocent and light, that I have to wonder about anyone who would oppose it.
I imagine future Columbine's could be avoided if more of the little jockletts read and learned the simple lessons about bullying featured in the first three books.
posted by thirteen at 8:04 AM on July 7, 2000

No doubt. Almost every memory of childhood playgrounds involves some blood and violence, but I remember it being fun too.

I think the major point to be made is that people need conflict. It makes people better, stronger. We all know how the children that are pampered through life tend to behave.

I don't agree with the whole message behind the desensitizing of media. It is the language of censor and lies. I think for the most part the reason people develop a neurosis from media over-exposure is because they have no experience or relationship with nature. When you grow up in an urban enviroment, it is easy to be engulfed by such images and not find an escape. I was lucky that my parents took us camping all the time, so I could discover that sex, violence, and death were a part of the natural enviroment. Witnessing without understanding these things is the problem.
posted by john at 8:15 AM on July 7, 2000

I agree. Just wondering, if they oppose Harry Potter. And these kids are, like what? 10-12? What kind of a reading list did the Good Reverend make?
posted by tiaka at 8:17 AM on July 7, 2000

Why do children enjoy stories of magic? Because it's about having the capacity to change the world in ways that don't rely upon physical strength or the authority of age. But also about having the responsibility to deal with those actions: think of Grimm and Andersen's tales. And when you're a kiddiwink, that's incredibly empowering, in a good way.
posted by holgate at 8:54 AM on July 7, 2000

As a Christian, I really have to shake my head in disgust at people like Rev. Lori Jo Schepers.

It's like, "Dammit, we don't have time to worry about the suffering, poor, uneducated, imprisonned, sick, and miserable people of the world right now. Don't you know that somewhere, right now, an innocent child is being corrupted by stories about unicorns!?!?"

God, please save us from your followers.
posted by ratbastard at 9:10 AM on July 7, 2000

I meant to say "non-existent kids anything". I should learn to proofread and spell.
posted by thirteen at 11:22 AM on July 7, 2000

Hey Thirteen,

Don't worry so. It's good to have a little bit for everyone in your posts. Some people love to find mistakes. Your just unconsciously fulfilling this need. What altruism!
posted by john at 12:05 PM on July 7, 2000

"Kids are like sponges, and they will soak things up and sometimes store them for a while before they spit them back out,"Spit what back out? Have any of these people actually read any of the Harry Potter books? They're friggin' fairy tales! No different than Snow White and the Seven Dwarves or Beauty and the Beast! When these stories are read to our children, do these parents think their kids are going to go try to poison an apple and give it to one of their freinds? Or try to club someone with a talking candlestick? I have three words for the type of parents who have nothing better to do than to bash childrens books: get a life!
posted by deckard at 12:28 PM on July 7, 2000

Personally I loved C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia as a kid. However, it caused me this uncontrollable urge to break into the local zoo and pet a lion. My parents were outraged, and it took me three years to grow back my arm.
posted by ZachsMind at 10:41 PM on July 8, 2000

My favorite was The Phantom Tollbooth, but all it did was cost me a lot of quarters...
posted by wendell at 3:28 AM on July 9, 2000

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