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Wed

01

Aug

2007

Dominionists vs. Harry Potter
Wednesday, 01 August 2007 12:26
by Mel Seesholtz, Ph.D.


The dominionist Christian Right has been denouncing them since the first book appeared. The frenzy surrounding the release of the last book in the series brought renewed, more hysterical warnings about the “dangers” posed by Harry Potter.

James Dobson reiterated what “he said a few years ago on his daily [Focus on the Family] radio broadcast that ‘We have spoken out strongly against all of the Harry Potter products.’ His rationale for that statement: Magical characters – witches, wizards, ghosts, goblins, werewolves, poltergeists and so on – fill the Harry Potter stories, and given the trend toward witchcraft and New Age ideology in the larger culture, it’s difficult to ignore the effects such stories (albeit imaginary) might have on young, impressionable minds.”

Based on those criteria, presumably FOF chairman Dobson would also advise people against reading Malory’s Morte de Arthur and several of Shakespeare’s finest plays including Hamlet, MacBeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Other likely candidates for Dobson’s “Dangerous Books” list would be nonfiction, academic studies about the roles “witches, wizards, ghosts, goblins, werewolves, poltergeists” have played in various cultures and belief systems throughout human history.

But no doubt Dr. Dobson would encourage everyone to read his book Marriage Under Fire in which he claimed that if gay and lesbian Americans ever gained full civil equality and were able to legally marry, “God” would destroy the world as “in the days of Noah.”

What’s more dangerous, fictional “witches, wizards, ghosts, goblins, werewolves, poltergeists” in a Harry Potter book presented solely for the purpose of entertainment, or the real-world ranting of a megalomaniac hell-bent on promoting bigotry and discrimination by claiming a capricious, vengeful “God” so hates some of his creations that he would destroy the world if they were treated equally by his other creations?

Linda Harvey of “Mission America” also denounced the Potter books in an article by Kevin Jackson on “Christian Post Reporter, Mon, Jul. 23 2007 03:34 PM ET.”

One of Ms. Harvey’s “reasons” was “Harry does not think like a Christian… He nurses and feeds grudges against his relatives and his rivals at school, and revenge is portrayed as justifiable.”

According to Dobson, “God” certainly “nurses and feeds grudges against” gay people, and the first two commandments make it pretty clear that Jehovah’s intentions were much more vindictive than those of the young wizard Harvey denounced. After all, Jehovah is defined by his “justifiable” revenge, beginning in Eden and continuing throughout the Old Testament. But then again, Jehovah wasn’t “a Christian.”

The most asinine objections were voiced by evangelist Tim Todd, head of Revival Fires International, when he claimed: “The Harry Potter books present a Godless universe – one in which the most powerful wizard wins … The Harry Potter series – it promotes sacrificing animals; it’s emphasizing power regardless of good or evil; offering up blood sacrifices…”

Consider Todd’s assertions one at a time.

“Godless universe – one in which the most powerful wizard wins.” Again, the first and second commandments come to mind: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me … for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them…”

Would true Divinity be jealous?

Would true Divinity punish innocent children for something their great-great-grandparents had done?

Or are those the characteristics and modus operandi of maniacal humans embodied in “the most powerful” wizard-god they created in their own image?

Such a vengeful, wrathful wizard-god and the religious sects its creators spawn proved very useful for scaring believers and, thereby, maintaining power and control over them and their lives. The most powerful wizard-god and his creators “won” by using fear and threats. Todd claimed “the Harry Potter books present a Godless universe.” But the “God” he had in mind conjured “a universe” devoid of Divinity.

Let’s be blunt. If people totally unfamiliar with Western theology read “The Bible” – Genesis to Revelation – as a literary work, undoubtedly they’d characterize it as “fiction: fantasy/horror.” Those readers would probably advise that children not read the entire book. As Dobson said, “it’s difficult to ignore the effects such stories (albeit imaginary) might have on young, impressionable minds.”

“Animal sacrifices.” Throughout the Old Testament the “most powerful” wizard-god demanded animal sacrifices: Exodus 29:38-42, Leviticus 1:1-17, 15:15, Numbers 28:9, see also Jeremiah 6:20 and Malachi 1:7-8. These “burnt offerings” were of course accompanied by various incantations invoking supernatural powers and requesting “magic” be performed.

I’d be willing to bet that before their evening meal James Dobson, Linda Harvey and Tim Todd offer some sort of metaphysical incantation. As they chow-down on that medium rare filet mignon, or the roasted pork loin, or the succulent chicken breast – do you think these twenty-first century metaphysical practitioners think about the helpless sentient creatures who were brutalized before being viciously slaughtered to provide those “burnt offerings”?

Todd’s remark about “animal sacrifices” highlights the hypocrisy in America in relation to our “animal” relatives. And for those who are going to quote the Bible about animals being put here for humans to use as they wish, please review “The Bible & Jesus.”

“Emphasizing power regardless of good or evil.” Was setting up Adam and Eve in the Eden scenario and then damning all humans for the “sin” that Jehovah – being all-knowing – had to know the two fledgling humans would commit, “good”? Or was the story simply meant to emphasize the wizard-god’s power “regardless of good or evil”? Noah’s flood seems of a kind: the wizard-god emphasizing his power, vengefully and irrationally yet again. And then, of course, there was what Jehovah did and allowed to be done to Job.

No doubt this is where evangelist Todd would invoke the “We cannot understand the mind of God” truism. But isn’t claiming to know what “God” thinks and wants exactly what people like Dobson, Harvey and Todd do for a living?

“Offering up blood sacrifices.” In a word, “Jesus.” Father wizard-god demanded the bloody sacrifice of his “son” be offered up, to him. So much for “family values”…

The attacks on the Harry Potter books are just another manifestation of the dominionist agenda. Theocracy Watch offers extensive information about dominionism, its history and its advocates:

The theocratic right seeks to establish dominion, or control over society in the name of God. D. James Kennedy, Pastor of Coral Ridge Ministries, calls on his followers to exercise “godly dominion ... over every aspect ... of human society.”


At a “Reclaiming America for Christ” conference in February 2005, Kennedy said:

Our job is to reclaim America for Christ, whatever the cost. As the vice regents of God, we are to exercise godly dominion and influence over our neighborhoods, our schools, our government, our literature and arts, our sports arenas, our entertainment media, our news media, our scientific endeavors – in short, over every aspect and institution of human society.” [link and italics added]


The more dominionists rant and rave against everything that doesn’t feed their hunger for social and political power, the more the word “theofascism” comes to mind.

 
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Comments (13)add comment

a guest said:

0
Ridiculous Accusations
I'm sorry, these crazy Christians are ridiculous. NO ONE is converting to Witchcraft because of the Harry Potter books, there has not been one case. The only proof these psychoticically obsessed people have is theory. I am Christian too, but I can appreciate these books for what they ARE, great literature and FICTION. (Key word: Fiction. Obviously these people do not know the meaning of it. Grab a dictionary dominionists.) This book has done more good than harm. It has inspired millions across the world to do things they haven't done before; read. It allows society to escape from a crazy world into a beautiful world of magic, which, if these Christians would open their minds and see, has the same morals and values as the Bible. The books are about good triumphing over evil, and exhibiting the power of LOVE and how it triumphs over any evil. That doesn't sound so bad now does it?
 
August 01, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
...
You know, it occurs to me that you're going to far with these analogies. The simplest and most telling reason that the Dobsons of the world hate Harry is this...Good vs. Evil. Good has no particular need for power. Good people just want to be left alone to live their lives. Evil has an agenda that interferes with this philosophy of goodness. People who read Harry's books are more likely to see the agenda of the religious right and to identify it as what it is...pure evil.
 
August 01, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
Has inspired millions...
["It has inspired millions across the world..."]

Everything you state is so true, and it is all done by a very old recipe (in fact as old as humankind!) where the individual behind all this because he as it states "...keeps transforming himself into an angel of light".

The best medicine has been to make things look good and beneficial that are not, even convince people (with great success rate) that he doesn't even exist.

["It allows society to escape from a crazy world..."]

Have you ever wondered WHY this world is so crazy? Do you know the ever so old business idea of offering both the "high end" and "low end" product to the consumer (even with encorporating various brandnames) why, in order to be able to get the largest possible customer base, the same is true here, the same individual behind the crazyness, also offers the TEMPORARY escapes, and that is exactly what they are only temporary escapes, never are they solutions.

["The books are about good triumphing over evil, and exhibiting the power of LOVE and how it triumphs over any evil. That doesn't sound so bad now does it?"]

Have you ever been treated like the best ever person (read customer) by someone who turned out to be interested only in geting some kind of financial or other benefit? Think about it, could it be?
 
August 01, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
...
There will unfortunately be blind fanatics in any faith who will spout self-righteousness, and believe they are justified to do as they wish to harm distort, control, and destroy the world around, I am firmly convinced that these rabid hypocrites and power crazeds haten mongerers will find no unearthly paradise, but instead the hell they so richly deserve.
 
August 01, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
Text Book Witchcraft
Harry Potter is text book witchcraft, no questions about it. Any practicing witch will confirm (if they are truthful). From the names of the characters to the spells and themes of the story - 100% real witchcraft. This being said, I personally am disgusted with most all of the christian leaders. I am not biased towards them. However Harry Potter's effects on children are real - recruitment into witchcraft. I leave it up to the individual to determine if this is a good thing or a bad thing.
 
August 01, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
bah
Harry is a great story. the books are very well written and deal with issues facing people in society... friends, family, loyalty and coming of age. They are fabulous books and it is a tragedy that some people will label them in a negative light without ever cracking the cover.
 
August 01, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
Text Book Of Witchcraft My Left Bum Cheek
If you bothered to *read* the books and do any kind of study about modern Wicca, Asatru, or other pagan faith you could not have made such and ignorant statement.

If reading a book made you something, then reading the New Testament would make you a Christian.

In the parlance of the Potter Books, you are a prat and a git.

Stuff it so far up where the sun don't shine a guest that you chew on it.
 
August 01, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
Harry Potter is Fiction (Great fiction, but still fiction)
From the names of the characters to the spells and themes of the story - 100% real witchcraft.

That's horse hockey. I'm a witch and can tell you that pointing a stick of wood at someone, and mumbling fake Latin will do NOTHING. And what names? Harry? Ron? Hermione? Lily? James? What names would you be speaking of? Whoever you are, you're full of Stuff That Must Not Be Named!
 
August 01, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
If ONLY....
If only it was true that we could fly on brooms, travel by portkey or fireplaces, have owls deliver messages, or any number of other fantastical magics performed in the story I would not have to clean my own house, I would have house elves for that task. But it is just fiction. Darn it.

I practice Wicca and am therefore a Witch. I do not point a wand at a person and levitate them from the ground. I don't fly on a broom. I can't make the pots wash themselves or fix my glasses with the wave of a wand. But, it would be so cool if I could, which is why so many people enjoy the story. I CAN live in harmony with nature and live my life from a place of love and joy instead of fear. I can work with life force energy to help myself and Mother Earth. The highest creed of wicca is "An it harm none, do what ye will."

I celebrate the turning of the year through seasonal changes. If HP was a witches text book they would have gone home for Yule/Winter Solstice not Christmas. We celebrate the return of the Sun not the birth of the son of god. Christmas, by the way, was not declaired his birthday until 351 CE by a Pope that wanted to quell the Solstice celebrations in pagan lands so as to have more control over the masses. You see it is not easy to take a holiday away from "the people", but it is easy to alter the meaning. Solstice is around the 21st of December(return of the Sun) and hence the use of Dec 25th for Jesus's birthday (birth of the Son). I could go on to every other major Christian Holy day and show it's pagan roots, but I think I have already stated my point. (Bunnies and eggs at Easter...)

The Harry Potter story is just that, a wonderful story. It is in no way a text book of any sort. Though, if I taught my nieces and nephews by reading these books that determination, loyality, and bravery in the face of your own fears is something to aspire to than I suppose that could be considered a text book on real friendship.

Blessed Be
A Real Honest Witch.
 
August 02, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
Real Honest
Some of us know what "fly on broom sticks" means, so yes, HP is real.
 
August 02, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
Real witchcraft? Yeah, right.
Show me the "real" witch that can fly on a broom and has a cape that makes them invisible. Sorry, babe, you can't defy the laws of physics. Capes can't make you invisible and fake latin, as another poster dubbed it, won't repair your eye glasses.
 
August 02, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
Out of all....
That I said you focus on "fly on broom sticks". I know what Astral Projection is and can do it without a broom stick. Why don't you take a look at the rest of my post and see if you can come up with anything that supports your position that HP is a witches handbook. I think you will be hard pressed to do so. I stated my position and gave support for that position. You are just making wild unsupported statements.

I have been actively practicing Wicca for over a decade and know what I'm talking about. I can support my argument. How about you? Pull anything out of the books/movies that is used by modern day Wiccans and I may respond to a real dialouge. Until you can show support for your positon you may want to go to your local book store and buy a book or two on Wicca.
Best of luck coming to reality.
Blessed be
Still a real honest Witch.
 
August 03, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
Ok a bit more to support my position.
Hp is not a text book for witches. Show me where they celebrate the Esbats or Sabths. There are no full or new moon rituals and never a mention of any of the 8 major holidays. Nor is there any mention of the Goddesses or Gods from any mythos. No Madien Mother Crone or Youth Father Sage in any of the HP Books. The witches in the Hp series are "Hollywood/Fantasy" witches. Real modern day witches are nothing like the HP books. Not even Mother Nature or the Green Man are in the HP books. They are denude of any real wicca references at all.

I dare you to come up with one real example.

Well I suppose the Hats, but that is It. Not the sorting Hat though. I have a faboulous Hat that I wore to the HP release party at the locally owned largest used book store in the country (Powell's City of Books). Remember to support your local bookseller.

Again from the Real Honest Witch
 
August 03, 2007
Votes: +0

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