Talk:Harry Potter

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The Onion

I question this material:

These claims were conflated and exacerbated by a piece in the satirical newspaper The Onion purporting to interview children who had become involved in satanism and witchcraft after reading the Harry Potter books and could now cast spells.[5] [6] Rowling has denied such claims.[7] The mainstream media has not taken this claim seriously.

The Onion is a stitch and a lot of people love it, but I doubt that it was an important influence in the Harry Potter phenomenon. The (very good) article cited to support the sentence "Rowling has denied such claims" says nothing about The Onion or about claims that readers of the books learned to cast spells. I haven't bothered to check the history to see who added this, but I suspect a leg-pull. Dpbsmith 21:45, 3 March 2007 (EST)

The Snopes reference particularly mentions the Harry Potter article and asserts that it was circulated as evidence. See the reference in the section you removed. JoshuaZ 02:36, 4 March 2007 (EST)

"The books have even been accused of promoting witchcraft."

Wow, that's pretty deep! --BenjaminS 10:45, 4 March 2007 (EST)

Maybe I was wrong. I hate it when that happens.
I checked the Rowling reference but not the others, my bad.
I'm not quite ready to put it back, though, until I'm convinced it really was influential. The Onion piece appeared in 2000. And Wikipedia's Controversy over Harry Potter article says that "Since 1999, the Harry Potter books have sat atop the American Library Association’s list of most protested books, with some American churches banning the books altogether." So The Onion was clearly satirizing a controversy that was already in full swing. How much influence did the "Dear Christian" email really have in amplifying it?
I won't put it back personally, but I won't revert if anyone else does. I'd still like to see some context to show that it was of much significance. Dpbsmith 10:46, 4 March 2007 (EST)

Witch craft

I added some contribution to this article discussing how it deals with the topic of witches and wizards and communication between magical and non-magical people. Why was it deleted. I know what I wrote about since I have read all the 6 books several times and am eagerly waiting for the 7th :-)

This was what I wrote

I thought it would fit in with the rest of the site ;-). Anyways can anyone tell me why those blue borders appeared and how to remove them.

Looking for God in Harry Potter

I have a book, Looking for God in Harry Potter by John Granger, ISBN: 1414306342, which looks for the hidden meaning in the Harry Potter series. There are many other things in the book that would be helpful in the CP article. I would like to colloborate with someone that could integrate the book with the CP article, without plagiarizing the book. --Crocoite 20:21, 29 July 2007 (EDT)

Harry Potter is, first and foremost, about the triumph of good over evil. As to criticisms of the book's take on authority, I was previously unaware that a writer's incoroporation of complexity into adult characters was so frowned upon, and were Nebuchadnezzar and King Darius not authority figures also? --X. Dulks


Cut from criticisms section:

The books have also been accused of promoting witchcraft or wicca.[1] [2] [3] [4]

The first ref I followed mentions the occult nature of the magic in the books, but I fail to see how "Carol" is accusing the books of promoting witchcraft. My understanding (as a Christian educator myself) is that the books are fantasy in the same genre as the Narnia books of C.S. Lewis. --Ed Poor Talk 11:42, 3 November 2007 (EDT)

If you take a look at the recent criticisms added to the Chronicles of Narnia entry, I think you'll see that Narnia is far from innocent and harmless itself. The whole POINT of Harry Potter is to tell a story where witches are heroes. It's hard to imagine how such a twisted perversion can do anything BUT promote witchcraft and the occult. Thousands of pages are spent glorifying people who practice magic, something forbidden by the Word of God.--AlexC 22:30, 30 December 2008 (EST)

How can a book promote something that does not exist? Saying that the Harry Potter novels promote witchcraft is like saying that the Star Wars movies promote intergalactic space-travel. AngusF 17:21, 29 September 2009 (EDT)

In Harry Potter, there is a clearly defined good, a clearly defined evil, and good will ultimately triumph over evil. Those who claim Harry Potter has an underlying satanistic message clearly haven't read the book and aren't interested in the truth. --AaronAdamicz 15:25, 25 December 2009 (EST)
The emphasis on magic is suspicious for many Christians, and other religious people who are aware of the prohibitions against sorcery in the Bible. The idea that spiritual forces are at our command is a dangerous one, what with all those young people who are seduced by the Occult.
The notion that "Satanism is nothing to worry about" isn't a conservative idea, nor a particularly Christian one. It can play into what more than one Christian writer has noted, that one of Satan's greatest achievements has been to deny his own existence. Given his essential craftiness, we should not mistake this strategy for a godly victory.
It would be odd if the world's top bestselling book for children had no flaws whatsoever. Pray don't present the story as immune to criticism. --Ed Poor Talk 13:36, 29 December 2009 (EST)
  • My views on the whole witch-craft thing -if anyone cares about my opinions- is that, when we look at fantasy novels such as Harry Potter, we must look at it from the in-World perspective. We shouldn't judge it by the real World, since the whole point of fantasy is to imagine and present a World that is different from our's. For example, while in the real World astrology is a sin, in the World of Narnia, stars are living beings, so it could be that Aslan himself tells stars to do certain things that let the centaurs (who were taught these signs by Aslan) know the Aslan is coming or another such event, thus making astrology in the Narnia World, an actual good thing. Now that doesn't make astrology any less of a sin in real life, just in the World of Narnia it isn't one. Now, let's look at Harry Potter. Now, I'll confess that I don't know much about real life witch-craft outside of Wiccan, but I do happen to know enough to know that the vast majority of magic in Harry Potter (for the most part at least) is not based on real life witch-craft. In the World of Harry Potter, magic comes from a magic gene that grants the person the ability to do magic. While in the real World, magic supposedly comes from Satan, demons, spirits, or some inner force within us. Now, if in the World of Harry Potter the good guys got their magic from a Satanic figure, and the bad guys from a Godly figure, then I would have a problem with it. But that is not the case. Furthermore, Harry Potter makes its own definition of wizards the heroes (wizards meaning you have the magic gene). And the whole thing about Harry Potter being in a real life setting, while true, is not wholly true, as most of it is in a fictional setting that is outside of our own settings. If you want to see pagan mixed with real life settings, read Percy Jackson and the Olympians (though I have no problem with that either). It it were making actual wizards being portrayed in real life while advocating magic, Harry Potter would be about a Wiccan boy named Harry Potter who lives in New York with his Wiccan friends, whose group is threatened by the Conservative Christian politician Voldemort and his conservative political friends. While that would make a humorous fanfiction, that is not what Harry Potter is about. The whole point of fantasy is to present a world made of what ifs. Using my Narnia example, that what if would be: what if the stars were living beings? So for Harry Potter, the what if would be something like: what if there was this magical gene that gave people the ability to do magic, and they lived in our world, but hidden away? To compare it with our World would be to destroy the purpose of fantasy. Fantasist then need a discerning eye between fact and fiction, for confusing fantasy with fact would go against its purpose.

'Fantasy is a natural human activity. It certainly does not destroy or even insult Reason...On the contrary. The keener and the clearer is the reason, the better fantasy will it make. If men were ever in a state in which they did not want to know or could not perceive truth...then Fantasy would languish until they were cured...For creative Fantasy is founded upon the hard recognition that things are so in the world as it appears under the sun; on a recognition of fact. but not a slavery to it. So upon logic was founded the nonsense that displays itself in the tales and rhymes of Lewis Carroll. If men really could not distinguish between frogs and men, fairy-stories about frog-kings would not have arisen.' -JRR Tolkien, 'On Fairy Stories.'

Harry Potter was meant as a fiction. Its spells are fiction (most of them made be distorting words such as found in English and Latin, and which I doubt that real life witches use), its locations (such as hogwarts and alchatraz) are fiction, its mythical creatures are fiction, et cetera. We tell our kids when they are young that what you find in the fiction section is not true, while what you find in the non-fiction section is true, and then when they find a book in the fiction section, they will think that its not true, because, you know, even small children can connect two and two together. But when they pull out Harry Potter from the fiction section, knowing that since it is in the fiction section that it is not true, when they bring it to their parents, the parents then freak out over the book, thinking that it promotes something which is not real. Kids are gullible, as they don't know any better and haven't developed critical thinking skills yet. They'll believe you when you say that what you find in the fiction section is not true. They believe you without knowing why when you say Harry Potter promotes witch-craft. They'll believe you beyond a shadow of a doubt if you say Allah wants him to blow up Jews. But that's because they're not able to think for themselves. Teens on the other hand can think for themselves. They start to question some (or all) of the things that they were told as children. So perhaps those young readers who have asked the British Pagan Institution for information about witch-craft are teens who want to know if Harry Potter actually promotes witch-craft or not, since they're been told that over and over again. Conclusion: Harry Potter is fantasy, and as fantasy, it must be evaluated in-World and not by the real World. To enjoy fantasy, one must the difference between fact and fiction, otherwise fantasy loses its purpose. Kids are gullible, and they'll believe everything you say, including that whatever they find in fiction is not real. Now, who is more blind to reality: a person who reads and writes fantasy, or a person who thinks it promotes witch-craft? -With all due respect, ToileroftheSea, September 6th, 2014 9:35 pm (CST)

Heading off a possible edit war

I have noticed recent activity on the Harry Potter page. Whilst I understand that such matters can stir strong opinion, I am also aware that this is a site that builds trustworthy articles through consensus amongst trustworthy contributors. If the current theme of editing continues, then may I suggest that we revert back to the last edit peer-reviewed and cleared by an administrator that was made before all the recent edits, such as the revert made by TK on 13:05, 24 June 2009, or by TerryH on 22:10, 22 June 2009.--DanHutchin 18:45, 29 September 2009 (EDT)

OK I protected it. Note that "conservative Christians" is not a theological category. All of the quoted critics have been Fundamentalists and they seem to be relying on the Old Testament warnings to Jews to avoid pagan witchcraft. The warnings are not repeated in the New Testament.RJJensen 03:33, 30 September 2009 (EDT)
Thanks Mr Jenson, I had a horrible feeling that that kind of edit warring would turn into a large troll-magnet, if it already hadn't.--DanHutchin 13:53, 30 September 2009 (EDT)


I edited the "literary criticism" section which incorrectly criticized the books. Veritaserum is like our polygraph, and thus unreliable as explained in the books and by the author, JK Rowling.

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