Back before Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix [Blu-ray] was released in theaters I was one of those people who was very anti Harry Potter. As a christian I am very leary of anything that I see or think is leaning toward witchcraft, satanism and anything of the like. Why would I want to have that in my life.Then I met an amazing group of ladies on a mom’s forum and they were very into all things Harry Potter. So I figured I would ask them about it, then I am still not picking up the books or movies in case it was like my mind was telling me but I could learn more about it. Yes, yes I will admit to being very close minded where HP is concerned.
After talking to these ladies (who happen to still be some of my closest friends) I decided to pick up book 1 and see what all the hooplah was about. Is it as bad as my mind was making it out to be? So I jumped into Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Book 1) and was FLOORED at the amazing writing and story telling. Sure they went to a school of wizardry but it was nothing like the black abyss of witchcraft I was making it out to be. I quickly read through all 7 of the books and then went on to the movies and watched 1-4 on dvd and 5-end (well tomorrow anyway) in theaters.
As I sat back I thought why in the world was I so against Harry Potter to begin with and realized it was because of others opinions. Have I not read and watched Chronicles of Narnia which includes magicians, witches and spell casting. Do I not sit with my kids to watch Snow White, Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty all of which have witches and spells. I have never seen Lord of the Rings but from what I understand there is a wizard in that and quite a lot of christians love that move. Why did Harry Potter get the bad wrap? I still try to figure that out today.
The basis of the whole entire HP series is good verses evil with themes of sacrifice and redemption, doubt and faith. In fact JK Rowling said in an interview once “religious parallels I thought were always obvious” (taken from youth worker site). I absolutely have to agree with that after reading and watching the series.
As a christian I absolutely believe witchcraft is real and that it is evil, but I also think I need to show my kids make believe isn’t something to be scared of. And unless it is a book teaching them how to get into witchcraft (you get my drift), they will know that fiction is that…fiction…false…a greatly written story. This series isn’t about promoting witchcraft and wizardry (while yes they are wizards) but rather watching good and evil battle (hint: Good wins!). I do think you have to have a child who knows the different between fiction and reality as well as wait until they are age appropriate as with any other movie/book out there we choose to let them read/watch.
I saw this comment on a youth worker site as well and thought it fitting to share it on here. A person said in a comment “I think as with everything we allow our children to read and watch, we as Chrisitan parents and educators need to talk with our children and give them a strong spiritual foundation. That way they can read Harry Potter for what it is- a great story and not be swayed or confused by what others say or read into it. I love the Harry Potter novels and all the children that I come into contact with know they can discuss them with me. However, they also know that I love Christ’s story just as much and we’ll be discussing Him too! =)“
I can’t put it anymore perfectly. If parents don’t want to let their children watch/read the series then that’s their choice and I don’t begrudge them that. I just hope they are making an informed decision and not pulling a “Toni” which means Judging before they know the whole story because they didn’t take time to learn for themselves but judged based on hearsay. Just like with voting for president, don’t vote a certain way just because everyone in your church is doing it, make the decision for yourself. Not that Harry Potter is near as important as voting but you get my drift (I have a feeling that sentence may make me infamous).
Now that I have shared that can I just say the next 24 (give or take a few) hours can’t go quick enough. I am dying to see the new one tomorrow night! SQUEEEEEEEE! Who else will be going?
*Don’t forget to check out Red Carpet Mama in a few days to get my thoughts on the final Harry Potter movie.