Monday, September 03, 2007

Wicca Bashing

Harry Potter is a NOVEL representing a traditional fantasy world of magic versus a materialistic rationalistic scientific world. In other words its a world where magic works outside of science.There is no particular spirituality or religion professed or discussed. Just the good old morality of good versus evil, which is the basis of all religions.

However in North Carolina the Christians use it to Wicca Bash.


Religion arises in book policy talks

The Brunswick County Board of Education is considering setting a procedure for students' parents to use if challenging books available at school libraries.

That revived an old issue at the board's Curriculum Committee meeting Tuesday.

Board member Shirley Babson said parents have told her the Harry Potter series might represent a particular religion. That remark led board member Jimmy Hobbs to refer to a controversy that took place last year, when the board voted to allow Bible distribution at local high schools and then backed down. One of the groups that led the opposition was the Wiccans, Hobbs said.

Wiccans believe in rituals and charms. Some religious groups have said they fear the wildly popular Harry Potter, with its fictional accounts of witchcraft, can encourage children to practice Wicca.

"When distributing materials, we should be careful with not being biased," Hobbs said. "Is Wicca being allowed, in other ways, to the exclusion of Christian literature?"

Director of Student Services Reeda Hargrove, who presented the policy at the meeting, said Harry Potter "wasn't even in my thought process."

The new procedure will be considered by the schools' Policy Committee when it meets at 9 a.m. Sept. 5.

- Ana Ribeiro

Wicca bashing using Harry Potter is not confined to the U.S.

A Pentecostal teaching assistant who quit her job at a foundation primary school after she was disciplined for refusing to hear a child read a Harry Potter book is seeking compensation for religious discrimination. She claimed that the book glorified witchcraft.

Sariya Allen, whose case is expected to end today at the south London employment tribunal in Croydon, claims Durand primary school in Stockwell discriminated against her as a born-again Christian and put her at a disadvantage compared with teaching assistants who were not of her faith. After three years in the job, she quit in July and is now jobless.

The difference here is that lots of novels deal with magical reality, in fact that is the nature of a novel. It is a magical reality, another world to step into and experience.

While the Bible is a religious text, a holy work, a philosophical text dealing with cosmology and morality. Which is taken literally by some folks as the word of their G*D. Now if what these folks are saying is that it is a novel, and should be included with other novels in school libraries well that's a different story.

This is just another example of the dominant religious meme/ideology creating fear over perceived challenges to it's cultural hegemony.

Christian Censorship of Harry Potter: Schools, Libraries, and Free Speech .
Laura Mallory v. Harry Potter 3 - Offbeat

Is Harry Potter Evil?

Not all Christians consider Harry Potter a dangerous icon of witchcraft.

As the old textbooks of rhetoric stated, the "intentio auctoris", the intention of the author, may in the end be different from the "intentio operis", the objective intention or direction of the work. Giacomo Cardinal Biffi wrote a fascinating book about finding Christian values in "Pinocchio", whose author was a non religious secular humanist. Rowling writes in a recognizable British tradition including such Christian storytellers as J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, and the influence is apparent, no matter what Rowling's personal position. Until some years ago, it was perhaps even too easy to find a "Christian hero" almost everywhere in the non-Christian world. Literature, however, is full of such heroes, whose values are so human that they may be regarded as at least pre-Christian. Christian parents are certainly well advised, in a world of confusion, to discuss with their children the books they read (not to mention TV shows). But, should I cast a vote in a poll similar to the one taken in Georgia, I would vote for Harry Potter, and would do so as a parent and a Christian, not only as a scholar of religion. He is the last scion of a more than respectable British literary tradition, and a healthy reading for children of all ages.

Bush Apologizes to Witches

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