<< 1 >>
Summary: Harry Potter, good for some kids, bad for others
Review: Okay, I have some points to make. First I am a 14 year old christian. Secondly I have read the Harry Potter books.
-Harry potter is suitable reading for certain people and not suitable for others. It is your responsibility to find out if they are suitable for you or your children. Please look at both sides of the argument.
-People need to realize that Harry Potter is fiction. It is nothing more than a fable, a tale, a story. If you do not think you can draw a line between fiction and non fiction, do not read the harry potter books. If you read them, start to be to emmersed in them, and take them for nonfiction, you actually could be in danger.
-I think the HP series and Christian morals do not collide. Yes, Harry and his friends to lie, steal, and cheat, but every single person has done this at these things at some time or another. However, I do think that most of Harrys wrong doings are for good reasons, and not for seflish intrests. Harry does not go out of his way to make to people miserable. He is trying to do what he thinks is right, and we have all made decisions we have thought good that went wrong. Whether you think Harry should be perfect and not have any depth in the story is up to you.
-Lastly, I have read LOTR, the lion the witch and the wardrobe,the HP series, and enjoyed them. I am not in any danger, nor have these books caused me to do any thing crazy. This is because I realize they are just fiction. Some people do not realize this, so just make a decision that is best for you.
Summary: biased research
Review: I am an avid HP fan and I had a friend recomend this book to me. Looking at the reviews on this page it looked like you either like or hate the book so I decided to read it. I was amazed at how much research a man who seems to be so aggainst anything pagan or occult would do, but there was a lot of research done nonetheless, as mentioned in other reviews. Now on to what I did and did not like.
From the start of the book my views clashed with Abanes' but I decided to keep reading because other rewiewers have said that anyone who does not does not have an open mind. As I read further I realized that the opposite was true. Again and again Abanes dismissed any argument that contradicted his beliefs as being "rediculus." And this happens alot.
Chapters 1,3,5,and 7 give a brief description of each of the books. In each of these chapters, as well as when he is just stating the facts, he is completly unbiased and reports on both sides of the argument. However, 7 pages in no way is able to accuratly and completly tell a 700 page book. While the summarys are decent, read the actual book, you will get a whole lot more information about the context that Abanes puts single lines and quotes in.
The next thing that I had a problem with was the way he only put in things that supported his agrument when he was not telling a backround of information. Example: He would say quotes from the books that supported his arguments with out saying the context that the quote was in. Having read the book several times I was able to fill in the words around the quotes myself and most would have destroyed his arguments. I could make you believe anything if I only tell you part of the story. This is also true when he talks about Tolkien's LOTR and Lewis' Narnia series. I have read both (Narnia a long time ago, however) and I actually laughed out loud at some of the things he said because he either got them wrong or did not put what he did say in context. It was amazing how wrong he was on some things.
Abanes also all but says that any child who reads HP will become obsessed with the occult and will start worshiping pagan gods. I am a high school senior and have been reading HP since I was in 6th grade and no once have I worshiped pagan gods. He goes on to say that no one has read HP on their own and attributes its popularity to supernatural powers. He says that that, along with peer presure are the only reasons kids read the books, which i find offensive because I started reading them about a year before they became popular.
Finally, I would like to talk about how Abanes does not know what he is talking about when he says that all things related to paganism (including celtic, greek, roman, and egyption mythology) is terrible. Many christian sympols and tradition are derived from pagan symbols and rituals:
-The Jesus fish is associated with the Pagan Great Mother Goddess. The overlaping sides represent her vulva.
-Great Goddess was named Freya and worshipers ate fish in her honor on the 6th day of the week--Freya's Day(Friday)
-Thor was worshiped on the 5th day of the week--Thor's Day(Thursday)
-Christmas trees are a symbol of the Druids (Celitc priests of nature) who recoginzed the pine tree's ability to survive winter.
-Easter was originally a pagan holiday in which Celts worshiped the goddess Eastre (a goddess of fertility) and the arival of spring. The rabit was Eastre's earthly symbol and the egg was a symbol of rebirth. Christian missionaries, in order to more easily convert the pagans to christianity, adopted many of their customs and rituals.
There are many things that HP is but a tool to convert people to paganism is not one of them. HP celebrates Christmas and Easter. It is not terrible for children to read these books. If parents have raised their kids with good morals and beliefs, there should not be a problem. You cannot shelter your kids forever and a child wants to learn about or read something, they are going to, no matter what their parents say. If a child wants to learn about something, the parent should encourage it. Reading about paganism is not going to make a child convert to it, especially is their parents have taught them well about christianity, or whatever religion they believe in. Also, researching pagan rituals will helf a child understand more about christianity, since many christian rituals are derived from pagan riguals.
I never understood why some people can't open up their minds about other religions. People believe different things, and that is what makes us all unique. I recomend this book because it provides insight into another point of view. If everyone was closed minded, everyone would hate each other. So I say read this book, but read the whole HP series first, it will make this book much more enjoyable.
Summary: Abanes's Errors!
Review: I bought a copy of "Harry Potter and the Bible" after I read the five Harry Potter books. It should be said that this book is unrelieable and here are the reasons why:
1. Richard Abanes misconstrues and distorts the contents of the Harry Potter series to advance his point of view. There are several points in which he seems to make good points, but he constantly, either twists the sources or cites biased "experts."
2. Abanes cites a news article from "This is London" news entitled "Potter fans turning to witchcraft." He insistst that this article give solid proof that Harry is inspiring a growth in witchcraft practices. However, I have read the intire article and found that its writter is largely writting on the premise of "I feel or I think this is happening." Even in the quotes Abanes gives, that hole is there in the article. In otherwards, the article doesn't prove squat.
3. Abanes cites 10-13 year old children who say they want to be witches and go to hogwarts (Harry's school). He says that this is proof that children are being lured into the occult by Harry Potter. This isn't true either. The political correctness in our school system results in teachers telling there 10-13 year old students that witches do not exist. By-and-large, children in that age group do not beleive witches are real. So when a child within that age group says "I want to be a witch" it is actually an act of fantasizing. Also, Abanes creates the picture that the following of Harry Potter is resulting in the growth of Wicca, the religioin of Wicca, in particular. This is controdicted by polling data. A ZENIT news poll on cesnur.org says that the occult/pagan populations in Europe and the United States is under 0.1%. Another survey puts the pagan population in the U.S. at 0.15%. Either way, the pagan population doesn't even come close to a single persentage point. ---One other point, while it is true that all Wiccans are pagan, not all pagans are Wiccan. So when it comes to the numbers I gave, one needs to subtract from them to get a more accurate showing of Wiccans in the U.S. This makes the Wiccan population much smaller than 0.1% than one would normally think.
4. Abanes cites 2 interviews which J.K. Rowling, the author of Harry Potter, did to prove she transfered occultism to her books. The first interview was done on October 12, 1999 for WBUR, on "The Connection." During this call-in interview, a Wiccan told her that she did her homework well. Abanes then goes on to say that this Wiccan loved the books, not only because the containes so much occultism, but also because they had served to make his daughter more comfortable with his involvement in the craft. ---ERROR, ERROR, ERROR! This appears to be a slam-dunk for Abanes's case, HOWEVER, I have the transcript of this interview and I can say with authority that though Rowling has done a certain amount of homework for her books, any unbiased researcher will be able to tell you that the "homework" here is nothing more than mythology. As for his daughter, or rather his step-daughter, he said that he had Rowling's books, and she was interested in them. So that is why she began to speak to him. ---Next, the socond interview was on October 20, 1999, for WAMU, on "The Diane Rehm Show." Richard Abanes says that in this interview, Miss Rowling admitted that one-third of her series was based on actual occultism. Another error. I have the transcript of this show as well. Rowling never used the word "occultism." She said that one-third of her books was based on folklore from Britain. The other two-thirds is her own invention. "Folklore," and "occultism." The two are not interchangeable.
5. Richard Abanes will addmit that Wicca isn't taught in the series, but he will say that spellcasting is accurately portrayed. I have researched the occult. There is NO similarity. Witchcraft practitioners will agree with me.
6. He also says that Harry is no better than the evil Lord Voldemort, and that they both share the same goal: self-interest. This is a cheap shot, not to mention, down-right false. He says that Harry lies and breaks rule. To be honest, he does, but usually, for a noble cause. Harry lies and breaks rules to save and protect his friends form danger and sufferiung a horrific death. He even nearly dies for them. But Abanes insists that Harry is serving his own selfish agendas because of this. If being willing to die for one's friends is selfish, than I guess Harry should have unselfishly kept all the rules, let the inevitable happen, and let his friends die. That's how the story would turn out if Abanes had his way.
7. Finally, like other Potter critics, a big problem Abanes has with these books is that Harry, a wizard is a good guy. On a Biblical basis he says that this is promoting evil. However, I do not see the same uproar over the Wizard of Oz. I seem to remember a good Witch ask Dorothy, "Are you a good Witch, or a bad witch?" There's that same decription of good witches. But one couldn't say that Oz promotes evil. This is a double standard.
I hope you [the reader] found this book-review informative. I cannot recomment Abanes's book, or for that matter, any of his books. But I would like to recommend "Looking for God in Harry Potter" by John Granger.
Summary: Ah, Richard. Such silly things you write!
Review: I don't know where I was when Harry Potter mania first struck. Must've been on a deserted island somewhere, with nothing to read. Because I didn't catch up with the frenzy until the fourth book. And how did I discover the trend? Why, by reading this book!
It was easy enough to glom onto what my pastors and mentors were saying about the Harry Potter series. Evil? Witchy? Occultic? Sure! I admit thinking that way to my everlasting shame, though. I'm a children's lit specialist, and I've worked in bookstores for most of my working life.
I was working in a Christian bookstore when this one was published. So I decided to read it on my lunch hours. It took all of fifteen minutes to understand that Abanes's arguments are superficial, flawed, and come from an uneducated understanding of literature. I had never read Rowling's books up to that point. The nonsense spewing forth from the pages of Harry Potter and the Bible is what made me turn to Book One, Page One of the Harry Potter series. I had to see for myself if such shallow arguments (such as, Harry lies and therefore teaches readers that lying is okay) had any basis at ALL.
Well, okay. Harry does lie. And yeah, he sure does use magic! But he's not a sorcerer, for pity's sake. He's not invoking spirits or calling up devils. He's doing what I'd call "play" magic - flinging feathers, unlocking doors (no, wait, that was Hermione!), etc. Even when he performs more serious magic (Patronus, etc.) it's for the good.
True, the Bible is clear on its warnings against sorcery. Abanes isn't a total idiot. He's got that bit right. But his understanding of literature is impossibly skewed. Writing is a craft. Every craft has its own tools. One that writers use is called PLOT DEVICE. That's what magic is in the Harry Potter novels. It moves the story along, gives it character. It does not teach impressionable young'uns occult practices.
I could go on and on about how ridiculous this book is. Let me just say, as a Christian, a reader, an educated individual, it was Abanes's book that got me to read Harry Potter in the first place. For that, I have to thank him. Because I LOVE J.K. Rowling's creation! The books are fantastic, brilliant, amazingly crafted, and they echo (as all Good Literature does) the Greater Story.
Summary: retarded very retarded
Review: I had read the first three Harry Potter books before my mother heard from several friends that they were "occultic". I was about eleven at the time and my two younger sisters and I loved them. We are a devoutly Catholic family, so anything TRULY (and I mean TRULY) occultic is not allowed. I was ,however, quite upset at having my favorite books taken away, so my mom bought "Harry Potter and the Bible" for us to read together. It was obvious throughout his whole book that Mr. Abanes already had the idea in his head that the entire Harry Potter series was evil and harmful before he even picked up the first book, so as he read through them, all he really did was look for ways to prove his theory. What resulted was an extremely biased and sometimes irrational book. Not even the chapters in Part One of the book where he simply reviewed the plot of the four books was balanced. I found so many examples throughout the book where he either twisted what a character had said, did not explain a scene fully or explained it downright incorrectly to fit the books into his point of view and what he wants the readers point of view to be. I was constantly correcting what I or my mom was reading, sometimes finding errors every couple sentences. Also, neither of us liked what we felt was his unfair treatment of J.K. Rowling. He was definately not acting Christian towards her. He seemed bent on destroying her character every possible chance he got. I called the book irratonal because Mr. Abanes sounded quite panicked about these books and seemed to want to get the reader panicked too. Some of his assertions about the way HP could lead children to the occult were ridiculous and bordered on propaganda. A good example being in Part Two of the book when he describes a story about a demon worshipping teen who killed his mother and stepfather and wound up dying by lethal injection for it. What was the point of that? How reading Harry Potter can lead to murder and death row? This book did have one good thing about it. After finishing it my mother proptly gave me back my HP books and even began enjoying them herself. She also had no problem with books four and five and now my sisters and I eagerly await book six in July.
Summary: I'm rating one star only because I can't rate -500
Review: I read this book, and many of it's reviews, and am apalled by it. Abanes says Harry and friends lie, cheat and steal. True, but that's not all. He continues to say that, as always, there are no consequences. That is wrong. That is totally and completely wrong. Then there's the big thing on "Harry Potter uses magic". True, the books would probably be just as popular without magic(k), but it's not as big a thing. Now I will quote a reviewer:
"The people who try to bash Richard Abanes and the people who try to bash others who have problems with the Harry Potter book series are an interesting sort. They say that they are the ones who are "open-minded" and "tolerant" which is seen as a virtue in today's world, but in effect, they are the ones who are close-minded and intolerant."
Really? Then I've been thinking all wrong. No one's bashing Abanes, as far as I know, and I read only the reviews giving this book 5 stars. I call that open-minded. And look at all the people who read the book and are still saying that Harry is good! They all read the book, and that's also open-minded. And we're tolerant enough to put up with people like Abanes or Arms (Pokemon and Harry Potter: a fatal attraction). Another reviewer says:
"Abanes also does an excellent job of comparing Lewis and Tolkein's works to the modern "masterpieces" of Rowling, and helps the reader to understand that other than superficial similarities, Lewis and Tolkein's books are VASTLY different from that of Rowling"
Their books are VASTLY different? Gandalf/Dumbledore/the wizard I forgot his name, Harry/Frodo/Lucy, Dobby/Gollum, The Sword Of Gryffindor/Frodo's Sword (forgot the name)/Peter's sword. And then Alan and the Gryffindor lion, which is something. Magic(k) takes place in all three books. Consider the time when Lucy has to use magic. The ring in Lord Of The Rings is magic. I don't see much difference, other than names and a difference in characters here and there.
I'd also like to add that Harry uses magic mostly to defend himself. In the OotP (I know this book was written before) Harry defends himself from a Demetor with the Patronus charm, even though he's not allowed to. He also breaks rules to learn to defend himself and others. In both cases it's survival on their minds, and they can't be attacked for that. In CoS Hermione steals something from Snape for truth. Yes, Harry cheats in the Triwizard tournament, but that's what you're supposed to do. He didn't keep the prize fpr himself, anyway. He gave it to charity (sorta). I think Abanes read the whole book thoughrouly, but I wouldn't put it past him that he didn't!
Summary: This book does have somepoints
Review: I think this books does have some valid argument, my self beeing christian and both harry potter fan i dont really see danger behind the series. Is like saying that after watching some popular action movie, everybody will try to immitate it , its preaty much the same thing. I think tho this book should be recommended for kids over age of 11 that have already some concept of what is real, ofcourse parents have to know their childern , maybe at earlier age they already developed that concept
Summary: Parents' Responsbaility
Review: Regardless of the validity of the points within the book, there is one thing that can make it all irrelavent. If parents have control over their children and raise them the proper way, then ANY media-type influence shouldn't make a difference. If you want your child to be a Christian yet you have to worry about a book (or song, or movie) driving them away from that, then you have not instilled the proper foundation of faith in them. I frankly think that exposing children (and all people) to different ideas goes a long way to strengthening their current beliefs by challenging them to justify why they believe in something in the first place.
Summary: The ravings of a hack..
Review: Richard Abanes has managed to do what very few authors have done. He annoyed me to the level of giving his book only 1 star. Only a couple of others(Kobo Abe, Kathy Acker, and Lydia Adamson) have managed that dubious feat UNTIL NOW.
Abanes basically wrote a 200 something page screed against Harry Potter, and J.K Rowling. He contradicts himself through, giving mixed messages about Rowling's character. He takes parts of the books completely out of context, so it would make Harry look the worst. He goes off the deep end with mentioning real-life occultists that the average pre-pubbescant wouldn't have the resources or the mindset to look up. He completely doesn't understand the average 11-year old, and makes Harry look like a poor role model(which is debatable) because he acts like a typical 11-year old.
Some chapters digress totally away from Harry Potter, and get into Satanism and dark occultic practices that have NOTHING to do with Rowling or Harry Potter, but have everything to do with fanatics and the most wholy evil of us. Bad writing and poor apologetics. Abanes should stick to anti-Mormon books, and leave critiques of children's literature to one who can only think for himself.
Summary: When will people join us in the 21st century?
Review: [...]I just want to say: WELCOME YOURSELF TO THE 21ST CENTURY AND GET OVER IT. The books are about good and evil, but if the author had it his way, "GOOD" would be impossible for anyone on this planet to attain. He's the one living in the fantasy world.
Aside from that Harry Potter is a fictional character. Have you nothing better to do then be worried about fiction? I guess he must be a book-burner, too.
I've had this debate before in another forum and I never had anyone explain to me about what's wrong with magic, if it is, in fact, real. Just telling me the Bible says its wrong means nothing to me. The Bible was written by men 5,000 years ago. People who agree with this book are obviously those that believe the literal words of the Bible and therefore there is no point in having a discussion with them. It's logically impossible.
In that other forum, I couldn't get a straight answer out of the other side as to why, if Harry is doing good by fighting evil (Voldemort), it matters if he does some so-called "bad" things, like lying, to get to that end?
The people who say lying is always wrong, even if done for good, probably would like us to believe they never told a lie. Yeah, right?
Anyway, I've read Harry Potter and I can't wait for my two little ones to grow up so they can read and enjoy them, too.
I agree with what the majority of parents are saying: finally, my kids are reading and not sitting in front of the TV or playing video games, or doing drugs. That's all that matters in the end.
<< 1 >>