Sunday, November 21, 2010

Harry Potter - Oh the dilemma!!

I have to admit that we allow our children to watch Harry Potter.  Why does this seem like one of those places where everyone will now say "Hi Ruth"...

I have never been shy about our faith.  About what we believe and the promises that we stand on.  I also have not been shy about my struggles and the lowest parts of my life.  However, I try to stay away from some controversial issues...but this one hits a bit closer to home.

My daughter came home with the question "Am I a bad person because I like Harry Potter?"  The question piqued me, because Number 1: I am a mom and you don't mess with mama bear and Number 2: Why does someone else have the right to judge others choices, no matter how much they disagree?  Someone had been so wonderful to tell her that the author was a practicing witch and the movie portrays and teaches kids about witchcraft which is bad!! 

The conversation that came out of that was awesome.  My daughter made the comment that she thought we were not supposed to judge people, even on religion.  She thought that we were to love everyone, because everyone is a child of God.  We also talked about how I understood the author had written the stories to engage her son in reading and we know that there is a difference between reality and fantasy.

It got me thinking.  We had not allowed the kids to even learn about or see anything of Harry Potter in the early days of the movies.  I had jumped on all the hype about "religiousness" and how the witchcraft and spells etc...were something that we weren't going to allow. 

Then Faith came along.  She changed our whole perspective of parenting/life.  We no longer just followed the crowd and listened to others.  We researched, we fought, we gained knowledge.  No one was making our choices for us...we kind of stopped being sheep I guess. 

I did my own research and prayed about our decisions, especially on controversial items.  We watched the first one together and we loved it!!  It is a fantasy, it is make believe, I started thinking that it was no different from me watching Care Bears as a kid...or how about those Smurfs!!  The only real difference is that these are real people playing the roles.

When the hype about this lates part of Harry Potter was coming out and all I heard from my daughter was "I can't wait!! I can't wait!!" and knowing that she had already read through the entire series, I asked her what she really thought of it, or had anything profound.  (really long sentence, I know;-)

She said that in these last movies, Harry Potter is trying destroy Voldemort.  Voldemort is not a nice guy.  There had been a prophecy that Voldemort and Harry Potter could not live at the same time.  Harry basically puts his life at risk to save the rest of the society.  Harry eventually has to choose to die in order for everyone to be saved, then he came back to finish off the battle. 

My daughter totally related this to what we believe - Hold the tomatoes!!  Remember, this is from my 12 year old. It is a story of good versus bad, it is like God versus the devil, it is like EVERY.OTHER.MOVIE. out there where the good is the final verdict. 

We saw the movie tonight, and while I haven't read the books, or even watched the movies more then once, I could see, just from this last movie that
  • LOVE: In a team you are stronger, someone always has your back
  • RELATIONSHIP: Strong relationships require forgiveness and communication 
  • SACRIFICE: Persecution sucks and there are those who put their lives on the line to stop it
  • BELIEF: 100% believing in what you believe 
I need to end this post here, I am writing another one just after this, which I will post tomorrow sometime...I am curious what some others think of Harry Potter and the effects on your beliefs...


  1. This is a great post Ruth, very well said. Awesome points, you expressed it well!

  2. Awesome, awesome post. I grew up very religious but moved away from it as I grew older. One of the reasons was all the judgment between people. It was like being under a microscope all the time. I am so happy that you are teaching your daughter to think for herself and come up with a decisions that SHE believes in based on HER faith. Such a great gift you are giving her!

  3. I totally agree with you! I've heard so many bad things about Harry Potter. I think its like most other can find bad in anything when you start searching. I don't see anything wrong with fantasy and imagination.

  4. Great post Ruth. I'm a fan of letting people make their own decisions...period.
    I liked the parallel you drew between the cartoons we watched as kids and why people think HP is so much worse when it has the same message and elements...JUST with real people.
    Good one.


    I'm so jealous you've seen the movie already. It hasn't even come to our town yet!

  6. I totally wasn't allowed to watch Smurfs, Scooby-Do, or Care Bears growing up. We weren't allowed to watch movies in the theatre or use playing cards.

    Same legalism just different topics!

    I don't see it as being any different than Lord of the Rings or even Narnia!! Magic is magic is magic, good magic or bad magic, it's not any different.

    This is good vs evil. Just like ANY OTHER fantasy movie out there.

    People who don't even see the movie or read the books but take 3rd party opinions as truth... need to be quiet.

    I haven't read the books or seen the movie so I can't give my opinion, because then it's not mine!