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FF Sparks (Casual)

Hrm...

Evidently, not only are some web designers (see earlier post) going to Hell, but so am I, because I have committed the horrible sin of enjoying the Harry Potter books. Alas! I repent! I will go do something safe and inoffensive, such as become a hooker or listening to Marilyn Manson music!

Sarcasm aside, I have no problems with Christianity. I was raised a combination of Quaker and Catholic, and my beliefs fall somewhere in the 'loosely Christian' range; I believe in God, I believe that Christ existed and - while I think the Bible is likely a skewed account because it was written by flawed humans - was certainly an inspired and enlightened person. I also think any number of other religious figures were inspired and enlightened, and that humanity as a whole is not capable of comprehending a single Truth, because whatever the Truth is it's too big for us to understand. Any number of aspects of truth are equally valid, because we can't perceive the whole thing; I think it's possible for there to be a very holy and enlightened man who follows Christianity without it excluding one who follows, say, Buddhism or Islam. (Those are my beliefs, and I don't intend to force them on anyone else.)

However, what does bother me is when people take Christianity - or other religions like Islam - which have very good points in them, and turn into slavering lunatics over them; it's behavior like this which leads so many people online to mock Christianity. Sometimes, I wonder if the fact that smaller fanatic responses - things like this - can spread so quickly with modern media isn't partly responsible for an overall rise in atheism in today's culture. So many people today replace spirituality with commercialism or 'fad' spiritualities (no offense to actual Wiccans, but the fad-like psuedo-Wiccan stuff where they basically are reciting cheesy poems or rituals they found in Anne Rice novels really bothers me).

Ah, well. If I'm going to hell, at least it will be in good company; many respected and talented actors and authors and artists enjoy the Harry Potter books... we'll have a very crowded little circle of Hell, but at least the conversation will be good.

Perhaps philosophy on an empty stomach is a bad idea. :)

Comments

Us logical, cogent Christians do tend to get the shite kicked out of our religious reputations, yes. Oh well. But I take heart in knowing that there are plenty of people out there who think as well as worship, and are quicker to offer love than condemnation.

Now eat something, dingbat.
Ah, but you're a fallen Christian, my dear.

You may believe in God and in Christ and hold those beliefs in your heart and be a good person overall... but you have read Harry Potter and enjoyed it, and for that you shall burn in the fires of Hell for all eternity! And you're doubly-damned, because you have participated in tabletop gaming and roleplaying! TRIPLE damned, because you've participated in roleplaying based on the Harry Potter books! Shame! Shame and disgrace!

Actually, what I'm waiting for is when the folks who hatemonger like this meet their end. One has to wonder what awaits them in the afterlife... whatever it is, I /do/ hope they pipe it up on closed-circuit television for the amusement of those who are waiting in line to speak with St. Peter. Maybe they can be offered a copy of the next Harry Potter book to pass the time. ;)
Back home we had 'The Dangers of Witchcraft and Harry Potter' etc etc presentations at a local church intermittently. :>

I almost went, just for the UCV.

I figured this one out a long time ago.

I grew up Methodist, and walked away from it when I was 21. For ten years I trained as a Wiccan. I went to walk away from that, and was tripped on the way out the door and landed with my face in the mud. (Not literally, but it felt that way.) You could say organized religion of all types has left a bad taste in my mouth.

So I moved out here, and wandered around for a while, and I've re-re-discovered something I figured out for myself a long time ago. It dasn't matter whether the face on the deity is Joshua ben Joseph of Nazereth, Herne the Hunter, Isis, or Hotei. It matters whether love is in the heart of the individual in question. I've seen a lot of Sunday morning christians (lowercase c, dasn't deserve the captial), Wiccans that lie and deceive, worshipers of the Kwan Yin do questionable things... and I've seen Christians who love me for who I am, pagans who love them back, and followers of Eris Discordia who would do about anything for you.

Me? I'm a little bit of everything. Joshua ben Joseph said "love your neighbor," and showed us who our neighbors are. I believe in that. I believe in the idea of simple contentment and celebrating what you have that is part of Hotei's archetype. And I believe what an old, wise man (may you rest in peace, you scurrilous old man :) once told me: Love is the Law. Love is the only law she knows. I celebrate many holidays, now... Chinese New Year and Easter and Beltane and...

And I have found that in the hearts of all the people I have known who have taken the time to study their religion and own it and not let the quest for power or their own insecurities get the best of them, there is common thing. A compassion for an an acceptance of their fellow human being, regarldess of whether they choose to do something one would consider religious five times a day, once a week, once a quarter, or not at all. In short, love.

Hmmm. There have been a few wags that have suggested that, contrary to Genesis, we create deity in our own image. I'm beginning to see the wisdom in that. Look at folks who say G-d is this big bad open can of whoop-ass what gonna git you sucka... and then look at folks that say Goddess is about Love and happiness. Look at folks who say Goddess is all about fuzzy bunnies and no violence whatsoever, and look at folks who say that G-d is about jihad on the Great Satan.

And then I look at Harry Potter, who so far as we can tell had no deity, save one... Doing The Right Thing, regardless of rules or peer pressure or what was written in some book somewhere. And I think that's what makes Harry so dangerous, is that his only authority was within himself. People who want power hate that. And people are afraid that someone who has Harry's power and Harry's self-will would do bad things to them. After all, that's probably what they'd do to Harry if they had it.

I didn't say that, did I? :)

But I know a number of Christians (cap C) (present company included) who loved Harry Potter. Harry's independent lifestyle didn't threaten their self-esteem one whit.

But for what it's worth, Sparks, I agree with you... gimme that Old Time Religion, and wherever we end up, it'll be one, uh, helluva party. :)

Well

It looks as though I may go to hell as well.

I know, I'm not a Christian and I know that there are some good Christians out there who are unlike the fanatic preachers that I know here.

My aunties are Christians and they have banned my cousins from reading Harry Potter because they believe that its satanic. What makes it worse is that these are the Christians that use Jesus's name to condemn my grandmother (their own mother) for wanting to have her name in the house's title deeds.

These are the Christians that informed their boyfriends that if they do not convert to Christianity, they would not be 'saved' and they would not want to marry them.

What is wrong with Harry Potter? It teaches good values. Loyalty to friends, perserverance in times of hardship, determination and most importantly how to differentiate from right to wrong. What is wrong with all these people? Its like they have actually lost this ability to differentiate from right to wrong. Do some people have to be rewarded when they do something right?

I think I'll go and read my Harry Potter book and play my Harry Potter game right in front of them. Its more fun that way.
What amuses me is that a lot of the people who condemn the Harry Potter books haven't even read them! One of my friends, who is quite Christian and believes I'll be going to hell because I'm not, told me that she heard there was human sacrifice in the last of the Harry Potter books.

Blinkblink. I assume she was talking about the removal of Pettigrew's arm, the blood taken from Harry? Cedric's killing was just for kicks, after all. "By the *bad* guy," I told her. It was totally made clear that that behavior is unacceptable. That's why they're called "Dark Wizards," after all.

She hadn't read the books. She just shrugged and said, "Well, that's what I heard," in the sort of voice that said she believed it, and isn't going to read the books to find out if the rumor was right, but she'll still probably ban her own kids from reading it.

Unfortunately, Christianity takes the blame for a problem whose roots don't lie in religion; it's just used as an excuse for closed-minded people who fear the unknown enough to start screaming, but don't bother to look at the unknown and learn more about it to see whether or not it actually deserves to be feared.
I can't believe that in the 21st Century there are still certain people who (I believe) would quite cheerfully stone someone for reading Harry Potter! I'm a Christian, I believe that Christ was this guy who said a lot of very sensible things, and that there's a God, etc. but I think most of the Bible is pointless and contradictory. I don't believe there is 'one true faith', or that people go to Hell for such 'crimes' as homosexuality/having purple hair/reading Harry Potter. I've never read the books but I think I will now! (Does watching 'The Craft' count?)

Actually... I've got a great line for these 'Fundamentalist' types. Just ask them if they've ever eaten a cheeseburger, mixing meat and dairy is a Hell-going offence. I think you'll find they usually fuck off back to their caves once you confront them with something like that.
Not to mention wearing fabric of mixed fibers? That's in there, too. No poly-cotton on pain of Hell!

Re:

But...my beautiful flares! Tell me, is sackcloth 'in' this season?
Those most in the know are all wearing hairshirts, don't you know. Suffering is SO tight, as the kids say.
You worry me sometimes, SS. :)

1. Only sometimes?

2. This from the same person who keeps positing Mr. Malfoy's perspective? ;)
1) Yes, only sometimes. Other times you are asleep, and worry me much less. ;)

2) *taps your head* Now, I know Paige Guthrie is still in there somewhere, so don't you start... ;)
Ah'm sure Ah don't know what you're talkin' about. O:)