Valerie is a 42-year-old, single, Reformed Christian lady who lives in Baltimore. She doesn't remember a time
before she knew and loved Jesus, but she does remember accepting John Calvin into her heart in March of 2000.
Valerie is a member of Christ Reformed Evangelical Church in Annapolis.
Though her career aspiration is to be a housewife, Valerie has not yet found anyone suitable who wishes to hire
her for employment in that field (or, more properly, anyone suitable has not found her), so in the meantime she
earns her daily bread working in communications -- editing, writing, print design and website management.
The title of this post is my response to "Ho-Hum Harry," a post by my dear friend Carmon, with whom I obviously disagree on matters Potterian. I finished HP and the Deathly Hallows a little before 10 p.m. and am quite contented with it. If the HP series were a line of breakfast cereals, their commercials would proclaim, "Chock Full o' Gospelly Goodness!" and that wouldn't in the least be false advertising.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 11:46 PM
On July 26, 2007 1:52 PMThe Danewrote... Wow. Somebody clearly doesn't understand the HP books. Like at all. I'm not as inclined to see the gospel as clearly as you or Rich Clark do, but at least you've read the books and aren't speaking from obvious ignorance. If Carmon really is your dear friend, can't you please talk some sense into her?
On July 26, 2007 2:05 PMValerie (Kyriosity)wrote... In the grand "pick your battles" scheme of things, this isn't one I'm going to fight. If some folks' consciences are truly bothered by HP, then they shouldn't read them. Their loss, but not a huge problem. Unless, of course, they start picking on me. But only one anti-HP friend has ever tried to go there, and I shut him down pretty quickly.
On July 26, 2007 2:29 PMpentamomwrote... It was beautiful. If Ms. Rowling wasn't aiming directly at a Christian myth (which I believe she was), she was certainly operating out of a mind influenced by 1500 years of Christian culture on the island she grew up on, not by pagan thought categories.
Like you, I can be at peace with folks whose consciences preclude their reading the series. What I have less tolerance for is people repeating alleged details of the books as talking points against them, without having read them. It's doubly bad when they're based on false or misunderstood information, but it's bad enough when it's accurate. If conscience precludes you from reading them because of the magical themes, then don't read them and stick to the general usage of magic as the grounds for your position. But please, PLEASE in that case, don't address aspects of the material that can only be truthfully discussed from firsthand knowledge. (This applies less to Carmon than to some of her commenters.)
BTW, that funky uncial script for the verification is cute and all, but it makes it nigh unto impossible to distinguish certain letters. Took me two tries.
On July 26, 2007 2:43 PMThe Danewrote... Yeah, but even Carmon is guilty of that Pente. She says things like "I understand that in the new Potter book, Harry even invokes the spirits of his dead parents in order to get help, something also forbidden by the Bible." It's that kind of stuff that I, like you find frustrating. I'm fine with someone saying they're uncomfortable with the portrayal of magic in fiction, but the continual equation of Potter-world witchcraft and real-world witchcraft is baffling to me. *sigh* The whole thing makes me shrug: "Vas you dere, Charlie?"
p.s. with Blogger's comment system, it's good to compose your comment elsewhere, refresh the page, then paste your comment in and enter the code - it seems to be pretty time-sensitive so with a longer post, you'll always have to type in the verification code twice (as the code will have expired by the time you get around to typing it in.
On July 26, 2007 3:06 PMpentamomwrote... The "assisted suicide" one bugged me, too. You know what? I didn't like that line from Dumbledore either, when I read it. You know what else? I'll be that person's mother has recommended literally hundreds of books to other people in which central characters expressed less than perfectly consistently biblical ideas.
Sometimes it really baffles me why the standard gets set so high for some things (Harry Potter is evil because the kids aren't angelic and the adults cut moral corners) but other things on the "approved list" get a pass. I realize some of that has to do with it being set up as a Christian-themed work, but I missed the place where it was written that a Christian-themed work can't depict characters who are imperfect (while generally good) in philosophy as well as action.
Thanks for the tip about the verification -- that was probably the problem. Still, I really couldn't tell a w from an m in that uncial script.
On July 26, 2007 6:13 PMsorawrote... I have no problem with "We avoid all magic / fantasy as a matter of conscience so we won't read Harry Potter." I have no problem with "I read (or started to read) the first book and it just didn't grab me, so we don't read Harry Potter." But what drives me to distraction is, "The magic / fantasy in C.S. Lewis and / or J. R. R. Tolkein is Biblically acceptable because [insert reason] but the magic / fantasy in Harry Potter is substantially different because [insert misunderstanding or misrepresentation]." And I really, really hate it when I have reason to think that the person using this line ought to know better than to reason this way. :-)
On July 28, 2007 3:11 PMpentamomwrote... The more I think about the "assisted suicide" thing, the less I want to agree even partially with the criticism and the more I want to chalk it up to ripping something out of context again.
Dumbledore did not ask Snape to kill him because he no longer wanted to live, or even primarily because he did not want to suffer the kind of death that death-by-curse or death-by-Greyback would have brought him. He asked Snape to kill him because *his death at Snape's hand was necessary to the triumph of the forces of good.* The comment to Snape about how it would spare him suffering was not the justification or reason for the request, it was intended as comfort to Snape in that he would not be cutting off a life that would have an earthly future and hope. The self-sacrifice *had* to happen -- the fact that it would spare him suffering was a fringe benefit, not a motivating factor. It was not about assisted suicide, it was about, so to speak (but not wanting to overload the comparison too much) telling Peter to quit trying to make him stop going to Jerusalem.
On July 28, 2007 5:12 PMThe BadgerMumwrote... I pretty much agree with you, Jane, but I thought Dumbledore's request to Snape was more like If it comes down to Draco trying to kill me, I want you to do instead of him, to keep Draco from becoming any worse than he already is.
But I read it so fast, and I only read HBP once so maybe I'm not remembering properly.
The biggest thing that bugged me about the assisted suicide comment is that I happen to know the commenter is a fan of Dorothy Sayers' Lord Peter books, and on more than one occasion one or another of the good guys will say something in favor of euthenasia. I have no idea if that was Miss Sayers' speaking there, or if her characters' thoughts were merely a reflection of the place and times in which they lived, but I've never seen the Lord Peter books rejected on the basis of things like that, let alone the epynomous character's notorious immorality.
On July 28, 2007 9:18 PMpentamomwrote... No, I think that's right. That was the main point of the response. I think the line about "sparing an old man a painful death" or whatever it was, was simply an additional point to comfort Severus by pointing out that he would not be destroying anything that was not going to be destroyed anyway. But it's not at all like assisted suicide, where the death is motivated and justified by escaping suffering. Dumbledore in fact stated that he was willing to endure the suffering, but that it would be better for Draco if Snape did the deed, with the escape from suffering merely being a side benefit, and an additional explanation of why Severus would not be damaged as Malfoy would have been -- because he would not be destroying anything that was intended to remain, and perhaps more importantly, because he KNEW that to be the case, whereas Malfoy would have acted in a purely murderous fashion, believing he was destroying one who was meant to live.
But remember, the choices were not limited to Malfoy killing Dumbledore, or Snape killing Dumbledore. Dumbledore clinging to life and letting Draco take his punishment was also a possible option. It's not as though Dumbledore and the Order *always* acted in such a fashion as to spare Death Eaters the wrath of their master, after all. But the reason why that option was ruled out was not for "assisted suicide" reasons, but for "his death was necessary to the defeat of Voldemort" reasons.
That's why it's not about "assisted suicide," though it might have been a misstep for Rowling to use language that echoes that controversy.
On July 29, 2007 12:24 AMsorawrote... Interesting point about the Lord Peter books. I can also think of quite a few instances in Sayer's mysteries in which ("assisted" or otherwise) suicide is presented as the manly or the best and most noble choice for the exposed "villain"... it seems to be almost *expected* that the culprit will off himself when he's caught and spare everybody the difficulty and expense of trying and hanging him. Shall we raise a hue and cry and have Sayer's banned from our Classical Christian schools?