Monday, May 9, 2011

30 Day Book Challenge: Day Twenty-Two

So Many Books, So Little Time is hosting the 30 Day Book Challenge. Each day for 30 days I'll be answering one question about books.

Day Twenty-Two: A book you wish was real life

I'm going to be cliché here and say:

J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. Like most people who have read these books I am heartily disappointed that the world doesn't work like this, that there isn't a Hogwarts, that there isn't a whole population of witches and wizards living in secret. Now, obviously, if these books were real then I still might not know about the world of magic, but I'd like to think that the universe isn't cruel enough to make me live as a Muggle.

There are things about these books that I wouldn't want to be real--He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, for one thing--but if I could live as a wizard I'd be okay with there being dangers as long as in the end things turned out all right. The good in these books--Hogsmeade, moving pictures, Quidditch, spells--outweighs the bad in my mind.



  1. You mean to tell me you dont believe witches are real?

  2. Well, not in the Harry Potter sense, no. Wicca/Paganism is nothing at all like the books (no matter how many fundamentalists try to tell you that it is).

  3. Well thank you for clearing that up. I just didnt understand you before.

  4. Oh, gods, sorry if that came out wrong. You sound (write?) kind of perturbed. All I meant was that I get a little offended when I hear people talking about how Wicca/Paganism are evil and how the magic in Harry Potter is, too. I didn't mean to offend you in the process. If I did, I'm sorry.

  5. No you didn't. I understood. I'm glad you did even more "clearing up" though. It always helps to be extra sure someone knows exactly what you are thinking. I personally love the Harry Potter series. I've read some pretty good reviews though on it that we against it. For example, here is one:

    Copy and paste the link. That should work. This review is actually written by a really good friend. Just goes to show you can disagree and still be good friends. Thankfully it's only a minuscule disagreement. I think that bigger issues can tear people apart. And probably for the best too. Not being equally minded can have a big effect on any relationship. Tell me what you think of the review.

  6. Your friend is a really great writer, especially for someone so young. I can't say that I agree with a lot of it (although you said the same thing, so I don't feel bad about that), but I can see her point. The only difference is that she and I are coming at the books from two different perspectives: she as a Christian and myself as a non-religious person. I think what she said about the magic used in LOtR and Narnia is beautiful, though.

    My real issue is that as someone who identified as Wiccan for a short time (it never really called to me, although that could be because I'm a guy, so I gave up on that) as well as someone who has Wiccan/Pagan friends, I know for a fact what kind of "magic" is used by real-life witches. It looks nothing like the magic in Harry Potter and it should never be used to harm anyone. In fact, I don't even consider it to *be* magic (I know I've probably made some Pagans angry) because it's more about intent and about using energy to make changes.

    I see it as sort of being akin to The Secret, except that Pagans know that you can't wish your cancer away. They'll do a ritual to send out their intentions to get better into the world and to the ears of the god or goddess that they follow and then they'll go and take their medicine and do their chemo. They don't wait to get better just because they've prayed about. They take steps to make sure that they have a better chance of being cured.

    In Harry Potter, the spells are based on Latin words and do specific things. In Paganism, spells are more like prayers and, while they are designed to do specific things, the person doing the spell has to act just as much as any deity does. It's like the lottery ticket joke: you can pray to God all you want to win the lottery but he can't do anything for you if you haven't bought a ticket.

    So, I guess my point is that spells in Paganism *do* come from a higher power, at least according to their beliefs, therefore it's more like the magic in Narnia than it is like the magic in Harry Potter. A Christian may not see it that way but someone who is Wiccan or Pagan will. Similarly, the prayers that Christians send up to God may be seen to be useful for a Christian, but someone of another faith may not see it that way.

    I just feel like people are too judgmental of each other and aren't open-minded enough. I know plenty of people of all faiths who refuse to respect others' religions and who call them evil. Regardless of what a person's holy book says, it also says to love people and there's not enough of that in this world.

    As for being of different minds and still being friends, I experience that on a daily basis. I go out of my way to make friends with people who disagree with me or who hold different beliefs than I do. I love talking and debating with people who don't agree with me because it is through conversations like those that we learn the most.

  7. Well written. I agree ad do the same (with friends I mean). And thank you for the lesson.