Harry Potter fans: Hogwarts is offering online classes

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  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    April 22, 2014 7:47 a.m.

    I can very safely say that Harry Potter is not dangerous. It's really not. The danger of sorcerers and magicians and peeping wizards and so on is that they direct people toward them for revelation and understanding, rather than the prophets. Harry Potter doesn't give kids the idea to trust in stupid-sounding magic phrases at the dismissal of family home evening or scripture study.

    I can understand the gray area you get into with some media, but for really benign stuff like this (or pokémon, or most Disney films, etc) is that people who actually present dangerous influence can point their finger and say "See? They're just religious/conservative/whatever wackos!" and go on to promote ideas and media that -are- harmful.

    ... Not that they wouldn't anyway.

  • Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    April 22, 2014 7:20 a.m.

    Well said, Stormwalker.

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    April 21, 2014 10:39 p.m.

    @John Charity Spring: "Shame on the purveyors of this program."

    Ummmm... Unless I am missing something, this site and program is free. There may be plans in the future to monetize some part(s) of it, but that is not evident on any of the information. It seems to be a labor of love among fans who grew up reading the Potter books and want to continue to play within that universe.

    Rowling considers herself a follower of both CS Lewis and JRR Tolkein, and worked hard to emulate their style. The series of all three authors do contain violence, but it is always the wise and viliant standing against evil and protecting the innocent.

    Rowling's books actually honor strong families - the Weasley family is very central to the entire narrative, as is the sacrifice made by both Harry's and Neville's parents. Partly due to the example of the Weasley family at the end Harry is married and has his own family.

    The books are fantasy and promote paganism in the same way as Narnia and Middle Earth. Not at all.

  • John Charity Spring Back Home in Davis County, UT
    April 21, 2014 9:18 p.m.

    Shame on the purveyors of this program. They care more about money than the welfare of children.

    One major source of evil today is the modern entertainment industry. Indeed, modern Hollywood produces one movie after another that glorifies gang violence, drug use, and deviant sexuality. It is completely naive to think that the public can consume this evil without imitating it and becoming more and more depraved.

    Harry Potter is a perfect example of this. It glamorizes violence and denigrates the traditional family. It also goes out of its way to popularize anti-Christian paganism.

    In short, the ignorant and slumbering masses must awake to a sense of civic responsibility. That is the only way to win the fight against evil.

  • Kally Salt Lake City, UT
    April 21, 2014 9:13 p.m.

    @ Stormwalker: It is a totally non-serious site - it was built by fans for fans and includes things like "Defense of the Dark Arts," "Potions," and "Transfiguration."

    There is a clear disclaimer that it is a fan experience with no connection to JK Rowling, and, while there is not a disclaimer about links to Paganism or Wicca, anyone with serious magick practitioner will be able to tell very quickly that this site is not related.

    It does try to keep the feel of really attending Hogwarts by having you select a House, telling you you cannot use magic outside of school due to the laws of the Ministry of Magic (with an exception being made for your home, since it is an online school), having you "purchase" books from Diagon Alley with the "money" in your Gringotts' account, reminding your parents that first year students are not allowed to own their own brooms, and credits can only be transferred to other magical schools - but much of what is there to help provide the feel also helps illustrate that it is not real.

    It's just fun. :)

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    April 21, 2014 7:28 p.m.

    The Harry Potter books are made up magick, no more about useful for teaching witchcraft than Star Trek for teaching science. Both, however, created interest.

    Magick is defined as "changing realty through force of will." It may use tools, rituals and words to focus, but the willpower itself brings the changes. The Potter scenes that utilize a flick of the wand and pseudo-Latin are not real magick, anymore than a hacker can break into a data bank with a few key strokes.

    There are schools, on-line and brick-and-mortar, that teach various systems of real magick. Some are for children, some are for adults and serious practitioners. Most charge, some have impressive campus facilities, well developed coursework, and extensive libraries.

    I am curious about who is behind this one - another online academy that was consciously modeled on Hogwarts was founded by leaders and teachers in the Pagan, Wiccan, and magickal community. Their names were prominent and it gave a feeling that their coursework was serious. This group seems to be staying out of the spotlight, which begs the seriousness of the teaching.

  • Kally Salt Lake City, UT
    April 21, 2014 1:01 p.m.

    @ gmlewis: Yes, people who enroll in these classes think they will really learn witch- and wizard- craft and will be able to do magic when they are done - just as people who play video games, cosplay, and live action role playing think that stuff is real and just like people who watch movies think that stuff is real.

    Seriously, dude? You think people aren't going to know it is make-believe?

    I really think the only people who think any of this is real are people like you - the rest of us know it is all make-believe and done in fun. (And for the record, people who play real-life Quidditch don't really fly around on brooms, nor does the Golden Snitch fly around on its own.)

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    April 21, 2014 12:03 p.m.

    I really enjoyed the Harry Potter series, but had some initial trepedation that the books might be used to actually teach witchcraft. I rejected that notion, thinking that nobody would be stupid enough to believe that this magic is real. Oops, I guess I underestimated stupid.