New Years Resolutions – 2017

Blog Segment - Peeking Through The Window copy

The New Year is here! With a brand new year comes a new opportunity to look back and examine how things were, where I stand now, and decide how I want things to change in the future. For a great many people, that means New Year Resolutions.

I’ve never put much stock into new year resolutions, though I think I’ve always made them to one degree or another. They get broken very easily, after all, and nothing is quite as demoralizing as failing to live up to your own expectations.

However, I think the key to solid resolutions is, primarily, to remain general. Specific resolutions are the most fragile sort, and are easily broken. If approached more generally, little lapses are not crushing and adjustments are more likely to continue to mean success. In that vein, I make the following resolutions.

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The New Year – 2016

 

Blog Segment - Peeking Through The Window copyYou know, typically, I’m not big on the whole New Year’s Resolutions thing. It has always felt a little bit weird to me to have a specific time of the year to say “Things are going to be different, now!” when that’s generally the sort of thing that I would assume we should be ready to do, and be serious about, on any given day. If anything, having a national holiday (kinda) for it makes me realize all the more how bad I am at keeping “resolutions.” Despite this, I find myself here about to write down a little bit of a wrap up for last year, and a look ahead to this one, with a little of resolve for solutions thrown in the mix. So let’s get started.

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Thor is Hiring Writers in the League of Legends


It has been what feels like ages since I last wrote on my poor lonely blog. Not that I don’t have reasons mind, and I know what you’re thinking, “excuses, excuses…” and you’re right, I should have still found the time to post a tib-bit here or there. Well, here’s to a renewal, eh?

So what exactly have I been up to these past few weeks or so? Mostly, a new job. Yup, folks. I now have a real-world job. I’m still more or less on call for SWAU media, and I hope I’ll have time to help tutor in the Write Spot next semester, but for now I’m working as a staff writer at the Burleson Star, one of the star group newspapers who cover a bunch of cities in north Texas.

I cover the hardest hitting stories, my peeps.


I’ve always been a bit intimidated by the idea of getting out there and getting a real job. I suppose I always had visions of the world being a solidly ugly place where, once you left your comfort zone, you’d be lucky to land a job where everybody just ignored you, and if you were unlucky you were surrounded by incompetent jerks.

Thankfully that is not the case. My boss is great to work with, and doesn’t make me feel like I’m being scrutinized for a deficiency in some vital area, as I have at a job or two on campus. I have some funny coworkers, and while they aren’t the type I really care to hang out with all the time, they’re cool to work with. One guy even helped me find my way around on my first assignment. The only person I feel uncomfortable around in the entire building I don’t see often, and my interaction with him would be minimal anyway (he is way above me in hierarchy, for instance.)

In wind and foul weather!


The work itself is mostly in my wheelhouse. The writing part is more or less easy. Time consuming, sure, but not a challenge. The real challenge comes in attending events. Anybody who knows me off the internet knows I am an introvert around anyone who isn’t a friend of mine (and sometimes I’m introverted around them as well.) So, getting into the reporter mind-set, where you’ve got to sort of be a loud and obnoxious, push-to-the-front type of person, who isn’t afraid to jump into conversations and introduce yourself… well, I find that a tad difficult. I’m managing, of course, but it’s a learning experience.

It seems to require the same mental muscles I exercised when acting as Tartuffe in Tartuffe last year. I’m not sure what that says about the reporting business, or what it says about me. Maybe I don’t want to know? O.o

Aside from that, I’ve been utterly absorbed into League of Legends. and it is times like this when my mental faculties fail me, as I can’t remember if I’ve ever discussed my latest obsession here. Simply put, it’s a free-to-play mostly top-down strategy-like game that is centered around team competition. Each team has a base located in a corner of the map called a Nexus, and that Nexus is connected to a series of three lanes that lead around the map to the enemy’s base. Each team also has three massive towers that guard these lanes, and AI controlled waves of minions that spawn from the nexus and proceed up the lanes. The players control special hero units with special powers and abilities, and the heroes’ jobs are to turn the tide of the battle and push all the way to the opponent’s base and destroy the nexus.

It’s a simple game on the surface, but there are all sorts of nuances that are introduced by the differences between heroes, and the ways that items, purchased within each game, can affect the strengths of a hero. Trust me when I say that a newbie would be eaten alive by anybody of high level. Trying out heroes, and getting your item build just right, not to mention the adrenaline of competitive play, are extremely addicting. This, combined with long game times, means that much of my days are swallowed whole by this game.

I’m hoping to turn this around, however, and bring some balance back to the force by cutting back on my league of legends play so I can get back to reading some books I’ve borrowed, and hopefully even finish Red Dead Redemption (I’ve been stuck in Mexico forever, and yes, there are some striking issues with the storytelling and consistency of John Marston’s character in those sections.)

On top of that, I’ve really got to get my life in order so I can be ready for the Rough Writer’s summer challenge coming up in a few days.

*scribble*scribble*

Starting the 15th of May through the 15th of June all participants are going to try and write 45,000 words, or 1,500 words a day. I haven’t even put any thought into the outline of the rest of Jaine yet. *SIGH* The work is never done.

All in all, life has been pretty pleasant. I’ve even been able to go and see some pretty great movies as of late. In fact, I think I’ll finish today’s post with a link to my latest movie review.

Son of Odin, lightning it up.

This one is for Thor. Go read it, and have a great day, everybody. I’ll try to be back around more often.

– Edward L. Cheever II~

Finals Week Bears Down Upon Me!

This is going to be a very short post this week. You know why?
Because I’m starting to feel like this poor guy:

Yes. Just like That.

Admitedly, this is partially because I just finished work after working over 40 min overtime. What’s worse, it was a pretty bad paper written by a nice girl who became more and more crestfallen as we talked about the improvements needed in her paper. *MEGA SIGH*

It might also be that I haven’t seen hide nor hair of confirmation concerning the publication of an article that I recently wrote for the Local (flaky) newspaper. I’m basically having to wait till tomorrow to see if it just magically shows up in print. And I NEED this article so that I get a good grade (Verbal confirmation for the Record article just doesn’t cut it, and that Editor is flaky too.)

It also doesn’t help that loads of the papers I’ve been helping with recently are on the legality of Gay Marriage, and I disagreed with everybody. Helping people write papers that you disagree with well is difficult.

It could also be that I’m beating myself up mentally for not getting back on the writing wagon (you might have noticed the lack of info concerning Jaine since NaNoWriMo.) I plan on getting back to it right after finals, but I plan on a lot of things that never happen, so we’ll see.

Planning events for next semester (A poetry slam) is also difficult, and I’m worried that we(The Rough Writers) will just end up as poorly-attended counter programming to something the S.A. is doing.

On the plus side, I’ve been seriously enjoying Assassin’s Creed II! Take a gander at this lovely still image:

Beeeeeeautyful, Ain't It?

It really is a better game than the first one, although the first still carries so much Nostalgia for me that I still have a hard time saying I love this one more than the first one (even though I do.)

Oh, and there is a character in the game that brings up an interesting theological idea that I might tackle some time. Maybe during the Christmas break?

Anywho. Prepare for a huge post this weekend. More long-windedness.

Even though nobody reads it.

Except Katie.

Whom I love like crazy. I mean Assylum Crazy. I mean Arkham Assylum Crazy.

Wow. That’s crazy.

(I love you, my dear! ^_^)

She’s blushing right now. Tehehehe.

And you are averting your eyes in an embarased manner.

Tehehehehe.

I’m evil like that.

Have a most excellent day!

– Edward L. Cheever II~

Rape Victim Healthcare and Anti-Civil Service Stupidity

Good evening ladies and Gentlemen! Welcome to the Healthcare three ring circus!

Okay, seriously though, I’ve got an issue or two to rant about (they are relatively un related.) And I will also give a brief rundown of my personal situation as it stand today.

First, let’s get the boring stuff out of the way…

Personal:

Everything’s pretty swell. I’m really looking forward to visiting Katie over Thanksgiving (I might see real snow for once! 😀 ) The family is fine. Ben seems pretty good, what with hanging out with his friends and all 😉 Kimberly is still struggling over the issue of my friend. Of course she is still resisting the “be blunt” option for fear of hurting his feelings. (He’ll be okay! Just drop the “Let’s be friends” hammer now, while you still can harmlessly, and he will be over it within the month!) Mom and Dad are doing good too, though Dad seems busier than usual, running off to investigate exploding churches and whatnot.

Work:

Tutoring is going well, if busy. I mean busy. Two days ago I couldn’t even come up for air, much less have time to do anything but help people. And now there is tonight. Quiet. Must be the weather. Media meanwhile has been keeping me hopping. Last weekend it was vespers at the Gardner’s place (meaning I drug media equipment to a Professor’s house and back) and this weekend I’m going to be juggling four different program requests in different buildings that all happen just about one right after the other. *sigh* At least I get paid for it.

School: I just recently wrote and edited my paper on the Apocalypse of Adam in contrast with Genesis. It was cake. At this point, all I have to worry about in terms of papers and such from any class are the four remaining articles in Feature Writing. Thankfully I have one interview done for my next article, and hopefully Professor Yates has informed Christina this very afternoon that I’ve been trying to get a hold of her since last week. I hope. I need more than one interview to make this article work. Simultaneously, I need to get some statements from some student workers. *sigh* I might go ahead and just knock out an article about the Rough Writers and National Novel Writing Month so I know I’ll have something for the next due date, and let the KJCR article have the necessary time it is taking to come together, rather than forcing it out. It’s got me a little worried. Speaking of a Rough Writers and NaNoWriMo article…

Writing: I have done almost nil toward preparing for NaNoWriMo since my rewriting and chapterization of Jaine. Now that I have all my papers in Origins of the Bible done though, I might just be able to do something about outlining the latter portion of the book. November is going to be one heck of a month.

Entertainment: In entertainment news, my God of War Review has so far gained the stunning heights of three views! No, really, I am proud. That’s the highest rating of any of my reviews thus far! I have since moved on to Uncharted, and what I’ve played so far has been pretty awesome. There haven’t been any major set pieces yet, though the environment itself is fantastic. It really does feel like an Indiana Jones adventure, even if it doesn’t star Indiana Jones. You can look forward to a review when I complete it.

Oh, and I’m almost done with Scribblenaughts. Just one more world to go. I’ll save any more comments for the forthcoming review except for this one quip, which will likely be my subtitle for the review: The only thing you can’t write into reality in this game are good controls.

Okay, now that the preliminary rundown is done, let’s let the show begin!

Okay, I’m going to first bring your attention to This Article.

If you read that article you will find a story about how rape victims are frequently denied healthcare because they took the (reasonable) precaution of anti-AIDS medication. Oh, they can also deny them healthcare because of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD). Essentially they look at the health records, see that the individual has taken the medication, or that they have symptoms of PTSD, and they reject the individual, calling the problems “Pre-existing Conditions.”

There are a number of ways this is a totally screwed system. Let’s start with the obvious: How the hell are these people defining pre-existing condition? Of course what’s wrong here is they don’t have to define it properly. They don’t care if the individual was raped or if they made bad sexual choices. They just look as see that they’ve taken HIV meds at some point and say, “That slut doesn’t deserve meds. Yay! We don’t have to pay out!” This is hyperbole of course. But the fact remains, these companies treat every case as if that person is the one that made bad sexual decisions, and they make these blanket actions based on profitability. This is one of the major issues with our Healthcare system. It is based on turning people away, not fulfilling needs.

A lot of conservatives have raised cries of dissention over new proposed health bills based on the idea that if such a bill were passed, it would mean the government decides who needs treatment and who doesn’t. A.K.A. they might turn someone away for no good reason. Guess what? It’s already happening! And it’s happening in our consumerist and capitalist system! At this point I think I’d rather trust the Government (which I have a say in) rather than in privately based CEOs who want to make a couple billion bucks. Now, I know all CEOs aren’t like that. It is too easy to paint with a large brush. That is partisan politics. But according to the article this is an industry wide practice. Where are the good CEOs looking out for the consumer? Mr. Conservative, provide one for my moderate sensibilities, please!

Of course what both Conservatives and Liberals are fighting against is really human nature, only they paint the other political side of the isle to be the only ones with a plan susceptible to this fault of humanity. The fact is, both side’s plans could backfire if the people with the executive power(private or government) decide to serve themselves. (What say all you Objectivists out there? Face it, there is not a real Objectivist in this world unless they are lechers too. Maybe this will be another topic discussion later?)

Of course that is just the Healthcare side of the article. There is another facet in this dark gem. Rape Victims are Raped again by society, and then hidden away in dirty closets. These people are victims. These are the people who need and deserve care. These are the people Healthcare is supposed to help. Who cares if the rape victim does or doesn’t contract HIV? They should be given coverage.

Society also doesn’t help them in the case of pregnancy. Under the circumstances I find it hard to blame a victimized woman who decides to abort such a child, even though I am ultimately against it. It is wrong to punish a child for the sins of his father, but it is also wrong to punish the mother by forcing her to make do with her situation and take care of an unwanted child. Where are the funds and resources for victim mothers? Where are the governmentally subsidized adoption agencies paying for all the red-tape who are willing to help the sudden-mother if she chooses to give up the child? They do not exist. We are content to slap a woman for being raped, and then we call her depraved for choosing to abort the child. Society is a cesspit of hypocrisy.

It would be bad enough if we just ignored their problems, but we go a step further. Rape victims really are victims twice. First they are assaulted physically, and then they are rejected by society. This doesn’t just happen in healthcare. This happens in all walks of life. Rape victims are shunned in school, in the workplace, in places of worship, in communities and especially within families. I think most other belief systems would define this kind of treatment as wrong. This isn’t me just speaking from a Christian perspective, even though I definitely have that. What are we doing?

Obviously I think we should do things differently.

Now, the smaller, unrelated piece of rant comes to us from my very non-friend Glen Beck, who is denouncing Hollywood’s efforts to encourage volunteerism in the citizenry by including such themes as civil service and helping the needy.

Really? Really!? This is what Conservatism has come to? Damned if you do, damned if you don’t? I know it’s a bit much to expect logic from somebody like Glen Beck, but isn’t this a bit ridiculous? What is Hollywood supposed to encourage? Violence and Sex? Oh, wait…

So he assumes this is a communist plot by Obama. Quite the leap in logic, of course. But this also brings up the question: When is he going to denounce various religions as communists for encouraging the same thing? When is Mr. God-Bless-America going to come down on Christians as Commies?

Well, never of course. It has nothing to do with real political ideology and everything to do with partisanship. Everything is Obama’s communist plot to take over the world and control your miiiiindz! Except what Glen Beck likes, of course. Never that.

Oh the double standards. How can anybody take people like him seriously?

Okay… I think that’s enough for today. I had better stop before a vein pops.

I hope you all have a most excellent morning-evening-night! Good-bye!

–          Edward L. Cheever II~

Life, Fun and Halloween

Velcome! Velcome! Vone and all! Buwahahaha!

*Cough*cough*  ahem… sorry about that folks. My horrible Transylvanian accent is being shoved back in the closet as we speak. Honest!

Anywho, this be the month for Halloween! One of my favorite holidays (right behind Christmas and just ahead of Thanksgiving and St. Patty’s.

I know, I know, it is still a ways off. And yes, I am looking forward to the English Department Halloween Party. No, I am not dressing as Dracula. I am toning it down a bit from years previous (a.k.a. nothing too ambitious) So you won’t be seeing anything like the Tripod from War of the Worlds or the Grecian Urn from Keats’ Ode to a Grecian Urn like the last couple of times.

Now not everybody I know joins in my excitement over this upcoming holiday. As most of you know by now I am an SDA Christian, and while I hold to those truths I tend to have what some might call a more ‘liberal’ view of life. Most of my more conservative friends and acquaintances do not share this jolly approach to life (whatever works for them, IMO.) This inevitably leads to conflicts and debates. Now, first of all I’m going to give a synopsis in this post of where my life is right now, but after that I’m going to post a mini conversation (I don’t really consider it a full blown debate) over Halloween and J.K. Rowling that I had on Facebook. I’m not going to include all of the bits (some of it was just people giving agreement or disagreement one way or the other) but I am going to include the large important chunks. FYI, the conversation ended amicably, for those of you worried about heated internet brawls. Some of the stuff I touch on in my response may be good fodder for extended blog posts later on down the line. We shall see, yes?

But first! Me.

Personal:

My car and cellphone are going to die on me! The car doesn’t want to start sometimes, or it stops running when it is not supposed to (thankfully it has only been when I’m about to park and one time on an empty road, but it is a bad sign) and my cell turns off whenever it wants despite a full battery or whether I’m talking to somebody or not. That happens especially often when I’m talking to Katie, and it is frustrating as everything because guess what, I want to talk to the woman I love, dagnabbit! …stupid phone *grumble*grumble* I’m seriously thinking about getting an iphone. The only problem is, while I’d only have to pay my mom $5 a month, once I’m out on my own, I’d have to pay for the whole deal, and I just don’t know if I’d be able to afford it (which would make the wondrous iphone useless to me.)

All is well with Katie ^_____^ I is in loves. And no, I never get tired of making people sick over my saccharine-ness.

The family is doing good. However, a friend of mine seems to be interested in my sister. There are a couple of problems with this:

  1. They are totally wrong for each other. I could count the ways, but I’d still be counting tomorrow, and I frankly don’t have that kind of time.
  2. And this is the most important one… SHE’S NOT INTERESTED. She sees him as a brother. Loves him as a brother. And right now, he is a super creepy brother.

I’ve told her that she has to be uber blunt with him over how she feels about this, but the problem is, he hasn’t openly said he is interested in her that way. His actions are obvious (trust me, everyone knows, and if I know, if I know, then everybody knows) but as long as his intentions remain unsaid it is hard for her to say “Hey, you’re not trying to court me, are you?” Awkward. She has such horrid luck with guys.

Other than that I think my friends are doing well too. Never talk with Cory much, but that’s the way we both are. I don’t really seek out regular communication with friends and neither does he (we are both satisfied to have friends that will always be there, but aren’t always right there.) When you stack both of our preferences, or habits, you can imagine that we don’t communicate much.

Brandon seems to be doing well, all things considered. He is really doing well artistically, and I love some of the paintings he has done, and some songs are awesome too. Now he just needs to find some professional footing. It would be awesome if he could find a solid career as an artist. That is where his heart really lies.

Steve seems to be doing well, though we haven’t talked much lately, he is otherwise occupied, and I’m too busy to play games with any consistency. I’m looking forward to Starcraft II’s release though, as we’ll probably play that a lot. The lack of lan-play hurts a LOT though (why, Blizzard, why!?!?)

Writing:

I’m currently sprucing up Jaine for National Novel Writing Month. I’m settling down on who, exactly, my characters are. This is necessary since I’ve adjusted their ages to appeal to a younger audience (I’m not changing their voices or maturity, though. I expect something of my readers. I think there isn’t enough of that in preteen/teen fiction.) In fact the first chapter may very well be going up late Thursday or Friday this week on My Jaine Blog.

In other writing news, I’ve been having a lot of writing concepts and ideas suddenly popping up in my head lately. This bodes well for future books, methinks.

Work:

Work is the same old thing, except that my media meetings are extremely short as nobody but myself shows up for them. This is unfortunate. But what are you going to do, ya? I mean we have one really irresponsible worker and another who can’t meet at the scheduled time because of school. *Shrug* Without solid media meetings the media department feels all stretched out. This will hurt us later.

School:

Still doing solidly in Hebrew, Origins of the Bible and Feature Writing. I’m no longer ahead in Feature Writing (time catches up to people) however, I am on schedule, and I just had an interview this morning that will make the process of writing the article much easier. I just have to contact a few more people now.

Entertainment:

I. Can’t. Wait. for The Gathering Storm. I’ve been done wit Knife of Dreams for about a week now, and I’m in Wheel of Time withdrawal. I’m itching to start another book or series, but I know that if I wait all will be worth it come October 27.

One book that has me tempted to read despite my fasting till my WoT buffet, is Boneshaker by Cherie Preist. Not only is it a steampunk/alternate history novel in America with Zombies, but the lady who wrote it went to Forest Lake Academy and Southern Adventist University. I’m sorta proud to see somebody writing cool things coming out of the Adventist school system, and I want to read what she has written! Not only that but she comes highly recommended by John Scalzi. Maaaan, Scalzi, you’ve been getting me to buy so many new books lately. Nobody else has done that kind of inspiring for me. Most books I’m recommended get pushed to the far back burner. What kind o’ hoodoo you be runnin?

In videogame news, I recently got to play another hour or so of God of War. Fun, but I want to move on to other games soon, so I’m trying to push on through. Scribblenaughts is being taken in smaller doses too. It limits the frustration build up (some of the puzzles are ridiculous) and I simply don’t have the kind of time to give to that game to finish it quickly. I am in world 8 though, so that is something.

Brutal Legend comes in the mail soon! ROCKTOBER!!!! Umz… yeah, this may be the next game I play. I’m just not sure yet. I mean there are good games my brother owns that I should play while they are available(I won’t be living in the same house forever.) Besides, Brutal Legend would be an awesome game to have ready to play when I’m living elsewhere and can’t afford new games anymore.

Oh, and Fallout 3 Game of the Year edition for Xbox360 is on its way to Katie. I promised her she would get to play it first. Besides, I’m not ready to get involved in all that new content just yet.

I haven’t watched any other movies lately… oh wait. I have I watched a subbed version of the new Bleach “Fade to Black” movie. It was good, but it wasn’t as good as I was hoping. The trailer was so good and full of ideas that they didn’t capitalize on, and as Katie pointed out to me, there are some plot points that are contradictory to the anime series. Bleh. That said, the anime series (even the current filler) and the manga are both fantastic.

Speaking of Manga, Naruto and Bakuman are also extremely good, amazing even. Naruto is mostly pushing plot now, where it was more in-depth character wise earlier, but it is all good plotting, and Bakuman is excellent for character and an interesting if probably hyperbole-ridden look into the manga publishing industry.

Well, I’ve really yammered on too long now, so I’ll move on into the part I promised at the beginning of the post: The FaceBook Halloween Conversation.

It all started with a status update by Jair Alcon:

Jair Alcon – thought (thanks to a conversation last night) – is Halloween a holiday? And is it a good day to celebrate? Additionally, is J.K. Rowling a Christian?

My Brother answered:

Ben Cheever

Yes, it is a holiday and just like every holiday it seems, it has pagan roots. I would say, that it is up to the individual to celebrate it or not, but there is nothing wrong with having a bit of fun, so why not? It’s not like your worshiping satan if you dress up on halloween! about the last part, I’m not sure anyone asides from her would know, … Read Morenot too mention, its not our place to judge and basing an opinion off her books would be wrong even if they were christian oriented books! – My two cents anyway…

There were two major following responses:

Jim Landelius

When you look at where Halloween and all aspects of it comes from, there are no redeeming qualities. At least during Christmas, hearts are somewhat turned to the Savior and there is opportunity to share His love. It is up to the individual, but celebrating a ‘holiday’ that is affront to Christianity isn’t my idea of a good thing.

Jazzmine Bankston

@What Ben said: “There’s nothing wrong with having a bit of fun. It’s not like you’re worshiping satan if you dress up on halloween.” That’s like the same as saying, let’s skip church this Saturday and go to the theater instead, it’s not like God’s going to rain down fire from heaven and burn us as He did to Sodom and Gomorrah. It is not required of us to keep the Sabbath, but it’s expected of us.

Halloween is technically a holiday, just like you said. But unlike Christmas and Easter, this holiday has nothing to do with God. Sure Christmas and Easter aren’t historically correct on the dates, but these holidays date back into the old times. Holiday Christmas used to be a different holiday. It used to be the day that the Romans would worship the “sun god”. The people were trying to spread Christianity and thought that replacing the birth of the sun god with the birth of Christ was a start. So that’s an example.
Halloween dates back to the Celtics when they believed the world between ours and the otherworld would rise (the dead) and they were dangerous causing sickness to humans and to crops. They would perform rituals and hold skeleton relics upon their homes.

As for J.K. Rowling it’s not our place to judge whether she is a Christian or not. But I think the real question is what is Potter’s influence on little children and ppl in this world? Bc of Potter, so many ppl are wanting to be witches, some people are forming cults. To everyone, be a sorcerer is one of the most amazing things. They have a longing to play with witchcraft. Harry Potter is witch related, and the Bible tells us to not get involved with those things. Look what the bible tells us.

“When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire [an ancient occult practice], or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination [detestable] to the LORD…”
-Deuteronomy 18:9-12a
What’s the point of making books like that if they are only going to draw ppl farther away from God? Is it worth it? It’s the little children that are so naive that they believe almost anything they see. Wouldn’t you rather see them in heaven then burning in the realms of hell when Jesus comes to save us? Just saying. Even though her books are well written, she could be doing more harm to God’s ppl than she may know.

Here was my post, as an answer to both Jair and eventually the commentors:

First, let me answer the questions Jair posed, and then I’ll get to some of the other comments.

Is Halloween a “Holiday.” Depends. Do you use the term “Holiday as it was originally intended? “Holy Day,” memorial day, or day to have fun? And how do you treat Halloween? In other words, do you view it as a religious holiday, or a kick-back and relax one? If you treat it as a holy day, as a day in which to worship the powers of darkness or whatever, then, yes, it’s a bad day. If you treat it as a day to either remember and honor the dead, as suggested above, or treat it as an opportunity to have a fun time and dress-up, then it isn’t.

Any Holiday is what you make it. Christmas or Easter could both be the most Satanic times of the year if you make it so.

And if everything that had a “pagan” root were eliminated, there are many things in church, and I mean protestant churches, that would change. (Did you know, the synagogal system that our church system is based on came from the Babylonians while Israel was in captivity? Interesting, no?

Nothing in this world, NOTHING, is free of the taint of sin, and so even when we’re sitting in a pew we are having to sift the good from the bad. Do the same on Halloween. Take the good, leave the bad. (and follow your conscience. If you really think dressing as a vampire is a sin, then don’t do it. I don’t want to be your stumbling block, as Paul said. Even when I think you’re being silly.)

Now, for what I think of J.K.R.

She’s a Christian. She’s said so herself. Oh, and believe it or not, but it completely shines through in her writing. The mythological and symbolic patterns in her books follow distinctly Christian themes and views of the world.

Here are some of her quotes: “I believe in God, not magic.” she also said that if people knew about her Christian beliefs they would be able to “guess what is coming in the books.”

Indeed, this is true. The books cover such topics as dying to save others, the power of love and kindness, death is not reversible but by God, the nature of evil, and the ability of man to choose good or evil, etc.

Similarly, her “witches and wizards” are hardly that, by definition. Do they use magic? yes. But where does it come from? In her books Magic is like a law of nature or physics. It is just there. Being able to use it is genetic. It’s like being born with long legs. Just as someone born a wizard uses magic, someone with long legs uses them to run fast. Real-world magic comes from gods and goddesses that people worship. That is paganism. That is real “witchcraft.” Harry Potter has none of that.

Now for the commentators:

@ Mr. Landelius: You seem to be more levelheaded in this, so I will answer simply that I respectfully disagree on the grounds that just about everything man does can be an affront to God based on man’s intentions. If a man went to church on a Saturday with ill intentions, it would be just as potentially sinful as somebody celebrating Halloween with bad intentions and as potentially beneficial with good intentions.

@ Mrs. Bankston: While I appreciate the fact that you didn’t resort to insulting anybody, your answer definitely felt more heated, and provoked a bit more of an emotional response in me than I would have liked. After all, anger is not the solution to disagreements.

But as to your assertions:

1. your metaphor, comparing Ben’s statements to going o church is a poor one. For a metaphor to work, you have to compare similar things. Those are not similar. Saturday is a God-mandated Religious holiday. Halloween is having a party with friends. Comparable things to Halloween are other times of fun (football games or barbecues in the backyard, or other holidays like Christmas or Easter. They all have similar purposes. The Sabbath is a far cry from those things.

You start with the assumption “Halloween = bad” and thus, Ben’s saying that there’s nothing wrong with having fun must sound to you like there’s nothing wrong with smoking or premarital sex. You must first establish if Halloween is truly bad or not. I have of course come to the conclusion that it is what you make of it. If to Ben it is merely an opportunity to relax and have fun, then your assumption is false, as is your metaphor.

2.As to the original meanings of Holidays, if you believe that those meanings stick to the Holiday no matter how you celebrate it now, then on Christmas we should be celebrating the Sun, or Yule and the Wild-Hunt, or worshiping Odin (depending on ethnic backgrounds.) Easter would be a celebration of Fertility to the goddess Eostre, from which its name derives. The fact is, we make of Holidays what we will. How and why we celebrate determine it’s negative or positive elements.

3. Did You Know: The word for “Witcraft” in Greek could also mean Pharmaceutical? Beware the Pharmacists! http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G5331&t=KJV

Seriously though, even when it truly means “Witchcraft” it means the practices of magic and such that comes from pagan gods. That, as I’ve said, is different from that n Harry Potter.

4. As for the Books leading people away, I would argue that people are led away who are willing to be led away. Next time you read of a mother who killed her children because “God told her to” ask the question: “Did God really tell her to?” The answer is no, of course, but the factis, she allowed herself to be led astray by something she believed was from God. Even Christianity has been the source for evil! Misguided Christianity, yes, but what does that matter to an outside viewer?

Similarly, Harry Potter has many good elements that reaffirm the truths of Christianity. The fact that people misunderstand this is not the books fault, any more than the murderous mother is God’s fault.

When dealing with children, Harry Potter, like all stories, biblical ones included, should be an experience guided by the Parents. If the parents aren’t there to introduce stories at appropriate times, and don’t talk about the meanings behind the stories with their children, then those children can come up with all kinds of false messages from them. Even Bible stories can be misread by children. Does the story of David and Goliath promote killing? No? then the parent have to tell the children that. What if they go and start throwing rocks at Bullies, shouting “The Lord is on my side!”?

Parents need to be Parents. In a good situation, a Parent can talk about the good underlying messages of Harry Potter, along with the realities of what Harry Potter Magic is (fantasy) and what real-world magic is (religion), and how to tell the difference. Of course it doesn’t help if the parents don’t know the difference either, but that is another problem altogether.

5. Fantasy books with important meanings underlying them are very useful. Much like the parables of Jesus, a story, even (or especially even) a fantastical one can serve much the same purpose. Fantasy stories connect the reader with the characters and protagonists emotionally and mentally. When those characters discover love and goodness, so does the reader, when they experience happiness or sadness, so does the reader. If the parent is there to connect the experiences a child has in a fantasy story with the truths of Christianity, then it can be an extraordinarily powerful tool to bring people to God. Much as Parables connected people’s lives with what they viewed as distant abstract thoughts.

That is not nearly all I have to say on the matter, but it will do for now. I hope most people who read this come to the end., and don’t skip it all.

That was the conversation, or at least the big important parts.

Of course even though I waxed long upon the subject, there is surely plenty more to be said, and my points might be better made even in short form, but there it is.

Until next time!

– Edward L. Cheever II~