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grantm (164)

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Just a simple [] guy, hacking Perl for fun and profit since way back in the last millenium. You may find me hanging around in the monestary [].

What am I working on right now? Probably the Sprog project [].

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Journal of grantm (164)

Wednesday July 25, 2007
04:25 AM

God takes a back seat

[ #33881 ]

I live in New Zealand's bible belt. I don't think I was aware of that before we bought the house and don't really think it would have affected our decision even if I had known.

Tawa is a suburb of Wellington - New Zealand's capital city. It's much more 'churchy' than other Wellington suburbs. In fact, there are 8 churches within a two block radius of our house.

When I take the train to work in the morning, by far the most common reading material for people getting on at Tawa stops is the bible. When I was reading Dawkins recently I worried a little that one of my fellow passengers would take exception to my choice of book. I wondered whether an alternative cover might be in order. Fortunately they were too deeply engrossed in their reading to worry about mine.

This week however, the black, leather bound, gilt edged books are less evident. Instead, an entirely different book is very much in evidence. If it's the same people, then their preachers are obviously not sending quite the same message as some of the Southern US counterparts. I only got to start reading it today after son Thomas finished it yesterday. Must get back to it.

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  • Here in London it's exactly the same. Since the book came out, I haven't been able to ride a subway train without seeing at least one; yesterday on the way home I was bracketed by Potter on both sides.
  • I wish I had time to read Harry Potter. I'm stuck just viewing the movies.

    My wife took a little flack from her then-preacher for going to see the Harry Potter movies. She told him she was going in order to see for herself if there was anything religiously wrong with it. She concluded there wasn't. I agree. We're both fundamentalists. Two or three years later, the same preacher pretty much didn't care about Harry Potter.

    One problem that happened was that the Onion published a satire article with fa

    J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
  • I recently saw this quotation from JK Rowling [] about the difference between reactions to Harry Potter in the UK and the US.

    I had one letter from a vicar in England -- this is the difference -- saying would I please not put Christmas trees at Hogwarts as it was clearly a pagan society. Meanwhile, I'm having death threats when I'm on tour in America.

    • Boy I have to snicker about that (the trees, not the death threats), since the Christmas tree is/was a pagan symbol.

      I come from one of those Protestant families that originally didn't celebrate Christmas at all and today considers it a purely secular holiday, not Christian. To me all the trees and mistletoe and such are originally pagan symbols that have become religiously-neutered cultural symbols of a bygone era in England; I enjoy them every year and think about that time period and various fictional

      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
    • By the way, I heard yesterday there's actually a Bible quote in Harry Potter 7. That should give some fundamentalists fits.

      Of course, I heard it from a Christian homeschooling mother of 7 whose family loves the books. :)

      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers