Garner Ted Armstrong, PhD
I couldn't help myself. I had to check out Garner Ted Armstrong's webpage to see how he was going to handle yet another failed "end of the world" prophecy." I know I should have better things to do with my time, but this was worth it. Garner Ted Armstrong, Ph.D, does it again--and in the great and grand tradition of his inspired and noble heritage. (See also: Harry Potter and the Witch of Endor)
I noticed that one of the latest banner headlines on his webpage was about the wildly popular Harry Potter series. He got in the usual homophobic digs--"Harry has a "weak looking" and "sissy" appearance. He also sneeringly commented that the author has "raked in millions." [Sorry, Ted, but that sounds like "ovaries envy."]
It was richly rewarding reading. Of course, he very predictably decried such evils as Halloween, Christmas and Santa Claus, and warned "God-fearing" parents to be ever vigilant, realizing how abhorrent such characters as Harry Potter and all of the former are in the sight of God. But the payoff comes when he attacks [parenthetically] reading to children as "ridiculous," in a reprinted letter which he found on a webpage called: "Moms Online." I have lifted these comments from his webpage. Anyone from his "church" who believes "Dr." Armstrong (I believe he has a Ph.D in education from Ambassador College--his doctoral dissertation, if my memory serves me correctly, was the high esteemed Plain Truth About Child Rearing, which has endeared him to thousands of now middle aged people who were privileged to be reared according to his words of wisdom) to be an educated and credible man, please read this and ask yourself what planet he has been living on for the past 70 years, that he doesn't believe reading to children encourages them to read:
The teacher's letter said:
"...Recently I have been asked to STOP reading Harry Potter to one of the second grade classes at my son's school...
As most of you know, I have been reading stories to your child's class since the beginning of the school year
[Garner Ted Armstrong's Note: As a life-long educator, I find this to be ridiculous. Reading to children usually causes wandering minds, inattention, note-passing, and nodding off into sleep. She would be much better advised to teach them to read, rather than reading to them!].
This is an exercise that I consider a privilege and an honor. I believe that reading stories out loud to a child helps to promote their creativity and sense of imagination. These are very important, yet undervalued, skills they will need throughout their lives. It is a persons' imagination and sense of creativity that enable them (sic) to solve problems and create new ideas in all occupations, from parenthood to professional fields such as medicine, construction, and leadership (sic) In addition to creativity and imagination, reading out loud helps to teach children grammar skills, vocabulary, and writing skills (the use of similies [sic] and imagery, etc.). "
"I have chosen to honor this request with a little protest of my own. I understand the religious concerns that people often have regarding the material that their children are exposed to (sic). However, I must admit to being faced with a new problem. I now find myself perusing my own home library for books that I read, not only to your child's class but to children in the Montessori school (three-year-olds), Kindergarten, and First Grade classes. My newest dilemma is in choosing a new "appropriate" book. "My understanding is that the objection to Harry Potter generally comes from its focus on magic, sorcery, and fantastical creatures (goblins, unicorns, etc.). Some parents may be concerned from a religious standpoint; others may be afraid that it is too frightening a tale. This is a story of your standard good vs. Evil (with good triumphing, as usual). There are undesirable characters who are portrayed in an exaggerated manner so that the reader (sic) will instantly dislike them.
These characters have qualities about them that even children recognize as rude, mean, or intolerant. There are evil characters who commit evil deeds, and there are benevolent characters who seek to overcome evil. These are struggles that occur in our everyday life, and by reading and hearing stories about such struggles, I believe that our children will become more empowered to challenge that which is wrong or evil in the name of that which is right, or good. I also chose this particular tale because it seems to have a magical quality of its own in interesting children in reading."
[Garner Ted Armstrong's Note: Just how being read to encourages learning to read is a bit obscure].
Right on, Garner Ted Armstrong, where did anyone ever get the idea that reading to children would encourage them to read? What a fantastical notion!
This ends the portion of the teacher's letter that I intend to quote. Now we return to "Dr." Garner Ted Armstrong's very learned observations. He spends several pages quoting scripture and ranting about how evil Harry Potter is, he makes an impassioned plea for good reading material for boys and girls:
[Garner Ted Armstrong's Note: If you are a parent, and if you intend permitting your children to become a part of the "Harry Potter" craze, do not be surprised to find that your children end up rejecting God and Christ, and perhaps decide to become actively involved in sorcery and witchcraft. 33). Today, IT IS AGAINST THE LAW for teachers to read the BIBLE to their students. Thus, if children are to learn about Creation; about Adam and Eve; about Noah and the Ark; about David and Goliath; about Daniel in the Lion's den, they will have to learn it at home, or perhaps in their church, for it is not allowed in school. The Bible is filled with truthful stories . . .] [emphasis mine]
Yes, and lovely stories they are, too, to read to seven year olds. I remember having them all read to me at my mother's knee and in church every sabbath. Of course, I was afraid of the dark until I was over thirty . . .
In closing, may I suggest that we not keep the faith--throw it away!
Editor's Note: I wonder if Harry Potter would have been more manly, in Garner Ted Armstrong's opinion, if Harry were naked, chasing a masseuse around her office while masturbating like the highly esteemed PhD did while caught on video tape? I think that children would be harmed more by reading of the exploits of Garner " Hairy Chubby Tattooed" Armstrong than they would from reading about Harry Potter.
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