From Jack's Shack, among others, comes this latest on yet another attempt to ban the Harry Potter novles from School Libraries:
Ga. mother seeks Harry Potter ban
ATLANTA - A suburban county that sparked a public outcry when its libraries temporarily eliminated funding for Spanish-language fiction is now being asked to ban
Harry Potter books from its schools.
Laura Mallory, a mother of four, told a hearing officer for the Gwinnett County Board of Education on Tuesday that the popular fiction series is an "evil" attempt to indoctrinate children in the Wicca religion.
Board of Education attorney Victoria Sweeny said that if schools were to remove all books containing reference to witches, they would have to ban "Macbeth" and "Cinderella."
A list of other such foolish attempts can be found at Answer.com.
Y'know, you'd think by now that folks would have figured out that banning a book does nothing to prevent it being read. The act of banning a book merely inspires even more curiousity than ignoring it does. And in the case of the novels by J.K.Rowling, banning her books because they concern Magic, Wizards, and Witches is just silly beyond belief.
I can imagine some fundamentalist Christians, and maybe some Jews and Muslims, being quite leery of any book that treats Magic in such an easy fashion. For them, tales of Wizards and Witches may sail perilously close to the shores of Blasphemy. But if they had taken the time to read any of the books they would see that Harry Potter is not a substitute for Christ, is never portrayed as perfect, is never seen as seeking martyrdom or godhood. No, Harry is a typical boy, with an atypical gift: he can perform real magic.
At no time do the books delve into religion or religious practices. In fact the only worshipping they come close to are the grovelings of the followers of the Dark Lord - Voldemort. We see only passing references to Christianity in the mention of the Christmas and Easter Holidays. Perhaps the absense of religious rituals such as church services or Mass, or something of that sort makes folks a bit uncomfortable. But the Potter series isn't "The Chronicles Of Narnia". This isn't C.S.Lewis writing about Christianity. This is J.K.Rowling writing a tale for young readers.
So, what's the problem here, aside from the fact that some critics have never read a word of the novels? It can't be the character of Harry Potter. In most respects he's a normal boy. He's mischievous, breaks rules - or ignores them - and doesn't study very hard, he has hates, loves, loyalties, fears. So aside from that evil magic thing, there's nothing there to worry any Christian.
Rowling has grabbed mythical creatures from all over the literary world to people her novels. And for each one there is a story, a back-story if you will, that places them quite well within the magical world of Hogwarts. Elves and Goblins, Werewovles and Trolls, Thestrals and Unicorns, magical characters that let the imagination run free. And on top of it she is writing about the battle of Good versus Evil. And she's not rooting for Evil!
The main characters in Harry Potter - the ones we root for - are good people, trying to live their lives, while battling forces they scarcely understand, so Evil are those forces, while remaining loyal, and loving. Surely a reader, one who's read the Bible, can see a kind of model of Moses in the image of Albus Dumbledore. A Father figure, one who is more powerful than the others, striving to bring his people (the Hogwarts Students) through, an old man of sorrows, gentleness, and principle. Yet, not once will you see him claim infallibilty. Or perfection. No, he's a man of power, but a man, nonetheless.
In Severus Snape we find an ongoing enemy of Harry, yet a confidante of Dumbledore. Snape hated Potter's father and loathes Harry, making his classes a kind of torture for the boy. And even he has quite human experiences and reactions. He was one who had been a part of the Evil, yet turned from it and renounced it. And there is Draco Malfoy, Harry's nemesis at Hogwarts. Malfoy is a fellow student, but of a different upbringing and character than Harry.
These novels bring us the image of a full, rich world - minus Church, perhaps - written in a captivating, enjoyable style. It's aimed at young readers, those who need to read most, and enjoy reading most. The Harry Potter novels give younger readers a reason to read. And they love it! They want to read these books! And if the parents of those young readers are watching over them as they should, then any mistaken ideas about magic, or witchcraft, can be quickly answered.
Now, look. I'm a Christian and I've read each of the six Harry Potter novels. I have not been enticed to begin studying witchcraft or to worship Satan. I have watched the first three films. I'm still a Christian. And I must confess that I would love to be able to fly on a broom! Don't kid yourself: you know you'd love it, too! And it wouldn't change your love for Christ one whit, now would it? Or are you too weak in your Faith to withstand the lure of a fictional world?
If so, perhaps you should be sure to stay away from the Sports teams you root for, and the TV shows you must watch!