Executive summary: Harry Potter shows us that the leaders are sadly deficient and the blogosphere show us that most Christians are not.
I’ve left all this to my del.icio.us links, but I can’t stand to let it go. Newsflash to Harry Potter critics: The Bible nowhere ever says it is wrong to say Latin-derived words while waving a stick. There is nothing wrong with a fictional construct where people who show paranormal powers as the approach adolescence receive special training in how to use those powers. The X-men has been using the premise for decades without calling down railing judgments from Christian leaders, despite being a vehicle for pop-evolutionary mythology. Now there’s something for a Christian to object to.
But no. Our energy must be conserved for a woman who has just sent who knows how many thousands to google to try to figure out the significance of, “the last enemy to be defeated is death,” or “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
Let me change my executive summary: Harry Potter shows us that Stephen King is a more discerning guide to literary matters than a herd of Christian literary reviewers. Christian bloggers will actually find something valuable and worth considering in Stephen King. Compare this to Michael O’Brien’s intellectual pornography. What is going on?
Dip into O’Brien’s piece at any point, at any paragraph and virtually any sentence, and one is immediately overwhelmed by a need to think hard and find some way to believe that he was not self-conciously lying when he wrote his totally inaccurate claims about that book. Rowling believes children are innately good? Anyone who has read the series knows that is not remotely credible. But perhaps that’s what she thinks. Maybe he read it somewhere.
Harry knows only “selective love”? He died to protect the whole world Muggle and Wizard, Malfoy and Granger, Dursley and Weazley, alike. When he came back, Voldemort’s magic was no longer deadly to anyone.
What kind of idiot allow this sort of filth to be published? No, what sort of spiritual blindness and perversity thinks that this sort of garbage is actually pious?
Ooooh, here’s a nasty accusation.
Then there’s the adolescent romance in the atmosphere, a potent element when mixed with magic, usually latent but growing with each volume and culminating in domestic bliss for the central characters at the end of the final volume. Yes, Harry faces near-satanic evils, passes through an unceasing trial of conflict and woe, triumphs against insurmountable odds, saves the world, marries Ginny and brings forth with her a new generation of little witches and wizards. If it were a spoof or satire we might laugh.
That’s right. Rowling shows adolescent confusion abandoned in favor of true love, marriage, and multiple children. She’s going to Hell for sure. Laugh away.
By the way, I don’t like snogging among teens. It is foreplay for people who should be waiting (of marrying early). But I and a great many other Christian parents have noticed that our children find the whole idea gross and see that it doesn’t lead to any real good for Harry or his friends. But maybe Rowling is guilty for being too accepting of an overly permissive culture. If so, notice that the disappointment can be registered in a single sentence and that it doesn’t follow that therefore her books are the AntiChrist.
“The death of God?” many a reader will respond. “Surely he is making too much of the matter!
No, that’s not it at all. Try this.
“The death of God?” many a reader will respond. “Surely he is out of his #@$%#$@!% mind. Surely he is a know-nothing who makes his living by fear and offering to his audience a rationalization for arrogance.”
I’ll end with this question for your consideration: Does anyone remember Rowling making even one reference to traditional religion/magic either through the mention of voodoo or medicine men or the Qabbalah (sp?). Isn’t that strange? She had international wizards yet I don’t remember even one mention to a true cultural form of witchcraft. Everyone does magic the Tolkien way, not the actual way that magic is done in pagan cultures. How could she miss such an opportunity. Her books would not have sold much less. That would have made a real connection with forbidden occult practice that the Bible condemns. But instead she stayed firmly in the realm of Merlin and made-up tolkienesque “magic.”