Monday, February 05, 2007

Potter's Morals vs. Bible's Magic

Christians have it backward. If you're worried about your child obsessing over magic, it's not Harry Potter you should guard against; it's the Bible.

Author J.K. Rowling doesn't bill her writing as anything other than fiction. Youngsters are thrilled as the courageous and incorruptible Potter overcomes seemingly insurmountable obstacles and achieves his goals. The fantastical realm of magic is merely the world Rowling devised in which to depict her ideal of good triumphing over evil, just as Melville used a high-seas setting to depict the self-destructive nature of an irrational lust for revenge.

A child who reads Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (or views the record-breaking movie) is no more likely to dabble in witchcraft than one who reads Moby Dick is to dabble in whaling.

But Christians tell their kids that the Bible, which is packed with more swords and sorcery than ever sprang from Rowling's active imagination, is not a work of fanciful fiction, but divinely inspired truth.

For instance, scene one of the Judeo-Christian Book of Magic treats readers to an omnipotent Being uttering the universe-sparking incantation, "Let there be light." (For such an entity, "Abracadabra" or a nose-wiggle would have worked as well.) Full Story

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Anonymous Kullervo said...

Well, not to point out the obvious, but to Christians there;s a big difference. They don;t have a problem with the supernatural per se, it's the supernatural from sources other than God that's the problem.

Fundamentalist Christians believe most certainly in witchcraft and Magick, but they believe that it is a mirrir and amockery of God's true supernatural power.

I'm not trying to be snarky or anything. It's just that your post assumes that the problem that some Christians have with Harry Potter is that it deals with the supernatural, period. If that were so ,then you would be right.

The problem is that the magic in Harry Potter is worked by the individual out of their own will and power, not sourced from God or in God's name, and that the magic of Harry Potter includes trappings and associations taken from Magickal traditions that definitely are not about relying on the Lord.

Don't get me wrong; I personall ythink the Harry Potter books are great, and I think any attempt to boycott or ban books of any kind is ugly and stupid. It just doesn;t do anyone any good to put things in other peoples' mouths.

9:36 PM  

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