For once, I couldn’t think of a clever title. Oh well. This one’s straight and to the point. Anyways, as any long-time fan of Harry Potter knows, the boy is pure evil. You heard me right. He’s a wizard and he goes to a school devoted to teaching witchcraft and wizardry. That makes him evil. Why? Well, somewhere in the Bible (I have yet to find where), there’s a passage saying that practicing magic in any form is a big no-no. Why? Well…er, I don’t know. Having not read the passage, I can’t really say why, but I bet it has something to do with not invoking power through God. Come to think of it, that really may be the reason. I once wrote to some lady who was on a vendetta against Harry Potter and her email back said something to that effect. But with more “Repent lest ye be damned!” and such. Apparently, daring to question someone who has (or thinks they have) God and the Bible on their side is even worse than reading about Harry Potter.
While I can kind of understand how some religious people can see magic as being “bad” (if only because their religion says so), I don’t think they quite get the big picture regarding Harry Potter. Heck, I highly doubt most of the hardcore anti-Harry folks have even read the books. See, Harry Potter is all about the dichotomy of good vs. evil. Sound familiar? Yeah, it’s in the Bible, too. Good wins, evil doesn’t. Old hat. So why does magic throw a wrench into the whole deal? Yes, Harry Potter practices magic. But do you see him using for anything other than good? Okay, he’s lost his temper a few times and performed a forbidden curse at least once, but that’s nothing compared to guys like Voldemort and his crew of Death Eaters. Does Harry murder? Does he torture? Does he inflict unimaginable pain on wizards and Muggles alike for amusement? No, of course not. Because he’s good. Voldemort does do these things because he’s bad. See what I’m getting at here?
All to often, people let certain things get in the way of their viewing the big picture. It’s a classic case of missing the forest for the trees. I’ve written about this type of thing before, in the case of the children’s book and the word “scrotum,” which also resulted in parents and teachers and other well-meaning people banning the book for being too offensive (one word and it resulted in a ban? At least Huck Finn had the n-word multiple times). The same thing goes for Harry Potter. Forget that he’s fighting evil. Forget that he’s saving the world. He’s a wizard! Burn him! Ban the books so they don’t turn our kids into evil, devil-worshiping witches and wizards and cause them to have premarital sex and do drugs and become Buddhists! Heaven forbid the kids become Buddhists!
Ah well. They are just books, after all. Harry Potter isn’t real. Owls don’t carry letters, and there aren’t Quidditch tournaments happening in our backyards. Brooms don’t fly, and waving a wand around and mumbling pseudo-Latin phrases isn’t going to do a thing. Of course, I don’t know any of that for sure, but I’m going to stick with them not happening considering J. K. Rowling came up with all of this while riding a train and jotted it down on a napkin (or stole it from someone else who came up with it years ago but somehow never published it or made any money off of it, depending on who you ask). I have yet to see any hard evidence of magic, so I really don’t see the problem with people reading books about it. Of course, according to the lady with the quest to rid the world of Harry Potter I talked to (I wish I could remember her name, but then, I don’t really care), there is a problem since people might think it’s real and thus pretend to be witches and wizards, which is just as bad even if they’re good Christians and not actually doing anything remotely like witchcraft. She even told me there is a Hogwarts-esque wizardry school somewhere, but I didn’t much believe her, considering how many times she’d condemned me to hell in the email prior to revealing that. I’d post the email up, but I deleted it. She never did answer my question.
So, the moral of the story is: enjoy fiction for being fiction. Don’t get hung up on words or concepts that might, at first glance, seem bad because you’ll miss the big picture behind the story. And then you’ll be doomed to a life of watching Fox News and thinking Paris Hilton’s jail time is more important than anything else in the world. Or focusing on Victoria Beckham’s hair rather than the fact that she’s a skeleton wearing big sunglasses. I’m serious.