Monday, July 18, 2005

Is Harry Potter bad for Christianity?

That is a good question and one I've heard a lot about in the last little while, with the latest one out.

Harry Potter is set in a fantasy world that looks a lot like our own. Just defining it fantasy does not change the question, but it does tells us something. Fantasy is used to explore the human condition in a way that cannot be done in the real world. The setting to Harry Potter could reasonably be changed to Star Fleet Academy without degradation to the story.

Lord Voldemort is not evil because he uses magic or because he wants to conquer death, we have actual scientists doing that in the real world. He is evil because he kills people for fun and profit. He is just another terrorist. He was even incarcerated in spirit form for many years but that only hardened him.

Harry Potter is not good because he uses magic but because he uses every means he has to protect the people around him. The DA was setup to help others learn to protect themselves, it was setup in defiance to illegitimate rule.

It is not to say that their isn't real magic in the world, and by magic I am talking about the power of the devil used to deceive and lead people away from Christ. Just as miracles are the power of God to confirm one's faith. These are things that you need to explain to your children, just like drugs and sex. Are these hard subjects to talk about, sure they are but it is far better for your children to learn them from you then from their peers or from pop culture.

Do I think Harry Potter is bad for my children? no I don't we are reading it out loud right now so we are all reading at the same time. It is a very slow (150wpm) way of doing it but at least I don't get "What's going on? No, don't tell me!" every time I laugh or groan. But an added benefit is that if things start getting out of hand I can stop. But I am impressed with a writer who can pull off a sight gag, that is hard.

Is Harry Potter good for you children? It's up to you, that is your responsibility as a parent, but God will inspire you if you ask. But anything that gets children to read a 700 page book deserves serious consideration, mainly because they are as rare as hen's teeth.

Less then 20% of the population will read one book cover to cover after graduating school for the rest of their lives. I realize that asking most people to actually read Scripture or Harry Potter is a losing proposition but it is still something that should be done. You have to learn for yourself, you can't outsource it.


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