Is Harry Potter evil?


You’ve probably already the latest Harry Potter book by now. If you haven’t, then you aren’t likely to read it any time soon. Don’t worry, I’ll not spoil it for you – I never read any of the Harry Potter books. And I’m OK with that.

I was reading a short post over at Wendy’s and it got me to thinking about how we view the world and the culture around us. You see, her post was about the backlash against Harry Potter by the very people who love C.S. Lewis and J.R. Tolkien. Why is that?

I think the criticisms (aka attacks) on Harry Potter are mis-directed at best and not gospel-oriented at worst.

The difference between Lewis or Tolkien and Rowling is that their fiction was a gospel message within the fantasy world they created. And Rowling’s (AFAIK) does not. But that does not mean it is not worth reading nor does it make it “evil”. In fact, if it’s written well, then we should probably read it. Of course, we could borrow it from a friend rather than buy our own copy, but that’s not the point. The point is, just because something is created by a non-Christian* doesn’t mean it’s forbidden.

Personally, I am more disturbed by Christians who watch “desperate housewives” or “sex and the city”. But at the same time, I enjoy watching “medium” and “heroes”. Does that mean I’m condemned to hell? Not likely since I view these shows through the lens of the gospel. I see our own depravity in the characters and situations and see how despite all our efforts, our “works” will not save us. The characteristics of the people in these stories that we admire most, often demonstrate the same qualities Christ calls us to have.

*apparently, Rowling claims to be Christian but that doesn’t seem to fly with some people.

Update: Travis over at Sword of Gryffindor wrote an excellent post on a similar issue (is Dumbledore is gay?). In the post, Travis highlights some of the problems with the Culture War and is worth the read.

8 thoughts on “Is Harry Potter evil?

  1. I have had people at church comment on Harry Potter and the witches and wizardry and blah blah blah and do exactly what you say: watch Desperate Housewives. My usual response is that witchcraft in children’s books is nothing new…what about Snow White? Hansel and Gretel? Is evil ever glorified in these books? (I don’t think so.) I don’t have a problem with it.
    I was a little taken aback at Rowling’s use of “Bitch” and “Bastard” and “effing” (several times) in a “children’s” book. I didn’t prohibit my children from reading it, but it bothered me all the same. I’m not so sure Harry Potter is for children anymore :)
    Still…an excellent read…and you haven’t read it why? ;)

  2. I tend to think that people should take a long look around them and in their own hearts before condemning things that are entertainment, i.e., just for fun.

    If the content bothers you, don’t read it, listen to it or watch it. But let’s no get carried away…

  3. Good morning! Michele sent me. I have read the Harry Potter books. Her style in the first few reminded me of Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time. I also noticed the language stepped up in the latest book but I think it fits with the characters growing up. The last one isn’t a kid book so much as a young adult one.
    As far as the witch craft bit, I don’t think anyone is going to convert to dark magic practices just by reading them.

  4. I’m with Jennifer…”…an excellent read…and you haven’t read it why? ;)”

    Hi, Michele sent me :-)

    HAHAH the way you phrased your questions “and you are?” reminds me of the office worker portrayed by David Spade on SNL ;-)

  5. You see, what people fail to realise is, they have a choice.

    If they don’t like something, they can ignore it, don’t read it, don’t watch it.

    The key is, not to force their beliefs down other people’s throats.

    That’s when it gets just ridiculous.

    Quite often I get, ” Do you know if you’re going to Heaven?”

    My response, “I’m going straight to Hell if you don’t change your line of thought in about three seconds.”

    I get Holyrollers of different denominations here frequently, and being raised Catholic, I am familiar with biblical passages, and can smell bullshit a mile away.

    As a small child, I got bored one day and decided to read the bible(I think it was a King James edition), cover to cover. When asked once if I had, and what I thought about it, I replied that it was a lovely story. Most go postal after hearing that. My take is, the Apostles and prophets recounted their experiences. This literally speaking takes it to hearsay, but to a Christian with a totally closed mind, it is LAW.

    Harry Potter is just another excuse for overzealous religious folk to get offended.

    In the 70’s it was Dungeons & Dragons.
    In the 80’s it was Heavy Metal/Alternative, Rap, other various forms of music.
    Today it’s Harry Potter.

    Books are banned or protested against mostly by the ignorant.
    Hell, half the banned book list is composed of pieces that were written in certain periods that weren’t as “politically correct”.

    I’m beginning to ramble now, so I’ll crawl in bed and dream about my child growing up in an prejudice-free world.

    Just my two copper.

  6. My point exactly. I get told by a few that I am a “worldly person” because I dress/act/think/read a certain way.

    I care about the world so much I want everyone in the world to get along and not be prejudiced.
    I want people to stop destroying the world with violence/indifference.
    I want the world to be as beautiful as my first sight of it on the National Geographic Explorer.
    I want the world to appreciate itself for itself.
    I want the world to not have self-esteem issues.
    I want the world to be color-blind.
    I want the world to be a better place for my son to grow up in.

    Damn straight I am a worldly person.

  7. It’s kind of like when John Lennon said in an interview,”Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue with that; I’m right and I will be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now; I don’t know which will go first – rock ‘n’ roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It’s them twisting it that ruins it for me.”

    …all anyone heard was “we’re more popular than Jesus Christ”, and protested the Beatles as Evil.

  8. there is no ‘effing’ in any of the H.P. books, and bastard may have been used once, same as bitch (if it is there)

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