There are more problems with Harry Potter
than just witchcraft.1
I say just witchcraft not
because I think it is a minor issue, but because it seems as
though most people who do not approve of the series are critical
of Harry Potter for this reason alone. Although this is a
very good (probably the best) reason to shun the world of Harry
Potter, there are plenty of other reasons to be critical.
In our base world, we do not have to
look for offensive material that attacks our senses. It
is blatant. It is rampant. It is almost unavoidable. That’s not
to say that this is the only way we are affected by the
impurities of the world. Quite often they come to us in much
more subtle ways. Of course, subtle evil is much more harmful
than blatant evil, because it is harder to recognize and thus
harder to avoid. Most harmful of all is evil under the guise of
good. If we think something is good, we do more than just
not avoid it —we embrace it.
J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series is
exactly this —evil that seems good. The fact that so many people
are embracing it makes it look even better. We
find ourselves thinking that since this or that Christian group
thinks it’s okay, then it must be. If someone you regard as a
"good" parent allows his child to read Harry Potter,
there must be nothing wrong with it, you conclude.
But isn’t this way of thinking precisely what
we want to avoid? The
"everyone-else-is-doing-it-so-it-can’t-be-bad" outlook is one of
the weakest ways of rationalizing immorality. It’s right up
there with the "if-it-feels-good-do-it" mentality. If a "good"
parent or a "conservative" Christian group approves of and even
encourages this kind of reading, it does not mean that the books
are good —it means someone is either uninformed or misinformed.
For the benefit of both, allow me to summarize briefly the four
existing Harry Potter books.
SYNOPSIS OF HARRY
In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,2
we meet Harry Potter, an eleven-year old boy living with cruel
relatives in a suburb of London. Ten years ago, he defeated Lord
Voldemort, the most powerful dark wizard in history. His
parents, on the other hand, did not survive the attack. They
died trying to save Harry. On the night of his eleventh
birthday, he received notice that he was actually a wizard, and
that he has been accepted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and
Wizardry. While at Hogwarts, he learns to cast spells, play
Quidditch,3 and outsmart even the most experienced
wizards. In the end, Harry and his friends, Hermione and Ron,
fight a 12-foot troll and also rescue the Sorcerer’s Stone4
from a professor-turned-villain.
Harry’s second year at Hogwarts, chronicled
in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, sees Harry
with new, more dangerous adventures before him. Among other
things, Harry finds out he is a Parselmouth, which means he can
talk to snakes. The year is spent mainly in trying to discover
the Chamber of Secrets,5 and the Evil that lies
within. Once in the chamber, he must battle an oak-sized
basilisk6 under the command of Lord Voldemort, and
then Lord Voldemort himself. Harry is victorious in his attempt
to eradicate the Evil in the Chamber of Secrets.
While Harry is in his third year at Hogwarts,
the magical world is set on edge at the news of an escaped
criminal. In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,
life at Hogwarts is not as blissful as it was before. Since
there is reason to suspect that the escaped and very dangerous
criminal is after Harry, prison guards known as Dementors are
stationed around the school, and Harry is not allowed to do
anything that might jeopardize his safety (i.e., anything
"fun"). The criminal, Sirius Black, does, in fact, catch up with
Harry. The reader soon finds out that Sirius is actually Harry’s
godfather and guardian, and has been trying to look out for
Harry. Harry escapes a werewolf, outsmarts the dark wizard, and
frees a misunderstood hippogriff 7 all while in the
process of rescuing the Prisoner of Azkaban8 from the
school authorities and the Dementors,9 who are out
for more than blood.
Finally, all things dark and horrible come to
a head in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which
gives the account of Harry’s fourth year at Hogwarts. The year
begins with the Quidditch World Cup, where Harry encounters
veela, beautifully seductive women who can make men bow to their
wills by their dancing. He has a scrape with the Death Eaters
(followers of Lord Voldemort), and later competes in the
Triwizard Tournament, a year-long competition between the top
three European wizardry schools. Unfortunately, Harry’s
schoolmate and competitor in the tournament is brutally killed
by Voldemort, who uses one of the "unforgivable" curses10
to do so. Harry, of course, manages to overcome him once again,
with the help of his dead parents. He escapes only to find out
that one of his favorite and trusted professors was actually a
Death Eater, and trying to do away with Harry the whole time.
WHEN FANTASY BECOMES REALITY, WHERE
DOES REALITY GO?
Many things in Rowling’s "fantasy world" of
Harry Potter coincide with our own world. The setting of the
stories is somewhere outside present-day London. The magical
shopping strip, Diagon Alley, is reached via a tavern in London,
which has been enchanted so that only witches and wizards can
see it. Behind the tavern is a brick wall. To access Diagon
Alley, the witch or wizard must push in the correct brick.
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has also been
enchanted, so that Muggles, non-magical people, will stay away
from it. It is out in the countryside, though also situated
somewhere in Britain.
This is not a made-up fantasy world that
Rowling has "created," although she likes to say it is. These
characters live in our world and in our time period. They play
with the same video games, use the same computers, and drive the
same cars. They have a Quidditch "World Cup," just like our
soccer World Cup. The teams competing in the "World Cup" are
Bulgaria and Ireland, real countries. There are even characters
in her books that really existed. Where is the line between fact
The problem here is that by weaving reality
through a "fictional" work, confusion inevitably ensues. Rowling
has admitted to receiving letters from children who want to know
how to get in touch with Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of
Hogwarts. They want to enroll! Some children are even awaiting
their letters of invitation from Hogwarts. It is a real place
that we just can’t find because we are Muggles.
Rowling and Scholastic,11 instead
of discouraging this thinking, perpetuate it. At the official
Harry Potter website,12 kids can enroll in Hogwarts,
shop at Diagon Alley, and send owl messages (via e-mail).
Rowling, in an on-line interview sponsored by Scholastic,13
answers questions from children about Harry and his friends as
though they were real people. Someone (no names are given in the
interview) asked Rowling, "Where is Azkaban?" (As though
it were a real place!) She answered, "It’s in the north of
the North Sea. A very cold sea." No wonder kids say they
want to be just like Harry or Hermione or Ron! People they
believe and trust are telling them, in so many words, that they
exist! It must be even more confusing for the kids in Britain,
to whom places like London and the North Sea are real places,
and not just somewhere on a map.
Several years ago, JFK was in the
theatres. Oliver Stone produced it, and he said himself that it
was not meant to be a biography, or any kind of historical
account of the late John F. Kennedy’s assassination. He said it
was fiction, and should be viewed as such. Yet such a big
controversy developed over the movie, because it wasn’t
historically accurate. People were upset because he did not
portray the event as they knew it had happened. Why did this
happen? People are easily confused. Using an almost entirely
historical setting for a fictitious work makes us think that it
is historical, and thus believable.
The fact that there is no line between real
and imaginary is only one reason that Harry Potter is dangerous
to children. If adults have a hard time distinguishing between
real and not real, how much harder will it be for children, and
how much more detrimental? Since children cannot always make the
distinction by themselves, the books they read must do it for
them. If a book fails in this regard, it can have harmful
effects, such as what’s happening now, with children thinking
Harry Potter, his friends and his school are real. Kids do not
"grow out" of an interest in magic, they simply develop it.
Furthermore, if the authors encourage this blurring between real
and fantastical, it is because they understand and desire the
negative results that they know will follow.
FUZZING-OUT GOOD AND
Speaking of blurry lines, the distinction
between good and evil throughout the books is fuzzy, if anything
at all. But how can I make this assertion when everyone says
that Rowling shows a definite struggle between good and evil?
Rowling herself says, "The theme running through all of these
books is the fight between good and evil." Even though the
Harry Potter books are constantly being praised for "hav[ing]
a strong moral message and clearly portray[ing] good
and evil," 14 the reader sees, time and again,
constant contradiction. Characters who were portrayed as evil
turn out to be good, while the good guys end up being villains.
A clear example of this vagueness is Sirius
Black, the escaped murderer who turns out to be Harry’s
"godfather," falsely accused and wrongfully convicted.
Throughout the majority of book three, he is shown to be a
dangerous and evil wizard, though in the end we find out how
much he cared for and helped Harry’s parents before they died.
At the end of the fourth book we see Mad-Eye
Moody, who has been helping Harry to avoid punishment all year,
turn out to be a Death Eater. Then we find out that it was
actually one of the higher-ups in the Ministry of Magic, who has
been drinking a Polyjuice Potion15 all year in order
to make himself look like Moody.
Even Harry, who is the "hero" of the series,
bears striking resemblance to Lord Voldemort, his mortal enemy
and the most evil wizard around. They both can speak to snakes;
they were both orphans; the scar Harry got from Voldemort’s
attack burns whenever Voldemort is near; they both use wands
made from the feathers of the same phoenix.16
So who is good, and who is evil? Every book
in this series has at least one character that turns out to be
other than how he was portrayed. This is not to say that a plot
twist or surprise ending is wrong. Some of the best writers
employ this technique. The problem materializes when too many of
the characters are unreliably good or evil; when you never know
who’s who or what side he’s on. Those characters who are
one way or the other are usually not portrayed in a
favorable light, or they change to become what everyone else
wants. Either way, indisputable messages are clear.
Take Severus Snape, the Potions professor,
for example. From the start, he is portrayed as a horribly mean
and unjust disciplinarian, simply because he does not want to
tolerate any of Harry’s rule-breaking tendencies. He knows that
Harry and his friends are up to something, and he usually tries
to prevent the behavior, or correct it after they have done
something wrong. Of course the students think this is wrong of
him, but what about the other professors? Time and again, they
chastise Snape in front of the students for trying to interfere
with Harry’s escapades. Harry is constantly referring to how
much he can’t stand Snape, and how Snape absolutely hates him in
return. The obvious message here is that those who make any
attempt to uphold the rules are unfair and hateful.
Hermione, one of Harry’s best friends, was
originally ostracized by Harry and his friend Ron because she
was a "goody-goody." She always did her homework on time
and always studied for tests. To add insult to injury, she never
let her friends copy her work or test answers. As a result, she
was not worthy to be their friend, until the day she told a lie
to a teacher in order to cover up for the boys. Suddenly, she
won their respect, and was allowed to join them in their capers.
From that day on, she was the brains behind all their exploits,
from teaching them how to stealthily steal ingredients for a
potion to using deceitful means in procuring a restricted book
from the library. Basically, then, the message is that if you
aren’t automatically cool, then lying will make you so.
Although Harry is supposed to be the "good"
in the series, he is not the prototype of heroism that his
readers like to think he is. According to the world, Harry
Potter embodies all that is virtuous and noble, at least as far
as is possible for pre-teen and teenage boys. He is a shining
paragon of courage and loyalty, one who is worthy of emulation
and awe. Nevertheless, a running theme throughout all the Harry
Potter books is "the end justifies the means." Every time Harry
comes out victorious in an endeavor, he has usually used some
kind of immoral or at least questionable means to overcome his
As an example, in the fourth book, Harry is
forced to enter the Triwizard Tournament, a "friendly
competition" that had been discontinued for several years
because too many people were dying. Harry is praised on several
occasions for his performance in the competition. But had he not
had other students, ghosts, Ministry employees and
professors giving him the answers to clues and riddles, he never
would have been able to complete the tasks set before him.
Cedric Diggory, the other Hogwarts Champion, is praised for his
love of fair play and integrity. During the tournament, he not
only told Harry beforehand what the task would be, but also took
the answers that Harry gave to him (after getting them from
someone else). At the end of the competition, Moody gives a
justification for this when he says, "Cheating’s a
traditional part of the Triwizard Tournament and always has
THE "MORAL" IS…?
Traditionally Christian values are not in
abundance here. What we would call virtues are either totally
lacking in Harry Potter’s world, or are portrayed fictitiously
as some other nameless, usually vicious qualities.
Obedience, to Harry Potter, is not "obeying
one’s lawful superiors." Rather, it is more along the lines of
"making it look like you’re not doing anything wrong." Usually
Harry and/or his friends are rewarded for disobeying a professor
or a school rule, not reprimanded. If they are
reprimanded, it is usually by the professor that is law-abiding,
and therefore "out to get them." Of course, this is also the
professor that is most often disobeyed, lied to, and stolen
from. The reason for this is simple. If you don’t like a
superior, or if he is unfair to you, your obligation to obey him
vanishes. We see this time and again. Harry does not have to
obey his aunt and uncle because they are mean to him. He does
not have to obey Professor Snape, because Snape hates him. He
does not have to obey the prefect, Percy Weasley, because he is
just Ron’s nerdy older brother.
Courage, according to Harry Potter and
friends, means looking for danger, usually after being told not
to do so. Loyalty is breaking the rules for another. Justice
means you can get away with anything if you’re famous, and
temperance is that virtue whereby a person gets drunk only when
he’s really happy or really
The characters in Harry Potter
continually act for their own self-interests. For example,
Hermione puts a full-body bind curse on her classmate when he
tries to keep them from going into forbidden areas after curfew.
Professors put memory charms on students to whom they have
revealed their innermost secrets. Harry and his friends make a
potion that will turn them into other people when they want to
find out information from someone else. Professor Lupin,17
when talking with Harry about Harry’s father, reflects,
I sometimes felt guilty about betraying
Dumbledore’s trust…he had no idea I was breaking the rules
he had set down for my own and others’ safety… But I always
managed to forget my guilty feelings every time we sat down
to plan our next month’s adventure.
Obviously, being trustworthy is not as
important as having an adventure with friends.
NOW, FOR THE MAGIC PART
Perhaps the most alarming quality experienced
is dangerous curiosity about magic and the occult. Rowling says
that she had no intention of luring children into the world of
witchcraft when she wrote these books.18 This might
very well be the case. However, what’s happening is precisely
that. Kids want to find out more about casting spells,
predicting the future, and witches and wizards in general. They
just don’t see it as fantasy, as something that they can never
even hope to attain themselves. The scary thing is —they
can do it, and they know they can do it,
because Rowling and her world of Harry Potter are telling them
The most typical response to this disdain for
magic is, "But if magic is so terrible, why do we allow and
even encourage our children to read The Chronicles of Narnia
or The Lord of the Rings?" My answer is that these
classics are on a completely different plane than Harry
Potter. Most people that are familiar with C. S. Lewis and
J. R. R. Tolkien agree that they are writing from at least a
Christian point of view, if not completely Catholic in their
writing and thinking. Rowling is most definitely not. The
"magic" contained in their works is not the same at all.
The major difference between the two types of
magic is that Harry Potter characters are involved in occult
magic. With Tolkien, Lewis, and most other fantasy authors, the
word magic is not even an apt term for what takes place in their
books. Those authors never use the word "magic" themselves —it
is almost always ascribed by an outsider, namely the reader.
Magic is actually defined as the art of using
supernatural means to conform events to man’s will. Witchcraft
has, in its very definition, an evil connotation, and reference
to discourse with the devil. Sorcery is defined as "the use
of power gained from the assistance of evil spirits…divination
by black magic…necromancy, witchcraft…synonymous with magic."
The word "occult" comes straight from Latin,
and means "hidden" or "secret." The strict definition of the
word "occult" in the English language refers to things that are
deliberately hidden or secret. We say Our Lord in the Blessed
Sacrament is, in Latin, occultus, that is, hidden from
ordinary sight, because He does not look like He
In common English, however, the word "occult"
specifically refers to those practices of the "supernatural" by
which an individual attempts to learn things he is not meant to
know, or control things outside of the sphere of his existence.
In other words, there are certain things that we are not to know
within our time here on earth. These are the things that are
hidden from us, by God, because He is in charge.
Dabbling in the occult is simply trying to encroach on the realm
of God, sort of like what Adam and Eve did.
The common thread which runs through every
aspect of the occult is this using of deviant means to execute
one’s own plan. This is precisely why magic and all its
subdivisions are so offensive to Our Lord. Obviously, the
attempt to circumvent God’s Will is not going to be carried out
by God Himself. Ergo, the conclusion is clear: occult practices
are brought about by an evil force, namely Satan.
TOLKIEN, LEWIS, AND OTHERS
As a matter of fact, Rowling’s Harry
Potter books are frequently compared to J. R. R. Tolkien’s
The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and C. S. Lewis’s The
Chronicles of Narnia. The comparison is a superficial one,
at best. It is usually based upon the use of "magic," and the
fact that there is a witch and/or a wizard in the story. What
they never mention is the distinction between how these
characters perform their "magic."
The term "magic" can only be used here, if we
understand that it is being used equivocally. The phenomenon of
having one word describe two completely different things occurs
frequently in the English language. Thus we have "book" meaning
a box-shaped collection of uniformly shaped pages bound
together, as well as the process of acquiring reservations on an
airplane. The only way we can use the word "magic" here is if we
understand that it is referring to two different entities, due
to lack of better terms.
In The Lord of the Rings, what we
would call "magic" is a natural ability of the Elves, which is
recognized as such. They (Elves) all have it, and they can’t
teach it to anyone. In Harry Potter, "magic" is a
dependence on some kind of supernatural source, and can be
learned and taught, to better and worse degrees. The wizards,
Gandalf (good) and Sauruman (bad), are not humans with magical
powers. They are of an altogether different and superior
species, whose individuals are naturally endowed with the
ability to do things that other beings cannot. They have taken
human form, but are not actually human. In Harry Potter,
the good and bad wizards are all humans, go to the same school,
and use the same magic.
The Chronicles of Narnia do, in fact
have a witch. She is regarded as and clearly shown to be evil,
and no question remains on that matter. As far as her magical
ability goes, she has taken for herself powers that are not even
rightfully hers. In other words, Aslan, the representation of
goodness, uses powers that come from a source of goodness. That
source is the one who, as creator of Narnia, has "legitimate
authority over all things" and has ultimate control of that
power. Where do the powers come from that are used in Harry
In The Lord of the Rings and The
Chronicles of Narnia, the power that the good beings possess
is used for the good of everyone involved. It is not used to
satisfy the whims of any particular character. Nor do they use
their powers to stop someone else who is trying to interfere
with their own personal plan. There is always a bigger picture
involved, and that picture has been determined by someone else,
who has the authority to do so. The evil witch/wizard characters
use their powers to serve themselves, contrary to what has
already been determined. This is clearly shown to be wrong in
both Narnia and Middle Earth. There is never a question whether
an evil character is evil. In Hogwarts, though, one never can
Just because Lewis uses the word "witch" and
Tolkien uses the word "magic" does not mean Rowling can be
compared with them. Rowling, though she relies heavily on
occultism for her creatures, does create a few of her own. Does
this automatically mean that she is on the same plane as Tolkien?
Rowling’s characters all speak in various British dialects. Does
that mean she is on the same plane with Lewis? Their stories
might have a material similarity here and there, but their
spirit is different. It is the difference between the way the
authors think. Certainly, how a writer thinks affects his work.
How does Rowling think? In an interview with Rowling she says,
"Do what you want, not what your parents want." 20
Is this along the same vein as Tolkien and Lewis?
JUST PLAIN GROSS
Throughout Rowling’s four books there are
instances of names, people, and items that are taken directly
from occult history. She, herself, admits that she has based
about one-third of her material on actual occultism.21
Remember, though, that she has already said that she has no
interest in luring children into the world of the occult.
Remember also that she recognizes the fact that children are
really becoming curious about occult practices after reading her
Not only are the Harry Potter books
full of fact-based, occult drama, but they often involve
exceedingly gory details which leave little to the imagination.
Children’s imaginations are pretty active as it is. Hence the
need for graphically depicted blood-and-gore scenes is
relatively minute in children’s literature. This is aside from
the fact that they really don’t need these images etched into
their young minds, anyway.
In a subplot of book two, one of the
professors is waiting for the Mandrakes to mature, because they
are necessary for producing a cure for the students who have
been petrified by the basilisk. Historically, a mandrake is a
plant that people believed would grow under the place where a
man was hanged. Its root was said to have looked like a gnarled,
shriveled up, dead infant, which was supposed to have made a
shrieking noise when pulled out of the ground. In Harry
Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, a Mandrake is a plant,
the root of which is an actual baby.
Instead of roots, a small, muddy, and
extremely ugly baby popped out of the earth. The leaves were
growing right out of his head. He had pale green, mottled
skin, and was clearly bawling at the top of his lungs.
Professor Sprout took a large plant pot from under the table
and plunged the Mandrake into it, burying him in dark, damp
compost…The Mandrakes didn’t like coming out of the earth, but
they didn’t seem to want to go back into it either. They
squirmed, kicked, flailed their sharp little fists, and
gnashed their teeth; Harry spent ten whole minutes trying to
squash a particularly fat one into a pot.22
Its screams are fatal to anyone who hears, so
the students who are present have to wear earmuffs. Rowling then
depicts the stages of the Mandrakes’ lives as though they are
human beings. Later, when the mandrakes are "mature" enough for
use, they are cut up into pieces and stewed. In the same book,
the ghost that haunts a girls’ restroom is lamenting the fact
that she’s already dead, because she can’t kill herself again.
Then there are the Dementors, the guards of
Azkaban, who are "among the foulest creatures that walk this
earth." Next follows a description of just how foul they
are. The Dementor "…will feed on you long enough to reduce
you to something like itself…soul-less and evil. You’ll be left
with nothing but the worst experiences of your life." As if
that’s not enough, we find out exactly how they do this. It’s
called a "Dementor’s Kiss" :
It’s what Dementors do when they wish to
destroy utterly…they clamp their jaws upon the mouth of the
victim and —and suck out his soul …you’ll have no sense of
self anymore, no memory, no …anything. There’s no chance at
all of recovery. You’ll just —exist. As an empty shell. And
your soul is gone forever …lost.
Toward the end of Harry Potter and the
Goblet of Fire, Harry is magically (and unknowingly)
transported to a graveyard where Voldemort and Wormtail,
Voldemort’s latest faithful servant, are waiting for him.
Wormtail is about to resurrect Voldemort into a fully functional
wizard again. Voldemort has been inhabiting someone else’s body,
since he doesn’t really have much of a body of his own after
being defeated by Harry now fourteen years ago.
It was as though Wormtail had flipped over
a stone and revealed something ugly, slimy and blind —but
worse, a hundred times worse. The thing Wormtail had been
carrying had the shape of a crouched human child, except that
Harry had never seen anything less like a child. It was
hairless and scaly-looking, a dark, raw, reddish black and its
face —no child alive ever had a face like that —flat and
snakelike, with gleaming red eyes…. Harry saw the look of
revulsion on Wormtail’s weak, pale face in the firelight as he
carried the creature to the rim of the cauldron. For one
moment, Harry saw the evil, flat face illuminated in the
sparks dancing on the surface of the potion. And then Wormtail
lowered the creature into the cauldron; there was a hiss, and
it vanished below the surface; Harry heard its frail body hit
the bottom with a soft thud. Let it drown, Harry thought
…please …let it drown.
Then there’s the special ceremony and spell
to join the dark lord with a body:
And now Wormtail was whimpering. He pulled
a long, thin, shining dagger from inside his cloak… Flesh
—of the servant —w-willingly given —you
will —revive —your master. He stretched
forth his… hand with the missing finger. He gripped the dagger
very tightly in his left hand and swung it upward…He could not
block the scream that…went through Harry as though he had been
stabbed with the dagger too. He heard something fall to the
ground… then a sickening splash, as something was dropped into
the cauldron… the potion had turned a burning red… Wormtail
was gasping and moaning with agony… Blood of the enemy
…forcibly taken …you will …resurrect your foe. He saw the
shining silver dagger shaking in Wormtail’s remaining hand. He
felt its point penetrate the crook of his right arm and blood
seeping down the sleeve of his torn robes. Wormtail … fumbled
in his pocket for a glass vial and held it to Harry’s cut so
that a dribble of blood fell into it. He staggered back to the
cauldron with Harry’s blood …and poured it inside.
Then Lord Voldemort’s return:
But then, through the mist in front of him,
he saw, with an icy surge of terror, the dark outline of a
man, tall and skeletally thin, rising slowly from inside the
cauldron… whiter than a skull, with wide, livid scarlet eyes
and a nose that was flat as a snake’s with slits for nostrils
…Lord Voldemort had risen again.
One simply cannot help but wonder, "Is
this really appropriate for kids?"
The various troublesome aspects of Harry
Potter fail to turn away many readers, Catholics included.
Why is this? Harry and his friends (the "heroes") are not the
types of role models children should have. What young readers
see fictitious characters doing, they will want to do as well.
They begin to think that since this character acts this way,
it’s normal, or at least acceptable. It is a well-known fact
that they get ideas from the books they read. Whether these
ideas are constructive or detrimental depends on the book and
the message it conveys. Harry Potter lies regularly and gets
away with it. Doesn’t it seem likely that a youngster will think
it unfair when he can’t get away with something that Harry did?
Those who praise Rowling’s work constantly
bring up the same tribute: the story shows a fight between good
and evil. Who’s good and who’s evil, though? When a character
has as many vices as Harry does, the word "good" does not come
to mind. To me, it doesn’t seem like a fight between good and
evil —it seems like a fight between evil and not-quite-as-evil.
As to the witchcraft in the books, people say
it’s harmless, that it has nothing to do with the occult, etc.
If you search the internet for "witchcraft" topics, Harry Potter
is number seven on the list of results. Number seven [this was
in September 2001 just after the books were released:
webmaster]! And this is alongside other sites advertising
paraphernalia such as spell books, witches’ "rosaries" and even
cauldrons for sale. Books on witchcraft and spells mention that
the Harry Potter books are great because "[w]itches in
books are restrained only by the limits of their authors’ —and
their readers’ —imaginations." 23 There is no way
to deny the relationship between Harry Potter and the occult
when it is shown as clearly as this. The reason for the
accolades from authors of witchcraft books is not coincidental.
It cannot be excused as just a similarity in taste. Our Lord
Beware of false prophets who come to you in
the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
By their fruits you shall know them …every good tree bringeth
forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit
…every tree that bringeth not good fruit shall be cut down,
and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall
What are the fruits of the Harry Potter
books? Rowling, a former teacher, is thrilled to see all the
ideas sparked by her books.25 Check out any teachers’
resource website, and you will find plenty of ideas for
integrating the Harry Potter stories into your curriculum. Go to
a teachers’ supply store to find out when the next magic and
sorcery classes for kids are being held. Out of ideas for
science class? Ask your neighborhood children’s section
librarian what the latest Harry-Potter-inspired science
experiments are, and she can produce several ideas from which to
choose. The possibilities are endless. In fact, certain churches
have begun to follow the craze as well. In England, one
church had banners and other symbols from Harry Potter
upon the walls. Its pastor dressed up as Albus Dumbledore, along
with a Harry Potter look-alike, Muggle songs and Quidditch. The
reason for such absurdity? It was relevant to the lesson, James
1:17-2726, which speaks of the blessings of God.27
If Harry Potter has this kind of effect on
adults, what will it do to our children? I know I don’t want to
find out. This tree needs to be cut down and cast into the fire
before any more children start gathering its fruit. We can’t
teach them morals and ethics at home and school only to have it
all undone in their leisure time. Kids recognize contradictions
like this very easily. Guess which example will be followed and
which will be tossed out the window.