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Apocrypha Now! Archive
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by David Emery

Demonizing Harry Potter
08/20/01: A new home video called "Harry Potter: Witchcraft Repackaged - Making Evil Look Innocent" repeats the tiresome charge that J.K Rowling's popular children's books (and the new film based on the first volume) are intended to lure young people away from Christianity into Satanism and witchcraft, according to an article in Florida Today.

The video alleges, among other absurdities, that the books are designed to "teach" real witchcraft to children (in reality, Rowling's fanciful depictions of witches and sorcery were inspired by traditional fairy tales, mythology, popular literature and her own very vivid imagination), that the concept of right vs. wrong doesn't exist in Rowling's fantasy world (simply and ridiculously inaccurate, as any adult who has actually read the books is aware) and that that the lightning bolt scar on Harry's head is "one-half of a Nazi swastika" (oh, please!).

Defenders of Harry Potter, including many Christians, say passages culled from the books to support these inane charges have been taken out of context and misrepresented.

At the risk of stating the obvious, it seems to me the fair and prudent course of action for any concerned parent is to read the books with an open mind and judge for themselves before encouraging or forbidding their children to read them.

Take the Poll: "Should Harry Potter books be banned from public schools and libraries?"

More:

  • Harry Potter: Witchcraft Repackaged - Promo for the video
  • Harry Potter and the Chain of Fools - About.com
  • Further Reading: Is Harry Potter Satanic? - About.com

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