As a Christian and follower of Jesus Christ, I cannot disagree more with the Nov. 14 guest column concerning Harry Potter by the Rev. Louis Sheldon. I am not sure which books Sheldon was reading, but they are not the same Harry Potter books I have read! Nowhere in the books does it promote Wicca or witchcraft, and there are no subversive attempts by the author to lure innocents into a world of evil. I am still trying to figure out what his mention of abortion and homosexuality had to do with Harry!
Harry Potter is a story about a little boy whose parents are killed when he is 1 year old, and he is forced to go live with an aunt and uncle who dont want him. For 11 years he is forced to live under the stairs with the spiders, and becomes the personal punching bag of Dudley (the cousin) and his friends. Once he gets to Hogwarts (his new boarding school), he is nurtured by some very wise teachers and is able to find his niche playing a sport called Quidditch.
The overriding theme of the book is good vs. evil. Like any fairy tale, our main characters face one main villian, referred to by the other characters in the book as he-who-shall-not-be-named. Dumbledore, the headmaster of the school, tells Harry to call him by name, (which is Voldemort), teaching him that unless we face our fears we will never overcome them.
The books are full of wisdom and some great food for thought. One of my favorite quotes from the books comes from the second book, Chamber of Secrets: It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. Isnt this what we tell our children all the time? Another favorite is, ... to have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever. How often, in times of trouble, have any of us wished that we still had the love and support of a parent, or friend, who had passed on, and just the thought of them and how they loved us gets us through some tough times?
If we are going to condemn the magic in Harry Potter, then wed better take another look at Cinderella (that dreaded fairy godmother - she did some wicked things with her wand) and the Chronicles of Narnia (remember, these children also started out in the real world, went to a fantasy world, ran into some interesting beings including a witch, and then returned to the real world through a wardrobe).
I am also an elementary school media specialist and I would never misrepresent myself to the children that I serve. I have never seen a reading explosion like Harry Potter! Not only are they reading Harry, but they are spinning off to other fabulous works like the Hobbit and the Redwall series.
I am still concerned about the version of Harry Potter that Sheldons article refer-red to. It sounded more like an attempt to sell the video he mentioned, Harry Potter, Witchcraft Repackaged. Hmmm; I wonder what is Sheldons connection to Jeremiah films?
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