A few weeks ago, a librarian friend sent me a message on Facebook asking if I could PLEASE write a blog post about how its okay for Christians to like Harry Potter. She said, “I can’t believe we are still having this conversation.” But sadly, in a world where we flip out over red cups, someone is always going to be offended by something.
Honestly, after she sent me that message I thought, “Maybe this is just a librarian thing. Like, maybe she only sees this because of the line of work she’s in.” Then, yesterday, my sister told me about how a woman called Harry Potter “nasty” and said that her husband “wouldn’t allow her or the kids to read it” (<– that statement gets me riled for more than one reason, but we’re talking about The Boy Who Lived in this post, so I’ll bite my tongue.)
After that, another friend sent me a message saying that his wife was staunchly opposed to HP.
So, I figured the time was right to discuss this.
First, I’d like to say that if HP isn’t your bag, that’s totally fine. However, when someone tells me: “I don’t read Harry Potter because its evil” and then, when I ask them if they’ve read it and they say “No”, I die a little inside. I equate this to a parent asking their child if they want broccoli. The child says, “No.” To which the parent typically replies, “Have you ever tried it?” And, nine times out of ten, the child will say they have not. That’s when Mom or Dad uses the line, “Well how do you know you don’t like if it you haven’t tried it?”
The same goes for these books/movies, How do you know they’re evil if you know nothing about them?
On that note, here is my case for Harry Potter:
If you don’t like Harry Potter because of magic, then you need to boycott The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia series, and basically every Disney movie.
Both Tolkien and C.S. Lewis were Christians and their faith was shown through the symbolism of their stories. (Don’t believe me? Read here and here.) True, many Disney movies aren’t faith-based, but every Sunday at church I see little girls wearing Elsa shirts, kids pretending to be Captain Hook, and even a few singing songs from Cinderella. All of those books and films have elements of magic, so why is it okay for those but not Harry Potter? These are ALL human stories told against the back drop of a magical world.
There is no pagan worship or religion even mentioned in the books.
Its not even alluded to! In fact, they even talk about Christmas and Easter. They’re not running around Hogwarts throwing pigs blood on one another and sacrificing classmates to appease some god. They’re going to school. True, that school has staircases that change on a whim and pictures that can talk to students, but that’s just a day in the life of a Hogwarts student.
It is a classic “good versus evil” story.
There are two lines in the series that really stick with me. One is said by Professor Dumbledore when he tells Harry, “Dark times lie ahead of us and there will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right.” Hmm… this sounds a lot like lessons from my youth group pastor: stand firm in your faith even though its tough; be prepared to stand alone, even when you know its right, choose good over evil.
Another quote is by Sirius Black, Harry’s godfather: “We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.” Sound familiar?
Harry Potter promotes sacrificial love and loyalty.
The series begins with an infant Harry being left on the porch of his relatives after his mother died protecting Harry from the evil wizard, Lord Voldemort. Later in the series we learn that his mother’s love is what saved Harry. We see countless examples throughout the series of people sacrificing for those around them. Not only that, but we see the fierce loyalty of people within the wizarding community to the defeat of evil and the protection of Harry. Isn’t this something we’re taught in church? To love our neighbor as ourselves, that we should stand firm in our faith, and that there is no greater love than laying down our life for our friends?
I really could go on and on, but its almost 9:00 p.m. and I’m tired. Plus, I know many folks who are opposed to HP won’t be swayed by what I have to say. So, I encourage you to read this article as well as this one. They both lay out some really good points, and I believe they may help you see Harry Potter in a different light.