Friday, July 20, 2007

The Trouble With Harry (Or Is It Much Ado About Nothing?)

Just about everybody has an opinion on Harry Potter. Except me, that is.

I've not read any of the Harry Potter books, mostly because literature of that genre just doesn't do anything for me.

That said, I don't -- nay, can't -- have an opinion of my own on the books.

Unless you've been living under a rock, you're well aware that there are not a few Christians (whether Catholic, Orthodox, or Protestant) who don't like Harry Potter -- to say the least -- and who believe that the books are inherently anti-Christian. People like this lady.

However, considering the number of good Catholics I know who love the books -- including my co-worker Eric Scheidler, who is smarter than the average bear when it comes to matters literary -- it flummoxes me when folks work themselves into a lather arguing that HP is evil.

Methinks Mark Shea said it best:

Look. De gustibus, y'all. Nobody says you have to like the books. But the notion that those of us who do are agents of Satan is just stupid. Even stupider is to lie (as Lifesite News did) that Pope Benedict condemns the books or (acting on that lie) to imagine that stealing and lying for Christ is a brave act on behalf of Holy Church. Such behavior just disgraces the gospel.

Mark also offers a plug for Nancy Brown's new book, The Mystery of Harry Potter: A Catholic Family Guide.

Maureen Wittmann offers an eminently sane response here to some of the vicious personal attacks that have been brought against Nancy recently, and in a comment on the Mark Shea post I linked to above, she offers this equally sane comment:

One thing I find terribly disturbing is this new trend to compare HP readers to abortionists. I'm hearing and reading this in many different places.

Much like libs comparing Bush and everyone else they dislike to Hitler lessens the very real horror of the holocaust, this new tactic of making HP out to be as evil as abortion lessens the absolute evil of abortion.

If, as she claims to be noticing, there is an emerging trend among HP opponents to compare HP fans to abortionists...well, that's just flippin' weird, man.

1 comment:

sunnyday said...

Weird indeed.

There's actually an article written by a literature teacher over at MercatorNet, and he discusses the positive aspects of the HP books/movies, going beyond the obvious. I'm still reading the article as it's quite long, but so far it is making me appreciate the movies even more and raring to read the books (haven't even finished the first; I'm more of a movie buff).