Harry Potter book seriesWith the release of the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 film this weekend, it was inevitable, I suppose, that some whacky Christian pastor would come out against the Harry Potter franchise as “un-Christian” because it “promotes witchcraft.” Pretty much every H.P. release — whether in book or movie form — has been punctuated by some fundamentalist Christian loudmouth denouncing the book or film as “demonic” or “Satanic”, because it includes sorcery and witchcraft. So this report by the Christian Post is not exactly a surprise (WebCite cached article):

Another Harry Potter film hits theaters everywhere Friday and Steve Wohlberg, author of the new book Exposing Harry Potter and Witchcraft: The Menace Beneath the Magic, strongly advises against seeing it.

Wohlberg, a bestselling author, expressed his concern to The Christian Post. He said the trend toward witchcraft, vampirism, and occultism among teens has rapidly increased since the Harry Potter Craze began in 1997 in the United Kingdom. Written by J.K. Rowling, the Harry Potter series explores sorcery, witchcraft, and Wicca, noted Wohlberg. …

“The more I read the books, the more I realized how spiritually dangerous the material is,” he said. “Even though it’s fiction there is a lot of reality woven in it. My warning is that Harry Potter is a major contributor to Wicca.”

That there is no “Wicca” in the H.P. series, that it’s never mentioned, nor even hinted at, doesn’t appear to be sufficient to stop this pea-brained idiot from railing against H.P.

Like any other crank of the same sort, Wohlberg bases his views on a lot of supposition and on anecdotal reports he’s managed to catalog:

In his book, he gives several personal accounts of people who have dabbled in witchcraft specifically because of Harry Potter. Teenagers, he explained, are vulnerable to these themes because they are fascinated with the message that magic gives you power. He gives accounts of teens at bookstores on the day of the release of a new Harry Potter book, describing how they have “the book in one hand, and a wicca book in the other.”

Yeah. As though he can provide any demonstrably-genuine photos of this phenomenon.

The truth about H.P. is that the series definitely has moral themes, but ones that most Christians would agree are positive. As I blogged previously, other authors — including assuredly Christian ones such as C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien — have used magic-infused fictional worlds for their Christian-inspired literature, for a long time now. And I don’t suppose that will end. Moreover, I’d be astonished if any of these anti-Potter folks would dare condemn either The Chronicles of Narnia or The Lord of the Rings for “promoting witchcraft” or any other similar nonsense.

Photo credit: bibical.

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