Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Can't we just enjoy Harry Potter because it's fun?

Unless you've been under a rock for the past month, you are well aware that the last Harry Potter book is out.

(Actually I'm about two weeks behind the news cycle. The national media have already moved on to other topics since the hoopla over the book coming. I am a big fan of the series, and no, I haven't read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows yet, so do not tell me what happens!)

A new Harry Potter book means more of the tired debate amont conservative Christians over whether or not it is a tool of Satan. Even the fundamentalists who charge the books with luring children into the occult seem a little tired of the fuss at this point. Terry Mattingly has a column that offers a sort of round up of criticism from fundamentalists--the charges are worthy of a good laugh. He also relates something I did not know, which is that J. K. Rowling, the author of the books, is a member of the Church of Scotlant and her religious upbringing informs her writing. On the other side of the debate are evangelicals who like the struggle between good and evil present in the book and who even use it as a means of evangelism.

From my perspective, the whole hubbub makes me yawn. I enjoy the series, because they are well-written, witty, suprising and because the characters is rich and deep. The story is unfailingly moral, as is Harry Potter himself, but considering the genre, that's just fine. The books are entertaining and a good escape--in and of themselves good qualities that make a book worth reading. In my mind, the books are just plain fun. I'm not interested in dilluting that fun in order to get into a debate with folks who seem like they know little to nothing about having fun in the first place.

I say, enjoy Harry Potter and skip the drama.

Grace and Peace,


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