I am a little late with this commentary subject, but I just found this article from Christianity Today in regards to the latest Harry Potter movie.
It seems Christians (whom I would consider “my people”) are still tackling the Harry Potter issue with every movie and book release. Fortunately they have run out of books to complain about but we still have two more movies to get through and we can expect that Christians are going to continue to complain about them.
I want to begin by making note, that I somewhat understand these Christian’s arguments. The Bible is very explicit about magic, witchcraft, and things of that nature. The Bible explains that these things are very real and evil. Okay, so they are real and we as Christians should avoid them. Fair enough. Does this mean that Christians should avoid good juvenile fiction on the subject? Well I guess that would depend on how far you want to take the Bible’s view point.
I am completely okay with a Christian parent telling their children they can not read Harry Potter due to the wizards and witches in the story. What I have a problem with is the typical Christian hypocrisies that comes with it. If you will not allow your children to read or watch Harry Potter because its a world of magic that contains wizards and witches, then why is it okay for those children to read the Chronicles of Narnia series or even Lord of the Rings. Certainly you would not let them watch the movies either right? Wrong. Most Christian families who speak ill about Harry Potter are letting their children read books by Christian authors that contain the same elements they acknowledge as evil in Harry Potter. Chances are, they are also letting their kids (and themselves) watch movies based on these writings.
The thing is, most Christian parents do not teach their children about the concept evil in the correct way. You teach your children that in real life magic is to be avoided and that it is not all great fun like the Harry Potter books show. These parents do not demonstrate to their children the difference between fiction and reality. It is a very necessary distinction that needs to be made. Children need to be taught that fictional stories involving fictional characters are just that and have no bearing on real world events.
Another issue is that most Christian parents throwing a fit over the popularity of Harry Potter have not bothered to read the books themselves. The books are juvenile mystery stories where good often triumphs over evil. The books teach the value of friendship and even respecting your elders overall. Yes, around the end of the fourth book, the series becomes a little darker, but that is when the big evil returns completely. They are light hearted fun, nothing more. Also, parents in an uproar miss the fact that children are standing in line at bookstores at midnight waiting for a book to be released. They were not waiting on the newest video game or movie, but rather a book that had actual words that needed to be read. This is a huge deal. Children actually wanting to read instead of play video games, watch TV, or go to a movie.
I think Christians that have an issue with Harry Potter need to lighten up in a big way. They also need to really look at the games they probably let their kids play. They might also want to look more closely at some of the Christian authors writing stories with similar characters before passing judgment on something as trivial as Harry Potter. It is not like the books of Harry Potter are teaching children real magic spells that they can perform on their friends.