The Potter Parody That Got Out of Hand
Condemned for defending Harry Potter, the author thinks Christians should heed St. Paul's advice.
BY: Anne Morse
"Dear Ms. Morse," the e-mail began, "You are the handmaiden of Satan, a succubus from the pit of Hell."
What had I done now? Offered my children to General Motors as living crash-test dummies, or shipped them off to Mattel as choking-hazard testers?
The prosaic truth is that I get e-mails like this-dozens and dozens of them-from fellow Christians appalled that I allow my sons to read Harry Potter books. Worse, I recently explained on the website of a Christian ministry why I thought Harry and his friends were good role models for my boys, and why the books taught great moral lessons.
Ever since, nice, church-going Christians have consigned me to the lowest, hottest regions of Hell. I am a witch, I am evil, and I must be destroyed-or at least have my children removed from my toxic presence, lest Harry leadthem
to Hell. My husband-unruffled at hearing that his wife is on Lucifer's payroll-only observed that technically, I am a handmatron
My children, for their part, are rolling on the floor-not demon-possessed, but convulsed at the notion that their church-going, carpooling, Tater-Tot casserole-making, Buffy-and-Britney-banning mom is a broom-riding witch. (Their housework-phobic mother barely knows where the broom is stored.) "Momis
satanic," might come from their mouths, but mainly because I make them eat broccoli.
But when the hilarity dies down, I have to wonder: What kind of people send e-mails to total strangers, calling them nasty names and labeling them unfit mothers?
Duped people it turns out. Many e-correspondents quote from e-mails they themselves have received-e-mails that have their origins in a satirical webzine called The Onion.com. Ina piece
titled "Harry Potter Books Spark Rise In Satanism Among Children," The Onion parodies every Christian fear over Potter-mania.