The Potter Parody That Got Out of Hand

Condemned for defending Harry Potter, the author thinks Christians should heed St. Paul's advice.

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of Satan.

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.) "Mom


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 In

a piece


titled "Harry Potter Books Spark Rise In Satanism Among Children," The Onion parodies every Christian fear over Potter-mania.

A typical quote: "The Harry Potter books are cool, `cause they teach you all about magic and how you can use it to control people and get revenge on your enemies," said Hartland, WI, 10-year-old Craig Nowell, a recent convert to the New Satanic Order of The Black Circle. "I want to learn the Cruciatus Curse, to make my muggle science teacher suffer for giving me a D." Shocking, if Craig weren't completely made up.

The Onion piece is also the source of such "facts" as:

  • The Potter books have led to a huge jump in converts-mostly children-to Satanic churches.
  • Potter author J.K. Rowling refers to Jesus Christ as a "weak, idiotic Son of God [who is] a living hoax."
  • "Focus on Faith," a Christian advocacy group, warns that the Potter books teach "hundreds of occult invocations."


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    Many Christians have forwarded portions of this parody to their friends, spreading the confusion throughout Christendom. "Please FWD to every pastor, teacher and parent you know," pleaded one mass-emailer after quoting The Onion piece at length (warning readers first of "highly graphic descriptions of a pornographic nature"). Connie Neal, author of "What's a Christian to Do with Harry Potter?", says one Dallas radio station tried to find a representative from the fictional "Focus on Faith" to debate her on the air.
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