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


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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.

    Given that Christians are commanded to love the truth ("See to it that no one takes you captive through empty deception," St. Paul warns in Colossians 2:8.), people ought to be more careful.

    Some Not Quite Ready for Prime Time religious leaders, including a couple who proudly acknowledge never cracking the cover of a Potter tome, have been heard quoting these phony stats. Those who choose to comment publicly on all things Potter owe it to their audiences to at least read the stories.

    Even those Christians who have read the Potter books and sincerely believe that hobnobbing with Harry is dangerous have no excuse for treating their co-religionists like sulfur-belching fiends. In her book, Neal points out that sincere Christians may line up on either side of the Potter debate, but those who engage in personal attacks-whether they're calling Potter lovers "deceived" or dismissing Potter haters as "idiots"-are sinking into sin. Neal's proof is St. Paul's letter to the Galatians: Along with those who practice sorcery, he brackets those who engage in enmity, strife, and disputes-and warns that practicing any of them will keep us out of God's kingdom.

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