'I Won't Take My Kids to See 'Harry Potter''
A popular Christian writer says it countenances the occult.
BY: Interview by Wendy Schuman
Using the ouija board as an example-by the way, according to "Zillions" magazine a few years back, it tied with Monopoly as the most popular board game in America-I think there is more than ample documentation of children who started playing with a ouija board that have developed some very, very
unhealthy emotional if not spiritual problems. It doesn't matter whether you think something's poisonous or not, if you eat it, you'll suffer the consequences, regardless of what you believe about it. So I would say it doesn't matter whether you take the occult seriously or not, or treat it as a game. It can turn on you.
Are you trying to make the Bloodhounds series a way to convey that message? Will you have something on ouija boards, for instance?
Perhaps more so for [the teen series] "Forbidden Doors." In that series, the first book deals with ouija boards, the second with reincarnation, and the third book deals with so-called spirit guides. But "Bloodhounds Inc." is for a younger set, so we're trying to take it a little more lightly. I'm trying to take away all the superstition that the kids get caught up in and say there's a rational explanation for 99% of all this stuff. With "Forbidden Doors," the position I'm taking is, But thereare
things to be concerned about.
With Harry Potter, a lot of parents are just happy that their kids are reading, period, regardless of what they're reading.
I wish I could get on that bandwagon. I hear that all the time. My premise is it matters what you read, just as it matters what you eat. If you tell me it's better for a child to eat poison than not to eat, I'll say I strongly disagree with you. If you're telling me that reading any story that treats the occult as innocuous fantasy [is better than reading nothing], I'll disagree with you. I know it's dangerous.
Are you going to take your kids to see the new Harry Potter movie?
I won't take my kids to see it. But I'll certainly go as a person that's a part of the culture and trying to reach a culture. My child's school insisted that my 11-year-old read Harry Potter in class, and we turned that into a proactive thing. Instead of my saying "You can't read that," I read it along with her and let her discuss the things that were fantasy and the things that were occult so that she could tell the difference. It was educational for both of us.
There were one or two mentions of God in the "Screwball Wizards" book. Do you try to get God into every book?
Everything I write is to draw the reader closer to the heart of God. That's my agenda, that's my mission statement. The trick with children is to make sure the entertainment level is high enough to where they don't think they're sitting through a seven-hour Sunday school lesson. Every book I've ever written starts off with a thematic bible verse. There's definitely a very strong Christian bias in my writing. And I make no bones about that, but I do try to make sure that it doesn't feel like you're sitting through a sermon.
In this book it's the quote from Philippians, "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is pure.think about such things." Are the kids just thinking about the wrong things?
They're well past the thinking stage, they're actually enacting, living out things that are not that healthy to be thinking or living out.