It’s been years since I waded back into the Harry-Is-A-Tool-of-Satan camp.
Of course, every book and film release I’ve lived through since 2000 has been accompanied by this grief the same way there is always a handful of people who get sick at concerts and sporting events. “We will barf on your good time!”
I read about a Catholic entertainer called Michael O’Brien who writes about the Roman Catholic objections to Potter I thought I’d surf over there to see if anything new was being said. And since I’d read none of his thoughts before it was ALL new to me.
Especially this part:
“In one class, the students are taught to cut up mandrake roots, which are living human babies, for use in a potion. At the least this can cause a subconscious desensitization to abortion.”
Pause. Allow rage to subside slightly so I don’t use a bit of what my mother calls “barnyard language” or call a presumably nice man a goatweenie.
For those of you who haven’t read the books let me briefly clarify.
1. The mandrake roots are not “actual human babies”. JKRowling is using her sense of humour and goofing on the fact that people who used Mandrakes in fertility potions (including two Bible women who fought over them named Rachel and Leah) used them because they “resembled a man” ie. look like stick figure men made out of three stuck-together penises. When the kids deal with them in class it is only to re-pot the baby plants. Throughout the year references are made to the plants growing and their roots doing things people do. “The mandrakes threw a raucous party in Greenhouse three”. Professor Sprout (see, that’s Rowling’s humour again) says the mandrakes will be ready for use in potions when they are mature and “start trying to move into each other’s pots.” It’s a plant that mimics human behaviour in ways that add levity to an intense story about students being petrified.
2. Sprout cuts them herself as she didn’t trust anyone else with the delicate operation of potion making as so many lives depended on it.
So there you have it. In an effort to whip up anti-Potter frenzy we have religious people lying to strengthen their cases. Using hyperbole and glossing over things like “truth”, “humour” and “nuance” to get to the place where everyone in town hangs breathlessly on their every word about the evils of
the presence of a pool table in your community Harry Potter.
Now, as religious people myself–“I are one,” as we say in Indiana–I am doubly offended. This sort of chicanery makes Christianity look WORSE than Harry Potter looks to any non-enthusiast.
I understand the real reasons for Christian objections to Harry Potter and outlined those at Mike Duran’s. There are many Christians who are sensitive to the seductivity of Paganism and choose to avoid anything that would even remind them of what they converted from. Fine by me. I choose to avoid things that lead to my temptations. I get it. But I don’t make up lies to make the things I’m avoiding seem worse than they are. That is Satanic behaviour.