Wednesday, July 13, 2005

No, fictional witchcraft doesn't cut it either.

For years, Christians have argued back and forth about Harry Potter.

Some say, "It encourages reading."

Others say, "It encourages involvement in the occult."

It tend to side with the others. I've never read any Harry Potter books. I haven't let my kids read them, either. In my mind, it creates a sense of moral confusion for Christian children to have heroes, fictional or not, who practice arts specifically condemned both by the Bible and by the Church.

"John: how can you condemn a book you've never read?"

I rely on authorities whom my experience tells me I can trust on this matter. Besides, would I need to read the Koran before saying that it, too, contradicted Christian teaching?

"You watched Bewitched when you were a kid. Didn't you? Did your parents mind?"

I did watch that show. So did my parents. Maybe that was a mistake. Maybe that was part of the cultural desensitizing which eventually led to the widespread practice of the occult in our neo-pagan culture.

"John, you're being a prude."

On this issue: yes. And, as it happens, so is the Pope.

For more on the concept of the moral confusion created by modern children's literature, I recommend the book: A Landscape with Dragons: the Battle for your Child's Mind, by Michael O'Brien. For a briefer version of the theme explored in O'Brien's book, try his essay here.