Hogwarts vs Hogwash

“Whatcha doing?” Debbie said into the phone.

“I’m finally watching the last Harry Potter movie. I went to the library and got all of them. I’m watching the last one now, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows.”

“My cousin’s church told them not to watch those movies.”

“Why not?”

“I don’t know.”

When we finished talking, I Googled it. I had to.  I found out that some churches really are trying to get the Harry Potter books out of public school libraries because “they promote witchcraft.” The kicker is that they’re claiming that it violates the laws against separation of Church and State, as Witchcraft can be called a religion. I think it sounds like they’re just trying to get even because the Supreme Court banned prayer in schools. [Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421 (1962)]. If we can’t display our Ten Commandments in school, then you can’t have your Harry Potter books and movies. Zombie Apocalypse, okay. Walking Dead, okay. Frankenstein, Dracula, werewolves and vampires all okay, but we draw the line at teenage witchcraft schools.

The funny thing is I see their point. Up to a point. The word Religion comes from the Latin religare, which means to bind. This later evolved into religio, which is to honor and hold in reverence. After watching more than 10 hours of Harry Potter movies in the past week, it does sound possible that it could have been a witchy spell that Hermione Granger might use, “Abra Religio,” and the victims instantly fall to their knees and start praying.

There’s only one big difference between the Witchcraft as religion and the Harry Potter witchcraft. Every single one of the Harry Potter books and movies comes with a disclaimer, something like, “The persons and events in this motion picture are purely fictitious. Any similarity to actual persons or events is unintentional.” I wouldn’t have any objection to Bible study in public schools if they would just begin with that same disclaimer. After all, the Bible is an interesting book with some pretty wild stories. It would have to be at least more fun than reading Beowulf.

Besides, I don’t think that attempting to ban her books and movies will hurt J.K. Rowling too much. She’s already made a few hundred million pounds on them. Remember when they were burning Beatle records over something John said about Jesus? I think the Beatles still managed to make a buck or two despite those religious protests.

What I find funny, though, is that the handful of zealots who want the Harry Potter books banned, think it is wrong to tell children that some very old white man with a long grey beard can just wave his hand and do magical things. How ridiculous is that? LOL. They complained about Harry Potter talking to snakes in Parseltongue.  Witchcraft?  Sounds more like plagiarism to me. If I owned the copyright on the Bible, I would claim copyright infringement on both of those ideas, if only I could get God to appear in court.

professor dumbledoreGodNaginiSerpent in Tree

Another funny thing is that the Harry Potter movies are rated PG-13. You’re not even supposed to read them or watch the movies until you’re old enough to understand that it’s all make believe. Whereas, religious indoctrination starts just a few months after you’re born with Baptism. They line you up for confession and First Holy Communion at 7.  Heck, by the time you’re 13, the Bishop slaps you and you’re confirmed as a soldier in God’s army.

I think that the Bible should be rated at least PG-13. The fratricide of Cain and Abel, Abraham almost killing his son at God’s command, the perverted sex acts and the destruction of whole cities like Sodom and Gomorrah, the destruction of the entire world with a flood, Jonah being swallowed by a whale, God getting the 13-year-old virgin Mary pregnant, and the gruesome Crucifixion of their lovechild. I think it probably deserves an R rating. I wonder what the Supreme Court would say.

Probably something like, Abra Riddikulus. Obliviate.

Peace & Love, and all of the above,

Earl

 

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