Evangelicalism[ edit ] Most of the criticism of Harry Potter is from Fundamental Evangelical Christian groups, who believe the series' depiction of witchcraft is dangerous to children. Paul Hetrick, spokesman for Focus on the Family , an American Evangelical Christian group based in Colorado Springs, Colorado , outlined the reasons for his opposition to them: Witchcraft Repackaged which stated that "Harry's world says that drinking dead animal blood gives power, a satanic human sacrifice and Harry's powerful blood brings new life, demon possession is not spiritually dangerous, and that passing through fire, contacting the dead, and conversing with ghosts, others in the spirit world, and more, is normal and acceptable.
Harry Potter and the Bible: The Menace Behind the Magick. You can't replicate it. But if you go to something like Harry Potter, you can find references to astrology , clairvoyance , and numerology. It takes seconds to go into a bookstore or library and get books on that and start investigating it, researching it, and doing it. There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
For all that do these thing are an abomination unto the LORD. But there are numerous other verses to consider Satan—said that as she sat in a coffee shop one grey day, wondering what to do with her empty, aimless life, it hit her, 'I'll give myself, body and soul, to the Dark Master.
And in return, he will give me absurd wealth and power over the weak and pitiful of the world. Bush , claimed that during the Bush administration, "people in the White House " had denied Rowling the Presidential Medal of Freedom because the books "encourage witchcraft.
Seven percent of Americans who have heard of the books have a negative view of them, with 52 percent having a positive opinion and the remaining 41 percent unsure. Jack Brock, leader of the church, said the books were an abomination because they inspired children to study the occult.
He and his followers admitted they have never read any of the books, and tossed in some Stephen King novels. Venezuelan scholar Fernando Baez, in a study of the history of censorship and book destruction commented, "There is more than one way to destroy a book, upon being denied a city permit to burn books, the Rev. Douglas Taylor in Lewiston, Maine, has held several annual gatherings at which he cuts the Potter books up with scissors.
Navigating Good and Evil in Harry Potter, Narnia, and Star Wars,  wrote that the books preach Christian values and can be used to educate children in Christian tenets. Rowling's work and Christian theology, stating that the Harry Potter series is the positive outcome of the encounter of the Jewish-Christian tradition with other important features of the Western cultural heritage namely Celtic, Nordic and Classical. In his columns, he praised the books for displaying values that are "deeply compatible with Christianity.
And she is very clear on this. He stated in a private letter expressing gratitude for the receipt of the book, "It is good that you enlighten people about Harry Potter, because those are subtle seductions, which act unnoticed and by this deeply distort Christianity in the soul , before it can grow properly. In a second letter, the cardinal gave the author permission to make his first letter public.
These letters from Ratzinger prior to his elevation to the papacy have been used to suggest that the pontiff was officially opposed to the novels. In the interview, Fleetwood reaffirmed his positive opinion of the books, and remarked that then-Cardinal Ratzinger's letters may have been written by a member of the congregation's staff and simply signed by the prefect. He also stated that his and Amorth's opinions are just that, conflicting personal opinions of priests.
Essayist Paolo Gulisano said the Harry Potter novels offer lessons in the importance of love and self-giving,  but Professor Edoardo Rialti described Harry Potter as "the wrong kind of hero" and said that, "Despite several positive values that can be found in the story, at the foundations of this tale is the proposal that of witchcraft as positive, the violent manipulation of things and people thanks to the knowledge of the occult, an advantage of a select few: One understands as well that sometimes this requires hard work and sacrifice.
Upon his birth people try to kill him, he is forever subjected to injustice but always supernaturally manages to prevail and save others. Let us reflect, who else … is held to be the unjustly treated God? Pamphlets were posted throughout the city, claiming that reciting a Harry Potter spell "is as if you are praying to evil ", and that "God hates magic.
Between an Anathema and a Smile that the Harry Potter books are not dangerous. His arguments include the books' similarity with traditional fairy tales and literary classics such as the Iliad which no-one calls "Satanic"; the difference between the books' magic and real occult practices; the presence of Christian values such as humility, love, sacrifice and choosing the right over the easy. He quotes other notable Orthodox priests and church officials such as M. Pravdoliubov as supporting his position.
Granger, a Christian classicist , has defended the books in his book, Looking for God in Harry Potter. Indeed, says Granger, the themes of love triumphing over death and choosing what is right instead of what is easy are very compatible with Christianity. Anglicanism[ edit ] In , the Dean of Canterbury Cathedral refused to allow his church to be filmed as part of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter film series, saying that it was unfitting for a Christian church to be used to promote pagan imagery.
It is also amusing, exciting and wholesome, and is just the sort of story families should be encouraged to read. Said one honorary chaplain, "Oh yes, there was quite a to-do. There was one particular man, very evangelical, writing in and complaining that it wasn't right for such things to be going on. I don't think it was so much the film's subject matter but the fact that filming was happening at all. Rowling and to vastly underestimate the ability of children and young people to separate the real from the imaginary.
At least two prominent leaders of the church have even recommended the series and spoke of being fans because they teach morality and show good victorious over evil. According to a spokesman from the education ministry of the UAE government, the books' fantasy and magic elements were contrary to Islamic values. Despite being banned from schools in the Emirates, there are no plans to ban them from bookshops within the country.
The book launch was postponed in response. A local police superintendent commented that, "We are not sure so far whether the target of the bombing was the book launch, but the connection cannot be ruled out.
In , in response to complaints from three local parents, Zeeland, Michigan school superintendent Gary Feenstra restricted access to the Harry Potter books to those pupils whose parents gave written permission. One parent complained that "If they are going to pass out witchcraft certificates they should also promote the Bible and pass out certificates of righteousness".
However, the ban was lifted after a number of students and parents complained. The books were reinstated after a public outcry. DuEugenio said that "It's against my daughter's constitution, it's evil, it's witchcraft I'm not paying taxes to teach my child witchcraft". A parent, Angie Haney, had requested such a rule on the grounds that they were "not based on fiction," at the prompting of Pastor Mark Hodges, who was also a member of the school board.
A district court judge decided the rule was unconstitutional. In September , Laura Mallory, a mother of four children in Loganville, Georgia , attempted to have the Harry Potter books banned from her children's school library on the grounds that they promoted a religion, Wicca , and thus for a public school library to hold them would violate the separation of church and state. I've put a lot of work into what I've studied and read.
I think it would be hypocritical for me to read all the books, honestly". She considered taking the case to federal court, but spent the following summer with her husband and four children. A practising Pentecostal , she told the girl that "I don't do witchcraft in any form," and that she would be "cursed" if she heard the novel recited.
Allan took her dispute with the school to an Employment Tribunal , citing religious discrimination and claiming for damages.
The school's lawyer claimed that, "her suspension was due to her obstructive conduct over time. It was not down to that day alone. Joseph Church in Wakefield, Massachusetts received international attention after pulling the books from the shelves of the parish's K-8 school.
According to the ALA, this was the first time the books were banned in Massachusetts. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston claimed this was an independent action in which the Church played no role. They have also highlighted the differences between magic within Wicca, which is invocational and derives from the divine powers, and that depicted by the Harry Potter books, which is a purely mechanical application of spells without invoking any deities. A Wiccan review of Harry Potter: Witchcraft Repackaged pointed out that "communing with the dead and spirit world, sorcery, curses, occult symbology, black magic [and] demon possession"—all cited by the book as evidence of Harry Potter promoting Wicca—are not part of Wiccan belief.
In the Harry Potter universe, Schoeffer claims, "the entire intuitive tradition of fortune-telling … is discredited. Wicca "Through the Harry Potter books! We wanted his powers … so we called for spirit guides.
Then they came into us. They are a New Age phenomenon. Christian writer Stephen D. Greydanus writes that the magic of the Harry Potter novels is not the ritualistic, invocative magic of Wicca or occultism but the same "fantasy" magic practised in the works of J.
Lewis ; "If anything, the magic in Rowling's world is even more emphatically imaginary, even further removed from real-world practices, than that of Tolkien or Lewis; and, like theirs, presents no appreciable risk of direct imitative behaviour. That is, Harry and his friends cast spells, read crystal balls, and turn themselves into animals—but they don't make contact with a supernatural world. K Rowling researched Wiccan practices and incorporated a few elements in order to give her books a bit more of an air of reality, but she and Wicca are drawing upon the same corpus of ancient traditions and stories so similarities are inevitable.
They certainly aren't a sign that the books work to "indoctrinate" people into Wicca as a religion. Many of the detractors who have actually read the books already have made up their mind that Harry Potter is evil before they read. They have taken a magnifying glass and picked at the books, using literary reductionism to find what they want to find.
You can pick up Dickens ' A Christmas Carol and do the same thing that these people have done with Harry Potter; it is ridiculous. If we dismiss the use of magic as a language, we should at least be fundamentalist to the bitter end, and go against "Mary Poppins," "Peter Pan," and "Sleeping Beauty," and insist that Cinderella puts a burkha on. Apart from celebrating Christmas and Easter and a non-denominational clergyman presiding at both Dumbledore's funeral and the Weasleys' wedding, religious practices are largely absent from the books.
In her critical editorial on the books, Focus on the Family 's Lindy Beam comments, "The spiritual fault of Harry Potter is not so much that Rowling is playing to dark supernatural powers, but that she doesn't acknowledge any supernatural powers at all. These stories are not fueled by witchcraft, but by secularism. There are no churches, no other religious institutions, nobody prays or meditates, and even funerals are non-religious affairs.
God," Lev Grossman argues that, "Harry Potter lives in a world free of any religion or spirituality of any kind. He lives surrounded by ghosts but has no one to pray to, even if he were so inclined, which he isn't.
Lewis ' The Chronicles of Narnia and J. Tolkien 's The Lord of the Rings. Rowling has repeatedly denied that her books lead children into witchcraft. I'm laughing slightly because to me, the idea is absurd. I have met thousands of children and not even one time has a child come up to me and said, "Ms Rowling, I'm so glad I've read these books because now I want to be a witch. You do not have the right to decide what everyone else's children are exposed to.