According to J. Peter Freire’s article, the Harry Potter series “…forgoes conventional morality, God’s grace, and divine intervention, in favor of witchcraft and magic, often with relativist undertones.” One wonders if J. Freire has actually read any of the books, which apparently Pope Benedict has not, and if he cares to apply all of those criteria to other children’s’ literature as well.
For what it is worth, Christmas is celebrated in Harry Potter. Otherwise the books are silent on religion. Does one demand that religion be explicitly included in all children’s literature? Are, for example, the Hardy Boys to be condemned for trusting to their own detective skills instead of to “God’s grace, divine intervention” and for not making mention of religion in every book?
The books do include characters that forgo “conventional morality” by murder, deceit, betrayal, cruelty, and theft: the antagonists. On the other hand, Harry’s parents sacrificed themselves to protect Harry from an evil wizard who is an approximation of the Devil himself. Harry and his friends are brave, loyal, hard working, just, help those that are weak, and risk their lives for the greater good. Harry and his friends’ defects are that they lie on occasion, and break school rules, but only in pursuit of the greater good. One could certainly do worse.
In the books, there is not only such a thing as true evil, but also one has a choice in whether to succumb to it or to oppose it (refer to Harry’s discussion with the head master at the end of the second book / movie). How this constitutes a “relativist undertone” simply defies the most strained imagination. As well, government bureaucrats are seen as self-serving meddlers; something that The American Spectator readers would likely agree with.p>Fortune telling is mocked in the books; and that (e.g., astrology, tea leaves) is the one type of magic that people actually try to practice today. Magic is obviously part of the premise of the books, put it is hardly the focus. Reading of spells to unlock doors, repair eye glasses, etc., seem unlikely to corrupt children. Granted that children who have a preexisting fascination with magic, to the point that they actually think it possible, should not be exposed to the works. Nor perhaps to the Lord of the Rings , or even The Magician’s Nephew for that matter.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?