Positive About Potter
Despite what you've heard, Christian leaders like the children's books.
December 6, 1999
Christians hate the Harry Potter books. It's undeniable. Just look at the media reports about how Christian parents around the country are trying to get the book banned from libraries and schools. "It's a good thing when children enjoy books, isn't it? Most of us think so," wrote children's book author Judy Blume in a New York Times opinion piece. "[But] in Minnesota, Michigan, New York, California, and South Carolina, parents who feel the books promote interest in the occult have called for their removal from classrooms and school libraries. I knew this was coming. The only surprise is that it took so long. ... If children are excited about a book, it must be suspect."
Likewise, Los Angeles Times writer Steve Chawkins wrote of the controversy, "I enjoy these periodic battles about book-banning. ... Hostility is often high. If you disagree with those who are so eager to protect your children, you are not merely wrong; you are twisted, negligent, evil, a dupe of dark forces, and, as in my case, a bad parent."
But here's the problem with painting with such a broad brush: It's just not true. In fact, as far as I can tell, while no major Christian leader has come out to condemn J.K. Rowling's series, many have given it the thumbs-up. If our readers know of any major Christian leader who has actually told Christians not to read the books, I'd be happy to know about it; but in my research, even those Christians known for criticizing all that is popular culture have been pretty positive about Potter.
One of the most quoted supporters of the Potter books is Christianity Today columnist Charles Colson, who, in his November 2 Breakpoint radio broadcast, noted that Harry and his friends "develop courage, loyalty, and a willingness to ...