Submitted by Delia
Have you heard? Reading Harry Potter turns you into a devil-worshipper! JK Rowling’s young adult series Harry Potter is the most challenged book of the 21st century, and is one of the top ten most frequently banned books of all time. Parents are concerned about the positive portrayal of the occult in the series and cry that the book is indoctrinating their children into Satan-worship. But they are ignoring the real threat this series poses to our children! If they searched for Harry Potter related websites on the internet, they would see that the series does not just glorify witchcraft, it also turns impressionable young women into pedophiles. The Harry Potter series has inspired more fanfiction than any other book series—and since the release of movie adaptations, the amount of fanfiction increased significantly and the focus shifted from Will Harry Kill Voldemort? to Will Harry And Draco Stop Fighting And Just Have Buttsex Already? Harry and Draco are still minors at the end of the series, which led some social networking sites to ban pornographic fan material, telling fans that they are child predators for posting such harmful and illegal material. Don’t parents realise that their children can be kidnapped and abused because of Harry Potter readers?
Parents focus on the witchcraft aspect of the books rather than the naughty fanfiction, claiming that the portrayal of in a positive light is inherently evil. Porn-inspiration aside, the series is no more evil or even complex than a typical Disney movie. A boy is orphaned and forced to live with abusive relatives until he learns that he has a secret talent that makes him special and leads him to be mentored by a well-intentioned (if just a bit misguided) grandfatherly figure who dies before the strapping young man can learn everything he needs to know, at which point he is forced to think for himself and defeat the bad guy on his own.
But the beauty of the series isn’t the universal theme of good triumphing over evil, it’s that this is a wildly popular children’s book that has characters who blur the line between good and bad, and a villain who is well and truly evil. Voldemort isn’t just a bully who steals your lunch money and later reforms to become a law-abiding citizen—he’s a bitter, manipulative, racist, power-hungry, murderous monster. He is what Harry could have become, had his choices in life been different. The series presents real-world problems that kids have to face sometime in their lives (racism and prejudices, injustice, bad first impressions, death, and even crushes and detentions) in a fantasy setting that makes for a quick and enjoyable read. Kids can get wrapped up in a story that transports them to a magical make-believe place that really isn’t all that different from their own lives. Despite its faults—plot holes, entire books made up of clichÃ©s, a terribly flat main character who is obsessed with his school nemesis and YELLS IN ALLCAPS FOR NO REASON—millions of kids are reading as a result of Harry Potter because, magic or not, they can relate to it.
The Harry Potter series would deserve an A rating if it was retitled Severus Snape and the Annoying Brat Who Refused To Die, since Snape is the most complex and developed character. Plus, Snape is played by Alan Rickman in the films. ‘nuff said.