Why Do Some Christians Want Harry Potter Books Banned

According to the link, some Christians are so mad about Harry Potter books they have had book burnings.  I have never understood what was so objectionable about Harry Potter books.

As I understand it, the objection comes from the view that reading fiction leads children to see witchcraft as real. I don’t think reading about witchcraft is any more harmful than reading about Mother Goose. Children like to go into the world of fantasy. I suppose story tellers from the beginning of time have told stories of spells and magic.

It is impossible to read about these protests without thinking about spells and magic in the Bible. For their own reason, turning water into wine was a miracle, not magic. So was parting the sea and bringing people back from being dead.

In fact many of the stories in the Bible about such things were know to have been told earlier in stories about other gods or supernatural beings. Why is it OK to have such things from the Bible taught to young children? As the link says, some complaints are about the pot calling the kettle black.

The far reaching success of Harry Potter books and films illustrate to appetite of the public world wide for stories of this kind. They also explain the long running success of the Bible which seems like fiction but is claimed not to be.

It looks like Harry Potter will continue on to be the most successful fictional character of the century.


21 Responses

  1. In our household, you are banned. However, Harry Potter books and movies are just fine.

    However, you might try the magic and wizard angle. Christians don’t believe in magic or wizardry. But we have a sense of humor a good understanding of a nice tale or two, Wizard of Oz, Superman, Bewitched, Harry Potter.

    1. Grandma

      Finally, we agree! I loved reading those books and the great vocabulary they contain that the publishers wanted dumbed down but the author refused. Good for you. Getting children to read is a wonderful thing.

  2. entech

    Perhaps “Harry Potter” books are responsible for this:
    Off topic just to show Australia is moving in the right direction. Last year’s census figures have just been released.

    Since 1966, when the proportion of the population who marked “no religion” on their census was just 0.8%, the number that now mark “no religion” has swelled to 29.6%, nearly double the 16% recorded in 2001. That category now accounts for a higher proportion of the population than any single religious denomination for the first time. The “no religion” category includes atheist, secularists, and those who are agnostic. Census officials noted that while the question on religious affiliation had changed slightly, the findings were still significant.

    A more detailed report has:
    DESPITE a scare campaign about Australia becoming a “Muslim country”, those ticking “no religion” in the Census has now overtaken the number of Catholics.
    It’s the first time in Australia’s history the number of people who claim “no religion” has overtaken Catholics.
    The latest Census drop showed those ticking “no religion” rose from 22.6 per cent to 29.6 per cent, while those identifying as Catholic dropped from 25.3 per cent to 22.6 per cent.
    The number of Christians in total still made up 52 per cent of the population, but this is much less than the 88 per cent in 1966 and 74 per cent in 1991.
    Islam (2.6 per cent) and Buddhism (2.4 per cent) were the next most common religions reported.
    Islam grew from 2.2 per cent in 2011, while Buddhism dropped from 2.5 per cent.
    The religion question was controversial this year, with Australians warned not to mark “no religion” on the Census survey by those afraid the nation would become a “Muslim country”.
    An email was circulated that asked Australians to avoid the “no religion” option as this would give prominence to Muslims.
    Those reporting no religion increased noticeably from 19 per cent in 2006 to 30 per cent in 2016. The largest change was between 2011 (22 per cent) and 2016, when an additional 2.2 million people reported having no religion.

    But it was Hinduism that had the most significant growth between 2006 and 2016, driven by immigration from South Asia.

    Although Hinduism is described as having the most significant increase it is still to small to be given a percentage on the chart.
    It can be seen that the same paranoia about Islam pertains in Australia as it does in America, Islam increased from 2.2% to 2.6% in five years??? Surely of greater concern to the (still at 52%) majority Christians should be the increase of No Religion from 22 to 29 % which is now greater than any single denomination.

  3. entech

    Of course one must agree, certain works of fiction can leave totally the wrong impression on the fertile and imaginative ground of the young mind.

    Harry Potter should be banned for all the reasons ever given, magic witchcraft and so on.

    The Chronicles of Narnia should be banned for all the reasons Never given. Magic, witchcraft and so on.

    The Holy Bible …

    The Bhagavad Gita …

    The Torah …

    The Avesta …

    The koran …

    The Aveda …

    And the list goes on, the list goes on
    Drums keep pounding
    A rhythm to the brain
    La de da de de, la de da de da

    1. Juan Ruiz

      Book burning is analogous to other means of eliminating things some people don’t like: Confederate soldier statues, building names, disinvitation of speakers. Of course, because they don’t want them, no one should have them. Sadly, much of this comes from college campuses, which have ceased to be forums for open and free discussion.

  4. Jinx II

    When I was a little girl it was helpful to know I could blame stuff on a witch, it was either that or my little brother. My belief is that we need to encourage imagination and creativity in children from the time they are tiny little ones. Our western culture emphasizes learning, memorization, the concrete way of approaching and solving problems and basically ignores spontaneous creativity. We need both parts of our brain to develop together for better problem solving, entertainment and to survive our imperiled environment.

  5. entech

    Why Do Some Christians Want Harry Potter Books Banned

    Why do some Christians want so many books banned, burned censored, and generally made to disappear hopefully as they if they never appeared.
    I am surprised Matt aimed his hate filled keyboard in this direction, his group had a huge list of banned books, I believe some are still on it. they even had a ban on the Bible in English (German, anything) never mind burning the books they burned the people that did the translations, a purely moral decision wouldn’t want people to understand and think for themselves.

    1. Juan Ruiz

      “Why do some Christians want so many books banned, burned censored, and generally made to disappear hopefully as they if they never appeared.”

      It has been an answer to dealing with texts some Christians don’t like dating back at least to Irenaeus.

    1. entech

      Censorship would be to have your posts diverted to the approval required box and never give approval.

      1. Rob

        There is no timeline reference in the definition of the word censorship.
        My responses were censored.
        But as we learn on this blog, like so many other things, it’s only bad if a Christian does it.

        1. Matt Noah

          Technically speaking, Rob, you were not censored, you were discriminated against. Censorship refers to an act of the government. I am currently discriminated against by Jon because he prohibits posts where I offer prayers. I spent a week where I posted a different prayer each day. The lapdogs could not contain themselves and created a firestorm of responses which dominated the blog. Jon could not get them back on topic. He didn’t like the competition so he deleted prayers I posted.

          1. entech

            Censorship refers to an act of the government
            Could that be so? Certainly not always, there was a non-government list that was in operation until very recently – Index Librorum Prohibitorum

    2. Matt Noah

      Perhaps we should let the lapdogs have their boring conversations without the benefit of sane dissent.

  6. FargoRedd

    Good Lord. Here we go again pointing out the most ridiculous and extreme aspects of the whole.

    I would be very curious to know what percentage of “some Christians” are book burners. And, furthermore, what does their actual background consist? My hunch is the book burning crew did not, for example, graduate from a high level Jesuit college such as St. Louis University, Fordham, Xavier, et al. I would also tend to believe they are not even much of a part of less educated elements of the Christian fold. So, equally, an article could be written that “some Christians” attend extremely prestigious institutions of higher education, contribute their own high level literature (I do not have the space to list the number of stellar Catholic educated, writers), become doctors, lawyers, theologians, astronauts and may even be working to end war, pestilence and disease.

    The reason why “some Christians” burn books is because PEOPLE DO STUPID THINGS. If any of us doubt this, read the Metro Section sometime. People do stupid things, for all kinds of stupid reasons, under many bastardized “Ism’s”. We can go down this road ad nauseam pointing out the silliest who do outrageous things and then act self-righteous about it. This article could be written about any segment; academia, Hollywood, the Armed Services, our families, public education, private education, your favorite politician, and on and on and on.

    That being said, closed circuit to the Christian Right: Stop taking this bait and acting as if this is news and you are so persecuted and aggrieved. You are not. Christians are just like everyone else. Jon is simply pointing this out in a land where you are the vast majority. Stop being so thinned skinned. Goodness. If I were him I would post these thoughts just for the entertaining reactions.

    1. Jinx II

      FargoRedd, thanks for your common sense post! Hope to hear more from you!

      To me, no topic is off limits but vicious personal attacks should be since it represses communication. Clever wit is good and entertainment is always a bonus but recent posting has become quite nasty, personal and negative and is about as far from Jon’s purpose of promoting FreeThinking as one can be.

    2. Rob

      Great post FargoRedd.
      Your first paragraph is why enjoy this blog. The sources Jon uses to draw conclusions about Christians, and the tangents he goes off on in attempt to ridicule religion, are downright hilarious. I don’t think anyone of faith gets too wound up about his postings; he just provides such low hanging fruit that it’s fun to retort in kind with ridiculous tongue in cheek conclusions drawn using his own methods.

      1. entech

        The sources Jon uses to draw conclusions about Christians, …
        Just the last few
        Harry Potter Religious News Service
        No Priest Newspaper article about a Church initiative
        Kindness Faith Zette
        Cash RealClear Religion.

        Do you ever actually look and see the basis for each post or just leap into the attack.

        As for your claim to tongue in cheek, your ideas remind me of someone throwing bamama skins onto the path used by blind people – “I didn’t mean any harm- just joking around”

        Considering the reason one of your posts got deleted one must ask to which cheek were you applying your tongue.

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