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Steve Likes to Curse
Writing, comics and random thoughts from really a rather vulgar man
Infallible pope admits he was wrong about Harry Potter 
Wednesday, July 15th, 2009 | 03:05 pm [commentary, film, religion]
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All of you who were planning on boycotting the latest film in the Harry Potter series and picketing any theater showing it because it has been declared “a subtle seduction” that “undermines the soul of Christianity” by Pope Benedict XVI can relax. The infallible holy vicar of Christ has changed his mind. Apparently, Harry Potter and his merry gang of witches and wizards are now A-okay with the Roman Catholic Church.

 

L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, published a review yesterday that praised the latest Potter film, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, for its morality, applauding it for drawing “a clear line of demarcation between good and evil, making clear that good is right, and that in some cases this involves hard work and sacrifices.”

 

Coming from those stiffs in Rome, that’s practically a Gene Shalit rave. The L’Osservatore article is somewhat reserved in its praise, however, noting that the film lacks “a reference to the transcendent,” which I guess means it isn’t blatantly Christian. So much the better for that.

 

The line of shit the Harry Potter franchise catches from the religious community has always puzzled me. I guess I should expect the zealots to get bent out of shape over anything that isn’t a Jesus infomercial, but it’s not just the fundamentalist nutjobs that have been railing about the dangers of this particular series of children’s novels and films. I know more than one otherwise reasonable Christian parent who has forbidden his/her child from reading Harry Potter books or seeing the films. But why? What is the big deal? Why are so many Christians so scared of Harry Potter? What do they think is going to happen?

 

“I don’t want my kid reading it because it glorifies witchcraft!” goes the standard answer. I’ve heard John Hagee shouting that from his pulpit on more than one occasion. (I’ve also heard him talk about the evils of homosexuality during a Christmas sermon, but that’s neither here nor there.) This has to be one of the most idiotic things I’ve ever heard. You’re a Christian, and you’re telling your kids not to read or watch Harry Potter because you’re afraid it will get them into witchcraft. Which means that you not only accept the many dubious-at-best defining tenets of your own religion, but you also believe in the literal existence of things like witchcraft and magic. You have got to be fucking kidding me. These are probably the same people who refuse to read their horoscopes not because astrology is bullshit and a total racket, but because they fear it would somehow allow Satan to take control of their lives.

 

Give me a break. Grow up and let your kids watch a Harry Potter movie with the rest of their friends, for Christ’s sake. The Pope now has a more reasonable opinion on this subject than you do, anti-Potter Christians. The Pope. Think about that.

Comments 
Wednesday, July 15th, 2009 | 10:15 pm (UTC)

I believe popes are only infallible when speaking ex cathedra or something, and have only done that two or three times.

Thursday, July 16th, 2009 | 01:09 pm (UTC)
That's an important distinction most of us forget or overlook because it's not nearly as much fun as pretending that the Pope is supposedly infallible and then mocking his every evident fallibility.
Friday, July 17th, 2009 | 03:57 am (UTC)

Or because we only just learned it in class last semester.

Thursday, July 16th, 2009 | 12:16 am (UTC)
Anonymous
My Mom goes to a baptist church and some of the people in the congregation are anti-Potter. I believe they feel that the books could be a 'gateway drug' to satanism. Granted, some of these people were also upset that a band with drums played at the church once because drums have their origins with "voodoo tribes in Africa".

However, my Mom doesn't necessarily agree with these opinions. Hell, she owns Guitar Hero and plays a mean Slayer song on easy (she is a middle aged woman after all). I just have trouble understanding what an otherwise intelligent woman sees in that crowd.

- SJB
Thursday, July 16th, 2009 | 01:08 pm (UTC)
Your mom sounds like my girlfriend's parents. They have to be two of the best people I've ever known, just as solid and compassionate and smart and reasonable as anyone else I know. And they attend a church that refuses to allow women to join its governing council, because "scripture doesn't recommend it."

According to Ashley, this same church also presented a skit sometime after 9/11 that suggested all the nonbelievers who died in the Twin Towers had it coming. What these otherwise good people get from attending a church like that, I will never know.
Tuesday, August 4th, 2009 | 04:38 pm (UTC) - evil smurfs
Anonymous
When I was growing up, I had this friend who's parents believed The Smurfs were positively diabolical. They made the little girl throw away all her smurf toys. They had her so convinced about evil smurfs, she even fabricated her own story about how her stuffed animal smurf tried to attack her in her sleep, thus explaining her willingness to throw away her own toys. Sad.

-kim

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