Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Faithful Sure are Frightful

The cover of Time magazine features a donkey with a halo floating above its head. To the left of the donkey, in bold, reads "How the Democrats got Religion." It seems Time was interested in religion and American culture in this issue, because on page 15 they wrote another little fun article about religion:

The religion of Harry Potter.

So maybe I'm on a bit of a Potter kick this week. The final book in the beloved series is set for release at 12:01 AM Saturday; if you're hitting the bars Friday night, be sure to stop by Prairie Lights bookstore. I'll be the guy standing outside, waiting eagerly for Deathly Hallows.

In Time, Lev Grossman discusses "the doubting Harry," and writes perhaps the funniest sentence of 2007. Allow me to quote: "If you want to know who dies in Harry Potter, the answer is easy: God."

Grossman goes on to compare Harry Potter to both The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia. In both of the latter examples, however, Grossman explains how the authors used their Christian faith as a guiding light while writing their famous fantasy series'. Apparently J.K. Rowling, the Potter author, doesn't share the same affinity for God (or so says Grossman.)

"In choosing Rowling as the reigning dreamer of our era, we have chosen a writer who dreams of a secular, bureaucratized, all-too-human sorcery..." Grossman says.

I may be jumping the gun a bit here, as I haven't read the last book, but isn't Harry Potter just another battle of good against evil? Besides, I always felt Harry Potter more closely resembled Star Wars than Lord of the Rings. Harry is like Luke, the chosen one with the dark past--yes, he must face the temptations of evil, but didn't Jesus do the same thing in the Bible?

Before you leave horrible comments, let me clarify: I'm not comparing Luke Skywalker to Jesus Christ. And I'm not comparing Harry Potter to either of them, either. In the end, the Potter books are a way to show children that evil exists in this world, but can ultimately be defeated by choosing wisely in your friendships and relying on love instead of hate.

Or maybe I'm wrong. If Harry dies in book seven, it's clear that J.K. Rowling is the anti-Christ and is using her demonic powers to create one of the best-selling series of books in the history of literature. All those who read the last book, upon finishing, will turn to the dark side, join her evil cult of Christianity-haters, and rise against humanity, establishing an Order of Evil never before seen on this earth.

But even if that were so--you still have to admit that they're damn good books.

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