Pastor Kevin Swanson, friend of conservative Republicans and hater of feminism, Girl Scout Cookies, LGBT people, Disney movies and everything else that is good in the world, has added Harry Potter to his list of social evils.
Right Wing Watch grabbed a clip of Swanson speaking at the National Religious Liberties Conference (following Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal, for what it’s worth).
In a presentation that is nothing short of terrifying, he yells (yells!):
America, repent of your rebellion against God! America, repent of stumbling the little ones! America, repent of Harry Potter! America, repent of How to Train Your Dragon!
America, repent that Dumbledore emerged as a homosexual mentor for Harry Potter, that Hiccup’s mentor in How to Train Your Dragon emerged as a homosexual himself in order that history might repeat itself one more time, in order that little six- and seven- and eight-year-olds might stumble, in order that tens of millions of parents, it would be better for them that a millstone be hanged around their neck[s] and they be drowned at the bottom of the sea than that there would be so many people stumbling so many children in public schools, in movie theaters, in homes, in which children are raised to be stumbled by the Dumbledores and by the mentors of Hiccup in How to Train Your Dragon. My friends, America needs to repent… of our culture!
First it’s Girl Scout Cookies. Then it’s Frozen. And now our beloved Harry Potter, too?! Swanson is taking all the fun out of growing up. Surely there must be some middle ground to a well-adjusted childhood between witchcraft and parents choosing to drown instead of letting their kids read a certain book.
But if those are the only options, then if I ever have a kid, I’ll be happy to read them Harry Potter with Frozen on in the background while we eat Girl Scout Cookies. Go big or go home, right?
***Update***: Based on what commenters are saying, it’s not entirely clear who Swanson believes should drown — children or their parents — because of Harry Potter. Some people interpret his diatribe to mean that it would be better for parents to be drowned than to *stumble* their children; others think it means children would be better off drowned than stumbled. Maybe we could ask Swanson to be more specific next time he calls for literature-based homicide.
***Update 2*** (from Hemant): Based on information from Swanson’s representatives, it seems the pastor was referring to parents drowning themselves instead of drowning their kids. The pronoun in his speech wasn’t clear, but that’s what they meant. I don’t think that’s any better, because nobody should consider drowning as an alternative to reading Harry Potter, but I guess suicide is preferable to homicide. So we have edited this piece to reflect that.