A Catholic school in Tennessee has banned all Harry Potter books from the library because they apparently promote witchcraft. This is an argument they’re still making more than a decade after the last book was published. The decision was made after Reverend Dan Reehill confirmed the theory with Vatican exorcists:
In an email to parents at St. Edward Catholic School in Nashville, Reehill attempted to explain his thinking. Which is generous way to describe what he wrote.
“These books present magic as both good and evil, which is not true, but in fact a clever deception. The curses and spells used in the books are actual curses and spells; which when read by a human being risk conjuring evil spirits into the presence of the person reading the text,” the Reverend Reehill wrote, apparently in all seriousness.
Rebecca Hammel, the superintendent of schools for the Catholic Diocese of Nashville, told The Tennessean that the Reverend Reehill had indeed sent the email and has the final say on the matter, since the Catholic Church does not have an official position on Ms Rowling’s best-selling series.
“Each pastor has canonical authority to make such decisions for his parish school,” she said. “He’s well within his authority to act in that manner.”
Reehill may have been within his authority, but the idea that saying “Avada Kedavra” carries the same weight when we say it as in the book is ridiculous. (There are actual evils in this country without having to create your own.)
Interestingly enough, the Harry Potter series is rife with themes that Christians could appreciate, such as the importance of self-sacrifice for loved ones. The main characters are constantly fighting those who aim to harm others. But Reehill doesn’t want students to figure that out for themselves.
Kids are smarter than he seems to give them credit for. When an adult wants to ban a book, it’s probably because there’s something really interesting about it worth checking out. Reehill’s move could ultimately backfire. So I guess he would be teaching students a lesson… albeit indirectly.
Thought if the reverend wants to be consistent, then he should also ban the Narnia series, which also contain magic. Wouldn’t want to be a hypocrite, would we?
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