Next May, I will be speaking at a weeklong leadership event in Orlando, Florida. The event is an entire week of awesome and in a recent meeting we were planning some fun surprises for all the attendees. I, being a servant leader at heart, volunteered to take the attendees on an excursion to Hogwarts. The person leading the meeting turned toward me and said, “Is that something to do with the Lord of the Rings?”
Once I regained my composure at this Dementor sized slight, I explained to him that Hogwarts is the world of Harry Potter. Hogwarts is the name of the village Universal had built as an amusement park, full of butterbeer and Quidditch and wait a second, am I supposed to still be all mad at Harry Potter? As a Christian, what’s my obligation?
When the books first came out, we were up in arms, but I barely heard a peep of protest with the release of the new movie last week. Even Halloween got a bigger push back. Someone on this very blog, wrote a comment and said, “I don’t support Halloween. I just can’t celebrate witchcraft.”
Well played, well played indeed! But where was the fuss about Harry Potter? Where were the protests? What happened to our muggle like momentum against those books? I think there are a few reasons we didn’t get all mad this year at the new movie:
1. We’ve been beaten into submission by the sheer volume.
At this point, there are approximately 9,245 pages of Harry Potter books and 42 movies. It’s so much easier to fight one movie or one somewhat thin book. But dang, JK Rowling, you dropped a lot of content on us.
2. The “D” in “3D” stands for demon.
We’re too busy protesting the movie Avatar. Pastor Mark Driscoll, who I’ve never met but hear is a good guy, said, Avatar is “the most demonic, satanic film I’ve ever seen. That any Christian could watch that without seeing the overt demonism is beyond me.” I blame James Cameron in part for distracting us from the release of the new Harry Potter.
3. We haven’t seen the up rise of witches and warlocks we were promised when the first book came out.
Remember when Time Magazine did that cover story that said, “Witchcraft is the new little league baseball, as kids across the world quit sports to learn spells?” Me either. That didn’t happen and since there’s been no huge, visible reaction to Harry Potter, maybe we fell asleep at the wheel. (I’d argue that beliefs that impact us quietly are more dangerous than the neon things like expecting kids to be outwardly involved in witchcraft, but that seems more like a Serious Wednesday conversation.)
4. We’re focused on other things.
It’s hard to get all spun out on Harry Potter when 26,000 kids will starve to death today. That’s not for a second to downplay or ignore the things we see and read and watch. We’re told to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, strength and mind. Don’t doubt that what you put in your mind matters. It’s just that we have so many things to focus on these days and it’s hard to find the balance. This whole debate would be easier if in Matthew 25 Jesus would have said, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me …” “For when I was tempted to watch the Deathly Hollows at the local megaplex, you talked me into Megamind instead.”
At this point, all bets are off. Thanks to Twilight and an ocean of vampire and zombie movies, we’re all exhausted by the onslaught of questionable pop culture. (Go team Jacob, by the way.)
Ultimately, I’m of two minds on this. As an adult, I liked the Harry Potter books. I found them interesting and fun to read. I even wrote a post about how we hate on Harry but give Lord of the Rings a free pass. As a parent though, we haven’t let our kids read the books or watch the movies. They’re young and it might be different when they get older. We’ll figure that out as we go.
What’s your take on Harry Potter? Do we still care? Should we care more?
Did you see the new movie?