Since the first Harry Potter book, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” was released in 1997, I have been passionate about protesting this phenomenon.
I have been branded by those who love the series as a muggle. You know, those boring, blinded and biased humans who either don’t believe in the world of witches or who despise it as evil.
As a result of holding public protests and book-cuttings on the eves of the first two movies, I have had the opportunity to explain my actions in detail throughout the country and overseas by way of talk radio and newspaper coverage.
Unfortunately, on a local level, the press was more interested in the sensationalism of the book-cuttings, rather than publishing the facts about the Harry Potter phenomenon that led me to the cuttings.
The world now embraces the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park in Orlando that opened a year ago, and also sets its sights on the last movie in the series, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, Part Two.” As a last-ditch effort to cash in on its fans, movie-makers conveniently split the last book into two movies.
Author J.K. Rowling has done a superb job of bridging the gap between the magical make-believe and genuine pagan practices. For those who don’t believe that, ask the staffs of the Lewiston and Auburn libraries how popular books on witchcraft and spells have become.
Potter movies and the book series are nothing less than an introduction to real witchcraft. Rowling makes witchcraft, wizardry and sorcery look fun, intriguing and desirable. I am concerned that, in these days, with a computer connected to the Internet in practically every home, a child could Google key words such as "witch," "witchcraft," "sorcerer," "magic," etc., and find themselves in the middle of a pagan world filled with mind-control tactics, sacrifices and multitudes of various occult practices.
I am aware that some of your readers may find this to be far-fetched or foolish, but to those who are involved in these rituals it would be completely insulting if someone suggested that what they practice is merely child’s play or make-believe.
Witchcraft has not only become popular with young people who are intrigued with supernatural powers, it has become appealing to the anti-establishment, environmentalists and feminist movements because of its loosely organized groups called covens. Covens have no central authority, they celebrate the natural world and seasonal cycles and worship high priestesses and goddesses as the feminine side of a deity called god.
Witchcraft is a religion. Wicca and other neo-pagan groups have been recognized by governments in the U.S. and Canada and are given a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status and are listed as nonprofit organizations. Wiccans have been granted access to penitentiaries and the military in the same manner as a Christian chaplain, Muslim cleric, Catholic priest, Jewish rabbi, etc.
If Wicca is really a religion and they practice the craft of witches, and Rowling’s books are filled with witchcraft and, should I say, religious content, then what right does the public school system have in promoting and endorsing these books?
They are of religious nature. God forbid if a child brings a Bible into school.
Imagine if I authored a book series and, instead of a school of witchcraft and sorcery, I created a Bible school setting and taught my little disciples to study the Bible. Rather than cast spells, I taught them the sacraments of baptism and communion, and graduates became pastors, evangelists and missionaries, rather then witches, warlocks and sorcerers. Can you imagine the opposition from those who would be outraged by the religious nature?
For the life of me I cannot understand why parents who want to teach their children compassion, tolerance and acceptance would read these books to their children. Throughout the Potter books and movies there are many mean and hateful statements such as “I hate them," "stupid," "shut up.” Characters wish pain on people and even go so far as to cast a paralyzing horror spell on another character. Even the good characters lie, call names, steal, imply profanity and break rules.
The books are filled with witchcraft, rebellion and vengeance.
The Rev. Doug Taylor is the leader of the Jesus Party. He lives in Lewiston.