Personal observation: my chosen photo has never been more relevant than it is in this moment.
I went to Catholic school for 16 years. This provided me with a somewhat different school experience than many of my friends, and certainly with myriad stories that friends still love to hear about the different things I learned and the different classes I took than my public school peers. One such class was a morality class I took as a junior in high school, during which we discussed pretty much any topic under the sun, with special emphasis on the Big Ones. You know, the ones that come up in the news all the time.
Like Harry Potter. When I was a junior in high school I was waiting eagerly for the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which would come out over the summer before my senior year. The Order of the Phoenix movie was released that same summer.
In other words, it was Harry Potter heydey, when those of us who were lucky enough to grow up with Harry were the same age as the characters in the book and so deeply invested in them that we’d storm bookstores for the midnight release and three days after each book came out everyone would have read it already.
So when my morality teacher causally mentioned that he’d never let his children touch Harry Potter because of the evil influence of the books, there was somewhat of an uproar in our class. I remember going home and telling my parents all about it and asking how insane you have to be to believe that Harry Potter is evil and my father calmly explaining that, actually, Harry Potter was the most banned book in the United States and had been for many years.
This was shocking to me as I had been introduced to them in my fourth grade classroom in a Catholic school when our teacher read the first two aloud to our class, and I didn’t know anyone my age who hadn’t read them aside from the people who chose not to read them in order to be contrary. I learned that many parents objected to Harry Potter because of the books’ alleged occult/Satanic and anti-family themes, and violence.
I have so many thoughts about this, and so many feelings. My initial reaction is to laugh while I cry and my second is to go on a long rant about censorship in general and how messed up it is that some people feel they have a right to police what other people are allowed to enjoy. I won’t go there here, though. I won’t even launch into a long and well-documented argument about how most people who think Harry Potter should be banned have not actually read the books.
Instead, I’ll say this: Harry Potter is an absolutely wonderful textbook on Satanic rituals. I totally get it. I learned that love is the strongest force in the world, that together the forces of good can overcome evil, that family loyalty trumps all other kinds of loyalty, that the smart kid can keep you alive, that growing up sometimes sucks, and that heroes are willing to sacrifice themselves in order to save everyone they love when it becomes necessary. I have to say, I’m a big fan of those Satanists.
My favorite part was definitely the part where the guy who sacrificed his life to save everyone else and conquer evil once and for all was given a second chance at life in a new world that was reborn after the evil was vanquished. That is definitely the antithesis of Christianity and very much the heart of Satanism.
Thank you, Harry Potter, for these important lessons. You are the best.
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