Harry Potter--Good or Bad?

Some HUMAN EVENTS’ readers are skeptical of the character Harry Potter and J. K. Rowling’s books. You should know that I was once one of you.

I heard the allegations that they teach children witchcraft and wanted to know for myself whether this is suitable reading for my children. As a Christian and a father I was concerned that my children would be exposed to these influences. So, I read the first book Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Are there spells? Yes. Do people fly around on broomsticks and carry magic wands? Yes. Is this something I would let my children read–or, in this case, view? Yes.

These stories do involve magic, but they are much more than that. They are about the bonds of family, young people learning to grow up, the importance of leading honest, good lives and moreover illustrate the ugliness of bigotry.

I have since read the entire series and have detected nothing that is overtly anti-religious or for that matter anti-Christian. The subject of religion is simply not addressed. We know there are good powers and evil. Good magic and bad. And most importantly, there are always consequences for your actions. But beyond that, it is left up to up to the reader. (It should be noted however that the holiday of Christmas is celebrated.)

Some say that books and movies like these could open the door to more serious experimentation and dangerous curiosity. A valid argument, but in this case I find this highly unlikely. While magic is used, and used often, most of the time it is very fanciful and cartoonish. Plus, in Harry Potter’s world, you have to be born with the ability to perform magic. Not everyone can do it. And those who can, know it.

I would also point out that there is no sex, bad language, crude jokes, drug usage or anything else that a Christian or otherwise caring parent should need to worry about.

I liken J. K. Rowling’s stories to modern day Grimm’s fairytales, but a whole lot less bloody and depressing. Today more than ever it is important to watch what books and movies our children are exposed too. In this case J.K. Rowling has created a modern-day fairytale I am glad to share with my children.