Thursday, October 25, 2007

Harry Potter Banned in Massachusetts

Courtesy of Fox News, the Boston Globe reports that a Catholic school in Massachusetts has removed the Harry Potter series from its library. According to the Globe, St. Joseph's School in Wakefield banned the books on the grounds that they condone witchcraft and sorcery. As you might expect, many of the students aren't happy:

"The sixth grade reads an average of 7.5 books each with many students in double digits," says a note on the class page. "Of course, Harry Potter was a popular choice."

But last month, students found that their favorite series had "disapparated" from the school library, after St. Joseph's pastor, the Rev. Ron Barker, removed the books, declaring that the themes of witchcraft and sorcery were inappropriate for a Catholic school.

"He said that he thought most children were strong enough to resist the temptation," said one mother who asked that her name not be used because she did not want her family to be singled out. "But he said it's his job to protect the weak and the strong."


As a private school, St. Joseph's can remove any books it chooses from its library. Still, its hard to overstate the silliness of this decision. I've never understood the bizarre belief that reading Harry Potter will turn a child into a budding witch. By that standard, we should pull Tolkien's books and any other fantasy novels as well.

Ironically, as the Globe points out, the Catholic Church has not expressed any concerns about the Harry Potter series, and even rated this summer's film version of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix as "appropriate for adults and adolescents."

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My son attended a Catholic grade school in Florida. The kids were wild about Harry as is the school librarian who is a nun. Go figure...

11:15 AM  
Blogger Phil said...

Hmm, the timing of this is interesting. Could it have had anything to do with J.K. Rolling's comment that the Hogwart's Headmaster was gay???

6:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe the perceived difference in treatment of Tolkien (& C.S. Lewis) vs. the Harry Potter series by the library in question is that Tolkien, and later Lewis, were both Christian apologists, and their writings are rooted in Christian themes. The Harry Potter series, according to the critics, encourage individuals' pursuit of supernatural powers to save themselves, rather than rely on a higher power (God) for salvation.

6:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The islamic people aren't the radicals.

12:06 PM  

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