The Reality of Harry Potter This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

April 26, 2010
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When I was little, I had a trunk filled with black cloaks and witches' robes, a book called The Book of Wizard Craft, and various cool things I had found around the house. My goal? To go to Hogwarts.

Of course, as I grew older, I became aware of the differences between fiction and nonfiction books (possibly because I didn't receive an owl on my eleventh birthday). But I hadn't realized how controversial a small thing like, say, me fantasizing about going to Hogwarts was until I read Melissa Anelli's Harry, A History.

The book describes how Laura Mallory, a mother who no doubt meant well, wanted Harry Potter books banned on the grounds that they contained “evil themes, witchcraft, demonic activity, murder, evil blood sacrifice, spells, and [were] teaching children all of this.”

As a child, I never would have dreamed of practicing witchcraft. However much I longed to go to Hogwarts, I understood at an early age what was and was not possible. Mallory's argument was based on a video she had seen claiming that Harry's mother's death symbolized pagan blood sacrifices, and Hogwarts was a school that practiced the Wicca religion, among various other things.

Have none of Harry Potter's critics researched their claims? For starters, Satanic ritual murders are more of an urban myth than fact. Second, the claim that Harry Potter promotes the devil is preposterous. Harry's moral journey throughout the books highlights the difference between right and wrong. Harry's choice to join Gryffindor rather than Slytherin shows us that it is the choices we make, rather than our background, that define us. And when book five came out, it showed readers that teenage angst is totally normal and one should never give in to peer pressure.

The Harry Potter series is not famous because it teaches children about the occult, or because it promotes violence and murder. It's popular because at some point we have all been that small, nervous child looking up at the “castle” looming over us and wondering what our future holds. We have all been that teenager, angry at the world for what we refuse to see. And we all hope to be the one who stands up for what is right, a hero to the people in our lives.

Most opponents claim that Harry Potter's magical themes conflict with religion. These books don't promote anything contrary to any religion. Every religious text says that love is one of the most important, if not the most important, human emotion. Love is what Harry Potter promotes – love for family, friends, and eventually enough love to do the right thing.

As children, perhaps, we are able to see both the complicated and the simple themes in books, but it seems that adults see only the complicated. Instead of looking for “hidden” themes of blood sacrifice and demonic activities, readers should simply enjoy these books and absorb their message of love and bravery.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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JesusandHisLawyers said...
May 26, 2014 at 6:30 pm
The fact that people still believe that "but this goes against my religion and I think it's icky!" is a valid argument against something that they don't like it utterly baffling to me. 
mereCat This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 12, 2013 at 3:12 am
I could not agree with you more. I am a Christian and I love Harry Potter; although it may involve witchcraft the series promotes the importance of compassion, something congruent with Christian teaching. And, am I just being stupid, but Narnia has the White Witch, Lord of the Rings has Gandalf, Saruman, and Radagast, and nobody seems to have a problem with them?
Katsview This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 19, 2012 at 9:02 pm
I agree- my grandmother, however, doesn't appreciate HP at all because she is very against witchcraft, among other things. Harry Potter, however, wasn't that original. JKR borrowed many concepts, names, and ideas from the Lord of The Rings series, such as the mirror that shows what you desire, similar names (Wormtongue, anyone?), among other similar characteristics . . . . funny, huh?
Ellabell replied...
Jun. 13, 2012 at 12:24 pm
I agree. Harry Potter is amazing! But thhe only book series that can possibly compare with HP is the Lord of the Rings. Has anyone else noticed how much Gandalf, Merlin, and Dumbledore are alike? :)
KatsK This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jun. 13, 2012 at 12:47 pm
Yep. A former aquaintance of mine did a paper on that very subject, I'm pretty sure.
Frtxzz said...
Sept. 25, 2011 at 2:09 pm
Exactly, Wiccan is only a different name for Luciferianism
Goody Osborne replied...
Oct. 5, 2011 at 10:13 am

Maybe you should research Wiccan before criticizing the author for not researching "occult signs" and for helping "ingrain this evil".

Name one case of someone going bad because of Harry Potter.

Frtxzz replied...
Oct. 5, 2011 at 6:05 pm
The book teaches children that there is good and bad magic. This is false, there is only magic; magic is witchcraft. Being exposed to names like Azkaban and Slytherin put people in danger. These are not made up names.
Goody Osborne replied...
Oct. 5, 2011 at 6:09 pm
Now I can't tell if you're joking or not... Please tell me you don't really believe in magic.
Frtxzz replied...
Oct. 5, 2011 at 8:33 pm
Magic is common practice, it is not a made up joke. Demonic possessions can evoke supernatural powers, these are not made up. There are witches amongst us, believe it or not.
Goody Osborne replied...
Oct. 5, 2011 at 9:40 pm
Name one proven witch that has actually preformed magic. Also, I still think you might be joking. You have to be.
Frtxzz replied...
Oct. 5, 2011 at 10:38 pm
You're on the internet. Use google. 
Goody Osborne replied...
Oct. 5, 2011 at 10:40 pm
I did. How about you take your own advice and actually tell me who you think is a witch, cause I can't find one single person.
KN142 replied...
Nov. 24, 2011 at 6:12 pm
I smell a troll... 
Frtxz said...
Sept. 21, 2011 at 8:26 pm

This article promotes the Harry Potter books, which promotes and teaches Wicca to children. Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted. - Lenin

This book screams occult signs. Do some research please, before you help ingrain this evil.

Pumpkinscout said...
Sept. 6, 2011 at 7:43 pm
Awesome article, I totally agree. Harry Potter does indeed promote love and doing the right thing, even at great cost to one's own self. I do not think that the utterly fantastical approach to "witchcraft" is harmful to the many millions of young fans and readers. In fact the book has a positive effect, and I absolutely agree with this article: you should just enjoy the book's excellent writing, and message of love and bravery. Great job!
ohmakemeover This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 24, 2011 at 3:54 pm
I've done a little research this afternoon and I've found that there has never actually been a proven case where someone has been killed due to SRA (satanic ritual abuse).  People have been killed, but not for the reasons everyone is saying.  Satanic killings are, in fact, very much an urgan myth as the author stated.  I love this article- as a Harry Potter fan, I definitely agree.
Ellabell replied...
Jun. 13, 2012 at 12:30 pm
anyone who isn't a Harry Potter Fan is crazy! Who doesn't want to to play Quiditch and save the world?! There's nothing wrong with imagination. As for magic exxisting, can anybody scientifically prove supernatural claims? Nope. Sorry. crazy people might actually believe in Magic, but the real magic of Harry Potter is love. 
Jasmine7 said...
Jun. 21, 2011 at 7:03 pm

"For starters, Satanic ritual murders are more of an urban myth than fact."

I appreciate your point of view and the essay was well presented, but perhaps you need to look into this specific point before you state it as fact- they are not an urban legend, they are very real and practiced, and while Harry Potter does not have that specific point in it, I worry that the book makes people think that it's ok to get involved in withcraft/wizardry, which is indeed quite real.

Kidlet This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 8, 2011 at 12:30 pm
Wow, loved it. I wish my dad could figure this out. He told me never to read Harry Potter because it "teaches witchcraft to kids". Buuut, that didn't stop me from reading it. And I soon figured out that his rule was perposterous. Great writing. :)
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