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

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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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starlight26 said...
Mar. 1, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Thank you! As a hard-core lover of harry potter I am so glad u expressed this. I agree 100 PERCENT! GO LOVE!! great job!!

Check out some of my work if you'd like :)

 
suhaunah713 said...
Feb. 27, 2011 at 4:23 pm
This is great! :) I agree completely
 
Medusa said...
Feb. 23, 2011 at 7:25 pm
Um, I don't want to annoy or make anyone uncomfortable, but I noticed that some of the people trying to ban Harry Potter don't like it partly because it "premotes Wicca" or the like. I myself am Wiccan, and all I have to say to them is that they obviously know my religion as wellas they know Harry Potter--that is to say, not at all. We Wiccan believe not only that love is the best power of all and that a person's will should NEVER be controled in any way, shape, or form, but we also believe in a... (more »)
 
bookthief This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 11, 2011 at 5:56 pm
As someone who has Wiccan friends, I totally agree. Thanks, to all you who stand up for Harry Potter, because I love it too, but saying "Harry Potter doesn't contain Wiccan ideas, so it's not evil" just doesn't cut it.
 
Inspire_Me said...
Feb. 7, 2011 at 2:12 pm
Thank you! I don't know how many times I hear about people disapproving of Harry Potter because it, "supports witchcraft," and get angry. People can be so ignorant, and I'm glad I'm not the only person who feels this way!
 
cindy x. said...
Jan. 19, 2011 at 7:55 pm
I really like this article. In everyones life they have to realize what is reality and what isn't. I didn't grow up reading Harry Potter but I now am reading them and enjoying them more than I thought possible, more the rumors said though to. 
 
IamtheshyStargirl said...
Jan. 17, 2011 at 2:26 pm
I rather can't believe that books like Twilight are so poular whilst some people condemn Harry Potter. And, anyway, I don't believe that witchcraft is evil.
 
Josey Rae said...
Jan. 16, 2011 at 8:17 pm

Thank you for writing this!!! Harry Potter doesn't promote any evil whatsoever, just loyalty and love. It's a fictional book series for heaven sake!

My mom was able to find a place that actually sent me a letter inviting me to Hogwarts on my 11th birhtday. It was amazing :)

 

 
Thesilentraven This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 14, 2011 at 2:09 pm
This is a brilliant article, and I agree with your every word. I love the Harry Potter series and can see nothing 'satanic' in the material, as many conservatives have claimed. Thanks for writing this.
 
JustDance said...
Jan. 7, 2011 at 4:46 pm

Actually, satanic ritual murders are not as uncommon as you think.

But, I completely agree with you! These people have obviously not read Harry Potter; or, if they had, they did not pay very much attention. Harry Potter was my childhood, and I will love it forever.

 
rain_sunshine said...
Jan. 1, 2011 at 2:26 pm

okay when i was little the only thing i wanted was to go to Hogwarts, and i was was really upset when i didn't get an acceptance letter at 11. 

What your staying makes absolute sense. I have so many religious friends who refuse to read harry potter because they think it's devil worship. It's ridiculous, harry potter is  an amazing book, about love, friendship and doing what right. and i'm not just saying that because i'm a diehard harry potter fan. 

 
ABrokenHeart said...
Dec. 30, 2010 at 2:26 pm
ok one thing its just a book so dont get your pantys in a knot but it is a fun experiance going to the movies seeing them the books come alive on screen and all of you are realy acting atupid i mean harry potter are fictonal novals and a fictonal movies so it dosent make kids become wiccens or anything so i sudggest that you shut you little mouth
 
S.S.Y.Carlin said...
Dec. 30, 2010 at 1:37 pm
I love this article! It is superbly written! I love the Harry Potter series and I agree that love is a central theme in every book. I don't understand why people would think it's against any religion...
 
SecretNonConformist said...
Dec. 29, 2010 at 8:27 pm
Such an awesome article! I wanted to go to Hogwarts when I was 11, too. You're right: Harry Potter and religion (if practiced properly which it SHOULD BE) both share the theme of love, a very important theme.
 
SpringRayynThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Dec. 29, 2010 at 1:13 pm
I really like the point you made at the very end and I totally agree! Why can adults only seem to see the themes that children would probably never even see unless it was pointed out to them? Seriously, it seems as if they don't remember being a child at all.
 
absolutelyawesume said...
Jun. 12, 2010 at 9:21 pm
well, they don't convict with my religion. im wiccan :P these critics need to grow up a second time and get an imagination, and they need to understand that wiccan's and neopagan's beliefs are opposite of the christian and abrahamic manifesto, there is no "devil" so how could it be involved in our religion? great article :)
 
alexandraswan replied...
Sept. 11, 2011 at 5:44 pm
the wiccan relationship Worships the devil, correct?
 
Frtxzz replied...
Sept. 21, 2011 at 8:27 pm
Wiccan is another name for Luciferianism. Any true Wiccan would know this.
 
Alexandra Swan replied...
Sept. 24, 2011 at 9:42 am
well i am not a wiccan, i am a christian. jesus died for you to SAVE you from your sins and the devil, you know, and he loves you no matter what.
 
Frtxzz replied...
Sept. 24, 2011 at 11:32 am
I know that, I was speaking to "absolutelyawesume".
 
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