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A Sanctimonious Harry

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In the June 2007 issue of TIME magazine, an article called “The Doubting Harry” caught my attention. The short five-paragraph essay simply states the lack of religion in one of the world’s most prominent children’s book and movie series. The columnist Lev Grossman notices the absence of holiness in the famous Harry Potter series. He satirically sums up the oh-so-anticipated outcome of the series, “If you want to know who dies in Harry Potter, the answer is easy: God. “

One can see where Grossman’s comical, yet frighteningly true remark originates. It comes from the lack of any religion whatsoever in most entertainment products. The Harry Potter series is only one. For other examples, one can simply visit the nearest movie theaters or even a toy shop. Do we see any popular movie that has anything to do with God or any other religious figure? Do we buy our children toys that have an association with Christianity, Buddhism, or Hinduism? Of course, exceptions do exist, but why can’t more businesses institute religion-based ideas into their movie plots or toy designs? If we can pay attention to the daily visits to rehab by Lindsay Lohan or the countless schemes of entering and leaving jail of Paris Hilton, can’t we do something to initiate more interest in learning about and believing in God?

Shouldn’t we at least try to heal the aching world of religion?

Our society has willingly chosen to believe in a world absorbed in magic rather than religion. Religion is now more unfamiliar to most people than Harry Potter. The closest character to a god in the series is Dumbledore, and he died in the sixth chronicle. The world we knew that was so engrossed with the importance of faith and belief is faltering, to the extent that religion cannot even find its way into a popular book.

Religion always played the biggest role in ancient empires, when certain admirable stories about angry teenage wizards did not existed. If we take into account the ancient Egyptians, their empire was built on the foundation of religion. From their cultures to their traditions, every ritual was performed and every device invented to use for religious beliefs.

Even adults born into the Christian religion eventually grow tired of going to church; when they do, they desperately seek the end of the “long and tedious” weekly celebration. Naturally, kids do not want to attend church; they want to play video games or with their Barbie. Teenagers become accustomed to spending their weekend wasting away in front of the computer screen or studying for the next day’s exam. Although one might conclude that there is simply no time to fit in God and his holy Bible, this rationalization is definitely not true, because, in one way or another, each age group finds plenty of time to watch the movie that found its way to number one on the family’s to-do list. Sadly, “Go to church and praise God” is always missing from the list week after week. Why is this holy ceremony being forgotten and the influence of it being overlooked?

Why can’t the media remember to include how important it is to go to church, praise God, and attempt to personify the Ten Commandments? Is that so difficult?



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EricBlair said...
Nov. 7, 2009 at 1:18 pm:
For equality purposes, the media would have to include every major religion. And that is beyond them. With the media's encouragement, the general populace seem to think that celebrities are gods now.
 
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Cotillion_Reject This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 10, 2009 at 8:25 pm:
Wow! I never thought about the religious aspect of Harry Potter. Your writing really made me think about religion in our society today. I think that everyone needs a little religion in his or her life. Our books don't need to be heavy-laden with religious meanings but you would suppose that there would be some allusion to religion in such a book.
I commend you for writing about such a topic.
 
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