Writing and Other Afflictions

"If it was easy, everyone would do it." –Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own"

Harry Potter and the Fundamentalist Deconstruction

[No spoilers]

I haven’t actually heard much about the Fundies’ response to HP7. Perhaps they’re just happy the whole thing is over with. But Lance Mannion has a great take on why they object to Harry Potter in the first place, and what Rowling’s message in the books is. Excerpted:

When all is said and done, Rowling makes one very key point about magic.

It’s not important.

Harry does not succeed because he is a great wizard. He is, as it happens, not particularly adept at being a wizard.

Magic isn’t what saves the day. To say it does is like saying that the hero’s gun saves the day in a Western.

Magic is just the technology of the wizarding world and Rowling makes it clear that putting one’s faith in magic is a sign of stupidity (the folks at the Ministry) or inhumanity (Voldemort and his followers). To trust in a tool or a technology is to give up thinking for one’s self or to give up one’s soul and make a tool of one’s self.

To make a belief system out of trusting in tools over people is an insanity.

It isn’t hard to make the leap from that to the conclusion that Rowling isn’t fond of any belief system that encourages people to put their trust not in their own selves but in the authority of the belief system and its ruling elders.

Dumbledore, the greatest wizard ever, performs very little magic over the course of the first six books, and he teaches Harry very few tricks.

His main, and almost his only lesson, for Harry?

Think, Harry! Think!

The whole article is a bit long, as Lance’s sometimes are, but worth it, as they almost always are. And if you want more reading, his post is a followup to this post about why the fundamentalists hate Harry Potter. Which I admit I haven’t read all of, yet, but the parts I did read look good.

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