‘Ban Harry Potter or face more school shootings’

From the UK Daily Mail:

A woman who maintains that the Harry Potter books are an attempt to teach children witchcraft is pushing for the second time to have them banned from school libraries.

Laura Mallory, a mother of four from the Atlanta suburb of Loganville, told a Georgia Board of Education officer that the books by British author J.K. Rowling, sought to indoctrinate children as Wiccans, or practitioners of religious witchcraft.

Referring to the recent rash of deadly assaults at schools, Mallory said books that promote evil – as she claims the Potter ones do – help foster the kind of culture where school shootings happen.

That would not happen if students instead read the Bible, Mallory said.

She added that the books were harmful to children who are unable to differentiate between reality and fantasy.

The children, she said, try to imitate Harry Potter and cast spells on classmates.

Yes, because youngsters pretending to “cast spells” with their pencils is the same as a school shooting.

She argued that teachers do not assign other religious books like the Bible as student reading.It was Mallory’s second public campaign against the popular fiction series, after trying to get her son’s elementary school to ban the books in August 2005.

Victoria Sweeny, an attorney representing the Gwinnett County Board of Education in Atlanta’s eastern suburbs, which had ruled against her in May, said that if schools were to remove all books containing reference to witches, they would have to ban mainstays like “Macbeth” and “Cinderella.”

“There’s a mountain of evidence for keeping Harry Potter,” she said, adding that the books don’t support any particular religion but present instead universal themes of friendship and overcoming adversity.

Sweeny said parents, teachers and scholars have found them a good tool to stimulate children’s imagination and encourage them to read.

That should wrap up the case right there. The bottom line is, like them or not (I happen to enjoy them immensely), the Harry Potter books have inspired a whole new generation of children to read; likewise, the overarching theme of the books is decision-making and good vs. evil — something also reflected in the Bible, which Ms. Mallory seems to have forgotten.

The bottom line is, this woman is a kook. I’m a Christian, as are millions of other Americans, yet (1) I enjoy life, and can somehow feel free not to trample on the desire of those around me to do what they wish — including reading entertaining books — and (2) I recognize that, not only will (or SHOULD) the Bible never replace the entire slate of literature offered at public (or any) schools, but it’s just not as interesting a read to kids (or to most adults) as are books like Harry Potter.

Not only do folks need to read just a bit more than the Bible to be educated and well-red, but ,sadly, the Bible itself is a bit more dull than much of what kids are reading now. Except for A Separate Peace. And The Red Badge of Courage. And The Old Man and the Sea. Man, those books are dull. Yuck.

OK, Bill Simon, here ya go: kooky Christian lady tries to force ideas of morality on entire school district — could there be a better softball for you to swat at? 🙂

21 comments

  1. debbie0040 says:

    The same was said of a television show in the late 60’s and early 70’s called Bewitched. I watched it all the time and it did not effect my view on black magic or witchcraft.

    I was able to discern between reality and fiction.

  2. I wonder if she has gotten around to actually reading the books yet. While I think she has no real case to begin with, the fact that she admitted to never reading the books herself when this all started should totally discredit her arguments.

  3. David says:

    Debbie,

    I’ll do you one better regarding 60’s shows: Dark Shadows! I loved it! I would come home from school as a 2nd and 3rd grader, have a ham sandwich and watch Barnabus and Angelique battle each other with various spells, seances, werewolves, curses and the like!! And I never once thought any of it was real! I was just infatuated with Lara Parker, the blonde who played Angelique! The lady who believes “Harry Potter” will lead to witchcraft is just plain ignorant. Where DOOO these mouth-breathing, inbreds come from! ?

  4. Mojo says:

    “That would not happen if students instead read the Bible, Mallory said.”

    The Bible has many noble sentiments and concepts of justice and compassion in its pages, but there is much in it that is highly inappropriate for children. Contained within the word of God are stories of incest, murder, genocide, masturbation, and graphic images of barbaric violence such as the murder of infants and ripping unborn children from the womb, as well as beheadings and suicide.

    I’m not trying to bash the Bible, but I always find it interesting that many who want to ban the Harry Potter books, and say that they are unsuitable for children, also hype a holy book that is very, very adult in its content. I would say that the Bible is much more unsuitable for children than anything spouted from the mind of JK Rowling.

  5. Loren says:

    For that matter, what about I Samuel Chapter 28, when King Saul goes to the Witch of Endor and has her call up the ghost of the prophet Samuel?

  6. David says:

    Let’s not forget Dark Shadows in the 60’s. It had real witches, vampires, werewolves, seances, black majic. It was great! And as a 2nd grader, I could tell fantasy from reality. Where do these ignorant rednecks come from?

  7. SpaceyG says:

    Yeah, and all that changing water into wine stuff, too. I know, while on High Inquisition patrol (that’s a HP reference for all you Muggles/non-readers), I caught at least sixteen neighborhood kids waving their wands over a Bible trying to do just that! Silly kids.

  8. Demonbeck says:

    I think they were trying to change the Bible into crack rock or a gun so they could take them to school.

  9. rmckibben says:

    Any chance we can ban Laura Mallory from the Gwinett County School System (or from Georgia for that matter)???

  10. John Konop says:

    Jace,

    Can we ban Moby Dick that was one loooooooong read. No High School kid should have suffer reading that book again. In fact that book may be the reason behind some school violence. Someone has to have a study about boring books and school violence BTW Debbie I am just kidding!

  11. Mojo says:

    God yes, Moby Dick was awful. Then I say we toss Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. Literature should be readable.

  12. Bill Simon says:

    Jeff,

    The fact that YOU (or, anyone else over 20 years old) like reading those books might indicate you like children in weird ways…perhaps we should call for a Justice Department investigation on adults who read books written for children.

    I’m sure John Konop would jump on this indicator.

    (JUST KIDDING to all of the aforementioned…)

  13. Demonbeck says:

    Toss “Lord Jim” by Joseph Conrad on the fire as well. That has got to be the hardest book in the history of the world to read.

    Seriously, though, this woman is attempting to gain from the tragic deaths of children – hardly a Christian action on her part.

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