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? 🙂