Harry Potter and Unity
Dear Rev. Jamison,
Why are fundamentalist Christians So opposed to the Harry Potter books and movies? I have totally enjoyed them all.
I gladly admit that I cannot answer this question authoritatively because I do not care to read fundamentalist Christian literature that complains about Harry Potter. However, I can easily speculate on why J. K. Rowling's delightful fictions strike such fear into the fundamentalist heart.
Fundamentalists insist upon there being a divine entity of evil just as much (if not more so) than they insist upon there being a vengeful and punishing divine entity of good (if the words "vengeful and punishing divine entity of good" do not seem to go together, then you can thank God that you are Unity!). For the fundamentalist, the very notion of any lowly-worm-of-the-dust-human having magical powers scares the hell "into" them. They would attribute any such powers to the devil, and they assume that any time they open their minds, the devil could jump in.
They are much like Aunt Petunia this way, in the Harry Potter stories. They fear that people who read the Potter books and/or watch the movies will be made easy prey for the devil, who would love to sell them magical powers in exchange for their souls (and you thought Rowling was into fiction!).
In answer to a question you did not ask, namely, do I think people can develop magical powers, I remind you of the third of the five teachings of Unity, which is about the power of the mind.
By "power of the mind" we do not mean spoon bending or levitating. Our mind power changes nothing in the outer; it changes-the way we experience the outer, which is plenty magical enough. As I repetitively teach, the events of life do not matter much; it is how we respond to those events that determines the quality of our lives. By holding to a good thought (as opposed to a bad thought), we can transform ourselves to be able to draw good from any situation. The situation does not change due to some magical incantations of ours, but we change due to our personal affirmations. I cannot emphasize enough that we have zero power over others and over the past (every experienced event is in the past, even if it occurred only a second ago). Oh, we can influence others (for good or for ill), but it is their free choice to fall under our influence or not. Never feel frustrated when you seem to have no influence over others. Instead, be glad that it is the other way around, too: no one has any influence over you!
This does not mean that we should close ourselves off from all influences. What others say, do, and be, can be helpful in stimulating some thinking on what we choose to say, do, and be. Analyze what you are experiencing from others, and decide if it is of the highest and best for you to emulate, with some adaptations so as to make it genuinely your own, if you choose it. In other words, be in charge of your own thinking.
I cannot let this topic go without a mention of magic wands. Pointing short sticks at the outer so as to transform it is even sillier than Dumbo the elephant requiring a feather held in his trunk in order to fly. As was demonstrated by the end of that delightful fiction (over which I do not think fundamentalists had any objections), Dumbo had ears big enough to get him airborne without the need of a trunk talisman. A band or orchestra leader's baton is the only "wand" that gets people to do what the wand waver wants, and as it is, it only has power over musicians.
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