Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Detriments of a One-Book Library

I just want you to imagine the expression on my face. Let me set the scene: I worked last night at the bar until 3 a.m. I have not, as of yet, managed to get any sleep. At 4:45 a.m. this morning, I was running the vacuum to get shards of crystal out of my carpet and muttering dire threats of bodily harm to whichever stupid cat had knocked it off. Finally, I gave up on the sleep notion and decided to just go all day (and my night shift) without any shut-eye.

Looking for some sort of entertainment (cable TV sucks now that college football season is over) I opened up my laptop and hopped online. Wandering through cyberspace, I come across this quote:

This decision to appeal was made after much prayer and consideration, and significant answers to prayer confirming God's will regarding this case. Witchcraft is an abomination (profoundly evil and detestable) unto God. (Deut. 18:10-12) It's time we listen to His Voice on the subject and not the dictates of our own hearts.

Harry Potter is being used to teach and promote witchcraft, Wicca, a U.S. Gov't recognized religion, in our schools, classrooms, and to this entire generation.

My first response: spit take on a cup of coffee. My second response: darnit, that had Bailey's in it! My third response: What in the HELL is this?

Then I had a revelation. Oooooh, I get it!

The first clue: the name of the website is HisVoiceToday. This is the website of Laura Mallory, the lady who is taking her case for removing Harry Potter from public schools to the Supreme Court.

Are you freaking kidding me? Doesn't this woman have anything better to do with her time? Like maybe, oh, I don't know--volunteer at the local hospital or nursing home or work to help child literacy or maybe even (dare I say it??) to READ THE FREAKING BOOKS?

She hasn't read them. She's condemning something she hasn't even read. Once upon a time, a year or so ago, I had a very ugly confrontation with a member of my writing group (at the time; I have since departed) on this very subject. She, a WRITER, had nothing good to say about Eragon and she HAD NOT READ THE STORY.

*takes a deep breath*

Okay, morons, let's walk through this slowly. First off, you can't ban a book you haven't read. That's just plain stupid. How can you judge something you know nothing about? Isn't that along the same lines as racism? sexism? homophobism? IF you don't READ the book, then your opinion about said book is worthless.

The ALA (American Legal Association) has compiled a list of the most challenged books of the 21st century. Here's the list:

1. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

2. "The Chocolate War" by Robert Cormier

3. Alice series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

4. "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck

5. "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou

6. "Fallen Angels" by Walter Dean Myers

7. "It's Perfectly Normal" by Robie Harris

8. Scary Stories series by Alvin Schwartz

9. Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey

10. "Forever" by Judy Blume

Huh? "Of Mice and Men?" You're joking right--surely no one is stupid enough to want to ban one of the great books of the 20th century, would they? A Judy Blume book? Noooooooo. Maya Angelou? People really have a problem with a book that rates as one of the most powerful experiences I've ever had in literature? No way. We're not THAT dumb....are we? And right there at the top--the Harry Potter series.

Congratulations, Ms. Rowling. You're keeping good company.

I've read Harry Potter. I own all the movies. I picked up the first Harry Potter book on a whim. I love children's literature; I still read Louisa May Alcott and the Anne of Green Gables series and the high school and beyond years of Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart. So, when I opened Harry Potter, it was more to see what all the fuss was about.

I discovered that quickly. The writing is evocative. The characterizations are brilliant. The premise is so creative and the implementation so skillfully done that when I finished the first book, I went to the bookstore and bought the other three that were out then just so I could see what happened next.

And what happened next? This:

Today's generation faces evil like no other in history with the bombardment of violent, sexual and occult images of our modern mass media. I think perhaps we are so desensitized, we couldn't recognize it even if on the plate in front of us. This case addresses only one facet of that evil, being spoon-fed to our children, even in the public schools. With the deceptive, exciting, children-friendly packaging of witchcraft in the Harry Potter series, our youth today view witchcraft not only as good and fun, but harmless fantasy.

Ooooooooookay. Tell me: if kids view witchcraft as 'good' and 'fun', then how could they also see it as 'harmless fantasy'??? After all, Harry Potter encourages people to pick up the occult, right?

I cannot count the times I have been told that these books are "just fantasy." But if you would like to know the truth, please keep reading and do your own research. Not only is witchcraft a real religion, subtly intriguing and alluring our children and teens in unprecedented numbers, it is a dangerous one, often leaving its followers in darkness, depression and even suicidal.

Oh, okay. It's okay for people to read about witchcraft--but only if they're going to agree with you. For the record, witchcraft is NOT a religion. Wicca is a religion. If you really wanted to get technical, Harry Potter isn't a witch. Hermione is. Harry is a sorcerer.

*had to say it*

But this one is the kicker:

We need to ask ourselves three questions

1. Do you believe in a real devil?

2. Do you believe the occult practices listed in Deuteronomy 18 are really dangerous and do they really come from Satan?

3. How likely is it that the real devil, (Lucifer-Satan) has nothing to do with the worlds fastest selling book on the planet, that are communicating concepts of witchcraft to kids? (From: Steven Wohlberg, Hour of the Witch)

Okay so let me get this straight. Something evil is responsible for Harry Potter. Could it be......SATAN??????

Whoever said ignorance is bliss wasn't thinking about the rest of us. You know, one of the biggest problems we face as a nation is the overwhelming "Christian" desire a portion of our population has to stick their oh-so-holy-and-in-the-air noses into other people's lives.

Ms. Mallory, if you want a book to ban I can help you out. *grin* I just happen to have a few .pdf downloads of a few novellas I've written--nothing much, you understand, but they do deal with pagan gods and magic. And while I haven't written about Satan yet, I have written about his Greek equivalent. I'd be more than happy to send you some copies--free of charge of course! Who knows? It might broaden your narrow-minded, tight-lipped, sanctimonious horizons a bare centimeter or two. There are way too many "Christian" deeds for a lady such as yourself to perform--deeds that will make an immediate impact upon a family or your community and will serve you much better when you get to the pearly gates and must account for yourself. You see, the books you are attacking are almost single-handedly responsible for bringing children (and some adults) back to the joys and wonder of reading. J.K. Rowling contributes much more than her writing; she aggressively contributes and solicits aid for single parent families in the UK and does a lot of work for the MS Society as well. Can you say the same?

Perhaps if you had more than one book in your personal library, you'd understand these things better.

But I'm not mad at you. No, not at all. After all,

But a witless man can no more become wise than a wild donkey's colt can
be born a man.---Job 11:12

Oh, and

You who are simple, gain prudence; you who are foolish, gain
understanding. Proverbs 8:5

See what happens when you READ the book before you condemn it? On second thought, maybe you should spend more time reading the Bible. Obviously, you've missed a few things.