All told, it is the grandest trans-cultural event of epic proportions in the history of mankind, rivaled only by the Bible.
I use the word rivaled with some consideration, not only because of the impact of the series on the modern world, but also because of the worldview it so powerfully implants in its devotees. In short, the series is a kind of anti-Gospel, a dramatized manifesto for behavior and belief embodied by loveable, at times admirable, fictional characters who live out the modern ethos of secular humanism to its maximum parameters.
Huh? Where did that little leap of illogic come from? Has the writer actually read the Harry Potter books? Or is he merely taking his cues from the insane ravings of the writers over at Wingnut Daily?
Calling the Harry Potter novels an "anti-Gospel" suggests that the stories aspire to a higher objective than they actually do. Of course, in the shrieking insanity of the columnist's mind, we find that it gets even more insidious:
More precisely, it is all about Homo Sine Deo, man without God, who, in order to find his identity in a flattened cosmos, must pursue power and knowledge at all costs lest he be blasted into non-being by a killing curse. He feels abandoned, alone, and believes, therefore, that he must rely upon himself - though he will bond, to a degree, with those who assist in the revelation and development of his hidden identity.
Yeah, well - guess what pal - in most heroic literature, the hero doesn't kneel down and start praying to some deity to save their butts. Even in the legends of Ancient Greece, the Gods were there more to create obstacles for someone than to actually help out. (and interestingly, there are echoes of Homer's Illiad and Odyssey in most heroic literature - whether we are talking about Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings or Narnia.
The series is also about the usefulness of hatred and pride, malice toward your real or perceived enemies, seeking and using secret knowledge, lies, cunning, contempt, and sheer good luck in order to defeat whatever threatens you or stands in the path of your desires. It is a cornucopia of other false messages: The end justifies the means. Nothing is as it seems.
Ummm...really? Perhaps one could equally spin it that the Harry Potter stories are about the "wonder of the world" - encouraging people to seek that little bit of "magic" in their daily lives? Urging young minds to look beyond the surface of what the world shows them, perhaps?
Coming from so-called "Christians" who routinely claim that "God moves in mysterious ways", and formulate vast conspiracies against "Christianity", there's a certain irony. While we hear so often about the evils of such things as the "Gay Agenda", we see these same clowns self-justifying Bush's invasion of Iraq(talk about a case of the "ends justifying the means" there!).
Such humanism cannot long survive without a "spirituality" of some kind or other - and what better spirituality for Homo Sine Deo than one which offers the thrills and rewards of the preternatural, without moral accountability to God. One might call this, paradoxically, the religion of secular humanism.
Wow - what an amazing screed. I realize that many people of faith simply cannot imagine existing without that faith as a part of their lives. When it's constructive and helpful to them, I think that's wonderful. However, when that same faith causes you to close your mind's eye to other ways of looking at the world, then I believe it is crippling your ability to think clearly and critically.
When someone stands up and condemns a piece of escape literature as "evil", I can only imagine that somewhere, lurking behind a "don't open this door sign" in their minds is an imagination - because clearly they have lost sight of something somewhere along the way.
Mark Twain once said "You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus"