Jul 24, 2007

Harry Potter

by Terri Wagner

I got one of those emails where you think, do I really want to answer this, and if I do, what on earth can I say??!! A friend of mine who terms herself spiritual whatever that means was confronted by her stepmother about letting her children read the "evil" Harry Potter. She knows I'm LDS and a bit of what we believe. So she asked me what I thought. Here's how I answered.

How would you?

"There are a lot of Christians who are uncomfortable with what they perceive as evil. I deeply believe that God and Satan are a package deal. You believe in one, you must believe in the other. I know that Satan is real and his purpose to bring you to misery and keep you there. It’s his job, he’s been doing it for centuries, and he’s very good at it. He figured out a long time ago that obvious evil is repugnant to most every one so he wraps evil up in beautiful things and seduces you until you are well and truly caught, then you find out the awful truth, “the beauty masks the decay.”

As Christians, we have a responsibility to be careful about dappling in evil. And while we have the Bible and centuries of those who have gone before us, it’s still hard to determine what’s evil. I know that I personally try to avoid anything with overt sex in it, simply because I am for some reason especially vulnerable to it. I have LDS friends who are not and will tolerate a certain amount of sex in their casual reading.

On the other hand, I can read just about any evil/fantasy novel, play role-playing games and even video games and feel just fine about it. I loved Dragon and Dungeons, played it often. Love Harry Potter. Am a rabid Star Wars fan and adore the Tennis Shoes Among the Nephites series. I try to keep my standards high. And look for moral endings wherein the bad guys face their consequences and the hero is good. In short, I find no problem with this type of stuff.

So Jenn the bottom line is as Christians, we have a duty to avoid evil and seek out good. It is a judgment call on our part. And it is an intensely personal call as well.”

She responded with: Ok, if I find any chicken parts lying around their rooms, I’ll get worried.”

Moms, they always put things in such perfect perspective.


  1. Terri,

    What a beautiful job you did in responding to the question about reading Harry Potter. I think you summed it up perfectly with your line that you: "...look for moral endings wherein the bad guys face their consequences and the hero is good." I couldn't have put it better.

  2. Interesting comment about God and Satan being a package deal...I never thought about that before, but, of course it is so. I knew that. I just never put it in words. Thanks for the provocative post.

  3. G'donya. Great post. (Anything I agree with is, naturally, great.) I still have Harry Potter on my reading list, but I'm waiting only because I'm so interested in other things. I've discovered there is some good in almost everybody and every thing. Sometimes it's obvious, but at other times I have to hunt for it. And It's well worth the hunt. It reminds me of the saying, "there's so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, that it little behooves the rest of us to talk about the (fill in the blank) of us. (Well, I almost remembered.)

    By the way, if "there must needs be opposition in all things," then should we appreciate Satan? But emulating him is quite another story.


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