Take a look at this op-ed from today’s Livingston Daily (out of Livingston, MI), entitled: “Harry Potter can make kids suicidal.” This is the kind of thing Harry Potter fans are up against. It’s the kind of thing book fans are up against, come to that. Visions of Fahrenheit 451 are dancing before my eyes here, folks.
The author starts off with this gem: “Why are Americans duped into reading and admiring Harry Potter books?” First of all, I don’t think one can be duped into admiring anything. One either does or doesn’t, based on one’s own rubric of art. Second, how are we being duped into reading the Harry Potter books? Really, I want to know.
“By reading these Harry Potter books, your children could be opening themselves up to a spirit realm in which they can become depressed and suicidal.” I would tend to agree with one of the commenters, who goes out on a limb “to wager that the bible causes many more suicides than Harry Potter does.” And I think there are plenty of other, more immediate influences than either. How about sex, drugs, and rock and roll, even? :) In any case, I know it’s an opinion piece, but can the author point to any scrap of evidence for such a baldly invective accusation? I doubt it. Rather, it’s a completely unsubstantiated claim aimed purely at alarming and manipulating overprotective parents.
Oh, but it gets worse: “[your child could] become entrenched with it to the point of demonic possession, and then, through hatred or revenge, could cast a spell or curse on a school teacher, classmate, boss, neighbor or you as a mom or dad. As a result of the curse, you could become seriously ill to the point of death.” So, now your child’s going to become depressed enough to kill you (magically, of course) — all because of reading the Harry Potter books. *rolls eyes*
Perhaps I should just dismiss such ravings out of hand; perhaps I shouldn’t even dignifiy them with attention in my blog. But I’m afraid that dismissal could be construed as tacit agreement. Not by you or me, but by others of John Carr’s mindset, or those who are undecided and easily manipulated. “You see?” they may say. “No objections! This John Carr fellow must have an impregnable argument.” *rolls eyes again*
That’s the road that leads to book burning.