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90. Does the Harry Potter Series Cast or Condemn Real-World Dark Magic? | with G. Shane Morris

Twenty years after the first Harry Potter film premiered in theaters, Christians might bypass brick walls and find positive magical education at Hogwarts School.
Fantastical Truth on Dec 7, 2021 · Series: · 1 comment

Mr. and Mrs. Evangelical, of number 316, Piety Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. Then their children (some of whom supposed they had been living in a cupboard under the stairs) learned about a world of witches, wizards, and schools for both: J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Now, twenty years after the first Potterverse film premiered in theaters, how do we as Christians view the adventures of the Boy Who Lived?

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G. Shane Morris

Introducing G. Shane Morris

Shane Morris is a senior writer at the Colson Center and host of the Upstream podcast as well as cohost of the BreakPoint podcast. He has been a voice of the Colson Center since 2010 as coauthor of many BreakPoint commentaries and columns. He has also written for The Federalist, The Christian Post, and Summit Ministries, and he blogs regularly for Patheos Evangelical as Troubler of Israel. Shane lives with his wife, Gabriela, and their three children in Lakeland, Florida.

Chapter 1: Origin! How did you discover biblical faith and fantastical stories?

  • Shane grew up in a loving Christian home, learning the biblical gospel.
  • He also discovered fantastical stories, such as Tolkien and Lewis, that reflected joy.
  • At first he criticized the Harry Potter series, then a friend challenged him to read them.

Chapter 2: Cancellation! Why did evangelicals initially object to Harry Potter?

  • Stephen recalls many Christians warnings about Harry Potter’s dangers.
  • Christians shared a primary concern: HP’s emphasis on magic and/or occult.
  • Some shared a second concern: Harry’s attitudes and rebellion in school.
  • A few urban legends spread about, such as Rowling’s secret Satanism.
  • Some evangelicals acted foolishly. Competing religions over-mocked.

From Shane Morris’s 2018 article, “Why is Harry Potter More Christian Than His Creator?“:

I remember a time when my fellow Christian “Potter” fans and I were beleaguered and hiding beneath our invisibility cloaks from the rest of the Christian right (who thought we had all sold our souls to the devil). We held out hope that Rowling would turn out to be one of us. She certainly has identified herself as a Christian in the past, even confessing that she preferred not to make the fact public because she feared it would give away the ending of her story.

Well, the ending of her story has been available in bookstores for over a decade now—sacrificial death-and-resurrection-of-the-title-character and all—and it’s little wonder she was so secretive.

Chapter 3: Cancellation (part 2)! Why do leftists despise the wizarding world?

More from Shane’s article:

Rowling has come out for abortion “rights” and cheered LGBTQ causes and the redefinition of marriage, family, and gender at every turn. She has opposed conservative and traditional political causes and not only strip-mined her story for cheap talking points, but encouraged her left-wing followers to see themselves as a real-life Dumbledore’s Army resisting the dark and prejudicial forces of Brexit, Donald Trump, and pro-lifers.

Rowling has reduced her own work—a series that shepherds children and adults alike through the very deepest questions about love, death, the afterlife, friendship, and self-sacrifice—into a dime-store political allegory.

  • Well, that was 2018. Since then, many of Rowling’s secular fans have turned on her.
  • Rowling now speaks out on sex and gender issues (and shares her reasons here).
  • In November several of her critics tried to “doxx” her by revealing her home address.
  • Despite some of Rowling’s contradictions, her story-world remains “based.”
  • The wizarding world critiques power abuses by government and media
  • Rowling insists on showing the evils of dark magic, used to manipulate others.
  • The wizarding world also overtly praises family, self-defense, and many virtues.

Next on Fantastical Truth

What if you were a princess in a Rohan-like kingdom, exiled from the palace to guard the borders? And what if you were riding a wild horse you had barely tamed—that could itself on fire and explode from its head like a dragon? Naturally, Gillian Bronte Adams can answer these questions, in her new novel from Enclave Publishing, Of Fire and Ash. She will join us to explore this fantasy world with its elemental horses and elemental fantastic themes.

Fantastical Truth
Fantastical Truth

Lorehaven explores fantastical stories for God's glory: fantasy, sci-fi, and beyond.

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    In the Fantastical Truth podcast from Lorehaven, hosts E. Stephen Burnett and Zackary Russell explore fantastical stories for God's glory and apply their wonders to the real world Jesus calls us to serve.
    1. notleia says:

      I did feel bad for Rowling’s Adventures in Sexism(TM), but she’s taking her feelings out on the wrong targets. I stopped feeling bad when she doubled down on her garbage. Are we defined by our genitals or not, Rowling? Are women the only ones enlightened enough to transcend their organs and men are not? Tempting conclusion, I know, girl, but not only is it wrong, it is unfair. I UNDERSTAND about heterosexual nihilism, but taking it out on trans people is not cool and also not even a functional solution.

      And have y’all actually met modern “occultists?” All the ones I’ve met just collect crystals, candles, and tarot cards and don’t bother with contacting the dead. You’re gonna have a hard time convincing me that these cottagecore dorks are scary.

      Ah, Jordn Petersn. He might have had half a point, but he got eaten up by his own fame. Eat a vegetable, ya dork, and stay on your meds. Very “physician, heal thyself” vibes.

      It’s totally possible to keep the good production and throw out the iffy creator. We do it ALLA time, even Christians. Have you read about denominational history? Anything else is hypocrisy.

      Imma stop and take a moment to appreciate Suzanne Collins, who just took her multimillions and melted into obscurity and doesn’t bother to garner clicks by ex post facto claiming Peeta is bisexual or some crap.

    What say you?