Harry Potter is a reading phenomenon that has been sweeping the world by storm. It has attained international accolade with its translation to over forty languages and its readers spanning over 200 countries in the world. The series contains seven books. The series is backed financially by Coca Cola, Mattel, and Warner Brothers among others thus; it is destined to be a force to reckon with in the next coming years. Most children would be thrilled if the book was made a school read, as it is thrilling to such an extent of their parents and teachers appreciating the reading skills acquired from the books (Burkart, 2005). The series is written by J.K. Rowling and it focuses on the predicament of an orphaned boy by the name of Harry Potter who wins a scholarship to study in a prestigious school of Wizardry and Witchcraft. He is thrilled by this achievement because it means that he will gain knowledge of how to eliminate Lord Voldemort the master of evil, who killed his parents and left him an orphan. This book might be thrilling to the children but most parents and teachers do not focus on the negative effects that the book can have on the children. Reading is a harmless and excellent thing, but not every reading book is as innocent as depicted by most of the Harry Potter readers and funs.
The books are based on a fantasy world and most children enjoy escaping to the fantasy world of white witchcraft, which seems to be innocent but when the underlying factors are concerned, it loses its innocent face. Most Christians believe that the book brings out aspects of the occult that would lead their children to involvement with Satanism (Heilman, 2008). Other Christians on the other hand believe that the fantasy world depicted in the book is just mere fantasy that does not involve any sinister implications. Some of these Christians include World Magazine Editors as well as Connie Neal who is the author of the book “What’s A Christian to Do with Harry Potter”. Evidence provided by occult experts such as Marcia Montenegro the author of “Christian Answers for the New Age”, who was involved in the occult before turning to a Christian gives a counter argument to this assertion.
They believe that though some of the words used seem to be so innocent during the transportation to the fantasy world, the children are also transported to the occult world. The books talk about the white and the dark magic where the white magic is depicted to be the magic practiced by the good people while the dark magic is practiced by the bad people (Burkart, 2005). In the Holy Book of the Bible, no type of magic is recognized because all types of magic originate from the devil who is the father of all-evil thus, if magic is depicted as good to the children then their Christian knowledge will be interfered with as they will start questioning the Christian doctrines. This also arouses curiosity in children making them to research more about the occult and they end up being initiated into it without their knowledge.
The prestigious school of Wizardry and Witchcraft is characterized with horror and violence, bewitching and cursing, racism as well as other evils like blood sacrificing. These are transferred to the minds of the little children who have no knowledge of their effects. Most children develop the fear of the dark and other phobias from the book thus leading to the need for counseling for the children to overcome these fears. Bullying, which is on the rise in most schools may be because of reading such books as Harry Potter because when children read about violence they implicate it on others so that they can experience the same feeling that is experienced by their heroes in those books (Heilman, 2008). Some parents usually wonder where their children acquired their violent nature but some of it is ingrained by such books as Harry Potter. Some children learn about racism from such books as this thus at other times they start discriminating other children a vice that would have been prevented if they were not allowed to read such books.
This book brings about personality disintegration in children. This is because as depicted by the character of Harry Potter, one can change their personality due to their obsession with their enemies instead of upholding their moral characters they end up upholding the degrading characteristics of their enemies (Burkart, 2005). This is brought out in the book where Harry Potter changes his personality to become evil due to his obsession with the revenge against Voldemort. This will influence children to believe that even if they were to change their personality and adapt to a different personality, there is nothing wrong as long as it will help them to accomplish what they want to. The same books through intellectual confusion and manipulation lead to the blocking of the discernment of good and evil in the minds of the children that indulges in them.
People may argue that though the Harry Potter books are depicted as having negative impacts on children, they are a good read and help children to perfect their reading skills. Most parents find them helpful because their children can concrete on reading due to the thrilling aspects of the books (Heilman, 2008). This form of support for the books does not hold any water because there are so many other books in the market that are thrilling and more innocent that can be used by the children to improve their reading skills. Some Christians argue that the author of the books upholds Christianity thus; she tries to teach children about the good and the evil. What these Christians do not understand is that the depiction of evil and good magic blocks the mind of the children from deciphering what is good and evil because if they have been taught that magic is bad yet they learn that there is good and bad magic, then they get confused on the way.
Some children in support of the books say that the strength of friendship is brought out in the books thus the books teach on the importance of friendship. Even though these books teach about the importance of friendship, they teach friendship that is based on witchcraft and the occult thus making children to believe that the best friends are those involved with magic but not the ordinary ones who do not posses magic powers (Burkart, 2005). This leads to them formulating imaginary friends from the fantasy world, which is a harmful practice. Other people believe that the books are good because they help the children to divert their attention from the televisions and video games which most of the time divert the children’s minds from schoolwork. Reading the books in this case lead to improvements in learning skills as well as helping the children to concentrate on school work. There can never be any dispute against the advantages of concentrating on schoolwork but at the same time, if what is giving the children concentration is reading about the occult, then there is no need for this diversion.
Harry Potter is a reading phenomenon that has been sweeping the world by storm. It has attained international accolade with its translation to over 40 languages and its readers spanning over 200 countries in the world (Heilman, 2008). It is a series of seven books. The books talk about Harry Potter who is set to revenge the death of his parents on the hands of the evil master Lord Voldemort. He celebrates his acceptance to the prestigious school of Wizardry and Witchcraft as this will provide him with the necessary skills to defeat his enemy. The moral teachings of the books have come under a lot of scrutiny from both Christians and none Christian’s .Those with occult experience believe that these books are not as innocent as they look while the Christians believe that they downgrade Christian teachings. Though the books contain their disadvantages, they also have advantages (Burkart, 2005). They teach on the value of friendship as well as helping in the understanding of good and evil. They help in the improving of children’s reading skills. Parents should however take the responsibility of choosing what their children read because though reading is a harmless and excellent thing, not every reading book is as innocent as depicted by most of the Harry Potter readers and funs.
Burkart, Gina. A Parent’s Guide to Harry Potter. Westmont: Intervarsity Press, 2005. Print.
Heilman, Elizabeth. Critical Perspectives on Harry Potter. Washington: Taylor & Francis, 2008. Print.