eSkeptic, a publication of Michael Shermer’s Skeptic Society, has recently published an amusing piece on yet another front of the cultural wars: Harry Potter. For once, skeptics and atheists are neither the targets of nor active participants in this particular assault; indeed, we happily sit by the sidelines and enjoy the show.
You see, Harry Potter is obviously promoting magic, at least according to Pope Benedict XVI who – when he was just Cardinal Ratzinger – commented that HP’s books are a “subtle seduction into witchcraft for young souls.” For some Christians, like author Richard Abanes, there is a difference between Harry Potter and, say, C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia. Lest you hastily conclude that the difference is simply that the latter is a not so subtle example of Christian apologetics, Abanes’ actual objection is that the books by J.K. Rowling (the author of HP), “contain elements of real magic.” Ah, real magic, of course, we ought to be afraid of that stuff.
Reverend Bryan Small – a priest in