Culture At Large

Harry Potter 7: Harry Potter and the Silent Moral Majority

Brian

Ok, so I doubt that's the actual title of the next Harry Potter book, but it does have a ring to it, don't you think?

S.J. Dahlman's op-ed piece today -- Christian community quiet on new Potter book (registration required) -- considers why the Christian community, once so vocal against the world's favorite junior wizard, is so quiet this time around:

[A]fter eight years, six books, three movies (with a fourth on the way), and more merchandising than you can shake a wand at, the dispute dog has almost stopped barking. Last year, for the first time since 1999, no Harry Potter titles were named in the American Library Association’s annual top 10 list of most protested books.

So what gives? Where's all the hell fire and brimstone this time around? Dahlman's article suggests that conservative Christians have moved on, that "Harry Potter is a minor front in a culture war." He also surmises that the renewed popularity of "The Lord of the Rings" and "Chronicles of Narnia" have soften the Bible Belt's take on fantastic literature.

Regardless of the reason, the fact that the book-burning, anti-Harry tribe gave up this time around is a subtle commentary on their actions. Either they're toning things down having realized their error in being so harsh, or they simply lost the eight-year staring contest with J.K. Rowling. If it's the former, it brings into question their fervor regarding today's Hot Topics TM. If it's the latter, well... I guess all you have to do to overcome North American Christian conviction is keep doing what you're doing and wait a few years.

Update: The Christian Post's article Finding God in Harry Potter suggests that, not only have many Christians stopped battling Harry, they're embracing him as a Christ figure.

Topics: Culture At Large, Arts & Leisure, Books