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the idiots are winning in Massachusetts…

26 Oct

…and I’m not talking about the Red Sox, who haven’t been “idiots” since Johnny Damon and Kevin Millar traded in their B caps.

Turns out St. Joseph’s in Wakefield has become the first school in Massachusetts to ban Harry Potter, because, according to the pastor, “it’s known that it has led to pagan practices.” Um… what?

WARNING:  The following is a rant.

If you are thinking of hiring me for a job and have reached this page by Googling my name: I can assure you that I am a stable human being who loves and accepts all types of people, and who you’d really like if you got to know me. Matter of fact, if you are thinking of hiring me for a job, you probably shouldn’t click “read more…” Instead, I would like you to pretend that this blog is actually just a Facebook page which lists my hobbies as “golfing”, “being a self-started motivator”, and “getting things done,” with several smiling, dispassionate pictures of myself wearing polo shirts.

If you are a grammar Nazi: while the idea of banning books probably annoys you as much as it annoys me, you will no doubt be more annoyed by the astonishing lack of editing displayed below. Please feel free to comment, but if you choose to do so in a smug or anal manner, I will throw a bowl of pasta at your head.

If you are otherwise offended: I suggest that you take a deep breath, count to ten, and lookatthekitty.

Awww….

Rant commences below the cut.

I don’t have to be objective here, so I won’t. I’ll just say this: who’s stupid enough, really, to believe this nonsense? What proof can they point to? And for heavens sake, why is a Catholic church buying this “Harry Potter will turn your child to Satan” nonsense? I mean, The Divine Mega-Church of The Holy Creator Jesus, Who Died For Us And Not You, Jerk banning these books is one thing – that type of religion required an enemy.  That’s how their faith works.  You point to something popular in culture and say “that is evil, we are good, we are special, have a donut.” People feel like they’re part of a group because they’re banded together in their hate for liberals, gays, and wizards.

I can get why fundamentalist sects are anti-Harry, because of their mentality wherein everything must be taken literally. If it says in a book that wizards are real, then that must mean that the author wants us to really believe that wizards are real. As this runs contrary to their book, it must be evil.  This is why they sometimes refuse to believe in the existence of, say, dinosaurs.

Secondly, Harry and his friends are the ultimate anti-authoritarian heroes: they fight Lord Voldemort, an evil wizard whose followers obey his every word because he says so and that’s that.  If you’ve devoted your whole life to following someone, not because you think it’s right, but because you need someone to follow, I can see how this could make you a little itchy.

The moral of the Harry Potter story is “we are defined by our actions.”  In other words, faith through works. In other words, the defining difference between Catholicism and the rest of Christianity.  The rest of Christianity jumps up and down and says “I love Jesus!” and, so long as they do whatever Pastor says, they get to go to heaven with all the other straight white people.  Catholicism, however, says “prove it.”  You are not defined by what you say, you are defined by what you do.  Did you help others who needed it?  Did you love thy neighbor?  Are you willing to sacrifice for the greater good?  These are the moral lessons of JK Rowling’s books, and the moral lessons of Catholicism.  So when Dad-In-A-Red-Baseball-Cap says, in this video, that the pastor’s job is to instill Catholic values in the kids, and therefore banning the books is a good idea, he obviously has no idea what he’s talking about.

Certain evangelicals have always reminded me of Death Eaters – those followers of Lord Voldemort who do whatever he says because they so desperately need someone to follow, and who look down on non-wizards (read: anyone who disagrees with them) as sub-human. So, I can see why they’d have a problem with Harry Potter, but I don’t get the Catholics having a problem with him.  Most don’t, I suppose.  My parents are pretty Catholic and they love the books.

Look, it’s no skin off my nose if they want to ban these books in school, it’s just… strange to me.  I don’t get why people believe that Harry Potter will turn your kids into witches and wizards, when there’s absolutely no proof of this happening ever.  Even the Catholic church requires proof of three miracles before they declare someone a Saint.  I wonder if they can give me three examples of good kids turning bad because they read some silly fantasy book?  I wonder if they can give me one?

Dungeons and Dragons doesn’t count.

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4 Comments

Posted by on October 26, 2007 in harry potter, nerd riot, politics

 

4 responses to “the idiots are winning in Massachusetts…

  1. Bill D.

    October 28, 2007 at 11:46 am

    “The moral of the Harry Potter story is “we are defined by our actions.” In other words, faith through works. In other words, the defining difference between Catholicism and the rest of Christianity. The rest of Christianity jumps up and down and says “I love Jesus!” and, so long as they do whatever Pastor says, they get to go to heaven with all the other straight white people. Catholicism, however, says “prove it.””

    I see your point and agree with it, but as someone who has attended Congregational, Unitarian-Universalist, and Episcopalian (which is Catholicism Lite, but still) churches at various points, I do have to call you on the generalization here. Every sermon I didn’t sleep through emphasized good works, not blind allegiance and “do as I say” rhetoric (admittedly, the churches I’ve always attended have been pretty liberal, beliefs-wise, but still).

    I think you definitely see a lot of the sort of thing you’re talking about in churches based in the Baptist tradition, and even in some of the more conservative parishes of other denominations, too (see also: all the talk of schism when the Episcopal/Anglican church elected a gay bishop a few years back), but “rest of Christianity” is a bit too encompassing for me to let slide.

     
  2. geekusa

    October 28, 2007 at 9:30 pm

    You’re completely right – I generalized where I shouldn’t have. I love the Unitarians, I love the United Church of Christ, I love the Episcopalians, who all seem like they’re good hearted and not lame. And as someone who doesn’t really even go to church, I maybe shouldn’t side with the Catholics as “our side.”

    So: I apologize, and completely rescind my generalizations.

     
  3. Bill D.

    October 30, 2007 at 4:19 pm

    No big thing. Just keeping ya honest.

     
  4. Kellie

    November 1, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    First of all, just want to say, it’s not my church. Second, not that I am defending it but the books were not banned. They were removed from the library. Kids are not going to be expelled or suspended if they have the books. The books are just not going to be available at that library. While I don’t agree with the pastors actions it is a private school and ultimately it is up to him what “values” he wants to promote. He is trying to act in the best interest of his students which I don’t see as a bad thing however misguided his actions may be.

     

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