Minden Press-Herald

Tuesday
Sep 30th

Undesirable No. 1

Hate Harry Potter? Well, You Better Loathe Obi-Wan, too

Let's talk about Harry Potter.

The boy wizard and his friends have captivated millions through seven number one best selling novels and a series of blockbuster films. The eighth Potter movie, which is the last of the series, opens worldwide in a few weeks. Like its predecessors, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 will undoubtedly be number one at the box office and likely be the top grossing film of the year.

But popularity does not equate to being exceptional. Just look at Jersey Shore.

What equates to a novel or film being first-rate is a narrative focused on redeeming virtues. A story that teaches life lessons. A story that has a strong and positive distinction between good and evil. A story that teaches the value of overcoming personal differences, looking beyond primal prejudices and succeeding after failures. A good novel or film teaches the value of friendship, of love, of respect.

Harry Potter does all of these things.

But there are many who loathe the series. You may be one of these people.

Why?

Because witchcraft is evil. The Bible says so, and I am in no way disputing that assertion.

You will not find a person whose faith in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is stronger than mine. Being a Christian is who I am. It defines me. Makes me whole.

But my faith does not blind me from logic.

Those who decry Harry Potter should as well turn their ire toward films and literature such as Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia and even the Wizard of Oz.

Beloved characters, these wizards and witches, such as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Gandalf the Grey and Glinda the Good Witch are the equivalent of Harry Potter for a new age.

Railing against the work of J.K. Rowling and not finding issue with the classic tales spun by Tolkien, Lewis and Baum is folly. And arguing otherwise is foolish.

It's fiction. It's fantasy. It's a modern fable in the vein of the Brothers Grimm and other timeless tales passed down through the ages.

In today's world of declining test scores, lower education standards and constant virtual distractions rotting the imaginations of our youth, Harry Potter sparks an interest. It kindles thought and imagination. It broadens horizons and strengthens vocabulary and reinforces the beauty of the finely written word.

It's not McCarthy. It's not Faulkner. But it's better than Reality Television, virtual murder on the X-Box or 140 characters on Twitter.

The stories of Harry Potter are at their core testaments to being strong, not giving in to oppression or tyranny. One could very much metaphorically liken the evil wizard and his cohorts to Hitler and Nazi Germany of the earlier 20th Century. Resistance against overwhelming evil, that's what Harry Potter is about.

And for what it's worth, Harry and his friends celebrate Christmas, the birth of Christ, in every novel.

As for myself, I'll be in attendance for the final chapter come July 15. And what a wonderful ride it has been.

Josh Beavers is the publisher and editor of the Minden Press-Herald. You can e-mail him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

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