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Potter-mania's bright side.

"Potter-mania's Dark Side" (THE NEW AMERICAN, July 28th issue) is just an opinion not based on any facts. I am 78 years of age and have read all the other Harry Potter books and I am now reading the latest. J.K. Rowling is incredible in her style and imagination. I have no clue as to how anyone can come to the conclusion that she is spurring an interest in the occult. There is always someone who has to write something without proven facts such as Pete Harrison who writes that according to experts (who are these experts?): "Paganism and the ancient art of witchcraft are on the rise in Britain...."

Have any of these experts read the Harry Potter books? Have they pointed out where the author makes any inference that would lead the reader to an interest in the occult? In any issue you can find someone who takes a different view of the subject or writing of an author Let's face it, you can read about Harry Potter and enjoy the story and plots, or you can leave the book alone and find something else to read. That so many millions of children enjoy reading Harry Potter books should indicate that they are doing more good than harm.


Orem, Utah

While I understand the underlying concern over an increase in the Wicca/occult religions, I disagree that the Harry Potter books may be the problem.

Having read the books, I find them entertaining and creative. I believe one of the reasons children are drawn to them is because they inspire imagination and creativity in a world where most children are drained of these things through mind-numbing school "education." As a teacher, I have used these books to highlight positive characteristics and morals. Harry Potter is a boy who stands up for himself and what he believes in, whether it increases his popularity or not. His friends stand beside him through thick and thin. Strong attention is given to traits like loyalty, bravery, and individuality--traits often ignored in the current "peer group" and "moderation" dynamics of the public school system. In addition, Harry Potter may help readers uncover some truths to help them in the real world, such as: not all teachers are to be trusted; government systems are often corrupt; and friendship, family, and love are more powerful than any spell cast or potion brewed. As a matter of fact, the latest book in this series, Order of the Phoenix, demonstrates the dark potential of government-controlled schooling!

As with almost anything, Harry Potter has its bad points. But I believe the increase in Wicca/occult religions rises from something far more powerful than any children's tale. There is a lack of parental interest and religious involvement in many children's lives. Without these, almost any interest can have a dark side. Although some readers, delighted by Harry Potter, may come across more pagan material as they explore and expand their interest, I have seen many others guided to the literary genius of C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia, Madeline L'Engle's Wrinkle in Time and J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings.

Many young people have found something missing in their lives--holes that might be filled with religion and family. When these areas are lacking, other things take their place. They take the form of drugs, alcohol, sex, cults, radical groups, gangs, violence, eating disorders, or even paganism. Society needs to focus on the main problems, not Harry Potter.

Therese McKernan

Kenockee, Michigan
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Title Annotation:Letters to the Editor
Publication:The New American
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Aug 25, 2003
Previous Article:Targeting scouts, then your church.
Next Article:Dan Smoot: rest in peace.

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