RadTrad Catholic Harry Haters: Still Out There

Fr. John Zuhlsdorf answers a young person’s question about whether reading Harry Potter constitutes a sin that needs to be confessed. “Fr. Z’s” answer is a wishy-washy “no;” his dismissal of Potter as second rate reading and his defensive sop to his blog audience that he didn’t buy the books he read suggests even the overly-couched thumbs up for Harry comes at a price. Sure enough, the Harry Haters are on him in a minute and Catholic Potter-Philes are there soon after exchanging urls and sureties of just how wrong the other side is.

Read the priest’s mostly prudential opening answer and then scan the incredible combox responses. Let me know when you’re done if you think there is any possible way that the pious folk who know Harry’s story is demonic could be brought to an appreciation of Ms. Rowling’s artistry and meaning. Or, on the reverse front, if the Friends of Harry could be persuaded by arguments that Harry, contrary to their experience and understanding, is volatile, even dangerous reading.

I doubt there is a way in either case and begin to wonder, three years after Deathly Hallows’ publication, why anyone would try and why the storm continues to rage. My assumption, open as always to your correction, is that both groups are speaking to their brethren in disdain for the opposite number or in their ego-identification with the Truth as they know it despite the evident reality that no one is being moved away from the position they arrived with.

Forgive me, but these conversations, if exchanges in which the only contact is like that between wrestlers, each looking for a grip with which to throw their opponent, can be called conversations, seem to simultaneously demean and diminish both sides of the quarrel and the faith each holds dear.

(H/T to the editor!)


  1. Sayf Bowlin says

    I sometimes think that Fr. Zuhlsdorf can be a bit harsh. I believe that his comments were good in this case, however, especially given how much he delved into the books, his diverse (sometimes rabid audience) and the fact that he likes Frank Sinatra.

    I did not read the 143+ comments because I have too much to do to put up with a murderous rage.

  2. I liked the Sinatra comments, too.

  3. Perelandra says

    I didn’t respond to that discussion but I would dearly like to hear one single example of a demon name in HP. I made that challenge on another board and no one took me up.

    The amount of irrational fear and simple reading comprehension expressed by harry-haters in these never ending discussions is profoundly depressing.

    I note the cite about “there is only power” (made almost a decade ago in Human Life International’s newsletter) is still being tossed around. Our minds are made up. Don’t bother us with context. Of course this sort of argument has been directed at TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD for 50 years!

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