Banned Books – Banned books are books or other printed works such as essays or plays which are prohibited by law or to which free access is not permitted by other means. The practice of banning books is a form of censorship, from political, legal, religious, moral, or (less often) commercial motives. – Wikipedia
In celebration of banned books week, I will choose one banned book each day to highlight. Some of those won’t be a surprise. Some of them may shock you. Good. Don’t be afraid to read a banned book today…
Reasons for ban: magical and witchcraft-related themes, violence, instilled religious extremism, violation of the separation of church and state
Oh Harry, who knew such a nice boy could cause so much trouble. This series has been one of the most challenged books in recent history. It’s not hard to imagine why. Religious people find it offensive. They think that by reading this book children will be attracted to magic, which is expressly forbidden in the bible and other sacred texts.
The magic practiced in the book is expressed by many as being more mechanical than occultic. It doesn’t call on supernatural creatures for power. It is an alternative power, alongside regular “muggle” non-magical life. Different strokes for different folks pretty much. Many Christian groups also claim that the books can lead people to believing in Wicca. Interestingly, Wiccans themselves say that the book is actually much more rooted in Christianity. Wiccan’s are right in that the story does have significant christian themes. This is common in a great deal of fantasy and science fiction. How easy it is to draw parallels to the life and teachings of Christ in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, heck even Star Wars!
Religious leaders are blind to these messages and want to simply paint all of these stories as terrible. Far be it from me to decide whether or not what someone believes is right or wrong. Wouldn’t it be presumptuous for any of us to make those kinds of judgement calls? Ultimately, I have to agree with Ms. Rowling, when she said, “You have a perfect right, of course, as every parent does, and I’m a parent, to decide what your child is exposed to. You do not have the right to decide what everyone else’s children are exposed to. So that’s how I feel about it”. Well there you go. I don’t even have to ask you all to read Harry Potter… I know you’ve got that covered right!
“Banned” Bloggers: Here are links to a couple of other bloggers I’ve come across who are also celebrating Banned Books Week. Please visit their pages. They have so much good information!
Song for this book: Last of Days – A Fine Frenzy