Like most kids, mine are into the Harry
Potter books by J.K. Rowling. One of them is an avid
reader and has been known to read anything with writing on it. For my other kid, reading is a
constant struggle. Despite these contrasts, both go
completely crazy every time I add to their collection of
Harry Potter books. My daughter, the bookworm, finishes
each new book within two days. My son, the less-than-avid
reader, matches her enthusiasm but takes awhile longer to
get through the books. I have only purchased the first
three and have yet to come across the opportunity to
obtain the brand new fourth book.
My kids are also very much children of the 21st century. Computers, television and video games take up a great deal of their spare time. My daughter has a fondness for educational programs such as Jenny Jones, Maury, and Jerry Springer. Looking back, I now see that my son's name should have been either Mario or Luigi because he seems to have an unnatural affinity for his Nintendo game. I sincerely believe that he was the Pinball Wizard in his last life. So, as a somewhat old-fashioned parent, anything that will plant their noses into a book and actually get their minds working is very welcome to me.
So, ever since the Harry Potter books
started gaining popularity, the "religious
right" has started a controversy over the premise of
them. They are complaining
that the books are about witches, wizards, magic and
witchcraft. They want these books banned from school
libraries. I think that, once and for all, these people
truly need to find a new hobby because this has got to be
one of the dumbest things since the Jerry Falwell
"Teletubbies" scandal that I have seen come out
of the religious right.
Also, when I was a
child, I read all kinds of fairytales. Cinderella has a
fairy Godmother who performs magic and gets her a man.
Snow White has a witch who tries to kill the heroine in
the story, who ends up being brought back from the dead
by a kiss (on the lips - from a MAN who isn't her
husband!), of all things. Now, I thought that, according
to the teachings of Christianity, Jesus and Lazarus were
the only people who have ever come back from the dead.
Sleeping Beauty went pretty much the same way. All of
those fairytales were loaded with secular, even pagan
principles. Yet I have seen fundamentalist Christian
after fundamentalist Christian who encourage their
children to read them, but won't allow them to read the
Harry Potter books because of the witchcraft. I fail to
see where the type of magic or even the amount of it is
different between them. This makes the religious right
seem even more hypocritical than I had originally