Olabode Ososami has continued his tirade against Harry Potter. Sadly, he has also taken to deleting the comments of those who are critical of his views, a move which tends to make dialogue rather challenging. In his first article he ominously warned against watching the HP films:
spiritually, it will cost a Christian everything ... and there are implications for nations.
Implications for the nations even? Yikes. In his latest article he continues by making a shrill comparison between Harry Potter and the Pied Piper:
Why are children so excited about Harry Potter? Recall the legendary (perhaps even real) tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. What was it about his pipes that drew all the children never to be seen again? You do not really need to know ... all you want is for your children to be safe and be as far from the pipes as you can.
This is fear-mongering of the very worst sort. When we don't understand something, like the genre of fantasy literature, it is tempting to label it out of fear and ignorance.
What those who like Ososami's culture criticism often don't realize is just how sweeping it is. If you are consistent in your applications of his blunt principles then you should be worried about much more on your child's shelf than a copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Read J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan. It is a classic children's fantasy novel rich with magic, including such verboten activities as (gasp!) levitation and something that looks dangerously like astral projection! And that's not all. How many children might read Alice in Wonderland and then go out and take hallucinogenic drugs? And what could possibly animate Christopher Robin's stuffed toy collection? Surely it must be the dark Lord that brings Pooh Bear to life. And what about a spider that spins messages about a pig? Charlotte's Web, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, The Mouse and His Child, The Wind in the Willows, the list goes on and on. Our children's bookshelf is stuffed to overflowing with books that explore magic, wizardry and the like.
I can only hope that readers who contemplate the implications of what Ososami is proposing can begin to see the absurdity of it. Imagine a worldview so blunt that it would strip childhood of all the magic of our great heritage of fantasy literature. What a sad picture of the world which views anything not sold in a Christian bookstore or published by a Christian bookseller with suspicion. What a sad state when great literature is deprecated as the tool of the devil.
There is a Pied Piper in this story, but it sure ain't Harry Potter.