Whirlwind of Controversy

Many thoughtful families are caught in the whirlwind of controversy over the wildly popular Harry Potter books by J. K. Rowling. That is, are these series of novels just harmless, imaginative, children's adventure stories or do they condition young readers to be more open to the occult and serious witchcraft?

It is not easy to answer these questions. Strongly pro-family spokesmen have come out on both sides of the issue.

A clue might be that the establishment media and entertainment industry are ecstatic about Harry Potter. The almost universal enthusiasm from the generally anti-family mainstream media should cause families to pause and at least take a careful look at all the arguments.

It is hoped that the following material will provide quality alternative food for thought to help parents and others to discern the best response to Harry Potter.

Michael D. O'Brien on Harry Potter

We especially direct you to the essay by Michael D. O'Brien (author of A Landscape With Dragons: The Battle for Your Child's Mind) in which he carefully analyzes the Potter phenomenon from a Christian perspective and points out the differences between the Harry Potter series and J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings and C. S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia fantasies. Lord of the Rings has a wizard as a main character, there is also magic, lots of monsters and constant battles between good and evil.

O'Brien's essay is an education in morally sound versus morally dangerous fantasy literature for children. The work goes beyond criticizing the Potter series and stirs the conscience to reflect more seriously on the loss of traditional faith and the danger posed by the secular entertainment media. O'Brien acknowledges the Potter series is a creative, imaginative and powerful drama filled with enticing ideas. However, the allure created, according to O'Brien, heightens the danger that the crude and morally confused concepts will be assimilated and put into practice - especially by some of the more vulnerable in the target audience of impressionable children.

Other Resources

Other helpful articles from reputable sources are also listed below.

There are surprisingly very strong emotions on this topic. Hopefully, readers will emphasize reason and thoughtful, unemotional consideration of what are the most compelling arguments and what is the best course of action in response to the Harry Potter phenomena.

Harry Harry Potter expert criticizes Vatican newspaper’s glowing review of Deathly Hallows 2
LifeSiteNews.com July 19, 2011

Harry Book Teaser: ‘Harry Potter and the Paganization of Culture’ by Michael O’Brien
LifeSiteNews.com June 17, 2010

Universal Orlando to Open Immersive ‘Harry Potter World’
LifeSiteNews.com May, 19, 2010

Harry Potter and Dumbledore Used to Entice Fans into Activism for Maine Gay "Marriage" Push
LifeSiteNews.com October, 16, 2009

Vatican Paper Heaps Praise on Harry Potter Film
LifeSiteNews.com July 14, 2009

Under Influence of Harry Potter, Kids are Being Drawn into the "Language and Mechanics" of the Occult
LifeSiteNews.com July 24, 2008

Potter Author JK Rowling Equates Christians Who Avoid Potter with Islamic Fundamentalists
LifeSiteNews.com March 12, 2008

US Christian Groups React Strongly to Harry Potter Books’ Homosexual Character
LifeSiteNews.com October 30, 2007

Harry Potter Fan WebSite Lauds Rowling Stating a Main Character Is Gay
LifeSiteNews.com October 22, 2007

Harry Potter: The Archetype of an Abortion Survivor
LifeSiteNews.com September 5, 2007

Trying to Skirt the Pope's (Cardinal Ratzinger's) Negative Appraisal of Harry Potter
LifeSiteNews.com August 28, 2007

Harry Potter Fanatics Lash Out at Pope, Michael O'Brien, LifeSiteNews Over Criticism of Novels
LifeSiteNews.com August 23, 2007

Harry Potter and "the Death of God" - by Michael D. O'Brien
LifeSiteNews.com August 20, 2007

Vatican's Chief Exorcist Repeats Condemnation of Harry Potter Novels
LifeSiteNews.com March 1, 2006

Canada Opens First “Hogwarts” Witchcraft School
LifeSiteNews.com January 18, 2006

Tolkien and Rowling: Common Ground?

Harry Potter Controversy Carries Over to Vatican Radio
LifeSiteNews.com August 15, 2005

Ten Arguments Against Harry Potter - By Woman Who Corresponded with Cardinal Ratzinger
LifeSiteNews.com June 15, 2005

Pope Opposes Harry Potter Novels - Signed Letters from Cardinal Ratzinger Now Online
LifeSiteNews.com July 13, 2005

Pope Benedict Opposes Harry Potter Novels
LifeSiteNews.com June 27, 2005

U.S. Judge Rules Schools Cannot Require Parental Permission for Potter Books
LifeSite Daily News - April 23, 2003

Dangerous Gnosticism on the Rise
LifeSite Daily News - April 14, 2003

World Media Falsely Trumpet Approval of Harry Potter
LifeSite Daily News - Feb. 7, 2003

Harry Potter Gets Vatican’s Blessing?
Family Life Center International

Harry Potter: An Entry Point into the World of the Occult / New Age Movement
Family Life Center International

The Trouble With Harry - John Andrew Murray
Family Life Center International

Restoring the Sense of Wonder - Michael D. O'Brien
Family Life Center International

Rome's Chief Exorcist Warns Parents Against Harry Potter
LifeSite Daily News - Jan. 2, 2002

Harry Potter: Pro and Con
Reprinted with permission from Jan/Feb 2002 Catholic Insight magazine

Harrycane: a Sign of the Times by Father Lazare de la Mere de Dieu, F.J.
Reprinted with permission from Dec 2001 Catholic Insight magazine

Harry Potter and the Paganization of Children's Culture by Michael D. O'Brien
Reprinted with permission from Michael D. O'Brien and Catholic World Report magazine (April 21 edition)

June Letter to Editor of Catholic World Report and Response from Michael O'Brien

Why Harry Potter Goes Awry
Zenit interview with Michael O'Brien - Dec. 6, 2001

Harry Potter: Friend or Foe for Kids
Zenit, Dec. 6, 2001

Harry Potter: Agent of Conversion
by Toni Collins in Envoy magazine

Musings on Harry Potter
by Gregory Koukl in Stand to Reason

Harry Potter and the Lost Generations
Clare McGrath Merkle, The Cross and the Veil

The Perils of Harry Potter
Christianity today

Harry Potter - St. Joseph's Covenant Keepers

De-Fanging C.S. Lewis

Potter Books: Wicked Witchcraft? - WorldNet Daily
New documentary claims tales lead to the occult.

Is "Harry Potter" Harmless?
Christian Answers.net