By Meg Jalsevac
NEW YORK, October 22, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – J.K. Rowling, author of the already controversial Harry Potter children’s book series, has chosen to stir up more controversy even after the final series of the book has been released. In answer to a question from a young fan, Rowling announced that the prominent and well-respected character of the ‘good’ wizard headmaster, Dumbledore is, in fact, gay.
Rowling explained her answer to a packed audience, of which one could safely assume was largely made up of young children, saying that Dumbledore would never find true love because he had long been in love with his boyhood friend turned evil wizard, Grindelwald but that his love had been “horribly, horribly let down.” Rowling emphasized that Dumbledore’s love was his “great tragedy.”
From the release of the very first book of the series, the Harry Potter novels have been at the center of controversy concerning the message that the books portray to the many young readers who devour them upon publication. Fans of the novels have either asserted that the books are simply harmless entertainment or, at best, Christian works similar to the genre of CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien.
On the other hand, critics from around the globe and of different religious backgrounds have been vocal about their serious concerns about the message and values portrayed in the novels. They have warned about the subliminal themes that especially present vulnerable young readers in today’s corrupted, even increasingly pagan, western culture with marred distinctions between good and evil.
Many sources have stated Rowling’s newest revelation will give a whole new meaning to the passages that pertain to the “affection” between the two wizards when they were youths.
Fans commenting on various websites expressed different reactions to Rowling’s answer.
According to a report in the Associated Press, Melissa Anelli, webmaster of a large Potter fan site, lauded the announcement saying, “Jo Rowling calling any Harry Potter character gay would make wonderful strides in tolerance toward homosexuality. By dubbing someone so respected, so talented and so kind, as someone who just happens to be also homosexual, she’s reinforcing the idea that a person’s gayness is not something of which they should be ashamed.”
However, even previous fans of Rowling’s work criticized her announcement implying that it was merely a move to garner more publicity for her novels. Some supporters of the homosexual agenda criticized the delay in unveiling such a fact until after the book had been published, insinuating that such a move was done to merely avoid controversy upon the book’s release.
Despite Rowling’s recent admission that “To me [the religious parallels have] always been obvious”, she shrugged off suggestions that her recent announcement will confirm previous criticism of her books. She merely said that not all people will like her books and this most recent announcement will merely give them one more reason.
However, according to an interview with MTV, Rowling acknowledges that many Christians, even the current Pope, have criticized or even condemned her books. She expressed pride that her novels have been placed on “banned books list” saying, “I go to church myself. I don’t take any responsibility for the lunatic fringes of my own religion.”
While Rowling herself may attribute criticism of her works to merely ‘lunatic fringes’, criticism has been far and wide and has come from several prominent leaders in Christian circles.
As previously reported by LifeSiteNews.com, in March 2003, before being elected Pope, then-Cardinal Ratzinger expressed gratitude to Gabriele Kuby who authored a work explaining the dangers of the Potter story, especially to young children.
Made available by LifeSiteNews.com, Ratzinger’s letter to Ms. Kuby stated, “It is good, that you enlighten people about Harry Potter, because those are subtle seductions, which act unnoticed and by this deeply distort Christianity in the soul, before it can grow properly.”
Strangely, more than a few prominent Catholic fans of the Potter novels, have been denying that the Pope (then Cardinal Ratzinger) made any comment against them despite the indisputable evidence of scans of his actual signed letters posted on LifeSiteNews. A letter published in the Toronto Archdiocese’s Catholic Register, for example, refuting a recent Register article’s clear misrepresentation of Cardinal Ratzinger’s statements, was edited to remove reference to those crucial scans on LifeSiteNews.com.
Simply reporting the Pope’s statements and other criticisms of the Potter novels, as well as publishing some detailed critical analysis of them by famed author Michael O’Brien, has earned LifeSiteNews unexpected wrath from some otherwise praiseworthy allies in the life and family culture wars. Such intolerance of alternative opinions of Harry Potter appears to validate warnings about the seductive nature of the Potter series.
Father Gabriele Amorth, chief exorcist of the Vatican also condemned the books warning parents, “Behind Harry Potter hides the signature of the king of the darkness, the devil.” Father Amorth criticized the novels for glorifying magic, which he explicitly refers to as “the satanic art”, and for presenting disordered perceptions of morality in the supposedly heroic main characters.
Please see the extensive LifeSiteNews coverage of the Harry Potter debate at:
Harry Potter Feature Page: