By Hilary White
LONDON, October 30, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Conservative Christian groups in the US are reacting strongly to the revelation by British author JK Rowling that one of the main characters in her Harry Potter series is a homosexual.
Roberta Combs, president of the 2.5 million strong Christian Coalition of America, was quoted in the Daily Mail saying she was “disappointed” that Rowling chose to make Dumbledore homosexual.
At Carnegie Hall during her US book tour, in response to a question by a fan, Rowling revealed to huge applause that Dumbledore is a homosexual. Rowling responded to the crowd’s applause saying, “I would have told you all earlier if I knew it would make you so happy.”
“It’s not a good example for our children, who really like the books and the movies. I think it encourages homosexuality,” said Combs who is calling for a ban on the books and films which have brought Rowling an estimated £545 million.
Rebecca Traister, columnist on salon.com called Rowling’s announcement “a neat trick philosophically, but also economically to do it once all the kids that might have been kept away from the material have already read it.”
Tom Barrett, editor of Conservative Truth, reported in a column posted Monday on WEB Commentary that parents and grandparents who had formerly encouraged their children to read the books are “finally starting to see the light.”
“They have repented and have removed the books from their children’s libraries,” said Barrett. “They say they are trying to undo the damage they have done to the children by their exposure to them.”
Jack M. Roper, a Christian broadcaster on Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network responded to the revelation saying, “I would never allow my own children or grandchildren to read the books or watch the movies, and other parents should do so too.”
Roper reminded his viewers that much Christian opposition to the Harry Potter series stems from the books’ basic premise, that the heroes use magic and sorcery to manipulate situations and other people. Calling Harry Potter a hero who has “captured the innocent heart of many children”, Roper said, “When such a hero uses evil as a problem solving tool, we need to be warned. Over time the child can become adapted to the dark world of witchcraft and not even know that it is dangerous.”
“As a cult researcher for many years, I have seen contemporary witchcraft packaged in many seductive forms, and Harry Potter is the best. Potter makes spiritualism and witchcraft look wonderful,” he added.
Roper’s comments, and the reaction of some Christian groups follow comments made two years ago by the former Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, who wrote that the Harry Potter books were a spiritual danger to children. In 2005 LifeSiteNews.com obtained copies of letters, dated March 2003, from the then-Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith thanking Kuby for her “instructive” book “Harry Potter – gut oder böse” (Harry Potter- good or evil?), in which Kuby says the books corrupt the hearts of the young.
“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,” wrote Cardinal Ratzinger.
Response to LifeSiteNews.com’s revelation of the Pope’s disapproval resulted in months of backlash from outraged self-described “conservative” Christian parents and fans of the Potter series, some of whom implied LifeSiteNews.com fabricated or misinterpreted the letters.
The seventh and final episode in the series, Harry Potter and the All Hallows, sold over 12 million copies in the US alone. The Harry Potter films have thus far grossed $4.47 billion – £2.3 billion. The Potter series has made J.K. Rowling the second wealthiest female entertainer in the world after Oprah Winfrey.
Pope Opposes Harry Potter Novels – Signed Letters from Cardinal Ratzinger Now Online
Ten Arguments Against Harry Potter – By Woman Who Corresponded with Cardinal Ratzinger
By Hilary White