Thursday, 4 April 2013

The Gospel of Harry Potter

JK Rowling's Harry Potter series is a rich work and a product of keen observations of the human condition. In recent times it has created fodder exploring some of the sillier bumper stick type comments commonly offered by religious people attempting to proselytize on the internet. I've used it myself, simply by rewording the theist comments using the idoims of the world of Harry Potter.

If you are not with Hogwarts', you are against Hogwart's.

GW Bush famously said "If you're not with, you're against us". This offers the excluded middle fallacy or false dichotomy. If I remember correctly Delores Umbridge may have uttered these infamous words while trying to hold Hogwarts under her control.

If it is not of Harry Potter, it's of Voldemort.

Or as fundamentalist Christians are fond of saying "If it is not of Jesus it is of the Devil". This is the very justification used to say "Harry Potter is of the devil" in Jesus Camp. Again it is a false dichotomy and of course based on the false premise that any of the fictional characters are real.

Harry Potter died so that you might be saved.

In the Deathly Hallows, Harry is poisoned, and for a brief time is clinically dead. He has a near death experience where he has a conversation with Dumbledor. He recovers or is resurrected before his final battle with Voldemort After which, Harry also gone on marry and have kids who he and his wife see off to Hogwarts.
Harry's victory over Voldemort ensures the safety not only of wizards and witches, but also of mubloods and muggles.
This is an act of a person that is concerned with the welfare of sentient beings  regardless of ethnicity. We also see his concern for unicorns attacked by Voldemort for the purpose of extending his life.

Harry Potter will set you free from bondage.

Harry gave the Malfoy's house elf a sock. Under the laws of house elf slavery this set the house elf free. This contrary to Jesus who endorsed slavery of all non-israelites and of Israelites who chose to accept a wife given by the master after six years of indentured servitude. This means Harry has the superior position over Jesus on the issue of slavery.

The theme of freedom has long explored in literature and philosophy. The story Moses depicts the freeing of Israelite from Egypt. Freedom is a powerfully strong human value, and well worth exploring. But fictional character can be credited with securing the freedom of an oppressed people, either the oppressed people rise up and take their freedom, the oppressor grants their freedom, or a third party intercedes on behalf of the oppressed be it internet petitions or foreign nations via diplomacy, sabre rattling or military strike. Harry respects the female friend characters for their skill, engenuity and his adverseries for the threat they pose. Harry would more the likely stand to those who say a woman's place is in a cloth bag.

Accept Harry and Voldemort will not have dominion of your life.

This is complete rubbish of course, countries with high levels of religiosity see more unwanted pregnancies, murders, lower economic performance. Higher religiosity in sex offenders correlates with more offences, younger victims.

The fictions you endorse don't make a better person, your behaviour does. Your willingness to help others even when it is inconvenient how people will be served. It matters not whether your Christian, Muslim, Pastafarian, or Satanist.

Repent your ways, or you will be condemned to Azkaban.

While it may be offered out of concern for the ethereal immortal soul or petronis. it is also implies an empty threat.

And opens up the question why would an otherwise perfectly nice person want to think bad things about someone who either doesn't read the same fiction as they do or who have and have realized it is a literary mess, marked by its savage origins.

Deatheaters are afoot in the city of London.

GW Bush infamously claimed "Gog and Magog are afoot in the desert." Why the leader of the most powerful nation and a secular nation  to boot would see this as a reasonable comment to make while office is beyond the pale.

In a sense there is a truism in this comment. In any enterprise, there are a few ways to succeed and a plethora of techniques for abject failure. People and events conspire to explore and implement many of the ways to failure. Some even voilently object to being deterred from failing enterprises.

If we look at enterprise of human welfare or example, there is a group of people who insist on "improving" the welfare of women by insisting that they wear coverall clothes akin to tents, and beating them in the street when they don't. further they are known for shooting, poisoning and bombing young women and seeking education. Clearly in the enterprise of human welfare these are abject failures compared to letting women chose their attire and seek education, and even endorsing the efforts of women to support themselves economically.

Harry Potter is alive

Harry Potter is alive. Evidence? Wands, capes, spectacle frames all available at red sheds and toy stores around the world.

The Mirangi Bay Community Church attempted to proclaim "JESUS IS ALIVE" on there bill board, but someone got to it.


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