Thursday, 18 September 2014
Extremism By Another Name
Hogwarts was transformed into the School of Prayers and Miracles, of which Dumbledore was the Reverend. Voldemort became an evil congressman who was pushing an anti-religion agenda. Harry was predicted to become a "fornicating, drug-addicted Evolutionist" if he didn't become a good Christian.
I can't verify if this particular story is true, although it is a fact that many hard-line Christians don't like the Harry Potter books and have been extremely vocal about it; saying that they promote witchcraft. I have one thing to say to these people.
Get over yourselves. It's a work of fiction. It's a story that was meant to excite the imagination. There's no agenda involved. The author is Christian, or did you even bother to find that out? If you don't like it, you don't have to read it. Or better, read something that has more Christian overtones to it, such as, I don't know - the Chronicles of Narnia? Wait, there's magic in that too!
Rewriting books to suit your own views is extremism. You are trying to impose your views on others; in this case on children who will one day grow up to become the next businesspeople/politicians/whatever. They will perpetuate that one-sided view unless given the chance early on to think for themselves and ask questions.
This is exactly how the Islamic State works. Replacing school texts with religious ones. Forbidding the study of arts, culture, mathematics. Putting guns in the hands of children. See any similarity here?
Extremism exists everywhere. For every viewpoint there will be a diametrically opposed viewpoint. The challenge is to have a civil discussion about how to meet in the middle so that some form of understanding can be achieved; that way more constructive stuff can get done.
And don't get me started on the Bible. I've read it and as far as I'm concerned it's also a work of fiction. Curse me for saying so if you want. If there is in fact an afterlife I'll deal with it then.
Update: This story is real. It's displayed on the writing web site Fanfiction.net and is authored by "proudhousewife". As of today the story has gained over 1100 reviews, some praising the work as over-the-top satire, but most are extremely harsh.