Harry Potter – New Theme Park Set to Open

Today I was reading a nice article over in the Yahoo News section about the brand new Harry Potter theme park that is set to open this month in Orlando, Florida. Dubbed “The Wizarding World” the park is starting off as a new section of Universal Studios, and it holds three Potter-themed rides. The rides are set to be called the Flight of the Hippogriff, the Dragon Challenge, and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Along with these attractions there are also various shops, based off places found in the novels, that will be open for the public to enter and enjoy. The Hogwarts Express, Zonko’s Joke Shop, Honeyduke’s, the Owl Post Office, The Three Broomsticks, and Hogwarts itself are all featured in the new parks attempts to recreate the Harry Potter world. Any avid Potter fan would be more than thrilled to get the chance to visit this park, as it sounds like Universal has worked extraordinarily hard on this project.

All things about the park aside, what really drew my interest was a stream of comments that had turned into a big debate. One commenter was claiming that, “Harry Potter is about a world of black magic, spells, witches, wizards, demons, etc. EVERYTHING the Bible clearly tells us to stay away from. Why would anyone want to give their money to something like this?”. I had to laugh out loud when I read this. The Harry Potter series is a children/teen book series and has nothing to do with anything evil. J.K. Rowling, the author of the series, is a Christian, who would surely never produce anything that would go completely against her faith like this ridiculous commenter claimed. The responses to this comment were, of course, absolutely hilarious. One commenter asked if the person who was against the Potter series if, “she would like to go find a witch to burn?”. This whole conversation got me thinking though, had I been overlooking something in Harry Potter? Was it really somewhat sacrilegious to be reading and thoroughly enjoying these books? The answer I came up with was absolutely not.

I have read the entire Potter series, and will admit that I have even re-read them all. Yes, I’m a nerd let it go. Anyway, the underlying theme is every single one of the seven novels ends up being the triumph of good over evil. Harry sacrifices himself at the end of the series for his friends and the rest of the wizarding world. Hmmm sound familiar to anybody out there? I’m not even close to saying Harry Potter is a Christ-like figure so don’t go off on that tangent with me. I’m just saying that there are similarities to be drawn that can teach some of the same lessons as the Bible. Some other things that Harry does over the course of the series are make friends, try to pass some classes at a school, and deal with people who don’t like him. Sounds like a regular kids or teen book to me. Oh wait, let’s not forget that these books are fictional! They never claim to be real, and they are intended to be a fantasy series that feeds your imagination. Nowhere in the series is a step-by-step program given out on how to do black magic, or how to worship the devil.

Another little tidbit to share here, there have been other great authors in the past who have referenced magic, sorcery, and witches too. Are they all supposed to be Satan-worshipers like the commenter claims Rowling is? William Shakespeare often eluded to magic and witches in his work, and based Romeo and Juliet off of Roman mythology. J.R.R. Tolkien had a wizard as a main character in The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit. Another children’s book, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis has a witch as a central character in it as well. Does the inclusion of magic, wizards, and witches by these authors place them amongst the “Satan-worshiping”, “Black Magic” ranks of J.K. Rowling?

It shocked me to see such ridiculous individuals out there calling arguably one of the best children’s book series of all time something that is against the Bible. The book never once teaches anybody how to do evil things, it is a fictional work, and it has a central theme of good vs. evil. On top of that it got kids, teens, and adults alike all to gain an interest in reading, and with all the new electronics and other distractions today that is not an easy task to accomplish.

Seamus O’Reilly is a featured author at the best online store for all your Catholic needs, The Catholic Gift Shop. At the store you will find patron saint medals, Catholic rosaries, Confirmation, Christening, and Baptism gifts for anybody you know. However, The Catholic Gift Shop is not only limited to these items they have much, much more to offer as well. The Catholic Gift Shop is the site to visit for all of your religious needs!

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