24 October 2007

Quo Vadis, Dumbledore?

Rae, this one is for you. Another article on the Dumbledore issue, or faux issue, or whatever Ms. Rowling intends from her little bombshell.

Just to give the reader my own background-- I know there are two camps in Catholic circles on the Potter books. One sees them as basically good books, springing from the fantasy type magic stories such as the Narnia Chronicles or Lord of the Rings, and which tell a basic good v. evil story. One prominent Catholic proponent of this camp is Mark Shea.

The other sees them as dangerous because of their subject matter (sorcery and the occult), which they see as qualitatively different from the type of fantasy magic portrayed in the books mentioned above. That the "good" guys and "bad" guys in Harry Potter are frankly quite arbitrarily chosen, and that both sides use the same tactics. In other words, apart from the subject matter there is a decidedly utilitarian ethic throughout. One prominent Catholic proponent of this camp is Michael O'Brien (just google "Harry Potter and Michael O'Brien", or read "Landscape with Dragons"). And, apparently, Pope Benedict XVI.

For myself, count me as one of the latter camp, though until about 4 years ago I would have been in the former. I started reading the books because I had children and wanted to make sure they were OK; I decided fairly quickly they aren't for young children, and the latter half of the series isn't for non-adults of any age. I kept reading because I enjoyed them, though the darkening of the tone and the increasing level of violence troubled me. Finally, I read the last two after I had come to think them as unsuitable books in order to be able to discuss them with other Catholic parents and partly, of course, out of curiosity to see how they ended. I tell you this only to give you my "bias".

With that out of the way, here is another article on the subject. From Human Events Online:

Dumbledoring Down the Culture
by Robert H. Knight
Posted 10/24/2007 ET

Just when you thought it was safe to immerse kids in books about witchcraft, J.K. Rowling has to succumb to political correctness and “out” Hogwarts Headmaster Albus Dumbledore.

This is well after the fact, of course. Her seven Harry Potter books have sold more than 450 million copies and made her a billionaire. So why make Dumbledore, a beloved authority figure to millions of kids, out to be homosexual?

No one can plumb Rowling’s motives except God Almighty. Some suggest that her announcement last Friday at Carnegie Hall is merely a promotional ploy. The news may well lead to another run on the book series, with sexually confused kids and the Village People desperately seeking clues to Dumbledore’s closeted adventures.

The media are acting in concert, barely able to disguise their cheerleading. A Culture and Media Institute review of 125 stories on Nexis from Friday through Tuesday turned up only one source – an online Scottish edition of The Express – that included a single critic of Rowling’s decision. The rest either took a neutral line or liberally quoted activists who hail the fact that Dumbledore’s likeability and moral authority will help sell acceptance of homosexuality.

TIME magazine writer John Cloud, an activist who once wrote a piece for an alternative newspaper about his own towel-clad adventures seeking anonymous sex at a gay bathhouse, complained that Rowling didn’t out Dumbledore earlier, when the books were just taking off. But that would have cost her sales, he acknowledged.

Parents, as a rule, are not keen on authors who deliberately confuse kids about homosexuality. That’s why And Tango Makes Three, a Valentine to gay parenting aimed at elementary school kids, was the “most challenged book” in 2006, according to the American Library Association.

The Dumbledore media hype smacks of the Beatles’ “I buried Paul” hoax that sold millions of albums back in 1970, with fans playing the records backwards and spinning theories as to why Paul looked dead on the cover of Abbey Road. It’s not like the Beatles needed the money. This was way before Paul, a widower, got taken on the rebound by his next (now former) wife. Perhaps the Beatles handlers found that they could not live with mere millions and needed tens of millions. We have it on Good Authority that “the eyes of man are never satisfied” (Proverbs 27:20).

As to Rowling, my guess is that she made her shocking revelation in order to pander to the cultural elites who regard celebration of homosexuality as a mark of sophistication. She’s already rich. Perhaps now she wants to be loved by the media and Hollywood. It’s the ultimate liberal litmus test, and it drives a wedge between traditional religious believers and the hip, kaleidoscopic sexual deviancy that is engulfing us from every which way.

Rowling herself, who said recently that Christian themes were reflected in her books, and especially the last one, told an interviewer that she was disdainful of Christians who take a cautionary approach to her work: “I go to church myself. I don't take any responsibility for the lunatic fringes of my own religion.”

The fringe folk, heretofore concerned over the effect of positive portrayals of magic, witches and warlocks on impressionable young minds, especially those kids who lack a parental filter, now have expanded to those who think that homosexuality is not something good for kids or other living things.

If Hollywood takes a cue and includes the “gay” Dumbledore theme in the next Potter movies, the fringe may get to be quite crowded, and the theaters perhaps not so crowded as before.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree with the latter as well. Children have a hard time differentiating real-life and make believe and why would you want to expose them to this when there are so many more GOOD things out there for them to read. Look at all the saints out there. . . .there is BOUND to be a saint to attract EVERY child. It is sad that I have had friends say "At least my child is reading". . .PLEASE! What a poor excuse!