On Matters of Faith: JKR Talks Christian Themes in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”

103

Oct 17, 2007

Posted by SueTLC
Uncategorized

Author J.K. Rowling has given some frank new answers about the nature of Christian and religious themes which feature quite heavily in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. In a new interview with MTV, Jo discusses her initial reluctance to bring religion in an open manner within the Harry Potter books, however her reasoning for this was that she was afraid that it might give away the plot and ending of the series.Quotage:

“To me [the religious parallels have] always been obvious,” she said. “But I never wanted to talk too openly about it because I thought it might show people who just wanted the story where we were going.”

Stating that she does attend church, Jo continues on to describe her feelings on death and religion as a whole:

“The truth is that, like Graham Greene, my faith is sometimes that my faith will return. It’s something I struggle with a lot,” she revealed. “On any given moment if you asked me [if] I believe in life after death, I think if you polled me regularly through the week, I think I would come down on the side of yes ” that I do believe in life after death. [But] it’s something that I wrestle with a lot. It preoccupies me a lot, and I think that’s very obvious within the books.”

While there are extensive SPOILERS contained in the interview, Jo does address some significant (and perhaps controversial) events that happened in “Deathly Hallows” that had strong Christian themes and basis. To read this very good interview, click here.





60 Responses to On Matters of Faith: JKR Talks Christian Themes in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”

Avatar Image says:

It comes as no surprise to many that she is a Christian, and that there are Christian themes in her books, but it was nice to hear her speak explicitly about it. She did a good job of expressing her faith without beating people over the head with it. That is something I wish more of my fellow Christians would aspire to do.

Avatar Image says:

I’ve read her interview and I say “yeah, Jo!” I love the last line re: not taking responsibility for lunatics in her own church.

Tho not a very ‘religious’ person, I do feel I have a deep spirituality and saw the christian connection throughout the series. For those religious fanatics who couldn’t see past the witchcraft, they’ve missed out on a thoughtful, moving series.

Avatar Image says:

Indeed. I felt that the final book, more than the others put together, had a somewhat religious tone. It felt bizarre reading Chapter 35 (‘King’s Cross’) for the first time (I didn’t think that Jo would go into that territory – guessing as to what happens after death). But now after many rereads I can unequivocally say that it’s for sure the deepest chapter in the entire series, as well as the two others that preceded it (‘The Prince’s Tale’ and ‘The Forest Again’). The seventh book was really well done. It was a little bit ambiguous and it left me with a lot of food for the thought until I managed to figure out on my own what’s happened (And I am a die-hard fan) in it and what everything symbolized. The book has its deficiencies, but in general it was really well done; it is either the best or the second best (Following ‘Half-Blood Prince’) of the seven. Excellent job, Jo, and all the best in whatever you’re intending to write next.

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Excellent, excellent, excellent! I am so happy this article has come out. As a Christian and super-fan of Harry Potter, I have in the past felt as if I had to defend this series to friends and family. Now I am printing this article and keeping it in my purse to be pulled out whenever someone THINKS to complain about the books being “evil”. Thank you, Jo!

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I’m glad jo is one of those people who is not absolutely certain and insistent about religion. _

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I’m Jewish, so I don’t know much of the Christian Bible, and I find this is a problem because I miss a lot of significance in books. But this was a very interesting article. Poorly proofread, though, because Aeschylus didn’t write “The Liberation Bearers,” he wrote “The Libation Bearers.” Tsk, Tsk, MTV. Haha.

Avatar Image says:

Brava! This interview indicates what separates JKR from the “lunatic fringe” who happily ban her works because of its supposed support of witchcraft>

1) her willingness to accept her own doubting and stay hopeful. I’m reminded of the man in the NT who says to Christ, “Lord I believe; help thou my unbelief.” This sounds offensive to those who insist that those who have “truly” embraced the gospel wouldn’t doubt the right way.

2) her willingness to skirt traditional symbology. She didn’t need to scatter crosses and cathedrals through the novels to have thoughtful, meaningful, spiritual content. Some people with a shallow view of the world can’t get past the HP “witchcraft” that looks more like Halloween dressup than any pagan/satanic performance.

I respect JKR more and more…

Avatar Image says:

Whoa. That’s a little deep, MTV.

At least the Harry Potter books finally got some of that controversiality that they’ve been so famous for, for so many year.

I love how Jo twisted it all at the end and made crazy “Christian” leaders across the globe faint in shock.

Avatar Image says:

i love her, really. she amazes me. <3

Avatar Image says:

No problem with what Jo is saying … in fact, if you read between the lines, her approach is fairly open (she selected a pagan and Christian passage for the opening of the book), but I find the tone of the article very irritating. As an athiest, I feel deeply betrayed at the journalist’s implication that Harry Potter is entirely Christian allegory – just as I felt betrayed as a child when I realised what CS Lewis was trying to do in Narnia (indoctrinate me).

Avatar Image says:

This quote said it all for me:

.... As for the protests of some believers? Well, she doesn’t take them as gospel.

“I go to church myself,” she declared. “I don’t take any responsibility for the lunatic fringes of my own religion.”

AMEN TO THAT!!!

Avatar Image says:

Tara, I totally agree with what you said.

Avatar Image says:

That’s the thing. I didn’t see anything in Deathly Hallows (or indeed the series) that indicated a specifically Christian viewpoint. Harry is reminiscent of Jesus, sure, along with a slew of other monotheistic & pagan deities & heroes. In fact I kind of always thought she was pagan considering many of the archetypes she uses date back farther than the monotheistic religions. Although, to be fair, many British pagans do go to church and I didn’t see anything in the interview that indicates her as specifically Christian, just religious and that she goes to a church. But maybe she’s just used to being cryptic.

As someone who generally accepts all religions (and atheism), I’m glad JKR still hasn’t planted a big cross in the middle of these books. I have read the HolyBible (along with many other religious texts) but I don’t think you should feel left out Ilana as I don’t think it’s the only religious text that lent her inspiration. If you read the Egyptian Book of the Dead, you can see for yourself that both Harry and Voldemort are both very Osiris like though Voldemort’s chopping up was self imposed. Speaking of books of the dead, the Tibetan book of the Dead explains far more about the nature of the Kings Cross from the climax than anything in the old or new testament. Then again, you could also argue that with the absence of any reference to any deities specifically, that the story is of humans who have outgrown their gods. I’ve always actually been impressed with the fact that the Harry Potter series seemed very inclusive of all these ideas and archetypes beyond the boundaries of any one religion. I could go on about this for days but I won’t bore you with it. Besides, my lunch break is almost over. I just find it interesting that people are jumping to the conclusion that JKR is Christian even though she hasn’t specifically said so or written anything that narrow. You should know by now: she’s tricked us before, so I hope you don’t mind if I wait for her to say so.

If I’ve horribly confused or offended anyone here, I didn’t mean to. Mention the word “religion” and there are those who’re bound to be offended. But if anyone would like to know what the h* I’m talking about, read some Joseph Campbell, specifically A Hero with a Thousand Faces. Harry Potter is face 1,001.

Avatar Image says:

Thank you Tara for saying what I wanted to but in a much more concise manner.

Avatar Image says:

Did any of you read the article about Jo telling the actors what happens to them in DH(the link is in the MTV article)? In it Jo says that Hermione kisses both Harry and Ron. When does she kiss Harry?

Avatar Image says:

I want to hear what Laura Mallory has to say on this one :)

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ER: Locket!Hermione kisses Locket!Harry before Ron destroys the locket with the sword.

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Leif Longbottom said:

I just find it interesting that people are jumping to the conclusion that JKR is Christian even though she hasn’t specifically said so or written anything that narrow. You should know by now: she’s tricked us before, so I hope you don’t mind if I wait for her to say so.

Erm, I think she has said so, Leif. I’d have to check back in her previous interviews for an exact quote, but I’m pretty sure she does identify herself as Christian. That’s part of why she finds the Christians who want to ban her books so ironic.

Avatar Image says:

HA! Take that, relgious fanatics who claim Harry Potter = witchcraft!

While reading the article, I couldn’t help but smiling at Jo’s mastery of absolutely everything—poetry, Biblical quotes, the English language, oh and maybe writing the best series of all time. She kept almost an entire theme hidden from us until the very last book, it was always there, we just never really picked up on it.

Oh, and is anyone else surprised that MTV actually carried out an intelligent interview with someone? I’ve never really considered them journalists before…

Avatar Image says:

Jo never siezes to amaze me. Thats just flippn awesome that she came right out and said it…in front of MTV too! Speaking of you’d never think MTV would do something as deep as that… lol I knew I recognized those two sayings on the tobstones from somewhere. (is a big christian so I heard it somewhere but I wasn’t sure from where I heard it of) but anywho I did copy and paste most of the article and I am printing now as I speak. Or is it type? shrugs either way im printing it out. hehe bet thats a big slap in the face for christians who don’t like Harry Potter. muah :J

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Bandersnach: I can’t say for sure, I know I haven’t read all of her interviews,but of the ones I’ve read (both post & pre DH) she’s very careful to not say anything specific. Even in this interview I notice the author of the article assumes so but I’ve never seen anything quoted. Not that I’d like her work any less either way. She could admit to being a satanic polygamist pervert and I’d still love these books. Though I’d have to read into them a bit differently, especially the relationship between Harry and Dumbledor.

Avatar Image says:

Leif, As a Christian myself, I was not offended by your observations on the obvious “Christian” content of “Deathly Hallows”. While there are some vague paralells to an “after-life” in other world religions, Christianity is unique in the fact of a “physical” resurrection that is presented in “Deathly Hallows”. Dumbledore, Harry’s parents, Lupin and Sirius walk and meet with Harry physically in their appearance with him as opposed to being a ghostly apparition, just as Jesus Christ walked with His disciples and even ate fish with them after His death and resurrection. Yes, J K Rowling is a “Christian” Leif, if you look into the many interviews, she has mentioned that she is a member and attender of the Church of Scotland and recently it has been made known that all her children are Baptised into the church as well.

Avatar Image says:

I always knew JKR is the calvinistic reincarnation (just the rich edition) of Mother Theresa!

Avatar Image says:

Well, I do agree with JKR on this one – I’ve always felt that the Pope was a lunatic.

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I agree with you completely, gaudior.

Avatar Image says:

Thank you David. I wouldn’t expect most people (especially anyone here) to be offended but there’s some people…well… you never know. Some people get offended by watching someone eat a hotdog but I’m not going to get into that.

And like I said, I never read an interview with JKR where she talks about being a part of the COS… sorry, that’s Church of Scotland, or anything about her children being baptized. On the contrary, I’ve only ever seen her dance around the religion subject but I’ll take your word for it because I’m also sure I haven’t read every interview.

I’m afraid I’ll have to disagree with you about the “fact” that Christianity is unique in believing in a physical resurrection. There are quite a few old pagan faiths that most definitely believe in a physical resurrection. The ancient Egyptian beliefs I briefly mentioned earlier most definitely prescribe to a physical resurrection. Why do you think they packed all that stuff into their tombs? They thought they were going to need it all.

There have been religions which believe in a physical resurrection since even before the old testament was written. That’s why I couldn’t tell what JKR’s religion was based only on the Harry Potter books. Of course by the holidays she used, I assumed she was at least brought up Christian, but the archetypes? Well, they could’ve come from anywhere.

Avatar Image says:

David- By the way I think you gave away a great FanArt challenge idea for Pottercast:

Harry and all his dead friends & relatives going out for Fish ‘n Chips or maybe just having a fish fry in the forest there.

Avatar Image says:

I actually am a bit disappointed about the religious implications. Of course, even a secular Jew like me can see the parallels, but it’s downright frustrating seeing her come out like that and say that she drew direct parallels. The King’s Cross chapter for me is about Harry, not some stupid afterlife. He has been gaining meaning and understanding through the book and when he is knocked out and Voldemort’s piece of soul is ripped out of him, of course he went into physical and mental shock and “just because it’s been happening in your head doesn’t make it any less real”, to Quote Dumbledore. That’s what it’s about, not some stupid afterlife and resurrection. I shouldn’t read any more interviews, but rather understand the books myself. There is nothing relating Harry and Jesus, and that’s very very clear from the books.

Avatar Image says:

Brava to Jo!

As for her ‘doubts’ . . . heck, if you’ve never doubted, you never really believed.

As for myself, I love the DH references . . . I’ve been totally geeking out at Mass what with the liturgy of August 15th, and yesterday being the feast of St. Hedwig!

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elka78 wrote: I actually am a bit disappointed about the religious implications. Of course, even a secular Jew like me can see the parallels, but it’s downright frustrating seeing her come out like that and say that she drew direct parallels. You have to read the article carefully though. There is a lot of spin put in there by the interviewer. I think what Jo actually says is closer to your original position, that the story has been inspired by Christian ideas in several aspects, but she doesn’t require the reader to draw direct parallels.

Avatar Image says:

wonderful, wonderful interview. its like slapping all of the people who contrasted her to narnia right in the face. Jo INTENDED to have that theme of life after death…haha. maybe this sounds immature, but after all of the fights i’ve gotten into with people over this subject, this feels goooood going down. And guys, so what if the book has Christian themes. Jo was never going to write for other people, and certainly not for what people thought of her book. Jo is such a great lady!

Avatar Image says:

Thanks Bandersnatch, I wasn’t thinking about it that way. I was thinking in context of the actual characters.

Avatar Image says:

wow. i should make my mom read this article….

<3padfottrocksmysocks

Avatar Image says:

I agree with Tara completely. I loved the Narnia books when I was young, but was turned off from them when I realized the religious parallels. It kind of ruined the story for me, although I have to admit that the manner in which CS Lewis developed such parallels was very unique and creative, particularly in “The Magician’s Nephew”. I do find, however, the religious connotations in Harry Potter to be a little less creative. That’s just my opinion, of course, but I’m atheist so I get annoyed whenever anyone relates anything to the bible. I don’t beleive in the afterlife and I couldn’t help but grimace when Harry had a sort of afterlife experience. But the upside for me is that JKR doesn’t really shove her beliefs down the readers’ throats, and the series as a whole isn’t based on doctrine. I read HP because it’s a funny, endearing, magical, and exciting story – not because it is trying to comment on Chrisitanity. And thank god that it doesn’t, for the most part. But Jo seems to be to some degree religious, so it is natural that that would come out in the books that she has poured her heart and soul into.

Avatar Image says:

i like that article. Jo was ever making much sense and showed proved yet again how thoughtful she is.

Avatar Image says:

Please forgive some of us for being happy that Jo has confirmed a Christian basis for the arc of her story.

Some of us are confronted with Laura Mallory types in real life on a regular basis. This is a relief to be able to say to them, “See this, the story is Christian influenced. Now shove off, shut up with telling me I’m evil and going to hell for reading it and get a life. In your ignorance you have allowed yourself to miss a great story.”

It is not that we are religious zealots who want to shove the Christian issues down anyone’s throat. We’re just tired of being judged and preached at for our choice in literature.

I’m actually turned off by the blatant religious factors in Narnia. The same people who hate Harry revere Narnia so I have become irritated at Narnia.

I’m glad the Christian influences are so well hidden amongst the pagan that people of all viewpoints can read and enjoy the books. It is just nice the author has confirmed that all these ignoramouses who can’t read something before condemning it or read so superficially, looking for a reason to hate it, should just SHUT UP.

Sorry for my rant. Just wanted some of you to understand why some of us are so happy to see this bit of news. We wouldn’t have been reading these books if we were fundamentalist types who are closed minded and intolerant of atheists, agnostics, Wicca, and practitioners of various “non-politically correct” religions.

We are like Jo and not “responsible for lunatic fringes” of our own religion. We’re tired of getting beat up by them too.

Avatar Image says:

OI, sorry I’m too lazy to read through the comments and check if anyone already said so, but since they mentioned the current Pope’s opinion, I just want to point out that the previous Pope, John Paul, praised the series and said he thought they would help children to tell the difference between good and evil. Just sayin.

Avatar Image says:

And the quote that they keep bringing up is taken out of context. I believe that his concern was for anything that might lead a child away from their faith.

Anyway, I for one, am so pleased with this article. As others have said, those of us who are Christians have found ourselves in the position of defending the Harry Potter books to the point that I quit bringing them up with anyone at church. When I finished Deathly Hallows I had no doubt about the Christian themes I had been seeing in the books early on. It’s just nice to have Rowling spell it out.

For those who haven’t read or listened to all those interviews, Rowling has been saying that she is Christian and she believes in God for a very long time.

That doesn’t mean that other people can’t enjoy the books, but please listen to the author when she tells you plainly what she was writing and stop trying to spin it into something that it’s not.

The symbology, btw, is medieval, with many representations of Christ in the form of the unicorn, the stag, the phoenix, etc. It’s always been part of the story.

Rowling is certainly not the first author to include Christian themes in her books. Try a little Dickens, particularly “A Tale of Two Cities”, “Oliver Twist”, and “Great Expectations”. And then there are all the Jane Austen books, as well as “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte. And anything by Shakespeare, actually.

Sacrificial love, forgiveness, repentence and redemption. It’s all there, and Rowling has it all in the Harry Potter books. Brilliant!

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“I go to church myself,” she declared. “I don’t take any responsibility for the lunatic fringes of my own religion.”

Great line – says it all, doesn’t it…

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Mrs. Rowling did nothing else than most people do if there are somehow rooted to a religion. She choose a tiny little aspect of the religion which matters for her personally. Since her mother´s death the question about a “life after death” rules her mind more than any other aspect of religion. Her confusion about the issue finds its expression in the HP books. Of course there is nothing wrong with it; but it starts to become problematically if the “overcoming of death” suddenly smothers all other concerns/issues and life on earth is null and void (parents are proud if the child wants to die). A huge part of Mrs. Rowling´s ideas are of course the exact opposite of Christianity, but Mrs. Rowling does not realise that because there are aspects of Christianity (which includes being called by GOD, equality and charity and forgiveness (while still alive) for EVERYBODY, not just Gryffindors!) which are not of interest for her or maybe just marginal. Mrs. Rowling reduces Christianity to a superstitiously folklore. This is the main reason why I am very sceptically about her ” Christian beliefs”. Even Atheists, Heath, Muslims and Buddhists are capable of to quote the Bible. The quotation of Bible verses from the New Testament is not enough. Now I say (I am Roman Catholic by the way): Jesus Christ is my Redeemer, my Saviour and his death on the cross, his blood, made me pure in the eyes of GOD.

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WHY dose everything either have to be Christian or Not? I was following the Christian faith but I found that since the Pagans were here befor the Christians I want to investigate them. Why can’t a story just be a good story? Good versus evil, ok, I can see that. We were raised that way. The Golden Rule. Holidays of the Christians were first Pagan Holidays that were “borrowed” from the Pagans. Are we Bad mouthing the Christians for doing that? Who cares as long as we believe in good or evil (like the good part myself) We all make up this world. I’m rambling but I have so much I want to say and can’t seem to say it in order. A murder mystery is just a story about a murder, good versus evil. Sometimes the good guys find out the bad guys and the bad guys get punished sometimes they don’t but there are no Christian versus everybody else in every story you read. Maybe there is Christian overtones in Harry Potter but I read it because it was a well written story not because it has the overtones. JKR has my loyalty just because she’s a good writer. She’s brave to come out with the fact she put Christian overtones in the books as so many people look down on religion (no matter what kind) I am a Wiccan. I can’t go around saying that as the Christian Lunitics will try to “convert” me back. I am happy I want to live and let live be it religious or otherwise. Don’t get me wrong the laws that govern us are mostly good and just I follow them. I just think that if you are a Christian that’s ok and if you are anything else that’s ok too. Blessed Be one and all

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Lady Hawke: I appreciate the sensitivity of your comments and understand the relief it must be for Christian HP fans who want to fight back against Laura Mallory by arguing that the books in fact espouse Christian morals. However, don’t you think that taking up this argument gives Laura M’s argument too much credit? I know it doesn’t get through to her but the point about Laura M’s argument is that book don’t HAVE to have Christian meanings… which makes her argument invalid.

Also agree with Leif that there are many other belief systems that deal with the after-life, re-incarnation etc – Christianity certainly has no monopoly on these ideas. I.e. bits of Christian, pagan, Egyptian, Eur folkloric, Chaucer are all interwoven in the books, allowing for a range of interpretations.

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I’m sure it’s been pointed out before, but the stag, the phoenix, etc. may be taken by Christians to be symbols of Christ, but they actually belong to belief systems that pre-date Christianity.

Many spiritual themes were woven through these books. Ms. Rowling quotes from many. Knowing that children from many cultures and religions were reading her books, I’m sure she did not set them down as “One way or the highway” type Christian allegory. Children and adults from all religions can take their own spiritual message from them.

I just cannot see her being like my niece who is currently touring the world with her missionary group trying to convert “the heathens” (anyone non-Christian) to Christianity. I think Jo has more respect for true spirituality than that.

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Actually no Pope has commented on the books. Neither John Paul or Benedict (There’s a big difference between something written off-hand when one is not Pope and a Papal pronouncement on matters of faith and morals as part of Magisterial teaching) A lot of the media (and a few very biased Catholics) have taken a letter from Ratzinger out of context. Furthermore, the media’s lack of knowledge of Catholic Theology and teaching regarding the Papal Office has effected how the story was written and misunderstood. MTV’s article is a case in point. Please don’t bring the Pope into this. He really is outside of it. There are plenty of other websites that discuss these complex matters. I would recommend the work of Nancy Brown for those who wish to read more about this.

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The great thing about these books is that JK wrote them in a way that you can interpret elements of the story in different ways. Kings Cross chapter is the perfect example. JK said herself , that she does not know for sure where harry is but likes to believe that he is in a limbo place between life and death (forgive me, I forgot her exact words!) but its up to us as readers to decide/speculate. I have no problem readng Harry Potter through a Christian perspective – in fact its a wonderful perspective. I am not a christian but I appreciate the teachings of it as well as other religions. In truth, I am a devout Jedi – if only some stories or films could be written/made through that perspective…

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Professor Potter wrote: JK said herself , that she does not know for sure where harry is but likes to believe that he is in a limbo place between life and death.

Not quite. She says “You can make up your own mind on this, but I think that Harry entered a kind of limbo between life and death.” which to me suggests she has decided what is going on in her own mind, but is leaving several interpretations open for the readers to choose from.

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Eeyore said “Anyway, I for one, am so pleased with this article. As others have said, those of us who are Christians have found ourselves in the position of defending the Harry Potter books to the point that I quit bringing them up with anyone at church. When I finished Deathly Hallows I had no doubt about the Christian themes I had been seeing in the books early on. It’s just nice to have Rowling spell it out.”

I’m sorry to hear that, Eeyore. I’m sending the link to the MTV article to a few of my church friends, who are total HP geeks like us (they hang out at Muggle-net too). We had a Harry Potter party with our families last weekend, complete with a Honeyduke’s Candy Shop, and a lawn-sized screening of “Secret Chamber.” Doesn’t matter where you find ‘em, people you can geek out with on HP are fun!

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Gross. I don’t mean to be crude, but anything religion related grosses me out. It would ruin the book if Jo was trying to indoctrine Christian faith through Harry Potter—so I’ll just pretend I never read this and be a happy atheist as I always ways.

Still, I love Jo, and the way I read this book will never change. All these Christians should just LAY OFF. I know I might be blasted for saying this, but it’s my opinion: If Laura Mallory or the Pope or any religious zealots never accused JKR of things, she would never TRY to put this in a religious perspective. I loved it that way, when she said in an interview that she tried not to put religion in Harry Potter.

Argh now it’s ruined. Damn all those annoying zealots. Stop being so selfish and forcing your beliefs on other people!

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Why can’t we all agree that it is one of the best stories we’ve ever read, regardless of the perspective we choose to read it from?

It is no more fair to be threatened that some of us see it through the Christian perspective than it is for Fanatic Lunatic Christians to try to force their brand of Christianity on Atheists and Other Christians They Feel Don’t Count As Christians.

This article just gave some of us vindication. I don’t think Jo was trying to “DO” anything to anybody. But she has certainly held her peace quietly all these years while lots of people wanted to burn her at the top of a pile of her own books. She didn’t want to ruin the story. I am really sorry some of you feel she has done so now.

Those of you who didn’t feel vindicated by this, just forget it all and go read the books like you always do and enjoy it the way you always did. Do a Forgetfulness Charm on yourselves.

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Oh and remember that there are a lot of what I consider “real” Christians out here who don’t hate anyone, including you atheists and agnostics. We are ridiculed and despised by the Fanatic Lunatic Christians just as much as you are. Actually, a lot of them don’t see us any differently than they see you. They hate us all in an equal opportunity kind of way, just like the Death Eaters hate the muggles, mudbloods, and half bloods. If you don’t do everything their way and believe everything their way you are last weeks bird cage paper.

Just to let you know, that is NOT Christianity. It is nothing resembling any healthy way of getting through life. That is something very sick and very wrong. They are religious Nazis or Death Eaters.

For the Fanatic Lunatics who are bright enough to understand the books, if they ever bothered to open them, that may be the root of the hatred toward these books. They are the Death Eaters and the ones who realize it don’t like it, not one little bit. It shows them for what they are.

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When you write, it’s natural that your own personal struggles and aspects of yourself are going to end up in the story.

JKR isn’t trying to convert anyone or shove any sort of doctrine into people’s faces. The books just helped her get through a personal struggle with her belief system and it was manifested through Harry. This is normal. Many writers will tell you that if a story becomes deeply personal to you, it happens. Whether the struggle is religious or not, it happens.

It borderline disgusts me that anyone would be “grossed out” by the fact that her personal conflicts made their way into these books. So those conflicts happen to be religiously based, big deal.

Burningpumpkins: Intolerance towards those who hold religious beliefs is no better than intolerance and zealotry to those who don’t hold them. Being religious doesn’t make you a zealot, but comments like the ones you made are as bad as comments of religious zealotry towards atheism/other religions.

This isn’t Narnia. She’s not trying make the entire book series a giant Christian allegory in order to bring the readers closer to the Christian God. The books hold a message for her because the books are personal to her. It’s not “gross.”

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Also, I’d suggest you check out His Dark Materials trilogy by Phillip Pullman. They’re children’s books, but they’re basically a love-letter to Atheism. The “anti-Narnia” if you will. And if you dislike any book that expresses beliefs different than your own, you might appreciate these ones.

Although I personally love the books. I’m not an atheist and I’m fully aware of the message behind them, but I love them just the same. It doesn’t matter to me what the writer’s personal beliefs are, as long as the story is good. :)

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Thank you Kelly.

That is what I wanted to say. I have been somewhat shocked at the lunatic fringe hatred I’ve been noticing in these comments. It is all the same, no matter whom is directing it at whom.

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Perhaps you need to re-read the His Dark Materials Trilogy. It is hardly a love letter to Athiesm. It’s more a nasty letter to “Organized” religions that try to control free will and thought. I believe his argument is that Adam and Eve were right in seeking knowledge and that it is our quest for knowledge and experience that build our souls.

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Absolutely. Viva Phillip Pullman!

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Mom Weasley: Pullman is an outspoken atheist who despises the Narnia books and has made it known on many occasions in extremely colorful ways. HDM is his retort to Narnia, whose religious messages he couldn’t stand.

I think the books are a love-letter to Atheism, and from his comments he seems to agree. Personally I LOVE the books so I’m not knocking them at all. No need to defend. However, that imho is what he put into them.

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Well, he actually says that in one perspective he’s agnostic, while athiest in another. I, frankly, agree with his assessment of the Narnia books and I am not an athiest.

Here is a direct quote from Mr. Pullman from one of his favorite interviews regarding the movie:

Question: How much trouble did the project encounter in America as a result of your book’s perceived anti-Christian bias?

Answer by Pullman: The problem for those who think there’s an anti-religious anti-moral bias in the books comes when they haven’t actually read the books: of course there’s a criticism of organised theocratic tyrannical religion but who can disagree with that?

And another regarding his beliefs:

Question: His Dark Materials seems to be against organised religion. Do you believe in God?

Answer by Pullman: I don’t know whether there’s a God or not. Nobody does, no matter what they say. I think it’s perfectly possible to explain how the universe came about without bringing God into it, but I don’t know everything, and there may well be a God somewhere, hiding away.

Actually, if he is keeping out of sight, it’s because he’s ashamed of his followers and all the cruelty and ignorance they’re responsible for promoting in his name. If I were him, I’d want nothing to do with them.

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How sad that the gay Dumbledore revelation garners 150 times more comments than this one.

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Sadder yet are all the anti-gay comments about a series that has all along preached tolerance and acceptance and was supposedly loved for those aspects. Did they think a series so filled with such wonderful lessons would teach anything else? Would exclude someone from that tolerance just because of who they fell in love with? It boggles my mind. I’m betting not a one of them sees a Dursley, a Rita Skeeter, a Dolores Umbridge, or a Death Eater when they look in the mirror. Like the above, they’re clueless about their own character. They should be more spiritual and less religious.

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I am also a Christian and have been hooked on the seires for just about 4 or 5 yrs now. I can’t say that I have many like-minded friends, but their are a few of us that thoroughly enjoy the magical world JKR has created. As cheesey as I know this sounds, I think one of the strongest messages in the series is that love always wins. Throughout all seven books we see the value, power, and strength of love. It is something I fear that we all forget from time to time, yet it is something that echoes within us each time we are reminded. Best of all, this concept of love is not limited to one culture or faith.

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