When I was a kid my mom read a book on Hollywood and the Occult. That might sound like an interesting read, but If I could change one thing about my childhood it would be to rid that book from the pages of history. The author, whoever they were, had painstakingly gone through every single possible allusion to anything remotely associated with paganism and had given in detail why it was Satanic.
Almost overnight, I went from having a relatively normal childhood, to being cut off to anything on television that wasn’t the Buttercream gang. The Smurfs were forbidden because the author had seen a pentagram somewhere hidden in the background. The cartoonist Jon Davis was rumored to have some kind of weird opinions on religion.
Suddenly, to watch Garfield was to be in league with the Prince of Darkness.
Mom eventually got past that stage. But it kind of affected the way I thought for a while. If something was questionable, it was better to be safe than sorry. After all, no one wants to open themselves up to dark spiritual powers (and to be honest, I’m kind of glad I don’t’ have hours of Smurfs bouncing around in my memory banks).
But, this has been the default Christian social position for quite a long time now. And it has most recently and profoundly been expressed by our 13 year long feud with J.K. Rowling and her story about a boy named Potter.
When the Harry Potter franchise first started to come out, I was cautious. It was after all how I had been raised. And I wasn’t the only one, people in the Jesus movement as high up as the Pope had condemned the series. It was polarizing and everyone had an opinion. But then I started to watch the movies. I didn’t see anything Satanic in there, the theater didn’t make me pledge my allegiance to the underworld upon leaving, and so I kept watching them.
I just didn’t tell anyone. Leslie and I kept our dirty little secret to ourselves. Continue reading Open Theologies (or My Apologies to Harry Potter)