Harry Potter and the Whackjob Gwinnett Mother

An open Howler to Whackjob Gwinnett Mother . . .

Dear Gwinnett Mom Attempting to Remove Harry Potter books from Gwinnet School Libraries,

You claim that Harry Potter books glorify witchcraft. There is a difference between fiction and reality, and in my opinion, well-parented children can grasp this concept. If you do not want your child to read Harry Potter, I totally respect that decision. However, I do not see how you have the right to tell me what my children can read.

That being said, if I am wrong, and Harry Potter does promote evil, I really hope all those elementary school-aged Harry Potter readers get together, form a coven, and put a hex on you and a curse on your house.

Harry Potter Lover #1

p.s. Your children think you are an embarrassment.

The state board of education heard an appeal this morning for her attempt to have the Harry Potter books removed from Gwinnet County schools. Seriously, what a waste of taxpayer money! The obvious, non-costly answer here is for this woman to monitor her own children’s reading materials or send them to a private school that does not allow Harry in the library. I am going to go out on a limb here and guess that this woman has heard the saying, “I am not my brother’s keeper.” Does anyone grasp the irony?

More on this story in the AJC.

17 Comments so far

  1. Sour (unregistered) on October 3rd, 2006 @ 2:55 pm

    Well to be technically accurate the saying “Am I my prothers keeper?” was said by Cain while hiding the fact he had just killed said family member out of jealousy.

    Beyond that the Christian Right feels it’s their God-given right (pun intended) to tell others how to live and have felt so for the past 2000 or so years (give or take). Much like some “other” extremists we currently have issue with these days – only the extremist Christians don’t kill the people they disagree with… at least not as often.

  2. Chintan (unregistered) on October 3rd, 2006 @ 2:58 pm

    “If you do not want your child to read Harry Potter, I totally respect that decision.”

    I don’t, I think such a decision makes you huge whack-job.

  3. Georgre Burdell (unregistered) on October 3rd, 2006 @ 3:07 pm

    “Beyond that the Christian Right feels it’s their God-given right (pun intended) to tell others how to live and have felt so for the past 2000 or so years (give or take).”

    It’s not just right winged christians who feel this way – most governments and religions do.

  4. Annie (unregistered) on October 3rd, 2006 @ 3:09 pm

    LOL! I stand corrected. Just goes to show that maybe I should broaden my horizons a little subject-wise, and perhaps not quote books with which I am not intimately familiar.

    I wonder if this dissenting Mom has even read Harry P?

    Chintan: While I also agree that not letting her child read Harry Potter makes her a whack-job (and a TOTAL killjoy!), I can still respect her decision to choose what her child can and can’t read. My point is that it should be up to the individual parent, not the school.

  5. Greg (unregistered) on October 3rd, 2006 @ 3:33 pm

    isn’t she like 5 books and 4 movies too late to jump on this particular bandwagon?

  6. Sour (unregistered) on October 3rd, 2006 @ 3:36 pm

    George: Quite true – and relatively speaking we often forget just how lucky we are that our government is still as lenient as it is. Is it as lenient as it could (or should) be? That’s a whole different debate. This woman, however, would obviously like to make it less lenient to absolve herself of parenting duties.

    For a group so dedicated to “spreading democracy” censorship is an awfully socialist/totalitarian stance for the right to be taking up there days. At one point censorship (as well as all things socialist) were the foundation of the left. I wonder at what point it was that both parties decided that freedom of choice was an outmoded belief.

  7. james (unregistered) on October 3rd, 2006 @ 3:40 pm

    hmmmm – “sour,” i am interested in your comment very much. could you define this term – christian right – at least as you use it?

    see i have heard it a lot and read it a lot, but i am not sure that i understand the specific attributes that make up this christian right. i’d like to know so that i can be on the look-out.

  8. abby (unregistered) on October 3rd, 2006 @ 3:43 pm

    Out of morbid curiosity, I went to the hearing this morning (it’s across the street from where I work). the saddest part was that she was completely genuine. She really thinks that some of the children are “harmed” by reading the books.

    She drew paralells between the path of “smoking –> drinking –> drugs –> jail” and the path of reading Harry Potter books –> developing an interest in the occult –> practicing Wicca –> suicide. I kid you not. She invoked the school shootings of this week, saying that “it’s appalling. . . that we don’t want to remove evil from our own schools.” (I took notes, because some of this stuff was unbelieveable.)

    Granted, these were the irrational extremes of her (well, irrational) argument. Mostly she talked about how small children can’t distinguish between fantasy and reality, and that they want to be like the kids in the books and cast spells, which I guess she equates to the “occult.” But it was unsettling to hear her voice wavering when she talked about about how “the casting of spells brings destruction.” She was very serious.

    To answer your question, she said she’s read lengthy parts of the books, and she complained that the “good” characters lie, cheat and steal, and that their actions go unpunished. It sounds the overall tone of the books was lost on her.

    The lawyer for the Gwinnett school board was great — she pointed out that the themes of the books were loyalty, friendship, courage, good versus evil, etc. She also said that if we were going to ban books because they had witches or fantasy in them, we’d have close to nothing left, listing MacBeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cinderella, Snow White, Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, etc.

    I don’t think the books are going anywhere, we all know that GA is already known as the bottom of the barrel for education, and that would make us a complete joke.

    I also don’t think that the government is forcing this woman to keep her children in schools where such dangerous, subversive literature is available. . .

    (whoa longest comment of all time)

  9. Sour (unregistered) on October 3rd, 2006 @ 4:01 pm

    James: I think the epitomy of the classification is the eagerness and self-righteousness to remove the rights of others, Christian or not, in favor of restrictions/rules/laws based on the Christian belief system.

  10. Seth (unregistered) on October 3rd, 2006 @ 4:15 pm

    I covered this story earlier in the year on my Harry Potter blog.

    I think it’s time for an update.


  11. james (unregistered) on October 3rd, 2006 @ 4:19 pm

    when you say the christian belief system, i am curious again, what do you mean specifically by that?

  12. Sour (unregistered) on October 3rd, 2006 @ 4:30 pm

    That’s a topic for debate really. I could say the teachings of Jesus as described in the New Testament (and that’s what they’d tell you it is) but it’s really more than that. More typically it’s usually just the convenient parts of the New Testament and then a few select pieces of the Old Testament that fit the agenda of a handful of evangelical religious leaders.

    I can’t speak to the sum total of that agenda but from what I’ve witnessed it is, in at least some part, comprised of fear, hatred, oppression and not a small amount of hypocrisy. Not really things I’d contribute to Jesus myself but then they labeled themselves Christian, not me.

  13. james (unregistered) on October 3rd, 2006 @ 4:36 pm

    ah – okay. that is where i wanted to get.

    this is not THE christian belief system, but rather a particular moral code based on s specific interpretation of the bible that a subest of the people who identify themselves as christians adhere to.

    would you call that a fair statement of what you are describing?

  14. Sour (unregistered) on October 3rd, 2006 @ 5:42 pm

    Correct. Like most religions, Christianity comes in a wide array of flavors – Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, etc… and even those may have their own subsets.

    Most Christians are content to live their own lives by their chosen flavor of the faith and not impose it upon others. It is the subsets that do believe their moral codes must be imposed upon others that make up the Christian Right.

  15. Alex (unregistered) on October 3rd, 2006 @ 5:50 pm

    I like the bible and Harry Potter. They’re both based on the lives of fictional characters.

  16. james (unregistered) on October 3rd, 2006 @ 6:45 pm

    thanks sour – just wanted to clarify that.


  17. meh (unregistered) on October 4th, 2006 @ 5:15 pm

    congrats to us, we’ve gone national.

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