A parent in Georgia wants the Harry Potter books pulled from the libraries in Gwinnett County Public Schools because she objects to the books' "evil themes, witchcraft, demonic activity, murder,evil blood sacrifice, spells and teaching children all of this."
Unfortunately, she hasn't actually read the books because they're very long and she has four kids. Later in the Gwinnett Daily Post article, she's quoted as stating that she doesn't have to read an entire pornographic magazine to know it's obscene. Why does that sound like Jesse Helms?
If that wasn't funny enough:
- she also stated that it would be hypocritical for her to read the Harry Potter books because she doesn't agree with their content;
- described part of her "lots of research" on the topic as online research at Christian message boards and Harry Potter fan sites; and
- in her complaint to the school board, she suggests the books be replaced by the Chronicles of Narnia (don't most school libraries already have them?) or the children's version of the Left Behind series.
Read that again: there's a children's version of the Left Behind series.
But I'm laughing at this woman not because this sounds like a story from The Onion or The Daily Show, but because of her reasons for not reading the books. Do average people quit reading after they have kids? I don't want to associate with people that don't read for pleasure unless they listen to a lot of audiobooks, or at least listen to NPR or something so we have something to talk about other than parenting.
(When I was composing this post, I took an extended tangent about how much I love Sylvia Poggioli and would never kick her out of bed for eating crackers, but I'm pretty sure most of you don't want to know that much about my fantasy life. I could seriously listen to her reading the phone book, though.)
I've had the Foremen's "That Jesse Helms Song" ever since I first heard about this lady. I'd like to rail against federally funded smut with an eight-foot bullwhip... ah, screw it. I think that outraged parents that don't actually read the book(s) they're offended by are funnier than a dog in an Elizabethan collar trying to lick its butt.
My favorite commentary on the story so far:
[in response to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution message board poster that asks whether Christians have any rights at all to not have non-Christian beliefs pushed on them:] "I have heard the Constitution has something to say about free expression and nonestablishment of religion, but I haven't read it, because it is long." -- Michael Schaub, in the Bookslut blog
edit 21 April 2006: the Gwinnett Daily Post followed up on the school board meeting: "Trouble with Harry".