One school to ban Harry Potter was St. Mary’s Island Church of England school in Chatham, Kent. Head teacher Carol Rockwood explained that ‘The Bible is very clear and consistent in its teachings that wizards, devils and demons exist and are very real, powerful and dangerous and God’s people are told to have nothing to do with them.’ She added that ‘I believe it is confusing to children when something wicked is being made to look fun.’
Rockwood is not alone. Her opinion is shared by others who believe that real witchcraft exists, and that all witches are evil. They fear that any books which have good witches or good magic—like the Harry Potter series—will lead people not to take the threat of real witchcraft seriously, and possibly lead them to take the Bible’s teachings in general more lightly. They might even lead readers to become witches themselves.
Others disagree. Some point out that Harry Potter is a fantasy, not a true story, and claim that even children know the difference between the two. Whether or not there is such a thing as evil magic in real life, it has nothing at all to do with the made-up spells and potions found in the books. As an editorial in Christian Century put it, ‘…critics are right in thinking that fantasy writing is powerful and needs to be taken seriously. But we strongly doubt that it fosters an attachment to evil powers. Harry’s world, in any case, is a moral one.’