Harry Potter books have never exactly been popular in conservative Christian circles. But the recent Potter purge from St. Edward Catholic School in Nashville brings a wonderful new revelation to light: Harry Potter magic is real!
"These books present magic as both good and evil, which is not true, but in fact a clever deception," wrote school pastor Rev. Dan Reehill in an email. "The curses and spells used in the books are actual curses and spells; which when read by a human being risk conjuring evil spirits into the presence of the person reading the text."
Apparently Reehill decided to ban the books from his school after consulting with several definitely real exorcists on the matter, and no, that is not a joke.
So basically, Reehill has confirmed that if we read Harry Potter books correctly, we can actually perform the same spells Harry and his friends do. Unfortunately, having read through the Harry Potter books myself and knowing quite a few other Potterheads who have done the same, none of us have been able to replicate even the simplest spells...yet. That being said, it's possible that we're all just lousy muggles, and Rev. Dan Reehill is only able to perform the spells from the Harry Potter books because he is, indeed, a real wizard.
Maybe actual wizard Rev. Dan Reehill
Now, there's another possibility here, and it's one I'd rather not believe to be true. However, in the name of journalistic integrity, we must consider the possibility that the magic in the Harry Potter books is just fiction, and the only reason Rev. Dan Reehill believes otherwise is because he is incredibly stupid.
But that's probably not true, because Rev. Dan Reehill's assertions are backed up by a whole lot of other Christians who, in the early 2000s, also thought that Harry Potter magic could have dangerous real-world repercussions.
They felt so strongly that the ALA (American Library Association) ranked Harry Potter the most challenged book of 2001 and 2002 and the second most challenged book of 2003, largely for reasons related to "occult/Satanism." Needless to say, if very rational religious folks were challenging the book on such a large scale, there must be truth to their belief that the Harry Potter books hold real magic power! The question, then, is how do us regular people access that power?
An evangelical fundamentalist cartoonist named Jack Chick tried to provide a guide to accessing Harry Potter spells in his The Nervous Witch comic strip. The strip follows two girls who read Harry Potter and then gain cool occult demon powers. "The Potter books opened a doorway that led untold millions of kids into hell," endorses Uncle Bob, a man with bizarre magic powers of his own and who possesses a spirit familiar he calls "God, the Holy Ghost." Very spooky stuff.
Still, even following the comic's instructions (which really just boils down to saying spells), I've had no luck achieving magical success on my end. This leads me to conclude that St. Edward Catholic School's Rev. Dan Rehill and everyone else who has ever called for Harry Potter book bans are real magical beings with natural affinities for the supernatural, far greater than us lame normal humans. Otherwise, all of them would just be very, very stupid.