Sunday, June 10, 2007

Pottermania of the other kind

A teaching assistant (in the UK) was suspended, then resigned, because she refused to let a 7 year old child read from a Harry Potter book. She said it would have violated her Christian faith. In fact, she told the child that she refused to do witchcraft in any form and would have been cursed through hearing the novel read. Now the T.A. is suing the school seeking $100,000 in damages for religious discrimination.

OK, I understand that your religious beliefs may prevent you from experiencing certain pieces of literature, but I think that in this case it thoroughly makes her unqualified to be teaching children because if you are forbidden from being exposed to "witchcraft" you will be severely limited in choices for children's literature. You would have to avoid all faeries, gnomes, elves, leprechans, dragons, flying carpets, genies, Aesop's Fables, anything in Greek, Roman, Norse, or Celtic mythology, King Arthur, The Odyssey, Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, Grimm's Fairy Tales, Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Cinderella. (What do kids read these days?) What is the test for witches? Is it OK if they are not called witches but still have supernatural powers? Are talking animals OK? Using "the force"? How about wardrobes that open into a parallel world? People who walk on water or make fish appear out of nothing and turn water into wine?

Image from "Cinderella" from The Beacon Second Reader posted by Project Gutenberg.

Found via Fark.



niCk (Mem Beth) said...

THAT's different. Jesus was like Glenda, he was a good witch.

You so right, it's hard to tell the difference between religion and witchcraft, and they do have one thing in common, they are based on fantasy from literature.

Blueberry said...

And one character I forgot to mention was Santa Claus, Father Christmas or what ever you call him. Good witch?

Undeniable Liberal said...

Yeah, but I REALLY like that turning water into wine thing. It would be even better if he had turned water into BEER!

Blueberry said...

mmmmmm. Beeeeer.

beepbeepitsme said...

RE: "OK, I understand that your religious beliefs may prevent you from experiencing certain pieces of literature,"

I think my lack of religious belief should prevent me from having to experience the bible and the quran.

But apparently, some don't want the door to swing both ways.

Blueberry said...

I don't mind them as long as they are taught as mythology. I notice that one of the stories in the Beacon Second reader was David and Goliath. It has a giant in it. Maybe giants existed. Who knows? David probably existed and actually killed some big badass with a rock, but it's included in the reader as a story along with the fairy tales.

The Truffle said...

Years ago, I remember one loony wrote a letter to the editor urging people not to read "A Wrinkle in Time." She claimed it was an "occult book," and her reasons for this belief made no sense at all.

Really, these guys don't know how to have fun.

Pam said...

*eye roll*

I think I will read my daughters some Harry Potter tonight, just to be spiteful ;-).

Mando Mama said...

What a great post. The inconsistency with which anti-Potter zealots fling their belief systems makes me smack my own forehead. And the assault on the cultivation of imagination worldwide by people with no imagination is really beginning to get on my last nerve. There was an article on msnbc/newsweek today about how Dawkins and Hitchens and others aren't as nice as the secular rabbi at Harvard, who calls Dawkins et al "atheist fundamentalists." I think it's just because he hasn't had his butt kicked yet.