Growing up, all the kids were reading Harry Potter. Every year, a Harry Potter film would be released and everyone who was anyone would go see the movies, though they already knew what would happen because they’d probably already memorized the books.
Everyone, of course, except Good Christian Kids™.
Good Christian Kids™ knew the truth about Harry Potter.
We knew that the books taught real witchcraft. We knew that the books used real spells. We knew that JK Rowling was an evil witch who masqueraded as a Christian in order to fly under the radar. We knew that those books were directly responsible for endangering the souls of children all over the world.
But our souls would be protected. Because we had good and thoughtful teachers, pastors, and authors who made their money teaching Good Christian Parents™ to shield their children from these evil books.
And Good Christian Parents™ followed their leaders well.
And I followed my parents direction very well.
Until I turned 21.
And I met a boy. A boy I fell in love with.
Said boy and I were talking one day about how much he loved the Harry Potter books and I told him I’d never read one of the books. Or even seen the movies.
He was so upset by the idea of anyone not having the magic of Harry Potter in their lives that the very next day he took me to a bookstore and made sure I got the first book.
And just like that, I was hooked.
I was intrigued by what shame the Durseleys hid from the world in chapter one. And I was appalled by their abuse towards Harry.
I was enamoured by this strange magical world that Harry discovered.
I distrusted Snape immensely and wished Dumbledore would fire him.
I was elated to meet Hermoine, whose nerdish ways I felt I could relate to.
I was simultaneously annoyed by and in love with Dobby.
I cried during the great battle in the last book. And I cried when I discovered Snape’s secret at the end of the series.
And not once, during the year that I read through the series, did I become a witch. I did not forsake my faith to join JK Rowling’s cult.
And that bit about real spells? Yeah. That’s pure BS.
I was angry that this beautiful world was intentionally kept from me during my childhood.
So many good things come out of these books.
But my subculture allowed fear to deprive an entire generation from all those wonderful things.
That’s beyond sad.
I’m so thankful for that boy all those years ago. He and I parted ways a long time ago, but he gave me Harry. And for that I will always be grateful.