Harry Potter – victim of Onion satire?

UPDATE: Welcome Harry Potter fans! You’re among friends.  You can see another post about Harry  here.


When credulous religious figures run amok with dire warnings about Harry Potter’s effects on children’s morality, it bears investigating. Especially since I have read all of J. K. Rowlings books and found them to be highly inspirational and morally uplifting.

It all started when the Onion, a satirical publication, wrote an article on July 27, 2000 which purported to show the inside skinny on how the Harry Potter books were leading children STRAIGHT TO HELL!!!.

Sorry to disappoint anyone, but this is just another well-documented Urban Legend. The Harry Potter books are excellent entertainment, not a shortcut to perdition. In fact, the Harry Potter books have sparked a tremendous upsurge in children’s reading skills.

Before we go any further, let’s clear up what satire is: IT IS NOT TRUTH!

Humorous satires often base the humor on the juxtaposition between the satire and reality. The humor of such a satire tends to be subtle, using irony and deadpan humor liberally. The Onion article is so exaggerated, even using obscenity for humorous effect, that it is hard to imagine that anyone would take it seriously.

However, several professional "witch-hunters" have written books about the "evil Harry Potter" and are trying hard to make a living preying on concerned parents.

It is a damn shame, because too many children are being denied a
chance to read one of the phenomenal literary products of the current
decade. What will happen, of course, is that the kids will eventually
read Harry Potter and realize that their parents are really clueless
and they will look elsewhere for guidance in the future.

Read the Urban Legends
reference page to get the fascinating facts behind this hysterical
campaign to spread fear amongst parents. This excerpt from that page
puts the matter in proper perspective:

If The Onion’s parody has demonstrated anything, it’s
that we should be worrying about adults not being able to distinguish
between fiction and reality. The kids themselves seem to have a pretty
good grasp of it.

Read the original Onion article
and you can see how it caused the wooly-minded few to run gibbering
with fear about J.K. Rowling’s campaign for world domination by the
Antichrist. It has a cunning mixture of fact and outrageous absurdities.

Please do not read it if your taste in literature runs to happy
bunny stories. This is strong stuff, satire that goes for the jugular.

I can’t wait for the next Harry Potter novel. J. K. Rowling is an inspiration to any writer.


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0 Responses to Harry Potter – victim of Onion satire?

  1. Chango says:

    Is it just me or has The Onion lost the plot over the past few years? There’s even a rumor going around the blogosphere that the funniest writers started brainsnap.com, but it’s probably not true. What is definitely true is there are a lot funnier sites out there now nowadays. Anyway, the next harry potter book is due out july 16. I’m pre-ordering it.

  2. I enjoyed reading the Harry Potter series of boooks immensely. I would recommend them as a part of any children’s reading list.

  3. Casey says:

    I am a Christian, and I am very proud of that fact, and in refrence to the Harry Potter books I just want to say they are the best books I have read. I have read most 4-5 times (sorry I have only read book five 2 times) it is long.

  4. Cathy Fusco says:

    Brilliantly Said! There is more to Harry Potter than Magic…There is Love, and Friendship, and Loyalty…and some of the BEST Advice Has come from those movies and those books like for instance the following:
    ‘Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it.’
    ‘Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open’
    ‘Fear of a name, only increases the fear of the thing itself’
    “The truth. It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution.”

    “…to have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever.”

    It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”

    “It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our Abilities”
    “Understanding is the first step to Acceptance, and only with Acceptance, can their be Recovery”

    “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of places…one only needs to remember, to turn on the light”….

    “You think the dead we loved ever truly leave us? You think that we don’t recall them more clearly than ever in times of great trouble?….You know, Harry, in a way, you did see your father last night….You found him inside yourself.”

    I Hope This would knock some sense into their heads! HONESTLY! Give me a Break! Oh, yeah, it is realllllly evil…they have absolutely No Idea how Wonderful those books are for Children. And it is finally something that they like to read! My niece is 3 years old, and she will sit and Be quiet, and watch the film…Nothing very easy for a 3 year old to do…She loves Harry/Daniel, and would not make a sound…now that is something to be happy about! It grabs her attention, and I really feel sorry for the poor children who dont get the chance to read and watch such a Wonderful Series…Personally, I think If something is going to send me to Hell, it will be for much worse than reading/watching/enjoying Harry Potter.
    End of story! Thanks for letting me post my comments…and by the way…great article…

  5. The Gift
    (Imagination)

    Fairies will dwell in fairy tales
    Cinderella will go to the ball
    Alice will peer through the looking glass
    And Humpty Dumpty will fall

    Dorothy will wear ruby slippers
    Ratty and Mole will speak
    And princes will wake princesses
    With a kiss upon the cheek

    The wooden boy, his nose will grow
    Each time he tells a lie
    Frosty will come alive in the snow
    And Peter Pan will fly

    We will travel back in time
    Or visit a world beyond
    Harry will ride the fastest broom
    And wave a magic wand

    None of this is really true
    God did not make it so
    Does this fact make it evil?
    Every child will want to know

    We, as humans, are unique
    For we alone can write
    Forming thoughts inside our hearts
    And letting them take flight

    The fantasies that come alive
    Within the human mind
    Are gifts to us to share and treasure
    Now and for all time

    And so, you see, God HAS a hand
    In making ALL these things
    For you can see God’s handiwork
    In imaginations’ wings

  6. Elizabeth says:

    I’ve been a Christian my whole life, and am a great lover of literature. My entire family loves Harry Potter! My father, one of the strongest Christian men i’ve ever meet, says its a great influence.
    I’ve also had several friends who ARE into Wicca, and yes, of course, they love Harry Potter too, but, in their words “the spells aren’t real.”
    Stories like this dissapoint me because it really says the parents themselves have lost a lot of their own imagination, which is really sad because it takes so much enjoyment out of life.
    Thanks for this article! it’s really great to hear this kind of trash get nipped in the bud!

  7. Coryashire says:

    in truth, it is not chirstians as a whole that fear harry potter. the ones that attack it dont fear it. they always are trying to find something to critasize, someone to blame for all the problems of societys, its the witches, its the gays, its the mormens, its the musliems, its the libritarians. these people always find someone to blame for everything, they have to blame a book, they have to blame a movie, when in all truth, they are to blame.

    These books are not turning children into witches. I have met hundreds upon hundreds of harry potter fans of all ages since I joined the fandom, and these childrens, these 11 years old have a better grasp of reality, and of the harry potter books then the people who try to stop people from reading them. they fear and hate something that have no understanding of, and yet they never get a grasp on reality itself.

    I dont listen to them anymore. nothing will ever make them pay attention to reality when they live there lives in a belief that they above all others are right.

  8. Lisa says:

    One thing that struck me (as an adult reading the books) was how refreshing it was to have the importance of parental love be the main theme of a children’s book. Don’t get me wrong, I loved “Matilda,” and “The Big Bazoohley,” but Harry’s longing for family really got to me. I think families that won’t allow their kids to read the books are really missing out.

  9. So do I.

    Their children are being deprived of some of the most inspirational literature of all time.

  10. Kayette says:

    Gee, the religious group tries to ban one book from society fearing that we are all going to hell when there are shootings, murders, and people starving on the streets. I wonder what their prioites are. I’m not bashing them as a whole, I’m only bashing the morons who are bashing the world’s biggest fenomonon.

  11. marren says:

    I am a chirstian though and though and I love he Harry Potter series. They are great for kids to read and build their morals around. I think that today’s youth are mature enough to seperate fiction from reality. I agree with the Onions parody that parents need a reality check. I am currently writing a satire for my AP English class on the Harry Potter controversy and will be sure to send u a copy of it!

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