Harry Potter fans warn against dangerous effects of Bible
OXFORD, Tuesday: A number of concerned British Harry Potter fans have
spoken out against the Bible, claiming that the holy text of the Christian
Church can cause serious damage to children. "Reading the Bible teaches
children to believe in the supernatural," said one English Literature
academic from Oxford University, Lewis Williams. "The tales of Jesus
turning water into wine are fairly harmless, but there is a serious risk of
children drowning if they try to walk on water," he said. "And the chance
of serious bodily harm isn't exactly minimised by that whole
'resurrection-from-the-dead' story either."
Christians have responded that reading the Bible assists with literacy
skills, but Williams rejects this idea too. "The Bible is only ever read in
very small chunks, a few paragraphs at a time. It's never read as a long
sustained narrative like the Harry Potter series. Reading too much of the
Bible promotes a very short attention span," he says.
Critics such as Williams warn that without appropriate parental guidance,
reading the Bible may make children unable to enjoy quality children's
literature. "Enjoying books such as Harry Potter or the Narnia series
requires the ability to suspend disbelief," he said. "When children are
taught that the Bible is absolutely literally true, and that a story like
Noah's Ark actually happened, the imagination is completely stifled - it's
Williams has also pointed out that some of the scarier elements in
fantasy novels will really frighten children if they think they are true.
"Some children may think that murderous Dark Wizards such as Voldemort (the
villain of the Potter series) are actually real if they've been corrupted
by Christians who believe that devils and magic actually exists," he said.