Ross Olson's Web Site

Social Issues: Letters

January 20, 2002

Dear Mr. Trouten,

I am a public school teacher of 29 years and a part time Children’s Ministry director for an evangelical church. I was extremely disappointed in your editorial dismissing the Harry Potter phenomena as harmless plus your disrespect for those that hold opposing views.

I would highly recommend to you "The Bible and Harry Potter" by Richard Abanes and Jeremiah Films "Harry Potter: Witchcraft Repackaged."

I sense that you had not researched this topic very thoroughly before writing your critique. Chuck Colson has said recently “I don’t recommend Harry Potter to anyone” in contrast to his first endorsement. This is serious business. I’m sure you don’t want to be responsible for encouraging non discerning parents to give cart blanche endorsement to their children of Harry. I certainly don’t want to “make one of these little ones to stumble”. I think Harry poses a potential danger which you trivialize by comparing him to Santa.

As far as your comparisons to Narnia, I don’t think you understand the substantial differences. I have enclosed a fact sheet from Richard Abanes book for your review.

Even if someone discounts the witchcraft aspect of Harry, Rowling’s books teach situation ethics, reward rule breaking and promote the Wiccan creed of "if no harm be done, do as you please." The books become increasingly dark and crude. A spell calling for a fetus, ingredients such as a freshly chopped off hand , Harry’s blood, and the bone of the murdered father of Voltemort are hardly things that are pure and lovely. It is no secret that Harry’s sexuality will be a topic in upcoming books and films. Please see my daughter’s response to a professor who thought like you. While you dismiss Harry’s magic, you fail to realize Rowling has done her homework on the occult. The web sites on the real occult are easily accessible to children who have had their interest aroused. The published books for teacher’s guides encourage projects delving into research project on real witches and wizards.

Your analogy comparing a Christian’s rejection of Harry to a school’s zero tolerance of heroin vs. aspirin is not valid unless you can prove that Harry Potter is innocuous. Would you also include "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series, Stephen King’s books and "Dungeons and Dragons" in the aspirin category?

It is not what the world does with Harry Potter, it is what Christian homes will do with him. I am not a book burner, and Harry should remain on school library shelves, but not in the church library. I am not going to let modern media dictate my morals. A friend of mine at church was upset with me at first for opposing Harry Potter. His argument was "Kids see worse on T.V." Is that the standard by which we discern right from wrong in the modern evangelical church?

I have appreciated your other editorials and the paper, but I feel you have missed the mark on Harry Potter, and please do some more homework.


Bryan Olson
14513 Bowers Drive
Ramsey, MN 55303
e-mail bryandianeolson{at}

Send comments to me at ross{at}

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