Church Rebel Rears Head, Slays Potter, Strokes Self As Defender Of Children

St. Joseph’s School in Wakefield, Massachusetts, under the enlightened and brilliant leadership of Reverend Ron Barker, has, as an expression of its zeal to protect children from harmful influences, banned the Harry Potter novels from the school. The story appears in today’s Globe under the byline of Tania deLuzuriaga. (One could easily suspect that with a name like that, Ms. deLuzuriaga stepped right out of a Potter novel. On the side of good wizardry, of course.)

“He said that he thought most children were strong enough to resist the temptation,” said one mother who asked that her name not be used because she did not want her family to be singled out. “But he said it’s his job to protect the weak and the strong.”

Apparently the Potter novels were very popular among the St. Josephian students, who are, according to the school’s website, voracious readers.

“The sixth grade reads an average of 7.5 books each with many students in double digits,” says a note on the class page. “Of course, Harry Potter was a popular choice.”

But last month, students found that their favorite series had “disapparated” from the school library, after St. Joseph’s pastor, the Rev. Ron Barker, removed the books, declaring that the themes of witchcraft and sorcery were inappropriate for a Catholic school.

Apparently Rev. Barker’s education failed to inform him that a novel is a work of fiction, not of fact, and that magic, witchcraft, and sorcery are mere fantasies, aside from stage illusions a la Copperfield and the delusions of humans who believe curses and spells actually affect the real world. Apparently we must include Barker among the latter, since he seems terrified of even a fictional representation of such things.

He might also be shocked, shocked to learn that the theme of the Potter novels is not witchcraft and sorcery, which provide merely the settings, the ambience, the milieu in which themes about the struggles of adolescence and coming of age occur.

A theme of a fictional work would be more along the lines of “Celibacy warps the minds of young men, turning them into child molesters,” or “Catholic dogma creates more misery and suffering than any other single institution in the history of the world.” How about “Banning books leads to fascism” as a theme, Reverend? Now those are themes!

Apparently Barker refused an interview with the Globe, perhaps lacking the courage to submit to what he might well consider, given the history of the Church, an inquisitorial event. Can he perhaps hear the creaking of the rack, the breaking of bones, the screams of the innocent? Does he tell his charges at St. Joseph’s about the Catholic Inquisition’s use of magical thinking to justify the torture and slaughter of innocent people, real people? Doubtful, doubtful.

Of course Barker is not alone in his moronism.

Groups in at least 17 other states have tried to ban the books since the first one was published in 1998, prompting [the American Library Association] last year to name the Harry Potter collection “the most challenged books of the 21st century.”

One might hazard that not all challenges emanated from the Catholic empire of delusion, particularly in light of the fact that the Church has ‘no formal policy on the books’. (Does that make Barker a rebel without the church? A rebel with a silly cause?)

One might suspect that delusional Protestant fundamentalists are more prone to this sort of failure of reason and critical thought. They appear to be less in touch with reality than their Catholic brethren. After all, they believe everything in the Bible is quite literally true, and half the stuff in that book would scare the bejesus out of Harry Potter and his friends, while the other half would set them to uncontrollable giggling and loud belly-laughing.

And one might forgive The Lion for sensing that there is a theme in all this book banning and bashing. Something to do with religion and irrationality, perhaps. Or religion and tyranny, perhaps. Oh, well, given time, The Lion will figure it out. Without the use of supernatural help, of course.



4 Responses

  1. If he really wants to ban some books, he ought to start with the Left Behind series. Then the Bible. Those are some really, mind-warping books.


  2. Good point.

    Maybe we should note that since the Bible tells Christians to kill witches, it must be every Christian’s duty to hunt down and kill Ms. Rowling, since she is promoting witchcraft. Let’s ask Rev. Barker when he intends to go witch hunting.


  3. It’s no coincidence that the books were removed shortly after JK Rowling announced that a main character in the book was gay, perhaps Rev. Barker is a little uncomfortable with the theme of a gay school master.


  4. Plausible theory, except that the books were removed last month, according to the Globe story, which would put the exorcism of Potter before Rowling outed Albus.

    Unless word of Albus’s predilection were floating about underground, or underweb, for some time before the good Revs evil attack on the school library.


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