I had an interesting conversation with a couple of the youngsters in Sunday School today, which I was overseeing at church. The lesson dealt with Christian parents keeping a tight rein over the movies their children are allowed to watch.
After the lesson we discussed occasions where these children have faced the same issue. One of the books/movies they are not allowed to read or watch was Harry Potter! This really surprised me but they explained their parents disapprove of witchcraft and so it's banned. What I found very strange was they have however been allowed to watch The Chronicles of Narnia, yet this also involves alot of magic and witchcraft!
Now I am the first to admit I am a big fan of the Harry Potter books and all I could think was all the other great aspects of the books they are missing out on. These books put great emphasis on many other positive and desirable traits such as the importance of friendship, loyalty, initiative, bravery, emotions and good ultimately prevailing over evil. They are also a masterclass in the power of your imagination and they sweep you away to another magical world. Surely in today's often violent and stressful world a little escapism won't do a child that much harm?
Their point of view did make me think about this issue more, but it hasn't ultimately changed my opinion. I personally still think all the positives in these books outweigh the potential negatives. Plus if they are so bad why do all the local schools have them in their libraries and occasionally show the movies?
I'd also rather a child was reading a wonderfully written book, extending their vocabulary, challenging their imagination and maybe making them a lifelong lover of books. Surely this has to be preferable to them sitting in front of a video game any day?