In a bizarre case, a school in Nashville, Tennessee has banned the classic fantasy book series Harry Potter as the school claims that the books involve both good and evil magic and spells which if read by a person can get possessed by evil spirits.
The publication received an e-mail by Rev. Dan Reehil, a pastor at Saint Edwards Catholic School parish. In the mail, Reehil explained that he has discussed the issue with several exorcists in US and Rome, and they recommended that the books should be removed from the school, the Tennessean reports.
"These books present magic as both good and evil, which is not true, but in fact a clever deception," Rev. Reehil said of the seven-part Harry Potter book series. "The curses and spells used in the books are actual curses and spells; which when read by a human being risk conjuring evil spirits into the presence of the person reading the text," the email continues.
Rebecca Hammel, the superintendent of schools from the Catholic Diocese of Nashville, told CBS news that Reehil received several inquiries from the parents. Catholic Church does not have an official position regarding the Harry Potter franchise. “each pastor has canonical authority to make such decisions for his parish school," Hammel said. "He's well within his authority to act in that manner."
Harry Potter books are written by JK Rowling which was published between 1997 and 2007 with seven parts of the books. An eight-movie long film franchise was released between 2001 and 2008 which were both critically acclaimed and financially successful.
The popular series explores a wizarding world in which Harry Potter and his friends Hermione and Ron live. They are the students of world’s greatest wizardry school, Hogwarts and the three friends go on fantastical adventures.
Harry Potter being a threat to religion is not a new concern, as Daniel Nexon wrote a column in New Republic in 2007. Nexon explained that the series ignited a debate in churches of countries like France, Sweden, Turkey and Russia and other religious conservative groups. According to various groups against the series, “to many religious conservatives, 'Harry Potter' represents yet another assault by the mass media, public institutions, and other manifestations of secular culture against their traditional values."
Some scholars and columnists write that some Christians believe the book makes clear magic stems from demonic sources," and "Harry Potter" may seduce children away from the religion and "into occult practices."
The series was on The American Library Association’s list of most challenged books for at least three years, that means it was one of the most requested books to be removed from school libraries.