James Dobson: Harry Potter Dangerous To Children genre: Hip-Gnosis & Six Degrees of Speculation

Ties That Bind

Thank goodness James Dobson of Focus on the Family is looking out for the interests of the world's children. In a statement posted on the organizations web site, Dobson corrects a report by the Washington Post that suggested he approved of the Harry Potter book series. The statement from Dobson follows below.

Dr. James Dobson wants all friends of Focus on the Family to know about an error involving him that appeared on Page 1 of Wednesday's Washington Post. In a story about Christians' views on the Harry Potter books and films, reporter Jacqueline Salmon wrote that "Christian parenting guru James Dobson has praised the Potter books."

This is the exact opposite of Dr. Dobson's opinion — in fact, he said a few years ago on his daily radio broadcast that "We have spoken out strongly against all of the Harry Potter products." His rationale for that statement: Magical characters — witches, wizards, ghosts, goblins, werewolves, poltergeists and so on — fill the Harry Potter stories, and given the trend toward witchcraft and New Age ideology in the larger culture, it's difficult to ignore the effects such stories (albeit imaginary) might have on young, impressionable minds.

I wonder if Dobson is opposed to children attending the zoo...what with all those lions and tigers and bears...oh my! Plus I would suspect that James Dobson would find the zoo to be a poor representation of Noah's Arc. I'm sure he would rather they visit the Creation Museum.

Apparently Dobson prefers that children only embrace the magical stories found in the Bible. If anyone is going to fill children's head with fanciful imagery, Dobson prefers it be his organization and their brand of absolutist ideology.

I wonder if Dobson thinks children's imaginations are inherently evil and need to be extinguished...or if he simply wants to dictate what inhabits their imaginations. The notion that a book containing characters with magical powers will lead children to embrace witchcraft seems rather outrageous.

In my opinion, Dobson's opposition to the Harry Potter books only demonstrates the degree to which men of his ilk would go to control those in their fold. What a disgusting example of obtuse and overbearing opining.

Tagged as: Bible, Evangelical, Focus on the Family, Harry Potter, James Dobson, Witchcraft

Daniel DiRito | July 24, 2007 | 2:07 PM
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1 On September 5, 2007 at 8:40 AM, Benzion Chinn wrote —

James Dobson has the right to point out that his views had been misrepresented. You may not like his position. I certainly don't like his position. That being said I don't think this is an attempt to get rid of all fantasy. Dobson has a technical problem with Potter, mainly that its human characters have magic powers. As a religious person I disagree with his use of the biblical prohibition against witchcraft, but he has a right to express his concerns.

2 On September 5, 2007 at 9:12 AM, Daniel wrote —


Thanks for your comment.

I don't see where I have argued that Mr. Dobson isn't entitled to his opinions or to issue whatever press releases he chooses. My statement, "What a disgusting example of obtuse and overbearing opining" is in reference to his willingness to use ideology to control others; not with regards to his right to issue press releases. At the same time, it is my right to comment upon those statements and those press releases.

If your comment is intended to argue that my criticism of Mr. Dobson doesn't comport with the Bible, well, may I simply state that I'm not required to believe in the Bible. You may not like that...but fortunately we live in a country that entitles me to that opinion.

Lastly, if your comment is intended to weigh the validity of Dobson's concerns with magic or witchcraft against mine, feel free to state as much. What you call Mr. Dobson's technical problem with Potter, I call absurdity. If you object to my characterizations, so be it.

I welcome all points of view and I appreciate that you have shared your thoughts.



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