Importance of critical thinking

Staff writer
March 28, 2014 01:00 AM

Editor:

The Freedom to Read article (Coast Reporter, March 7) mentioned that Harry Potter books were banned somewhere for their "alleged occult and anti-family themes."

Perhaps nobody was more disturbed by this book than the moderator of Jesus Camp, who said - to an audience full of young children - "Let me say something about Harry Potter. Warlocks are enemies of God, and I don't care what kind of hero they are, they're an enemy of God. And had it been in the Old Testament, Harry Potter would have been put to death!"

I guess it's a good thing that she doesn't consider Jesus - who she believes did a few magical things like walking on water, changing water into wine, healing serious illnesses just by saying a few words, raising the dead and physically rising into the heavens after his own death - to have been a warlock, an assessment that would clearly challenge her attitude toward either Jesus or Harry Potter.

I'm not a big fan of banning books, even Mein Kampf, which, if it had been widely read before it was too late, might have ended Hitler's career before it began, as it clearly reveals his insanity. But Harry Potter offers a message that the rules aren't the same for everyone; that it's OK for the "good guys" to break the rules, while the "bad guys" can expect to be duly punished for doing so.

This philosophy has caused widespread death and destruction in our lifetime alone, and it's unfortunate that it's being promulgated in a children's book. But that's not to say that Harry Potter books should be banned. Rather it illustrates the importance of teaching critical thinking skills, so that children (and the adults they become) can recognize ideas that do not lead to desirable outcomes in the long run.

George Kosinski, Gibsons


© Coast Reporter

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