May It Please The Court

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Quote of the Day - Banned Books Week is nothing more than a promotion of intolerance towards any librarian, teacher, or parent who questions the wisdom of giving adult material to children, Schools and libraries should be family oriented toward parents and safe places for children. - Tom Minnery
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Librarians And Harry Potter: Not All Are Happy With The Occult

Harry Potter presents a multi-faceted approach to literature.  Many people view the interest in the books as a means to get children to read.  Others have cataloged the entire series and documented it.  Still others view it as an deep-seated attempt to corrupt society and perhaps children.

That last part comes from the Southern Baptists.  My mother was one, and she raised me to believe in the Bible.  She married a minister, and I was/am a preacher's kid, through and through. 

Even so, I've read all seven Harry Potter books.  All were enjoyable and the seventh one got me to go back and read the entire set, plus watch all the movies.  Do I think it worships the occult?  Well, in a word, no.  But it has many occult aspects to it, and that's simply part of the literature. 

Just like Tom Clancy's books have many militaristic aspects, but that doesn't make Tom or his readers into soldiers or for that matter occult worshipers.  See what I mean?

Apparently Deborah Smith didn't think so.  She was a librarian (well, actually a part-time Assistant Librarian II) in the Poplar Bluff Missouri library (where else?) that wanted to hold a Harry Potter night to promote the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

It does have a bit of an occult feel to it, doesn't it?

The librarians were to dress up as witches and warlocks (a la the novel), which offended Ms. Smith's legitimate religious beliefs.  Ms. Smith objected and said her legitimate religious beliefs prohibited her from participating in the event.  Her supervisor at first told her that she didn't have to participate, but after he talked with his supervisor, presumably a full-time Librarian I, he then told her she had to did have to show up that night.

Even more of an occult feel, if you ask me.

The Head Librarian said she could participate behind-the-scenes so her church members would not know that she violated her religious beliefs.  She refused to show up that night and got suspended for ten days without pay. 

In the American way, she sued.

Before the matter could get to trial, they settled.  While the settlement surely avoided a lot of attorneys fees and costs, as well as a potentially seminal decision that would have set back American jurisprudence at least 100 years (I'm kidding about the seminal decision part), the rest of us are left hanging.

What happened?  Will she have to participate in the next Harry Potter night?  Did she get her back pay?  Did the library apologize?  Did her church support her?  Is there a conflict between religion and Harry Potter? 

We'll never know.  She settled, and nobody told. 

Damn.

Posted by J. Craig Williams on Sunday, March 08, 2009 at 19:34 Comments (0)


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