Anyone who’s ever been transported to Hogwarts by the Harry Potter series can attest that the books are magical. That’s apparently a description that’s being taken literally by Reverend Dan Reehil though, who recently banned J.K. Rowling’s beloved works from the shelves of St. Edward School in Nashville.
In an email to parents, the pastor explained:
“These books present magic as both good and evil, which is not true, but in fact a clever deception. 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.”
There’s clearly a lot to unpack there, but it sounds like Rev. Reehil is under the impression that wizards exist and the fictional spells written within the text are also very real. He went on to explain in the email that he’s consulted with exorcists in both America and Rome, all of whom recommended the outlawing of the extremely popular children’s series.
The school evidently stands behind the pastor’s kooky ruling, too, as the superintendent of schools for the Catholic Diocese of Nashville says that their leaders are allowed to decide for themselves whether or not Harry Potter is appropriate since the Catholic Church has never taken an official stance on the matter. This decision, however, doesn’t encourage parents not to allow their children to read the books if they so please.
Of course, there are plenty of solid lessons within Rowling’s literature, such as the triumph of goodness and friendship over evil as well as deciding to do what’s right over what’s easy. These are lessons that very much align with what the Catholic church tries to preach as well. Hopefully, then, students who want to read the Harry Potter series will do so outside of school on their own time. It remains to be seen though if they’ll end up conjuring evil spirits, like Rev. Reehil claims they will.