Popular Culture: Harry Potter: January 2002 Archives

January 24, 2002

Equal protection under the law

Every year, the Lancaster Family YMCA in Penryn, Philadelphia, organises a triathlon. About 600 athletes race to complete a one mile swim, a 25 mile cycle ride and a 6.2 mile run. But this year, they'll have to do without the traffic-directing skills of the local police department who have voted to boycott the event. Why? Because Harry Potter books are read to children attending the YMCA's after-school programme and the police claim that this promotes witchcraft. Penryn Fire Police Capt. Robert Fichthorn said I don't feel right taking our children's minds and teaching them (witchcraft). As long as we don't stand up, it won't stop. It's unfortunate that this is the way it has to be. He wrote to the YMCA challenging their religious integrity and accused it of failing to serve the will of God. Pa. Police Boycott Ymca Over Book, Guardian Unlimited 24th January 2002. Thanks, Charlie.

Update: Wren of Witchvox points out that American Pagans (and presumably other religious minorities) ought to protest over the police's (in)action.

This is potentially serious situation, folks. Everyone in these United States is entitled to equal protection under the law. On the day that any public agency, federal or state, can refuse to enforce, uphold or offer protection to any group or citizen because of religious belief, we are in deep, deep trouble. Capt. Fichthorn's comments and the 'boycott vote' of his department cannot go unchallenged. Pennsylvanian Pagans should call or write their state governor, attorney general and their Congressional representatives and demand that the Constitutional guarantee of equal protection be upheld in the state of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvanians should be outraged and deeply embarrassed that such an outrageous act by a public agency could occur in a state so instrumental in our nation's history and in the founding of U.S. liberty and justice.

Addresses to complain to are at Wren's Nest on the Web.

January 7, 2002

God's Love

United States: Pat Robertson has decided that witchcraft is the greatest evil in America today and that it is bringing divine displeasure upon the USA. The comments came in the December 5th edition of the 700 Club which included an interview promoting an anti-Harry Potter video. This follows on from the September 13th show which blamed gays, feminists and civil liberties campaigners for bringing about the September 11th attacks. According to People For the American Way

In Robertson's post-interview comments, he returned to his Sept. 13 theme that God was lifting his annointing, his mantle from the United States of America. Citing Deuteronomy, Robertson made a list of reasons nations could invoke divine displeasure, putting witchcraft at the top of the list (we're now teaching witchcraft in the schools), followed by sodomy (we're legalizing sodomy,) bestiality, incest, and sacrifice of children (the sacrifice of children through abortion is in the 35 to 40 million range).

Religious Right leaders stick to theme that gays, abortionists, and others invite God's wrath on AmericaPFAW Right Wing Watch Online,/cite>, 4th January 2002.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Popular Culture: Harry Potter category from January 2002.

Popular Culture: Harry Potter: December 2001 is the previous archive.

Popular Culture: Harry Potter: February 2002 is the next archive.

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