Cultural Revolutions

Causing a Stir

The Onion caused quite a stir a couple of weeks ago when it was read by an unsuspecting Christian. Through the power of the internet and e-mail, a satirical story entitled "Harry Potter Books Spark Rise in Satanism Among Children" was forwarded from one concerned Christian to another. Chilling (and entirely fictional) examples of blatant Satanism encouraged by J.K. Rowling were cut and pasted into the e-mail warning, including: "'The Harry Potter books are cool, 'cause they teach you all about magic and how you can use it to control people and get revenge on your enemies,' said Hartland, WI, 10-year-old Craig Nowell, a recent convert to the New Satanic Order Of The Black Circle. 'I want to learn the Cruciatus Curse, to make my muggle science teacher suffer for giving me a D.'"

The humorists at the Madison, Wisconsin-based Onion also cited a fictional article from the Times of London, which included the following spurious quote from Rowling: "I think it's absolute rubbish to protest children's books on the grounds that they are luring children to Satan . . . People should be praising them for that!"

But the Onion did not invent a September 1 story in the Times that described "Harry Potter liturgy." It seems the Church of England, indefatigable in her efforts to reach a lost generation of young people, has molded...

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