Hogwarts’ Controversy (Adults Only, Please)

Okay, I have now been reading the hubub for a couple of days about Dumbledore. (See Flying Stars for some excellent discussion that is remaining blessedly short, as well as Catholic and Enjoying It! for some more balanced commentary.)

When I first heard/read about it, I thought, “Ahh, okay. I thought so.” Yes, something made me think so in one of the last few books. But since it isn’t in in the books at all, I am treating it as backstory. Backstory that I really didn’t want to know or need to know. Backstory that I kind of wish weren’t revealed in front of a group that contained children as young as 8, but…

And, hey, let’s take an aside here. My nine year old is not reading these books on her own yet – I am stopping at the end of Year 3, and I am reading them to her – so what’s up with an eight year old finishing them? Yikes! Personally, I’m thinking that these books are a bit much for children that young, aren’t you? Okay, mental field trip over. Back to business.

Some people have blown this out of proportion. On both sides. First of all, and these are the worst, as far as I’m concerned, the shove-it-in-your-face homosexual movement is touting this as an I-told-you-so moment. “See?” they say. “This book touts this man as a good gay man. See how lovely being gay can be?”

Except that isn’t what the book does. It’s a backstory, something not in the books at all. And, judging from the reaction of some people who have read the entire series, not something obvious. Let’s not go there, okay?

Now, here on the pro-Harry side, some people have been so wounded by this that they can no longer read the books because they can’t get past that. You know what? It’s fine. You might be able to get past it, though, given time. It does come across as a bit of a slap in the face after the whole “Harry is a Christian work” story. But, as I said just above, it’s backstory. I’m dabbling in writing something, and when I was in the middle of this story, something occured to me about a character in it. It actually has nothing to do with the story at hand – yet – but it just kind of came up. As Mark Shea put it, fictional characters sort of develop on their own sometimes.

This revelation shouldn’t steal the story for us. We liked the books, right? She obviously wrote a few of them with this realization that Dumbledore is gay, and we still liked it, right? It shouldn’t change how we feel about the story. About the author, okay. Maybe so. But this seems to me, from her at least, to be just this “aside” thing about him. For Rowling – and I got this from reading the transcripts posted in the comments section at Nancy Brown’s blog – it’s not a big story or a central idea.

Let’s take, for another example, Tolkien’s great work: The Lord of the Rings. Soccer Dad and I loved the book. We loved the movies. We really, really hope that Jackson gets to do The Hobbit because we know he loves Tolkien’s work, too. He treated the story with love and care.

And he cast a homosexual as Gandalf.

Now, I didn’t know this about Ian McKellen until after the movies were out. At least two of them, anyway. After I had my initial “ick” factor reaction, I let it go. Why? Because McKellen was superb as Gandalf. And the movies are beautiful. And I plan on sharing them with my girls when they are old enough to watch them (which comes after being old enough to read them).

If you are thinking of tossing your Harry Potter books because of this revelation, I have two requests.

First, wait and see if you cool down over this. I know, it’s not likely to blow over quickly, given the homosexual advocates’ tenacity and tendancy to pound away at things like this. But wait anyway. If you were able to watch and enjoy The Lord of the Rings in spite of Ian McKellen, you might be able to eventually read and enjoy Harry Potter in spite of this backstory.

Second, if you absolutely cannot wait and cool down and are bound and determined to throw away those books, I don’t have a set. You can mail them to me, and I’ll pay for the shipping. 😉

6 thoughts on “Hogwarts’ Controversy (Adults Only, Please)

  1. I tend to think that those who are uptight enough to think that HP books are of the deeevvvuuuullll aren’t going to be much more scandalized by the fact that Dumbledore is gay. I mean, to them, it just proves that HP books are of the deeevvvuuulllll. *shrug*My question is, what was the point? Methinks Ms. Rowling was trying to sell a few more books…


  2. Chris, you pretty much said just what I think about this whole thing too. AMEN. (Aside from the part about not having a set – we’ve been going to those book parties for years…)


  3. “See?” they say. “This book touts this man as a good gay man. See how lovely being gay can be?”Right, and others can say: “Yup, but Dumbledore stayed in the closed where he belonged. And since it isn’t written anywhere in the book, except for this blip on the radar (or should I say “gaydar”), that’s where he’ll remain”.


  4. I agree, if I had never read the press release (and I agree that Rowling was probably trying to sell more controversy, I mean, books) I would never ever have guessed such a thing. I’m going to ignore the whole deal and see if I’ll ever get thru’ the series to finally read #7! (I started at the beginning when it came out and just last night finshed #2! Oi!)God Bless!


  5. From an author’s perspective, I have to wonder why JK bothered to bring it up at all when it’s not in the books. I have to agree that it seems like another publicity stunt. When I’m creating a character, I don’t bother to come up with subplots and backstory that don’t tie into the book. I don’t have that kind of free time on my hands. If it’s part of the character, it’s in the book. I don’t wait until the book is over and then say, “Oh, by the way . . . “


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