Harry Potter is the protagonist of a series of staggeringly popular books written by English author J.K. Rowling. The term "Harry Potter" can refer to the protagonist, the books as a group, the universe in which those stories are set, or the (also very popular) movies based on the books.
Despite the strong morality displayed by the main characters in the book (or perhaps because of it), the religious right has seized upon the Harry Potter stories as being somehow demonic or Satanic, and therefore in need of removal from homes and libraries alike.
|from "An Atheist Goes Undercover to Join the Flock of Mad Pastor John Hagee" by Matt Taibbi, posted 2008-05-05, page 6:|
Fortenberry told a story about a nephew of his who called him up one night. "Both of his kids had fallen on the ground in respiratory distress, half-conscious, writhing around, gasping for air," Fortenberry said. "And I said to my nephew, I said, 'It isn't something they've done. It's something you've done.' "
The crowd murmured in assent.
"I told my nephew to look around the house," Fortenberry continued. "I said, 'Do you have a copy of Harry Potter?' And he said yes. And I said, 'That's your problem.' So I told him to go get that copy of that book, tear it in half and throw it out the window. So he does it, and guess what? Both of those kids stood up completely recovered, just like that."
He snapped his fingers, indicating the speed with which the kids had jumped up in recovery. The crowd cooed and applauded. I frowned, wondering for a minute what life must be like for a person mortally afraid of toothless commercial fairy tales. It struck me that Phil Fortenberry's nephew was probably more afraid of Harry Potter than Macbeth, which to me said a lot about this religion and about America in general.