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Harry Potter removed from Tennessee Catholic school library

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Catholic school in Tennessee has removed the Harry Potter books from its library after the school’s priest decided they could cause a reader to conjure evil spirits.

In an email obtained by The Tennessean , the Rev. Dan Reehil of Nashville’s St. Edward Catholic School said he consulted exorcists in the U.S. and Rome who recommended removing the books.

Reehil wrote, “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.”

Catholic Diocese of Nashville superintendent Rebecca Hammel said Reehil has the final say at his school.

Hammel said she thinks the books by J.K. Rowling are still on the shelves of other libraries in the diocese.

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  • Fractal Kaleidoscope Spiral (@SpiralFractal)

    I’d like to know how Rev. Reehil knows Rowling’s curses & spells are “actual curses and spells” which “risk conjuring evil spirits…when read by a human being.” Did Reehil try them out himself, or did the Vatican? And who besides a “human being” might be unsuccessfully “conjuring evil spirits” as a control during these magical experiments? Maybe somebody needs to have a little talk with the Pope & Co. about the difference between fantasy & reality? I wish magic really DID work–then I could perform a spell to keep the religious right in their own lane & protect the rest of us from their determined efforts to legislate their religion so all Americans are forced to conform to THEIR belief system, whether we like it or not. If magic really exists, I’d cast a spell to raise Reehil’s IQ so he can understand the basic laws of physics. If this man’s faith is so strong, then why is he so afraid an innocent child might accidentally conjure demons?

    • Kevin Rahe

      As a Catholic who examines things critically, I see two ways of looking at the matter. One is that as people grow distant from God and especially organized religion, they tend to look elsewhere to satisfy their natural need to address the spiritual side of life. One avenue for that is pagan rituals and rites, which the Harry Potter books at the very least strongly allude to, even if they’re not exactly those rituals or meant to be taken that way. But to your point, if Fr. Reehil is confident that he and his parish’s school are doing their job, they should expect their young people to read something like Harry Potter critically, as I would, rather than allow it take the place of the one true God and His Church and teachings. Back on the other hand, however, floating on broomsticks, moving objects with your mind and controlling what others do might seem more tangible, attractive and engaging to a young mind than receiving the Body of Jesus Christ, the effects of which aren’t always obvious or instant, as real as they are.

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