Politics of Harry Potter - Education Versus Indoctrination

Education Versus Indoctrination

Entertainment Weekly noted that the post-9/11 generation's "ideas about war, about leadership, about the dangers of consolidation of power and of dictatorship, about the importance of dissent, and about heroism and sacrifice, have been shaped at least in part by Rowling," and that their concept of freedom of speech has been influenced by Rowling's weathering of her books' routine challenges.

Bill O'Reilly joined in the political fray over Harry Potter character Albus Dumbledore's outing by asking if it was part of a "gay agenda" to indoctrinate children. He called J.K. Rowling a provocateur for telling fans about Dumbledore's sexuality after the books were written. His guest, Entertainment Weekly Senior Editor Tina Jordan, called his "indoctrination" claims "a shallow argument", saying "indoctrination is a very strong word" because "we all know gay people, whether we know it or not." O'Reilly continued the following day saying that the real problem is Rowling is teaching "tolerance" and "parity for homosexuals with heterosexuals". His guest Dennis Miller said that tolerance was good and didn't think you could indoctrinate a child into being gay.

Zenit, a news agency dedicated to promoting the message of the Catholic Church, accused Rowling of betraying her readers by disclosing Dumbledore's sexuality, and said Rowling is the wealthiest woman in Britain thanks to the lack of political, social or moral propaganda in her books. The head of Human Life International, an American based Roman Catholic activist pro-life organisation, taking a negative view of the books and "their literary offspring", said that Harry Potter indoctrinates young souls in the language and mechanics of the occult and said that Rowling's portrayal of Dumbledore socialises if not indoctrinates young people into tolerance of gays. The Berkeley Beacon said that one parent's perception of indoctrination is another's education, in their article, No Politics in Harry Potter, which countered charges that Rowling promoted homosexuality in her books. Discussing the controversy, Rowling told the BBC that "Christian fundamentalists were never my base" and thought it ridiculous to question if a gay person could be a moral compass in the 21st century.

Discussing the values and morality of her characters Draco and Dudley, Rowling explained that both were indoctrinated with their parents' beliefs. "The moment Draco got what he thought he wanted, to become a Death Eater, and given a mission by Lord Voldemort, as he did in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, reality finally hit him," Rowling said, because his dream was "so very different". She said that there was a real moral cowardice to Draco, but that he was not wholly bad.

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Famous quotes containing the word education:

    Infants and young children are not just sitting twiddling their thumbs, waiting for their parents to teach them to read and do math. They are expending a vast amount of time and effort in exploring and understanding their immediate world. Healthy education supports and encourages this spontaneous learning.
    David Elkind (20th century)