Not that there is anything wrong with that! (Seinfeld fans should get that joke)
It was recently revealed by J.K. Rowling that Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, the Headmaster at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardy in the fictional world of Harry Potter, is gay. You can read a transcript of the entire question and answer session from Carnegie Hall here.
I have already been asked by one of my friends, who is a christian, how I can still think that the book series is okay. But besides that, I wanted to express my views on this anyway.
So first things first, do I think the Harry Potter series is now suddenly evil and bad, because one of the main characters is gay? And the answer is no. The books never promoted or really ever talked about the fact that Dumbledore was gay and even if they had, I would probably still like them. It is not like J.K. Rowling stood up and said Dumbledore is gay and so everyone should be gay. She merely said in a question and answer session that she always thought that he was gay.
She never really made a big deal out sexuality anyways. Sure there was romantic relationships and stuff, but it was not the focus of the books. And so this really has no effect or impact on the books or the series. Sure people in the christian community and the gay community will make more of it then they should, but it will not change the books and their message.
The saddest part is that this revelation will only give more fuel to christians and their disdain for the book and their author. Here is a woman who has done a lot of good with her life and used her influence to help out a lot of people and got millions of kids around the world to enjoy reading, not to mention myself.
J.K. also said that “the Potter books in general are a prolonged argument for tolerance, a prolonged plea for an end to bigotry, and I think it’s one of the reasons that some people don’t like the books, but I think that’s it’s a very healthy message to pass on to younger people that you should question authority and you should not assume that the establishment or the press tells you all of the truth.” And that comment about “a prolonged argument for tolerance” is going to be played over and over in the christian media and in churches. But the unfortunately will not get the whole quote.
J.K. is right we should learn about tolerance and look for an end to bigotry. By that I am pretty sure she means that instead of hating people for what they are, what color skin they have, or if they are homosexuals; we should instead look past that to the person. And that is a Biblical principle. Jesus reached out and hung out with the people who were considered the undesirables and hated by the religious community. His life was one of love. Did He tolerate sin in people’s lives? No, but He tolerated and loved the people. And having read the Harry Potter books, I am pretty sure that is what she was getting at. After all, the greatest power is not the magic, but it is love.
As to the part about “questioning authority”. I totally agree. What is wrong with that? Didn’t Jesus question the authorities of His day? Wasn’t His life one of questioning the religious establishment of His day? Yes, it was. And as a christian and a pastor I hope that people who call themselves Christ-followers should do the same, because the reality is that the church is a pretty flawed organization (it is after all run by flawed humans). The only way for it to grow and to get better is by examining it and questioning it.
But Rowling was not talking about the church. She was talking about our government and even the press. And that is a good idea also. Our government and our press are also flawed organizations that are run by flawed humans. And the only way to help it improve is by examining it and questioning it.
So the long and short of all this is that I have no problems with the fact that Dumbledore is gay. It really is no big deal. I am honestly more concerned with loving the people in my life who need Christ and need to know the love that He has for them, than I am about a fictional book series.
And, yes, I will continue to allow my daughter to read them, because I believe that they are harmless and teach some very good principles. But besides that, they are really entertaining.