The Point

Voldemort and Vestments


John Stonestreet

What’s with progressives and Harry Potter? For the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, I’m John Stonestreet with The Point.

Since the election of Donald Trump, many left-wing commentators have likened his administration to the bad guys’ rise in J. K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” novels.

Writing at Mere Orthodoxy, Anglican deacon Bart Gingerich calls this strange. Why? Because though many Christians dislike the stories’ magic elements, the world of “Harry Potter” is deeply conservative—nuclear families, childbearing, church, authority, tradition, and clear lines of morality.

Gingerich thinks the reason progressives like “Harry Potter” so much is that it offers the trappings of tradition without the obligations of doctrine. Progressives, like all humans, are religious creatures.

This also explains why mainline liberal churches still embrace traditional vestments, and the smells and bells. For them, it’s a kind of dress-up that allows those who’ve given up historic doctrines to still feel connected to transcendence. But not even a magic wand can turn empty liturgy, fancy clothes, or a children’s book into legitimate substitutes for real faith and real truth.


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