Silly muggles, wizardry's for children

I'd like to thank Laura Mallory for her courageous and self-effacing efforts to protect our children from the dangers of reading books. I mean, from the dangers of reading books like the Harry Potter series.

Mallory makes an excellent point, which is that the concept of the supernatural, of forces in this world beyond our full understanding, some of which are good and some of which are - dare I say it? - evil, is completely antithetical to Christian thought. Thank goodness that concept exists only in books, like "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" and Genesis.

However, even more odious to me than all the spells and hexes is the tedious love triangle involving Harry and his "friends" Ron and Hermione. Does Hermione love Harry? Does she love Ron? Can Harry and Ron go ahead and have a fistfight already? It's enough to drive any muggle crazy. A pox on all of them, I say.

Excuse me. I didn't mean that.

The real reason I'm writing, though, is to encourage Mallory not to stop with the Potter books. Having struck a blow for right-thinking people everywhere by ridding us of that dastardly Potter and his meddling sidekicks - something even Lord Voldemort couldn't do - I hope she will see that her work has just begun. There are still shelves full of magical creatures to be dealt with in the name of Christianity.

Start, for example, with the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, that early practitioner of the dark literary arts, a debt to whom Potter creator J.K. Rowling readily acknowledges. Notice that Tolkien even used initials instead of a first name, just like Rowling. Coincidence? I think not.

His books too, like hers, are full of wizardry and fantastic creatures. Worst of all, those books - including "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy - are woefully insensitive, with all their talk of hobbits and elves and dwarves. I believe the accepted term is "little people."

Then, let's move on to Tolkien's crony C.S. Lewis. (Note again the initials - detect a pattern here?) Lewis' "Chronicles of Narnia" are perhaps the worst offenders of all, in that they target young children - children who will no doubt be compelled by Lewis' witches and fauns and satyrs and talking lions to attempt something truly hideous, such as reading the next book in the series.

Only when Rowling and Tolkien and Lewis and others of their ilk are finally banished from our schools can we rest easy, secure in the knowledge that our children will never be exposed to the mystical, the magical or the supernatural.

Because luckily that other book - you know, the thick one with the cross on the cover - was banished long ago.

Lawrenceville resident Rob Jenkins is associate professor of English and director of the Writers Institute at Georgia Perimeter College. E-mail him at rjenkinsgdp@yahoo.com.