What If Harry Potter Were A Devout Christian?

This post, written by Melissa McEwan, originally appeared on Shakesville

"Could the next Harry Potter be a devout Christian?" That's the rhetorical question that begins the WaPo's exploration of "Christian Fantasy" in their front page article, "Christian Fantasy Genre Builds Niche Without Hogwarts, Muggles or Spells."

Being the heathen I am, I always thought "Christian Fantasy" had something to do with snorting blow off a gay hooker's ass while pretending that you're a happily married straight dude, but it turns out that "Christian Fantasy" is an entire literary genre that apes the themes built by giants like Tolkien and Rowling, then pastes over the icky stuff--like devil juice, err, magic. And the girl characters probably aren't so "smart" and "uppity," either.

Like the Potter series, it has mystical creatures, macabre events, epic battles and heroic young protagonists.

But, unlike the Potter books, this genre has overt Christian tones: messiah-like kings who return from the dead, fallen satanic characters and young heroes who undergo profound conversions. What you won't generally find: humans waving wands and performing spells.

Or, ya know, fun.

And certainly no resemblance to actual humanity. Even in the books for Christian adults, including other genres like Christian romance and Christian horror, there's "No swearing (not even 'gosh' and 'darn'), no dancing or drinking by Christian characters, no gambling, no mention of intimate body parts. And forget sex scenes, even if the characters are married to each other." Just a bunch of stick figures on a page living impossibly flawless lives. Talk about Christian fantasy.

Between the ridiculously popular incarnation of clean-slate Christianity currently permeating American culture, and books catering to the idea that it's possible to live a sin-free life once one's been "saved," it's no wonder there are so many sanctimonious pricks running around, judging and condemning those of us who are just trying to live the lives we were given and exerting no effort to hide that we're flawed and make the occasional mistake.

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Happy Holidays!