Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Outed

It took me completely by surprise. I have known him for nearly six years, but I hadn't even a clue that Dumbledore was gay. My initial reaction was a mixture of denial and disbelief. Who better than the author to know the secret lives of her characters? Perhaps what sticks in my throat is that she allowed me to develop my own mental picture of Dumbledore, and then completely changed it with one press meeting. I feel somewhat duped.

But, I will share with you something what is going on in the cellar, something I will need to work out.

Since entering the world of Harry Potter, I have had to either justify my enjoyment of the books to fellow Christians, or completely avoid the subject. I see the witches and wizards of the Potterverse in the same vein that I see the wizards of Tolkien's works - pure fantasy. I do not put them in the same category as the Bible's "do not suffer a witch" verse. On the literary side, there is fantasy, and on the other, folks who tap into demonic powers. Has the Potterverse made me anymore accepting of the palmreaders in town? Not at all.

But now, I have to consider homosexuality, another topic with biblical directives. Can I still enjoy and recommend / defend the stories knowing that a main character is gay?

9 comments:

Todd said...

I've never read the Potter books, seen the Potter movies, nor have I been gay. I will offer this thought: I love to read James Patterson novels. They are real page turners for me. Yet in every novel, there is at least one sexual encounter, outside the bonds of marriage. Should I then stop reading his stuff? The gay issue is still new to us, and we don't always know how to respond. My suggestion is to befriend a gay person, male or female. You will be amazed at the humanity you will discover. These are real people who need Jesus, and they need us to reach out to them. The Church has really dropped the ball on this issue, myself included. Whew...long comment. Sorry.

Rick said...

I'm with Todd on this, but in a completely hetero kind of way, let me assure you. Anyway - it cameto my mind that if she'd written seven books and then had to tell people this, then she didn't have it as a part of that character in the first place. Then Vicki chimed in, that if this was "true", then at least it was the author giving it voice instead of some creepy Englist Lit professor to his class of mush-minded freshmen.

Good stories are good stories, and oftentimes that's enough "reason" for me. If this new revelation detracts from what you've taken in already, then leave the books behind for that reason, not this by itself.

Chuck said...

I think that I am tracking with both of you, even though I might not get it out into the bits on the screen. Todd, you are so right about that. I don't go out of my way to find gay friends, but, I don't let that be a factor (unless they start to over share what they did at the parade. Then I have to set boundaries).

George said...

I'm afraid I have even more bad news about Dumbledore. It turns out he's actually fictional! Who woulda thunk it?

Chuck said...

Fine. He's a gay fictional character with whom I would feel more comfortable having coffee with than some of the other fictional gay characters. That's fine, and I get it. But just say so in the text of the book rather than on tour.

You know, I believe that was my same comment about the "DaVinci Code" back when it was in the headlines. Some folks at church agreed with me, but then turned around and bashed the Potter books. Fiction, right?

Thanks for the reality reminder. Again, perhaps this is the news making a mountain out of a mole hill to fill out the news day.

Steve said...

The Tolkien family held a press conference yesterday with startling news about J.R.R's last words on the LOTR. Seems Sam, Pippin, and Merry were arrested shortly after Frodo departed for the Grayhavens by the Gondorian border patrol. Seems they had no work visas. Bill O'Reilly is doing a story on it tonight.

Is the last Potter book not selling as well as the others? Is she merely trying to drum up more interest (i.e. sales)?

James said...

I never thought it was such a big secret. Did you not see the movies? Those screaming-queen gowns Dumbledore always wore? His limp-wristed prancing about the halls of Hogwarts? (Hate to drop this one on you, but Gandalf was gay, too!)

LJ said...

I think the world would be a much better place if we stopped condemning other people's behavior (Matthew 7:1-3) and instead focused on living our own lives in accordance with good principles.

Is it really any of our business if other people choose to act in a way we disagree with, even if it is laid forth in the Bible?

Levitical law also indicates that shellfish are unclean and are to be avoided, yet do we condemn those who eat them? (Or those who eat them and put the tails back on the buffet?)

Chuck said...

But Pat is a gentile, therefore the mosaic laws were never intended for him. However, the laws of common curtousey seem to elude him as well.