The Lady Speaks

Get A Life Already!

I first heard about this on The Crazy Liberal.

A woman in [no surprise] Georgia wants the Gwinnett County school libraries to ban the Harry Potter books. Laura Mallory says she's doing this in order to "protect my kids, children and others from evil". 

From 11Alive:

“I’m a true example of how Harry Potter books can open your life to witchcraft,” said Jordan Susch.

Susch says she read the first Harry Potter novel when she was in the fourth grade. Two years later, she says, she and her friends were practicing witchcraft.

“We wanted to know if spells, potions and curses worked. By the seventh grade, I was so depressed, I set a date to kill myself,” Susch said.

Susch has joined Laura Mallory’s fight to get the novels removed from the Gwinnett County Schools’ shelves.

As Jim says:

If you're dumb enough to entertain the notion that spells, potions and curses might work, then go ahead and kill yourself if you get depressed that they don't. It's called "thinning the herd."

All three of my kids have read the Harry Potter books, and I haven't noticed any of them taking an interest in practicing witchcraft, conducting Satanic rituals, or acting depressed. They've also read all or most of R.L. Stine's Fear Street and Goosebumps books as well, but I'm not blaming them for – among other things – causing my 13yo daughter to act like a brainless twit. [That I blame solely on the Disney Channel and its stupid 'Lizzie McGuire' show.] 

It's a BOOK for Pete's sake!! Books and the ideas contained within them aren't responsible for what stupid idiots do. Same goes for music, movies, and video games. 

April 21, 2006 - Posted by | Books, Harry Potter, Religion


  1. I gotta say it:
    Jim, BAM!
    Best comment to this nonsense that I’ve read.

    Comment by mirth | April 22, 2006 | Reply

  2. Absolutely!! I just want to shake that kid (and her parents) for being so utterly stupid. Sheesh!

    Comment by PA_Lady | April 22, 2006 | Reply

  3. O.K., so we believe that TV, violence and language in music can affect our kids, but not books? I HIGHLY disagree with banning books in public libraries, but don’t be so backward as to call this woman a nut because she is coming from a place of faith.

    I do believe that magic and spells are real and would not want my children participating in any level… but that is an issue for my home… not the public library.

    Comment by Mike | April 23, 2006 | Reply

  4. Mike: I only think she’s a nut because she’s trying to get a book banned. I don’t care if she believes in the Flying Spaghetti Monster – that’s her right – but I’m tired of religious whackos (of every stripe) using their beliefs as a reason for getting rid of something. If she claimed to be a devout Wiccan who wanted it removed because it wasn’t accurate, I’d be just as ticked.

    No, I don’t believe TV, music, books, etc can affect our kids – assuming parents actually have a clue what’s going on and discuss their values (and LIVE those values). I think parents have an obligation to know what their kids are watching, listening to, playing, etc – and to intervene if one of those things is inappopriate based on their family’s values.

    I have taken certain CDs and video games away from my kids, and used those as launch pads for discussions – like why a lot of rap music is denigrating to women, or the purpose of graphic of violence in movies, etc.

    I do agree with you that the issue belongs in the home. If your kid brings home a book you would rather they not read, take it away from them and return it to the library. I really feel this is an issue about parental responsibility. If you don’t like a particular show, DON’T WATCH IT. If you don’t like a particular book, DON’T READ IT. Etc, etc. Stop expecting the outside world to do your job for you.

    Comment by PA_Lady | April 23, 2006 | Reply

  5. Aah please the typical story in the US.
    Somebody doesn’t like what they see and they start some lawsuit or whatever to get it banned.
    It is with books and with computergames.
    But why don’t I see the same complaints for movies, music and behaviour in their own family!
    I am for Europe so I don’t get the complete picture of this thing but I, and I’m not alone in this, get the idea that a lot, if not most, Americans just have sh*t for brains to say it (a bit) ugly.

    This being said I just want to add: Go go Jim and PA_Lady and those others that don’t fall for this stupidity.

    ps: If my language offends some people, my apologies but I just get cranky when I see such talk. 🙂

    Comment by cnile | April 24, 2006 | Reply

  6. I have to agree with you. Instead of turning away when they find something that offends their personal sensibilities, a lot of Americans feel the need to force everyone live with their values. My theory is you have fingers for a reason: changing the channel and blocking programs you’d prefer your kids didn’t watch.

    These same hysterics would probably keel over dead watching TV in Europe. American TV is quite tame compared to what is shown on European TV.

    Comment by PA_Lady | April 24, 2006 | Reply

  7. Oh, boy. I must say I cringed when the Mallory lady came out trying to ban the Harry Potter books. I just knew it would be another world-wide acknowledgment of how backwards we are in Georgia. Luckily not all of us are that way. I love the Harry Potter books (and I have read them and I have 4 kids, too – that was one of the woman’s reasons for not having read them. That and they were too long – I guess the words were too big for her). I also host a Hogwarts Summer Academy at our house every summer that the kids all love – we do crafts and the kids learn thing in an environment of fun. We have raised butterflies for “transfiguration” class, etc. Each year I end up with more and more of the neighborhood kids at our house for the “classes.” The Harry Potter books are fantastic and have brought the joy of reading to so many children (and adults).

    I don’t have a problem with Mallory having her own opinions on the books. America is about diversity. What I do mind is that she is trying to push her opinions on everyone else. Just because she is unable to open her mind does not mean she has the right to force others to close theirs. Censorship – it’s a bad thing.

    I am Christian and do not see anything wrong with good fantasy books. They open our minds to possibilities and get our imaginations running. Creativity is a necessity in life. I feel sorry for the Mallory children.

    Comment by Gwinnett Mom | May 9, 2006 | Reply

  8. Gwinnett: I do have to apologize for continuing the ‘dumb rednecks’ stereotype. I have friends and family who live all over the South, and I honestly should know better.

    I agree with you on the right of each of us to have our own opinion and that the problem comes when one person or group tries to force their way of thinking on everyone else. And I absolutely love the idea of a Hogwarts Summer Academy! What fun! (I just mentioned this to my daughter, and she immediately asked, “WOW! Can I go there instead of Girl Scout camp?” *laugh*)

    I used the Harry Potter stories to get my kids talking about emotional abuse and neglect, fantasies as an escape, and concepts like bravery, doing the right thing because it’s the right thing, etc. One of the most wonderful things about the Harry Potter series is JK Rowling’s ability to write in a way that talks to kids, and not down to them. I enjoyed the stories as much as my kids did, and found myself crying along with my daughter at the…um, sad part….of the Half-Blood Prince. (In case someone out there hasn’t actually read it yet, I won’t give it away.)

    Its elements are timeless – an orphaned boy who finds himself suddenly powerful in some way, but doesn’t feel powerful, who must save the ‘world’ with the help of his friends.

    King Arthur, anyone?

    Comment by PA_Lady | May 9, 2006 | Reply

  9. Bring this up from the past…as of October 1, 2006 she is trying again to get these books banned. There is a hearing at 10AM this morning to hear her issues again.

    Comment by Dennis in GA | October 3, 2006 | Reply

  10. Dennis: I’m just now reading your comment. (I’m finally back online!!)

    I can understand if folks don’t want their kids to read it, based on their particular values, but I truly hate those who try to impose their values on me.

    Imagine this woman’s reaction to ‘Lady Chatterly’s Lover’!

    Comment by PA_Lady | November 15, 2006 | Reply

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