Cum Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

The Latin phrase above says that correlation implies causation. It is one of the famous logical fallacies, because correlation isn’t causation. The Christian Post gives us a marvelous example of this fallacy today.

“According to Retail Trends, interest in Wicca materials, schools, spells has doubled since the release of the Harry Potter series.”

The Harry Potter series is popular and has occult themes.
Interest in Wiccan materials has doubled.
Therefore, Harry Potter causes interest in Wicca.

This error in logical thinking drives paranoid evangelicals to froth about the “dangers” of the book.

“Many real-world occultists and Wiccans are using the popularity of Harry Potter to bring kids into their practices.”Richard Abanes, Christian author

In fairness, the article also discusses how the anti-Harry fervor may finally be dying down as sensible Christians see the positive messages in the books and relate them to their own spiritual traditions.

“One of the most powerful connections my son made was when he was in the fourth grade. He told me that when Harry drives the serpent’s tooth through Tom Riddle’s journal in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, that reminded him of how Christ destroyed Satan’s book of lies when they drove the nails through Christ’s hands and feet. And he told me that when the phoenix’s tears heal Harry, that made him think of Christ’s tears at the crucifixion. That’s how Christ heals us.” – Gina Burkart, author of “A Parent’s Guide to Harry Potter”

So perhaps modern Pagans can stop reminding people that religion isn’t mentioned in the books and that it doesn’t promote Paganism any more than “The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe” did. For more Potter commentary (from a Pagan perspective) check out my group blog The Juggler.

Jason Pitzl-Waters

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