The State 's Sponsorship Of The Contest

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list (Curry). However, Americans United for Separation of Church and State challenged this, saying the move was unconstitutional. “The state 's sponsorship of the contest ‘creates the appearance of a governmental endorsement of the book 's religious message, in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,’” the group’s president, Barry Lynn said (Curry). Interestingly, when “Harry Potter” was published -- over 40 years after “Narnia” was -- some people encouraged children to read the once-challenged series over “Harry Potter.” Chuck Colson, the founder of the outreach program Prison Fellowship Ministries, encouraged parents to provide their children with books that will better educate them on Christianity: "(The ‘Narnia’) books also feature wizards and witches and magic, but in addition, they inspire the imagination within a Christian framework and prepare the hearts of readers for the real-life story of Jesus Christ," Colson said (“Harry”). This sentiment differs quite drastically from that of Christianity Today, which said that the “Narnia” series is blasphemous and shouldn’t be read. In fact, a lot of research for this paper shows that views on the religious aspects of these books change from group to group and person to person. For example, challengers of “Harry Potter” say the books lead children to believe in the devil, though Rowling is a devout Christian herself and has included many Christian allusions in her books. In “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” Harry sees two direct biblical excerpts on his parents’ and Dumbledore’s sister’s graves (Rowling, 421) , and according to Rowling, these two passages “sum up” and “almost epitomize the whole series” (“Harry”). Yet, many Chri... ... middle of paper ... ... wicked witchery of “Harry Potter,” the blasphemous animals of “Charlotte 's Web” and the Christian values of “Narnia,” parents, organizations and libraries have challenged each book. However, trying to censor what children read can have more negative effects than the well-intentioned ones trying to be reached. By not allowing children to read about different ways of life and to use their imagination as much as they can, adults are holding youth back from greater personal, intellectual and moral growth. Stories are important in the development of children’s moral, religious and spiritual understanding, and the more books that a child can read to learn about the topics, the better a child can understand others as well as their own beliefs. Adults should have more faith in what children can comprehend and that they can make valid judgements about religion on their own.

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