Youth of this generation have been called "Gen Why" — constantly asking questions about why things are the way they are, challenging authority (although I don't see why this is any different from when I was young), and all in all being annoying and rebellious. Youth and social justice workers together are taking back that label and calling us all (young and old): "Gen J" — Generation Justice.
Throughout history, groups have formed to stand against evil in their times. Esther of the Bible was called "for such a time as this" to stand for the sake of her people. Youth today have often felt enraged over the social ills of the world, but feel powerless to stop anything.
Has that collapsed "Gen J"? Hardly. In fact, youth today are actively creating ways to engage in social justice.
Remember how Hermione Granger stood up for the enslaved house elves at Hogwarts? (that she was battling a fictional form of slavery had me cheering for her out loud)… have a read through this:
The Harry Potter Alliance takes that story's narrative and changes it into real life challenges to stand against evil and injustice in our world. Starvation, genocide, slavery… youth are taking the true lessons they learned from reading 7 children's books and putting those lessons into action. "WOW!", I say!
But… Harry Potter isn't Jesus.
Well spotted, as the Brits would say.
I don't think members of the Alliance are claiming to be saviours. Not at all. I think their purpose is to take the narrative of our culture today and turning it into something useful, something just, something loving.
C.S Lewis was often confronted with critics who claimed children were looking to Aslan more than they were to Jesus. Now, while recognizing that Lewis' Narnia series was more of a parallel to the Christian narrative whereas Harry Potter is not, I'd ask that you put that aside for a moment. Lewis chided the critics claiming that if Aslan, a literary character pointed children towards God, what was the problem? If the value of true and sacrificial love in the Harry Potter books opens doors for youth of all ages to encounter God, amen and amen.
And no, the stories of children turning to satanism because of Harry Potter are not true. Never were.
Yes, people, God can use Harry Potter to advance His kingdom of justice and mercy. If you're a total nerd like me, this is thrilling! I don't intend to bow down to Ron or Hermione or Dumbledore… I bow to Christ. But I also recognize that while there's one way to God, there are an infinite number of ways to Jesus Christ. He created us after all. He knows how we'll respond to Him.
If you want to get involved, start by signing up for Dumbeldore's Army who is determined to destroy the 7 Deadly Horcruxes. The first horcrux?
Check them out.