POLITICIAN SAYS HARRY POTTER COULD HARM CHILDREN
Christian fundamentalists throughout the world continue to voice their disapproval of Harry Potter and its British author, J.K. Rowling.
This week Christian Social Union MP, Benno Zierer, warned that the new Harry Potter blockbuster about an English boy wizard could be bad for small children.
"The Harry Potter film is concerned with the occult and black magic and I don't think that it is a suitable topic for children under 10 years old," he told Reuters Television
"It is not a fairy tale and it could have negative influences on the further development of children.
Zierer, who comes from the Catholic southern region of Bavaria, said he was particularly concerned about children seeing crosses turned the wrong way up in 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.'
If a child is accompanied or if parents talk with their child before the film then that might be alright, but otherwise a six-year-old could come out and not know what is reality."
The film, called "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" in Britain, opened on both sides of the Atlantic last weekend.
It grossed $90.3 million during its first weekend in the United States and Canada.
In the United States, a witchcraft controversy in a North Dakota town forced a local school to cancel a field trip to a screening of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" on Friday.
About 100 students from Agassiz Middle School in Fargo had planned to attend the opening day of the film which revolves around the adventures of a young wizard in a world of nonmagical mortals known as muggles.
All the students, mainly aged between 12 and 15, had parental permission to attend the trip to a local cinema during school hours.
However, a small group of concerned parents and one local radio personality successfully killed the trip after raising concerns about the movie's depiction of witchcraft.
The fact that some consider witchcraft a religion, the protesters said, meant that the school-led trip to the cinema would constitute a violation of the separation of church and state and possibly lead to legal action.
"It's a little bizarre," said Fargo School Superintendent David Flowers, who supported the field trip. "We believe that we were on firm ground in letting the kids go. But the school made the decision that they would just as soon not be embroiled in a controversy."
Meanwhile in Memphis at least two Catholic schools said they were keeping the series of "Harry Potter" books by author J.K. Rowling out of their libraries because of the witches and wizardry content.