Christians Prepare Release Of 'Harry Potter And The Preacher Who Saved Him'
Responding to the highly-anticipated latest volume in the "Harry Potter" series, which was released this past weekend to the delight of millions around the world, a group of conservative Christians announced today the impending release of their Harry Potter novel, entitled "Harry Potter And The Preacher Who Saved Him".
The Christians, who have strongly discouraged children from reading Harry Potter for several years now, citing the sorcery and magic in his world as "advocating witchcraft", say that their book will provide an alternative for those who are looking for a good read, but "still want to get to Heaven."
"We are aware that by depriving our children of reading the traditional Harry Potter books, we are taking from them a literary opportunity that is both healthy and fun," admitted Janice Austin, one of the lead writers of the Christian version of Potter. "That's why today, we are pleased to announce the impending release of our Christian alternative, which allows our children to still have a fun time reading as our beliefs and values are drilled into their impressionable minds."
The novel begins with a typical Potter madcap misadventure, in which he and his two close friends manage to lose control of a giant, flying boat and wind up on the shores of a mysterious island. Later, they discover that the land they've mistakenly found is the home of the Reverend Dimsley, a fun-loving preacher who is "not shy about his commitment to the Lord Christ Jesus".
"Dimsley initially appears to be a large and scary man, but the children grow to love him," laughed Austin. "He may be a little on the wild side with his mustache and ear-lobe length hair -- not to mention his silly mismatching ties -- but he has a heart of gold, and more importantly, a strong relationship with the man upstairs."
Dimsley explains to the children that their out-of-control ship was not powered by magic, but rather, Satan.
"'I don't want to scare you kids,'" Austin read from the book, taking the part of Dimsley, "'but if you don't stop this magic nonsense, Jesus is going to BAN YOU FROM HEAVEN FOREVER.'"
Through the "real magic" of Bible stories, singalongs, and arts and crafts, the Potter gang learns that the only place that Hogwarts Academy will get them is the "lake of eternal fire".
"I don't want to spoil the story for anyone, but let's just say that Dimsley really gets through to those kids," Austin said with a smile.
In order to appeal to the demographic of children who would've normally purchased J.K. Rowling's version of Potter, the Christian version will retain all of the traditional "wacky, crazy high jinks" that made the series so popular in the first place.
"There's a scene where the kids play a rousing version of 'Bibleitch', the fast-paced Bible trivia game that Dimsley invented," Austin revealed. "And kids of any faith will be stunned by all of the island's magic-like tricks, such as the Cloak Of Faith and the amazing things that happen in the Exorcising Demons 101 class."
The book's ultimate goal is to steer children away from the traditional version of Potter, whose magic tricks and spell-casting are "evil", and "draw attention away from Jesus", said Austin.
"I can't tell you how many kids I've seen who say things like, 'I wish Jesus could do magic,' or 'I no longer believe in Jesus because he can't do magic.'"
"Well, I've never actually heard any of those things," Austin added. "But we all know our kids are thinking them!"
Some have questioned why original Potter author J.K. Rowling has not taken action for copyright infringement against the publishers of the book, but Rowling says she "doesn't care".
"Those people can write as many Harry Potter books as they want," she said with a dismissive wave of her hand. "Nobody takes them seriously at all."