I debated about responding to David Waterman's reference to me in his latest letter of warning against the evils of Harry Potter.
It's not that I don't respect his right to express his opinion.
The red-headed Irish in me appreciates the qualities that drive Dave to speak out about the issues that he obviously feels passionate about.
But he made many conflicting statements. He contradicted himself when he opened his letter by saying "It is not my intention to condemn anyone." Then he proceeded to condemn the teachers, the author and religions that, in his understanding, do not agree with his biased personal opinion. He accused parents who would allow their children to read Harry Potter of "having the same reasoning" that would let their child read adult pornography!
Witches and other enchanting magical creatures are in many children's tales. Sheana Nelson, a fifth-grader, said it best: "It's just about imagination and anyway magic isn't real."
It seems so ludicrous to turn this into a debate about religions. But Dave went on to say that Wicca is a religion that is "contrary to God's word" and "will only lead you to the god of this world - Satan."
I find it difficult to imagine Satan as the god of this world.
I prefer the perspective of the old Irish saying that describes God's relationship to the world: "The crew may be human, but the ship is Divine."
I choose to use this opportunity to encourage a more tolerant and less judgmental approach to opposition. I believe that now, more than ever, we need to respect each other's differences. We each need to take responsibility, in our own way, to be an instrument of peace. So, here goes! Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me. May God bless you, Dave, and, hopefully, give you the grace to lighten up!
(Editor's note: When David Waterman spoke of "the god of this world (Satan)," he was quoting the Bible, 2 Corinthians 4:4: "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." King James Version.)