I was saddened to hear of the incident last week regarding the Harry Potter program at the library. The last impression that religious people should give to children is that God is a god of condemnation and fear.
The old saying "Just a spoonful of sugar makes the vinegar go down" is really true. A positive loving presentation is what all Christians should be striving to show the world, especially the children of Payson. The verse that says, "God is love" is also true. And every one of us who professes to be Christians should strive to show that love through our words and actions.
There are other ways to handle the subject of Harry Potter in a more constructive way than demonstrating and condemning children.
As a retired teacher, I am always happy to see children enjoy reading. The Harry Potter books have been such a positive catalyst in helping children discover the joy of reading and what fun it can be. Children learn to use their imaginations to envision the settings in the book and learn new word meanings as they deal with unfamiliar topics and settings. And they learn that reading is really fun.
The Harry Potter books also can be used as a religious teaching opportunity. Children learn to be able to distinguish the good from the not so good if the adults teach them what their religion teaches and how that differs from the ideas presented in the books. Children don't learn positive ideas from fearful situations. They learn positive ideas from warm, loving, caring situations.
Perhaps a more positive way for the members of the group who staged the demonstration to show their Christian love to the community would be to volunteer in the many wonderful organizations in this town. These organizations help those less fortunate and provide services to children. I personally have always hoped that people will see God's love through what I do and how I live my life. As I help my neighbors, I hope that just a little of that love will show through and touch the lives of others.
Our children are our most valuable resource. I hope that every one of us will strive to help and encourage the children of Payson and assist in teaching them the positive values that will make them responsible contributing adults in the future of our community.
Lucy Briggs, Payson