Heavily religious people and organizations love getting up in arms over random and sometimes extremely ridiculous things. Take St. Edward Catholic School in Tennessee, for instance. The institution recently decided to ban all Harry Potter books from their library since they contain “actual curses and spells” that run the risk of “conjuring evil spirits.” Oh boy.

According to The Tennessean, St. Edward’s pastor, Reverend Dan Reehill, was concerned about the effect J.K. Rowling’s wizarding series could have on its students, especially since the books apparently try to trick kids into believing that magic can be both good and bad, and that’s simply not true.

As Reehill wrote in an email to the students’ parents, “These books present magic as both good and evil, which is not true, but in fact a clever deception. The curses and spells used in the books are actual curses and spells; which when read by a human being risk conjuring evil spirits into the presence of the person reading the text.”

Harry Potter has been out for a while now, so this reaction does seem a bit delayed, but Reehill claims that’s because he was busy consulting various exorcists both around the United States and even as far as the Vatican and they all agreed: Potter and his cohorts need to be Avada Kedavra‘d ASAP.

Rebecca Hammel, the superintendent of schools for the Catholic Diocese of Nashville, issued a statement this week in response to the feedback St. Edward had received as a result of their ban, saying that while the Catholic church as a whole doesn’t really have an official opinion on Harry Potter, it’s down to each individual school/church to decide their own.

“Each pastor has canonical authority to make such decisions for his parish school,” Hammel explained. “He’s well within his authority to act in that manner.” She added that she believed the books were still in the libraries at other schools within the same diocese, though that hasn’t been confirmed.

It’s hard to understand the logic behind Reehill’s statement, but I suppose telling the difference between allegorical fiction and fact is a bit difficult for some. Ahem.

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*First Published: September 3, 2019, 5:32 am