Thursday, October 25, 2007

So what if Dumbledore was gay?

The religious right seems to have worked itself up into a lather over the bombshell last week from J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, where she stated matter of fact that one of the protagonists -- Albus Dumbledore -- was gay. On top of their already hating Potter for promoting Satanism (which Rowling clearly debunked in Deathly Hallows, where it became quite clear that the Three Musketeers were Christians all along), this must have been more ammunition in their cause to censor everything they don't like.

But what seems to have been lost is an important point: Yes, Dumbledore was gay; but he took his responsibilities seriously and his powers responsibly. And while he spent most of his career working with children and teenagers, he never abused them and did not tolerate professors under his command who even tried. So many on the right -- and even on the left -- want to make the connection between homosexuality and child abuse. And the link is not and has never been there. Most child abusers are heterosexual, not homosexual. And child abuse comes in many forms -- even the mental cruelty and manipulation that so many suffer, like Harry did at the hands of his aunt and uncle who were very straight.

So what if the headmaster was gay? Just because I'm personally opposed to gay marriage doesn't mean I try to avoid gay and lesbian couples or people who I know to be homosexual -- I work with them, go to dinner with them and get along with them just as with straight people. It's the proper thing to do. It's time we all got along because we've seen what happens when we try to divide people like the religious right wants. As Rowling wrote in Goblet of Fire, "We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided." [p. 627, UK edition]

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