Don’t you get tired of bible-thumpers who throw out quotes like ketchup and mustard at a barbecue? Well yer kids and grandkids do … there’s other ways to find validation …
The rise of “Harry Potter” and modern internet culture is no less intertwined. The popular engagement with the “Potter” texts online brought millions to the World Wide Web, which in turn has indelibly shaped, and remixed, our approach to self and belief.
A cosmic-level foundational story, disseminated through a new medium that celebrates not just personal experience but the reimagining and responding to (and, through the rise of fanfiction, even rewriting) “Harry Potter” grounds many millennial nones’ moral, political and ethical systems.
The fact that the “Potter” series does not pretend to be anything more than fiction says a lot about what we require from our foundational texts. We buy Rowling’s language, her moral systems and her emotional tenor without needing — or wanting — it to make referential claims about the world, or God, out there.
This reflects broader trends among religiously unaffiliated Americans and among American Christians, a record low number of whom — just 30% — now see the Bible as the literal word of God. Another 14% frankly call it fables.
Fewer and fewer of us need to believe in a text in order to take it, well, as gospel.