I just got this in my email this morning. It’s one of those emails that really make me stop and consider.
Oddly enough, he has a very valid point and I have considered doing an article very similar to the one he mentions.
Anyhow, take a look.
i-would-like-to-say-to-daven: Dear Daven,
This is Will Hayse. I am the person who posted the response on the wildhunt blog to your discussion with Richard Albanes. I suggested that the whole argument over whether Harry Potter is a device designed to lead children from the Christian path is irrelevant and that members of minority faiths have just as much right to proselytize as do the members of majority faiths.
Since you already seem to have Mr. Albanes’ ear (and his ire), I would love to see you write an addendum to your review of his book or an entirely separate article making this point and see what he has to say about it. You debated Albanes well but allowing him to control the nature of the debate plays right into the hands of the fundamentalists. If he does not want his children to read Harry Potter then I respect his right to restrict what they read but his and other fundamentalists’ attempts to “sanitize” our culture and remove any non-Christian influences are a blatant attempt to interfere with the freedom of speech of others. I think calling him out on the true nature of his agenda (ridding our culture of non-Christian influences) instead of his ostensible rationale (scholarly research) would help turn the focus of this discussion back to
where it needs to be.
If you are too busy and would welcome the assistance, I would be more than happy to write a review of your review highlighting this point that you could post on your site. As a Left-Hand-Path traveler it is kind of in my nature to provoke people like Albanes. Although arguing with these folks, regardless of how wrong they are, seems to just further entrench them into their philosophical positions, it may serve a greater purpose to shift the focus of the argument. Although we come from different places as far as our beliefs are concerned, I think that we both agree that all people of minority faiths have the right to practice their faiths even to the point of actively attempting to convert others to their belief system. Albanes is simply donning the guise of a “concerned researcher” to further his true cause of silencing those who do not agree with him or at the very least, to put them on the defensive. This sort of innocuous, creeping totalitarianism is the worst kind because most do not see it for what it really is. The trappings of academia are little more than smoke and mirrors designed to misdirect the eye from what Albanes is really pulling out of his silken top hat.