It looks like Tennessee is determined to change what children read these days. A pastor recently organized a book burning at his congregation and they decided to target J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series for allegedly promoting witchcraft!
According to Nashville Scene, the book burning was organized by Greg Locke, a pastor and far-right conspiracy theorist in Mt. Juliet in Tennessee. Locke reportedly delivered a sermon before encouraging attendees to burn the books in a bonfire. In addition to the Harry Potter books, copies of Stephenie Meyers' Twilight series were burned during the event. Attendees also threw Quija boards and tarot cards into the fire.
"We have a Constitutional right and a Biblical right to do what we're going to do tonight," Locke said during the sermon. "We have a burn permit, but even without one a church has a religious right to burn occultic materials that they deem are a threat to their religious rights and freedoms and belief system."
Interestingly, some people did not agree with the book burning. One counterprotester was also in attendance and retaliated by throwing a Bible into the fire. The counterprotester was reportedly holding copies of Fahrenheit 451 and On The Origin of the Species as they protested at the event.
This isn't the first time that works of popular children's literature has been targeted in Tennessee. A school board previously voted unanimously to ban cartoonist Art Spiegelman's graphic novel, Maus, from its district.
The McMinn County School board revealed the book's "unnecessary use of profanity and nudity and its depiction of violence and suicide" were the reason why it was removed.
Maus is a Pulitzer Prize winner and it follows Spiegelman as he interviews his father about his experiences as a Polish Jew and a Holocaust survivor. The school board claims that the depiction of the Holocaust was not the reason for the ban.
Related: Harry Potter Star Explains Why He Continues to Support J.K. Rowling Despite Anti-Trans Views
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