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©2001 The Society of
Archbishop Justus, Ltd


Hallo again to all.

Today is Remembrance Day. In some countries, it's called Veterans Day; others refer to it as Armistice Day. It's the day on which we are supposed to be the most vocal and explicit about our remembrance and appreciation of those who gave their lives to help rid the world of evil. We can't recall where we found this brilliant graphic a year or so ago.

This coming Friday is the day that the Harry Potter motion picture opens in most English-speaking countries. How ever can we mention Harry Potter and Remembrance Day in such close proximity, and then try to convince you that there is Anglican content?

Easy, we think. If we've learned nothing else from events of the past two months, we have learned that we must never forget that evil is real and present and tangible—and will probably never be vanquished. We can hide from it, we can forget it, we can fight to diminish it, we can teach our children to be wary of it, but until the Second Coming we shall never be rid of it.

The Harry Potter books, if you haven't read them, include a very prominent theme of good versus evil. Evil is represented by a character called 'the Dark Lord', more commonly referred to as 'he whose name must not be spoken'. Evil for Harry Potter is real and tangible and has a face. The good characters in Harry Potter must never forget that evil is real and tangible, just as we must not.

Evil is not just for soldiers and children's writers to worry about. Church people must deal with it as well. In our adult lives, our church has not been as vocal about the essence of evil as we think it might have been a few centuries ago. The discussion of evil is not just for newspapers and pubs and email, it is for sermons and essays and coffee hours. Some people can do no better in suggesting how to deal with evil than to respond 'nuke them 'til they glow' and think in terms of armaments and soldiers or 'hug them until they love us' and think in terms of reconciliation and forgiveness. By the end of the current Harry Potter book (four of seven) Harry has learned that he cannot use the raw force of weaponry to vanquish evil, nor can he use pleading, kindness, and reconciliation. He must continue his education and learn another way, lest evil triumph.

After every church service we leave steeped in the belief that there is certainly more good than evil in the world, resting content in our faith in Christ. If you read this week's News Centre you'll find several articles on the theological problem of fighting evil with weapons as well as prayers. Regardless of your current beliefs about the war against terrorism, you should read other points of view, and we've done our best to find them for you.

See you next week.

Cynthia McFarland's signature
Brian Reid's signature
Cynthia McFarland
Brian Reid

Last updated: 11 November 2001