Forget Voldemort, Harry Potter has found a new enemy in an influential right-wing preacher.
Pastor Kevin Swanson, who called in the past for the execution of homosexuals, launched an impassioned, anti-homosexual rant against the British bestselling series by saying that children should drown instead of reading the adventures of the boy wizard.
While it is clear that the Colorado man is not a Harry Potter fan, his issue with the wizard series seems to have stemmed from author J.K. Rowling's 2007 revelation that she envisioned Dumbledore as gay.
“Friends, we are on the very cusp of judgment as I see it. We need to call America to repent. Repentance from defying the almighty. Repentance of abortion, the hundreds of millions of dead bodies, I don’t know how many,” he began, before blasting the celebrated book series. “America, repent of Harry Potter. Repent that Dumbledore emerged as a homosexual mentor for Harry Potter.”
Swanson, a pastor at the Reformation Church of Elizabeth, Colorado, made the deliriously incomprehensible comments during the high profile National Religious Liberties Conference, attended by presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee.
In his closing speech, the right-wing preacher claimed the books about the boy wizard were designed to corrupt kids. He went on to suggest it would be better for parents to hang a millstone around their children’s neck and drown them, instead of letting them read Harry Potter — the beloved book that gave endless amounts of children years of joy and entertainment.
After instructing America to repent for Harry Potter’s “gay mentor” Dumbledore in order to avoid God’s judgment, Swanson then went on to attack adorable animated movie How to Train Your Dragon.
“Children are raised to be stumbled by the Dumbledores and Hiccups on How to Train Your Dragon,” he added. “My friends, America needs to repent.”
Warning the Americans about God’s vengeance, Swanson went even further and said Harry Potter would be damned — probably forgetting that the said book is purely fictional.
Watch the pastor’s somewhat jumbled-up speech in the video above.
Swanson's ridiculously absurd rant soon drew attention on social media and generated an understandable amount of outrage.
Preacher Kevin Swanson says parents should drown children before letting them read Harry Potter - don't you just love religion?— Spenbeck (@Spenbeck) November 10, 2015
.@maddow My jaw is on the floor watching Pastor Kevin Swanson. Just whoa! That's one scary homophobic charlatan.— Shoq (@Shoq) November 10, 2015
Wait, what? I hope this pastor is aware the Potter is a fictional story. https://t.co/Rzl9ZQndlc— Wellington (@Lomchevik) November 8, 2015
In 2014, the Colorado preacher slammed Disney mega-hit Frozen for trying to “indoctrinate” children into being gay and treating “homosexuality [and] bestiality in a light sort of way.”
“I wonder if people are thinking, 'You know, I think this cute little movie is going to indoctrinate my 5-year-old to be a lesbian or treat homosexuality or bestiality in a light sort of way,’” he said in a radio broadcast. “I wonder if the average parent going to see Frozen is thinking that way.”
Perhaps Swanson should leave Dumbledore and Harry Potter alone, and pay attention to other things America should seek redemption for — like racism, flawed criminal justice system, treatment of mentally ill and so on.