The folly of censoring C.S. Lewis
I don't know about you, but the Chronicles of Narnia were some of my favorite stories growing up. I've read each of the books at least four times, and the stories are wonderful in that they are great adventures.
However, now it appears that Harper Collins publishers want to remove the Christianity from these books and republish them. I don't understand this. The author makes some good points in the article...allow me to make a couple of connections.
He mentions that they would like to remove the fundamental Christian subtexts from these works. This is wrong for many reasons. First, any revised version is not the way Lewis intended the works to be read. He obviously wrote them that way for a reason. Secondly, the writer of the article is right...removing these subtexts reduces the books to really nothing more than comics. They become commonplace. One of the best things about these works is the very fact that they can be read on different levels!
But the point of this is to capitalize on the revival of kids reading books, the way led by the Harry Potter series. Hm, I wonder...would J. K. Rowling object to the removal of all things witch in these books? After all, there are people who are offended by such things, and who would not read or buy the books as a result. But that's the whole point of the books, you protest. What's the big deal about Harry and his friends if that part of the story's not there?
My point exactly.
There are so many grounds that I'm opposed to this on that it would really be long-winded of me to write them all down. But one of the most glaring is that if Harper Collins publishes these books under the pretense of not offending anyone, they will have effectively stripped away the essence of the books, leaving only an empty hull of an adventure tale.
HarperCollins does not want to remove the Christianity from Narnia. All they want to do is change the way the books are marketed, capitalizing on the growing fantasy genre and not scaring away people who are suspicious (perhaps rightfully so) of anything that is categorized as "Christian Fiction." They can not change the actual text of the books. So even though Narnia will no longer be marketed as a Christian allegory the allegorical message will still be there. As an aside...historically and religiously speaking the "witchcraft and wizardry" in Harry Potter has absolutely nothing to do with modern wicca or occult.