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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Potter's Grave

Some may not be familiar with the term "potter's grave" or "potter's field" - but it is the place where the unidentified deceased are buried or those who are bankrupt and have no resources or loved ones to provide for the dignity of a headstone. In the old days a potter's grave was a kind of final statement of an ill led life to be buried there.

The term has deep roots in scripture.

When Judas, the betrayer, repented and threw down the 30 pieces of silver before the chief priests and elders in the temple, they "took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in." (Matthew 27:7) Thus, fulfilling the prophesy of the prophet Jeremiah," And they took the thirty pieces of silver, and the price of him on whom a price had been set by some of the sons of Israel, and they gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord directed him." It is the place where Judas is buried, the place called the Field of Blood; a potters field is where strangers are buried, strangers to men and strangers to God.

Back in the day, someone who committed suicide would not be permitted to have a Catholic funeral and likewise would not be permitted to be buried in a Catholic cemetery - it was a potters field for them as a sign of their rejection of God and his Merciful love.

A potter's field was called so, not because it was owned by a potter, but rather because the land was barren and unable to grow crops, so it was only good for potters to dig up clay.

What does all this have to do with Harry Potter's Grave?

There has been speculation that the soon to be released Harry Potter novel, the final in the series, will see the death of Harry Potter.

This presents an interesting problem for the author J.K. Rowling because she has created a world filled with magic and monsters, but where God and the transcend simply does not exist. It is a world where Christmas is celebrated in a absence of Christ. Yes, the characters in her stories have powers beyond imagining, but her stories are powerless to imagine the beyond.

So in a gnostic world of immanent powers where there is no transcendent, Harry is headed for a "Potter's Grave" - a place where strangers are buried, where those who have betrayed God for 30 pieces of silver find there end, buried in lifeless soil good only for returning their remains to clay for some eventual good in the years beyond.

In our battle for worldview there is perhaps no worse enemy than one who so seductively woos children into the snares of the devil through a molestation of the imagination. I know many a boy and girl who have been drawn away from Christianity because they grew up trusting in the worldview presented by Star Wars.

Well J.K. Rowling has her 30 pieces of silver for rejecting God, and as she prepares to end the franchise she created, the world's children will have their hero and their secularized and occultified imaginations buried with the Judases of history in the place of strangers.