There has been a recent ruckus about J.K. Rowling’s recent declaration that Dumbledore, beloved headmaster of Hogwarts, is, in fact, gay. Or at least, in Rowling’s mind he is. As many, many people have pointed out, it seems to be somewhat from left field.
Some people have approved. Others have disapproved. Others still have pointed out that it’s kind of frivolous. One of the best POVs I’ve come across thus far was in Albert Mohler’s most recent podcast.
As Mohler is prone to doing, he tangents a bit at the beginning of the show. While it is technically on the Death Penalty, he gets into Harry Potter a couple minutes in. Here’s an excerpt that I found particularly compelling:
You know, what this particular culture critic comes back to say is that, if true, this is still unimportant. And I think that, from a literary source as authoritative as the New York Times — indeed, the front page of the Arts section of the New York Times today — is the worst indictment that is likely to be feared by J.K. Rowling.
But it’s just a reminder to us that, these days, the issue of homosexuality is not just something that is seen as a moral issue. I want you to notice closely that what this means is that homosexuality is a marketing issue. That indeed, what J.K. Rowling is doing here, after her books have long been finished and published and released, is that she’s coming up with a new market, hoping for new readers, and new appreciation for her books.
We can only be glad that William Shakespeare did not live long enough to come back and tell us that Hamlet was gay, or that Henry V was a transsexual, or that Romeo was really involved in a deep pathos over sexual orientation, thinking that indeed, perhaps, Juliette was a cross-dressing male. Now that’s the kind of nonsense, by the way, that if you write a dissertation about such stuff, is likely to get you tenured in one of the Ivy League universities. It’s about morality, yes. That’s what’s of central concern to us. It’s about marketing to some, and it’s also about the chaos about a postmodern culture the more you look at it.
It really is a pity how these things become more about the marketing than the morality. I think that homosexuality is getting to the level of feminism — for a while it was a genuine concern, but as more and more people are accepting it, it’s becoming mainstream.
Before you go bonkers on me, don’t think I said that it’s at an ideal level. I would argue that feminism is not, either. My girlfriend once gave me a great quote from one of her teacher’s conferences, and while I cannot remember the exact wording, what it came to was that real equality for women would come when guys have female bosses and don’t think anything about it. Instead, as it stands, women are praised and the source of awe when they are in leadership positions, or are political candidates, etc.. The fact that the media is beginning to hinge on homosexuality as a selling point may [will] end up undermining the ability of these people to go about their lives as any straight person would. And that’s not equality, that’s an advantage or disadvantage, depending on your personal slant on the situation.