Over the past couple of weeks I read a number of online articles about Harry Potter, “the boy who lived.” One article by Laura Hibbard of the Huffington Post (7/14) intrigued me in particular. This article points out correctly that while Harry is certainly the hero of the Harry Potter series, Hermione Granger steps forth as a true woman of the 21st century. From the very beginning, Hermione is her own person. Though she is Muggle-born (not a wizard by blood), she is neither intimidated nor enamored with those who are by birth wizards. Hermione is intelligent, imaginative and brave. She demonstrates a real commitment to studying. From the first book to the last, it is Hermione who has read and studied the spells that will enable Harry, Ron Weasley, and herself to survive and conquer.
We live in a world where women are often expected to conform to preconceived male roles, where the discrepancy between male and female salaries even in the same positions still has a ridiculous gap. And those of us who are supposed to be enlightened do not even consider that our next pastor might be female. In a world where little girls still believe they cannot grow up to be anything their hearts desire, it is nice to see that J.K. Rowling gets it. She has given young women everywhere a role model in Hermione and said you can be just as good as your male counterparts. If the apostle Paul is right, “In Christ there is no longer Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female,” then should not the church be the place where equality begins and young women are held up as equals. Why is it that as Christians we have to wait for the world to teach us what is right?