The Seven Horcruxes of Donald Trump

“Now, I know what you’re thinking: There’s no way that Donald Trump would be stupid enough to put a Horcrux in plain sight, right?”

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As a lifelong Harry Potter fan, I know Voldemort when I see him. So naturally, when first I laid eyes on Donald Trump as a serious presidential candidate, I knew that I was staring right into the face of that bubbling, squealing, cauldron-baby that killed Cedric the Vampire. The only way to defeat the final boss is to destroy the seven pieces of his being – his Horcruxes. Here they are:

  • Kellyanne Conway

    That woman can pivot faster than any sportsball player I’ve ever seen in my life – with heels on. In the words of the award winning musical Hamilton, “Ask [her] a question, [she] glances off, [she] obfuscates, [she] dances.” When asked about Meryl Streep’s criticism of Trump, Kellyanne Conway went straight to, “Well, there’s a disabled man being tortured by black teenagers right now!” (Literally, this is not a joke.) She might be the most difficult Horcrux, like Voldemort’s Nagini or something (for what it’s worth, also a snake.) Can’t remember what happened to her…

  • Twitter

    No one spends that much time with anything that is not a Horcrux. Donald Trump uses it to perpetuate lies about the popular vote, illegal immigrants, and the contents of his administration’s executive orders. He also uses his Twitter as a weapon – threatening everyone from Hamilton to SNL to Judge Robart to the New York Times to….you get the point. He also did not surrender his Twitter once he won the presidency, so the only logical explanation is that it is a piece of his soul.

  • His Red Tie

    The only thing more iconic about Donald Trump than his hair (which we are definitely getting to) is his red power tie. Accessorized daily with ill-fitting suits, that crimson Horcrux is clearly soaked in the blood of all the dissenters his rally participants stomped out during the campaign.

  • His Hair

    Now, I’m not going to make fun of Donald Trump’s hair for the usual reasons. I believe, with my heart and soul, that just as Harry Potter discovered that He-Who-Must-Not-Named was hiding in the turban wrapped on Professor Quirrell’s head, Steve Bannon can be found underneath Donald’s illustrious hairpiece. This, combined with the fact that Trump’s doctor recently said that he uses a hair growth product perfectly explains why Steve Bannon seems to be getting angrier.

  • Rallies

    This is the only Horcrux that I believe is destroyed, since Trump is no longer a candidate for president, but actually the president. He does seem to have Mike Pence and Sean Spicer present daily with pompoms to be his cheerleaders, but I don’t think the effect is the same for Trump, and I don’t think pull off the outfits as well as Ivanka might.

  • The Media

    This is the hardest one of all, because there is no way we can ask the media not to cover the president. Even if he’s tweeting, we have to cover things because he’s the president. And the media has a duty to truth – if everything he says is false is false, then they have to call it that, looking way more partisan than they really are. On the other hand, the beast THRIVES on media attention. So it would appear that the only way to destroy this Horcrux is to duke it out in the woods, hope it doesn’t kill both of them, and pray the media has an inspiring conversation with Dumbledore before it comes back to life and whoops ass.

  • Trump Tower

    Now, I know what you’re thinking: There’s no way that Donald Trump would be stupid enough to put a Horcrux in plain sight, right? BAM, that’s where you’re wrong. The first benefit is hiding in plain sight. The second (and obviously more important), is that he gets to put his name on something.

    So there you have it. Get to work, America, and maybe, if we’re lucky, John Williams will wrap this up with some cheery music.

    Bonus: Add any Horcruxes you think I missed in the comments!

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“Why Do You Even Read Harry Potter If You Don’t Even Believe In Him?”

Sounds kind of ridiculous, right? Is believing that Harry Potter is a real person or that any of the events that occur inside the series are real a prerequisite for reading or enjoying the book?

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Christianity is famous for its all-or-nothing kind of mentality. I’ve written posts about the need to “Jesus” a little bit harder, and how that mentality of never really doing it hard enough or never being Christian enough can really eat away at you after a while.

And that all-or-nothing verve can be a great attitude when it comes to sports or getting tickets for The Force Awakens, but when it comes into the realm of beliefs, it can be a bit tricky. In the world that we live in, if you do not adapt, you will die, and ideas are no different. Ideological flexibility allows us to get along with our neighbors, combat cognitive dissonance, and just know what we don’t know in general.

Which is what confuses me about many people who believe in the Bible. One, I’m not even sure what “believe in the Bible” really means. There is an entire set of assumptions in that statement, and given the incredible amount of diversity in Christian belief, I’m never sure which one applies. And two, I’m never sure about what assumptions are tied to the fact that I don’t believe it’s true. Let me give you scenario.

Why do you even read Harry Potter if you don’t believe in him?

Sounds kind of ridiculous, right? Is believing that Harry Potter is a real person or that any of the events that occur inside the series are real a prerequisite for reading or enjoying the book? I sure hope not. Even if I don’t think Harry rose from the dead to save us all or rode a dragon out of Gringotts, I think I can still say I love that guy.

The point is that an atheist is a person who doesn’t think that God is real, but when Jesus says “Love your neighbor”, they’re not muttering under their breath, “*cough* BULLSHIT *cough*”. Who doesn’t believe that you should love your neighbor? Anyone who doesn’t probably isn’t someone I want to hang out with, either.

Christians are the only people that set up this false distinction between themselves and the non-religious – that if someone is an atheist, there is no meaning or value for them in any religious book, song, movie, or church service ever again – and pushing  this narrative along further serves to tear us apart more than it brings us together.

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Truth and Fact – Harry Potter and The Bible, Part 2

Meet "Fluffy".
Meet “Fluffy”.

I’ve always had a good eye for the truth. Sometimes it was knowing that I was never gonna be any good at magic or origami, and sometimes it came in the form of knowing that my parents’ relationship wasn’t in as tip-top shape as they pretended. But the clearest lesson that I ever got in the difference between fact and fiction was Harry Potter.

I was obsessed with Harry Potter. I mean, an absolute, foaming-at-the-mouth raving lunatic for it. I had my own political misgivings about Rufus Scrimgeour, and I needed Harry to be smarter than he was sometimes. I knew what house I was, and I sure as hell could tell you what a bezoar was. Which dragon Harry faced in the Triwizard Tournament was at the tip of my tongue.

But I quickly learned that Harry Potter held more than fantasies inside of it. A pivotal moment in the first movie, for instance, is whatever tear-wringing instrument decides to play when Hermione says, “You’re a great wizard, Harry, you really are.” Moments like that taught me the lovely friendship that could be built in only a year. I also rather connected with Harry’s understanding of grief in the wake of Cedric Diggory’s death, because I understood what it was like to be opposite a Cho Chang who “just wants to talk about it.”

I mean, an absolute, foaming-at-the-mouth raving lunatic.

In my opinion, one of the best things that fiction teaches children from very early on is simply not to believe everything that they read. Stories are exaggerated statements of existence, drawn to extremes to help us feel the contours of a fragile and misunderstood life, but they can’t be understood to be perfectly literal. Even a strictly literal understanding of history will stunt a person’s growth in that field.

This was readily apparent to me, even when I was a child. This is coming from someone who, while their father was waiting in front of their mother’s work, would say they were going to Mommy’s office when they were really going to the bookstore to read Harry Potter for the 10 minutes they knew it would take Mommy to get downstairs. I used to take HP books with me on car trips and still read them at night, anxiously awaiting the light of a lamppost to read a couple of sentences by. In the words of J.D. from Scrubs, “You have a problem, sir! Seek help.”

Stories are exaggerated statements of existence, drawn to extremes to help us feel the contours of a fragile and misunderstood life.

And despite this feverish and unseemly behavior, I didn’t think dragons were real. I can’t remember trying to cast a Sectumsempra curse on those who annoyed me. I didn’t think that tucking a broom between my legs would protect me from a two-story fall, either. And even though it was set in England, a real place, I wasn’t convinced butterbeer was real. Who knows, maybe I just wasn’t a dumb child, but it seemed quite easy to separate the “true” from the “factual” when I was a child.

‘Dad, I can do this!’ – Ill-timed Finding Nemo quote. *falls from the roof with a broom*

This said, I think most children can do this, and that if you have a child that puts his brother’s head underwater because he’s just fed him “gillyweed”, you might just have dumb child, or at best a very credulous one. Unfortunately, though, in the Christian religion, children are taught that stories as fantastical as the ones found in the pages of an HP novel as fact, no matter what damage it might do to their critical thinking.

One of the most glaring examples is Noah’s Ark. I’m not going to waste time talking about why that story’s ridiculous, but you need to know that I know a significant amount of people who take it seriously. People like Ken Ham and many other Christians take umbrage with the Noah movie because, as we all know, the book was better. The ludicrous stories of giants and witches and God making bowels fall out of anuses (right hand on the Bible, that’s in there; 2 Chronicles 21) are taught as geological, scientific, and historical fact. And because of that, many people believe in so many elements of them, despite their best intuitions.

Sifting through truth is harder, sure, but it’s the only way to go. I can’t think of many things that should be believed wholesale with no reservations. Harry Potter’s full of things that are true and factual, unbelievable and believable, and so’s the Bible, or any other piece of fiction worth reading. Christians seem to fear this, but they should embrace it, because it’s what good stories are all about.

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How Religion Saps Creativity – Harry Potter and The Bible, Part 1

The Harry Potter Castle in Orlando, FL.
The Harry Potter Castle in Orlando, FL.

Back when I was a child, the thing that was causing a ruckus was the Harry Potter series. You might be surprised, but you have to keep in mind that I grew up in a church where we had serious conversations about whether or not it was okay to use pepper in our food, go to the movies, or go out to eat on Saturdays. So naturally, everyone and their mother had something to say about the best-selling children’s series of all time. I remember watching a conversation between J.K. Rowling and Daniel Radcliffe, where he asked her about the reaction that she had received from some religious nutters. We were those nutters. When I went to church, people would ask me why I was reading “that”, the word spat from between their teeth with ill-concealed contempt. Their mothers were kinder, and would just hand me books with titles like “Hidden Dangers in Harry Potter”. Here are some of the reviews it got on Barnes and Noble… Hidden Dangers in Harry Potter Review 1 Hidden Dangers in Harry Potter Review 2 Hidden Dangers in Harry Potter Review 3 This is the backdrop of my childhood. It didn’t really bother me that much because my parents let me read the books anyway, and that was all I really cared about, not anyone’s approval of them. As I got older and more books came out, though, the sillier the things religious people said about them became. It also became clear to me that they hadn’t read even half of one book. They talked, bizarrely, about how we couldn’t justify reading a book with witches and wizards in it, typically because of the story of Saul and the witch of Endor in Samuel 28 (in which Samuel comes back from the dead to lay down some Obi-Wan Kenobi-type old man wisdom, telling Saul that he and his sons would die because Saul had not committed genocide against the Amalekites.)

‘I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.’ – God

For some of the people floating around my circles, though, the problem wasn’t even necessarily the content of the Harry Potter books, abhorrent as it might be. The problem was that they were not true. Fiction was indeed the enemy, a thought that has its grounding in Paul’s admonition in Philippians 4:8 to keep our minds on things that are pure, noble, and true. My English professor has the most amazing story about how his teacher once objected to a book on the basis that it was fiction. My professor then self-righteously grabbed fiction from the shelves of his school’s small library and asked if they should burn them. His teacher agreed, and so they did.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

This is how religion thwarts its own goals. One of the things that spoils the Bible most is that we don’t admit that it is fiction. Reading requires careful selection of what to believe and what not to, and many of the lessons we would otherwise glean from the thin pages of the Good Book are diluted by the processes that go into justifying them in the real world. Make no mistake about it, fiction, and indeed Harry Potter, has real things to teach us about the world, and contains truths that we can actually use in our daily lives. But that is only possible when we embrace the notion that it is a fiction wrought directly from the mind of J.K. Rowling.

The Whore of Babylon
The Whore of Babylon, of course (Rev 17). 100% true, *wink, wink*

Imagine reading a passage of Harry Potter and saying, “That was an amazing story! I loved when Harry was in the Triwizard Tournament and he outsmarted the dragon and he almost got burned, it was so cool!” and then having someone say, “Well, you know that really happened, right?” This story that you might otherwise have been able to wring great lessons and enjoyment from is now clouded by the “fact” that it is true. “Well,” you reply, “I guess you could do that with a broom, if you thought about gravity differently, and I mean, we haven’t seen dragons, but they could be real, and….” You might even take a class or two in Dragonetics, so as to be able to better defend your faith. Religion saps the creativity and majesty of the story, because it hijacks the processes by which you are supposed to be analyzing and sorting out truth in it and diverts those same energies into justifying what is clearly not justifiable in reality.

It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that. – Albus Dumbledore

Honestly, I love fiction to death. So perhaps Christians would do better to admit that a book with a sea parting, donkey talking, and a dead dude giving harrowing proclamations is probably full of a whole bunch of other shit that never really happened. More later in Part 2! Feel free to comment, like, share, and follow below! If you appreciated this blog, please consider becoming my Patron! Follow me on Twitter: @Ame0baRepublic