My dislike for him doubled when I read his profusely bigoted review of Eastwood’s Letters From Iwo Jima which denounced the movie as anti-American, leftist, socialist, anti-Capitalistic (a favorite of Baehr’s) propaganda.
I believe my dislike tripled the other day when I read his review of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Consider this tripe:
Regrettably, however, this means that even more children will be lured away from God and His Infallible Word, which says that witchcraft is evil and abhorrent. Instead of dreaming about the joys that God gives us through Jesus Christ, they will be dreaming of casting spells, using magic spells, riding brooms, and rebelling against their parents.I know a lot of kids who read Harry Potter, many of them Christians. Not one of them has turned to witchcraft or the occult because of Harry’s influence. They may want to be able to point a stick somewhere, say some Latin, and have cool stuff happen (who wouldn’t?!), but that’s about it.
I find this next paragraph even more hilarious:
Watching 6- and 7-year-old children walk out of the press screening for the new Harry Potter movie (as well as the people with little witchcraft symbols and S&M dresses) is always an opportunity to reflect on the malignant corruption of our culture. Aside from the fact that these children are exposed to ugly creatures, fantastic violence and worthless incantations, this movie has dialogue that sounds like it comes out of Stuart Smalley’s Daily Affirmations on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE. Namely, when Harry's godfather tells him, “You are not a bad person. Every person has light and darkness in them. You have a choice.” Imagine saying this to Michael Cho after he has had his killing spree. Or, Adolf Hitler.UGLY CREATURES! You mean like the ones in The Chronicles of Narnia or The Lord of the Rings, two franchises you praised?!
FANTASTIC VIOLENCE! Ditto.
“Little witchcraft symbols and S&M dresses.”
Let me quote that one again: “Little witchcraft symbols and S&M dresses.”
Just the fact that Baehr mentioned S&M in his review of Harry Potter just lowers him another notch on my list (and makes my stomach hurt with laughter). The man is a maniac who does not how to discern. Sure, he knows how to describe violence, review sexuality, and count how many times people say “fuck”, but he doesn’t know how to thoughtfully wade through Rowling’s themes which, as Barb Nicolosi said in her comments on HP5, are more inclined toward the “good, true and beautiful” than many other fantasy works of the day.
He also conveniently glides past Order of the Phoenix’s themes of friendship, family, and the elusive quality of evil. Great parallels can be drawn between the Ministry of Magic’s refusal to recognize the return of Voldemort and Evangelical Christianity’s growing denial of the power of Satan.
Ted Baehr needs to focus his attention on something worthy of his time … Philip Pullman would be a good start.
PS: Other people have weighed in on Baehr’s ineptitude recently including Peter Chattaway and Jeffrey Overstreet.