Faith and the religious community has been part of the Harry Potter series since it became wildly popular about 10 years ago. Early on, many churches protested since it centers around a boy wizard. That uproar died down as folks started to examine it as a parable or fairy tale centered around the battle between good and evil, or pure love and selfishness.
As I watched the latest movie, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, some other subtle themes seemed to rise to the surface.
* Truth - The story is set around the conflict between Harry and others who believe the evil wizard Voldemort has returned and those who are still in denial. Despite some amount of physical and emotional pain because of his knowledge, Harry doesn't give up on the truth.
* Community - I love this particular story because it so parallels teenage development. Harry is now about 16 and like many teenagers, he is convinced the world revolves around him. And of course, no one else understands what he's going through. But he has to realize that he can't do it alone. Friends and mentors -- community -- are necessary to become the person he is supposed to be.
I have a feeling the conclusion of the series, to be released in book form on Saturday, will have even more religious overtones. I'll let you know when I finish it...