Rowling’s Christian critics miss the mark

first_imgTHERE are some Christian factions that love to criticize J.K. Rowling and her Harry Potter books. References to witchcraft, paganism, curses and hexes make the books easy targets for the defenders of righteousness. It turns out these factions of Christianity miss their mark. Instead of focusing on how things like witchcraft and paganism are anti-Christian themes, they should have been criticizing Rowling’s interpretation of life after death. During her book tour visit to the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood on Monday, a reporter asked Rowling to explain the last time she wrote about Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Dumbledore dies in the sixth book, but meets Harry in limbo, somewhere between life and death, near the end of “The Deathly Hallows.” Before leaving Harry, Dumbledore is seen crying in grief and shame as he says good-bye and returns to being dead, while Harry goes on living. The reporter wanted to know if Dumbledore spends eternity crying and in pain. Rowling said no, that Dumbledore has a wonderful afterlife, despite the mistakes he made during his life. Then Rowling proceeded to explain her thoughts on the afterlife. “On any given moment, if you asked me (if) I believe in life after death, I think if you polled me regularly through the week, I think I would come down on the side of yes – that I do believe in life after death,” Rowling said. “It’s something that I wrestle with a lot. It preoccupies me a lot, and I think that’s very obvious within the books.” This is what Rowling’s Christian critics should really be angry about. For Rowling, the afterlife is more than a promise. It exists. Without Christ. She has created a world where the dead walk among the living, where the afterlife is for everyone; and in some regards it’s a better place than the living world. Death is not that horrible of an option. For many Christians, accepting Jesus Christ as savior is the only path to an afterlife. Those who don’t are lost, sent to hell, or purgatory, or someplace other than heaven. Rowling doesn’t need Christ. Not in her wizard world. Not in her afterlife. Not anywhere near Harry Potter. That is the reason Christians should be upset with Rowling – not because her child characters perform spells and curses and delve into witchcraft, but because they do not need Christ to have an afterlife. None of us do, in Rowling’s views. In the world of Harry Potter, dying is not something that needs to be feared. Those who are afraid of dying become corrupted, misguided, lost and alone. Dumbledore is the best example of what happens to Rowling’s characters who embrace the thought of an afterlife. They take chances. They challenge authority. Most importantly, they aren’t afraid to fail. Dumbledore turns out to be a failure in many ways, but it doesn’t affect his place in the afterlife. He may have regrets, but he would not trade his afterlife for a chance to return among the living. Harry gets to make that choice – to be dead or alive. In that sense, he is much luckier than any of us will ever be. That moment when Harry gets to decide if he wants to live or die best illustrates Rowling’s struggle with the concept of life after death. “The truth is that, like Graham Greene, my faith is sometimes that my faith will return,” Rowling said. “It’s something I struggle with a lot.” Tim Haddock writes for the Daily News’ Harry Potter blog, Portkey to Hogwarts, www.insidesocal.com/harrypotter.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more


Indian American Doctor Pleads Guilty to Healthcare Fraud

first_imgAn Indian American doctor has pleaded guilty to one count of healthcare fraud in the United States. Dr. Jayam Krishna Iyer could be sentenced to 10 years in federal prison, or 20 years if her offense involved serious bodily injury. Iyer, 66, accepted her involvement in medical fraud on Sept.18, U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO) in Middle District of Florida, said in a statement. “As part of the plea, Iyer has agreed to surrender both her DEA registration number that she used to prescribe controlled substances and her Florida medical license, and to a permanent exclusion from the Medicare and Medicaid programs,” the statement added. Iyer owned and operated Creative Medical Center located in Clearwater, Florida, which functioned as a pain management clinic. She was accused of  billing Medicare and Medicaid for office visits, tests, and services provided to patients using her National Provider Identification (NPI) number, while she didn’t actually examine these patients in person. She also wrote the prescriptions for controlled substances, including oxycodone, without even seeing the patient, which is a violation of law. The fraud began at least as early as July 2011, and continued through December 2017, the USAO statement said. “Iyer executed and carried out a scheme to defraud Medicare by billing for face-to-face office visits with Medicare beneficiaries, when, in fact, certain patients did not go to Iyer’s office and were not examined by her on the claimed dates,” according to the statement. On some occasions, it was the family members of patients who went to Iyer’s office with notes requesting her to issue and provide prescriptions to them, and in the beneficiaries’ names — and Iyer issued those prescriptions.Florida law requires doctors to perform an in-person office visit and examination of each patient before issuing Schedule II controlled substance prescriptions. “Iyer also falsified her electronic medical records, including vital statistics, to make it appear that the actual patient was present in her office for an office visit, when the patient was not. Iyer submitted at least $51,500 in these types of false and fraudulent Medicare claims,” the statement added. The  case was investigated by the Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit. In July this year, another India origin doctor, Dr. Bharat Patel, had pleaded guilty to writing unnecessary prescriptions to patients to get monetary benefits. He was charged for running a “pill mill” last year.  Related Itemsfloridahealth fraudIndian Americanlast_img read more