A Harry Potter fan begins to read the final novel by author J.K. Rowling, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" in 2007.
Lisa Maree Williams—Getty Images
November 10, 2015 3:53 PM EST

Pastor Kevin Swanson says that parents are better off drowning themselves than letting their children read Harry Potter. While speaking at the National Religious Liberties Conference in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday, Swanson said that Americans should “repent of Harry Potter” and “repent that Dumbledore emerged as a homosexual mentor for Harry Potter.” He works for the Reformation Church of Elizabeth, Colo.

Swanson’s issue with the series seems to be a result of author J.K. Rowling’s 2007 announcement that she had always thought of Dumbledore as gay. He made these statements during an “extended rant” against abortion, homosexuality and “immoral themes in country music,” according to Right Wing Watch.

The pastor went on to say that “it would be better that a millstone be hanged around [parents’] neck[s] and they be drowned at the bottom of the sea” than allow their kids to be “in homes in which children are raised to be stumbled by the Dumbledores.”

Swanson has a history of homophobic remarks. Back in March 2014, he claimed that watching Frozen would turn children gay. “You wonder sometimes if maybe there’s something very evil happening here. If I was the Devil, what would I do to really foul up an entire social system and do something really, really, really evil to 5- and 6- and 7-year-olds in Christian families around America?…If I was the Devil, I would buy Disney in 1984, that’s what I would have done,” he said.

See the full speech below:



Write to Megan McCluskey at megan.mccluskey@time.com.

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