Steven King is quoted as saying that the character Dolores Umbridge from the Harry Potter series of books is the “greatest make-believe villain to come along since Hannibal Lecter”  I think he is right on. I can’t think of a more despicable and grating and wicked fictitious villain in recent years either. The thing about Dolores Umbridge though is that it seems to me she is simply a personification and caricature of what we like to call the “Christian Right” in America.
If you have not read the Harry Potter series of books or have not seen the most recent movie (which features Ms. Umbridge) you may not know what I’m talking about here. Dolores has all the ingredients needed to make one’s skin crawl. She plays the sweet innocent role to perfection, complete with a simpering voice and (in the movie at least) all pink wardrobes to go along with her love for kitty cats. But it is all a front to cover a cruel, conniving, pitiless, bigoted, unforgiving, uncharitable, ungracious, hypocritical and bullying person on the inside. Dolores is cordial but not kind. She is saccharine but not truly sweet. She is a gleaming white sepulchre with rotting stench in the middle. In other words she is a true villain.
Lately every time I read something about the Christian Right in America (specifically Evangelicals) I find myself thinking “Dolores Umbridge would fit right in with those folks”. The most unkind, ungracious, unChristlike screeds and comments on the Web and at blogs seem to always come from the evangelicals — the same folks who claim to have the essentially exclusive claim on salvation through Jesus. For every basically harmless nice-guy evangelical on the Web there seem to be armies of scumbag evangelicals spewing their venom upon the world. Something ain’t right here folks.
Look, I’ve never been much into politics. I have always leaned Republican when I have voted in the past, but lately I am finding the far right to be far more scary and more despicable than the far left. Any candidate or cause they support I am becoming leery of… Is it just me?
And maybe the key question is how do we as Latter-Day Saints avoid being Dolores Umbridges in politics and in life in general? How do we avoid associating ourselves with Dolores Umbridges in politics and in life in general? And how many people think Mormons are already a bunch of Dolores Umbridges too? (Besides UofU fans of course…)
 See King’s review ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’ here