White House officials feared J.K. Rowling promoted witchcraft

Contributed by
Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

Who knew that politicians are more afraid of magic than they are of mutants? Strange but true—at least if the confessions of a former Bush speechwriter are to be believed.

Remember when George Bush awarded the 2008 National Medal of Arts to Stan Lee for revolutionizing the American comic book? There wasn't any controversy stirred up by that honor, at least not that we can recall.

But it was a very different story when the name of Harry Potter's creator came up as a possible recipient for the Presidential Medal of Freedom, as reported by Think Progress. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the nation's highest civil award, and is given to those who have contributed to: 1) the security or national interests of the United States, 2) world peace, or 3) cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.

According to his new book, Speechless: Tales of a White House Survivor, former Bush speechwriter Matt Latimer revealed that Bush administration officials objected to awarding author J.K. Rowling that honor because her writing "encouraged witchcraft," as per this quote from page 201:

This was the same sort of narrow thinking that led people in the White House to actually object to giving the author J.K. Rowling a presidential medal because the Harry Potter books encouraged witchcraft.

Lucky for Stan Lee that the White House had apparently never heard of Doctor Strange—also known as the Master of the Mystic Arts—or the medal might have passed him by!