Muggle Rebellion: Bush White House Blocked Award to J.K. Rowling Due To Her Connection to Witchcraft

200px-Jk-rowling-crop150px-PresMedalFreedomIn this new book, Speechless: Tales of a White House Survivor, Matt Latimer has an interesting insight into the presidency of George W. Bush. When author J.K. Rowling was proposed as a recipient for the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Bush nixed the idea because Rowling’s Harry Potter series “encouraged witchcraft.” While many of us may be unaware of the outbreak of witchcraft, this was no doubt contained in one of those biblically laced briefing books of the President. What is strange is that the President already honored another author of pure fiction — CIA Director George Tenet — for producing false evidence to justify the invasion of Iraq. It must simply be the genre.

180px-Tenet_bush_presidental_medal_of_freedomThe Presidential Medal of Freedom is awarded to those who make “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

Rowling is responsible for getting tens of millions of children (and adults) to read and for creating one of the most lasting and influential fictional series in the history of popular writing.

However, conservatives had long sought to ban reading the book as a primer on witchcraft, here. So when Rowlings name was offered:

people in the White House to actually object to giving the author J.K. Rowling a presidential medal because the Harry Potter books encouraged withcraft.

It appears that liberals are viewed in the same fashion as witches:

When Ted Kennedy was diagnosed with a brain tumor, I suggested that the president might at least consider awarding Kennedy the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Marc [Thiessen] objected wtih the genteel diplomacy he was known for. “That’s crazy!” he thundered. Kennedy was a liberal, he noted (of which I was well aware).

Past recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom include Carol Burnett, Johnny Carson, Paul Harvey. Aretha Franklin and others. However, they never sought to expand the use of the black arts. We are talking about real witches and wizards and the need to hold the line against the force of “He Who Must Not Be Named” (which became ‘They Who Must Not Be Named with the arrival of Cheney). Witches are a real concern for the GOP it appears. After all, Sarah Palin’s favorite minister cut his teeth as a witch hunter and gave Palin protection against witches before her national campaign, here.

What is particularly strange is that Bush seemed to live within a fantasy world of his own, albeit a biblically inspired fantasy. He reportedly told French President Chirac how the Iraq war was the foretold final struggle between Gog and Magog, here.

225px-george-w-bush300px-Dumbledore_and_Elder_WandOf course, Albus Dumbledore describes an individual with the same intolerance for alternative views:

“That which Voldemort does not value, he takes no trouble to comprehend. Of house-elves and children’s tales, of love, loyalty, and innocence, Voldemort knows and understands nothing. Nothing. That they all have a power beyond his own, a power beyond the reach of any magic, is a truth he has never grasped.”

For the story, click here.

23 thoughts on “Muggle Rebellion: Bush White House Blocked Award to J.K. Rowling Due To Her Connection to Witchcraft”

  1. Looking at the list of previous literary Medal of Freedom recipients, every one of them is American (born or naturalized), and includes some rather heavy-weight names: Jacques Barzun (2003), James Burnham (1983), J. Frank Dobie (1964), T. S. Eliot (1964), Ralph Ellison (1969), Eric Hoffer (1982), Louis L’Amour (1984), Harper Lee (2007), Archibald MacLeish (1977), Dumas Malone (1983), James A. Michener (1977), Carl Sandburg (1964), John Steinbeck (1964), DeWitt Wallace (1972), Robert Penn Warren (1980), Eudora Welty (1980), E.B. White (1963), Elie Wiesel (1992), Thornton Wilder (1963), Tennessee Williams (1980), Edmund Wilson (1963), Albert Wohlstetter (1985).

    I have my doubts that Rowling was actually seriously proposed for the award, or that Bush personally nixed the idea. Laura Bush praised the books multiple times in public, including on the Today Show.

  2. As a teenager, I learned one “witchcraft” spell. Create an image of the individual you wish to banish from your life. Wrap the image in a plastic bag and put it in the back of your freezer. As long as it is in the freezer, the person can do you no harm. Does it work? I don’t know ‘cause I never tried it but if the 8 year presidency of George Bush is any indicator … probably not.

  3. Stel:

    “I’m just going to bang my head on the wall. Words fail me on this subject.”


    The irony is, that if you bang your head long enough, you will become like the antagonist in this little melodrama depicted here.

  4. Elaine:

    Like Buddha, I firmly believe the immovable resistance of librarians to Bush’s so-called “Patriot Act,” was as fine a contribution to our liberties as anything done on any field of battle anywhere. Brava to you and yours for upholding the sterling ideals of your ancient and learned profession.

  5. Professor Turley,

    This is a most appropriate topic for Banned Books Week. Having worked as a school librarian and instructor of a children’s literature course, I’ve done a lot of reading about the censorship and banning of children’s books. There are certain fundamentalist religious groups that are intent upon having certain books—and types of books—banned from school libraries and classrooms… and excised from reading lists. Books about Halloween, witches/witchcraft, magic, gay issues…I could go on and on. One picture book that caused a brouhaha was “And Tango Makes Three,” a true story about a pair of male penguins in New York’s Central Park Zoo who care for an orphaned egg.

    For individuals who are members of these groups, it’s not enough to keep such books out of the hands of their own children—they don’t want these books available to other people’s children! These individuals are like book police. They are doing their best to keep some fine literature out of the hands of our children. Some librarians, school administrators and school boards–sad to say–have been intimidated by them.

    From School Library Journal (7/1/09)

    “I’m a middle school librarian. For years I’ve created summer reading lists for our students, and I’ve never had any problems. But recently a woman who doesn’t have a child in our school saw our summer reading list on the school’s Web site and complained about one of the titles…”

    From When Reading Good Books Can Get Schools In Trouble (Rethinking Schools Online, Spring 1998)

    “The most explosive controversies, even if not the most common, involve complaints that are part of an organized campaign. Most of these broader attacks are launched by organizations or individuals affiliated with what is commonly called the religious right — religious fundamentalist groups which advocate a literal interpretation of the Bible and which organize politically to impose their religious perspective on public institutions. Some of the most active religious right organizations involved in school censorship issues are the Eagle Forum, Concerned Women for America, Focus on the Family, The Family Research Council, the American Family Association, and Citizens for Excellence in Education.”

    The temperature is rising. Have we hit Farenheit 451 yet?

  6. Some competition is just not wanted, what can you say about a woman that made it big and I mean big that was on welfare. Come on we can’t let that happen.

  7. Byron,

    Always, but not solely. Some actions are simply prima facie racist or bigoted. Burning a cross in someone’s yard for example. Overtly racist within the context of American culture anyway. Overt actions will tend to have sometimes subtle culturally specific nuance, say the poor treatment of the Burakumin caste in Japan, a discrimination largely based on historical professions in ones bloodline like tanners. What may seem blatantly racist or bigoted to that group may not seem so to another group and vice versa.

    Bad intent without action is but mere malice and harms none but the holder. Actions speak louder than words. If one acts, the severity and context of the act can be equally important to intent. Some actions cannot be undone, no matter how misguided in conception or execution.

    If you don’t think so, try burning a cross on someone’s lawn and telling them your power is out so you needed a reading light. I’m thinking there is no amount of persuasive backpedaling that could get one out of that situation. Sometimes action trumps intent. That’s why intent often factors as much into sentencing as it does to a crime’s elements proper for prosecution. It’s only part of the whole.

  8. “Bush nixed the idea [of awarding the Medal of Freedom] because Rowling’s Harry Potter series “encouraged witchcraft.”


    Well, George Tenet got one and he was, after all, the head spook. And who may I ask, does the bidding of witches and are their constant companions? Spooks, of course. “Hypocrat”! (short for hypocrite theo-crat)

  9. Byron,

    I would not argue that some, but certainly not all, of people who act in a racist fashion can be acting out of ignorance alone. In that case, yes, the speaker/actor is not necessarily a racist or a bigot, but they are certainly knowledge deficient and possibly logic deficient (that proof is always in the eating of the pudding).

    As to a factual assertion that is stated as fact and taken as racist? I’d say that all depends upon the veracity of the fact. As Mark Twain notoriously said, “There are three kinds of lies. Lies, damn lies and statistics.” The only way to discern fact from fiction in that case is scientific method and/or pure logic and reasoning depending upon the nature of the evidence. If the fact is true, then it cannot be racist but simply a fact – like blacks and Jews are two populations most prone to sickle cell anemia. That’s not racist, but rather an epidemiological and biological fact. If the fact is untrue, then your choices are it’s a statement based in ignorance or in discrimination. That all comes down to intent of the speaker/actor, their mens rea, guilty mind. That is a judgment to be made on a case by case basis.

    As to the blatant racists and bigots, you’re on the right track. It has been my observation that both cases, the behavior is rooted in varied compositions of ignorance and hatred. We know what ignorance is, but then the question becomes not what is hatred, but rather why is hatred their response to those who are different? The root causes can be complex, some a simple as stupidity to the rare cases where one can say “That’s almost a justified hatred.” The thing about hatred I’ve noticed is that it’s almost always rooted in some deficiency in sense of self rather than a hard thought out logic. Most people, contrary to Socrates advice, lead unexamined lives and probably never give second thought to why they hate “X” (the variable, not Malcolm). They are essentially emotional animals, all instinct and reaction with little or no internal dialog about how or why. They either lack the will or the tools required to inquire further into the truth of the nature of reality and that truth is humans are all pretty much the same genetically speaking with about 7% variation in the genome across the whole species (according to our current level of understanding of genetics and information systems).

    People are people. Good people, just like bad people, come in all shapes, colors and sizes and in every sexual orientation, religious tradition and level of education and/or income or stated political persuasion. Being an unthinking jackass (of any sort let alone just racists and bigots) is an equal opportunity behavior.

  10. I can only hope that that this entire story is a work of fiction. I know it is not. No surprise. I would expect nothing less from the W White House.

  11. Buddha:


    I would never equate QM with magic. Although to some it would probably seem like it.

    a thought for you: (off topic, apologies)

    what exactly is bigotry and racism? I thought I knew but I had an experience on Saturday night that changed my thinking somewhat. Is it ignorance, hatred, both or some combination of the 2 in some varying degrees. I think, from this experience, that it can be misconstrued on the part of the recipient. Sometimes people make innocent comments out of ignorance with no malice intended, is that racism or bigotry? If the commenter genuinely makes an ignorant comment that comes across as bigoted is he a bigot? If he makes the comment out of a statistical fact and it is a general assumption directed to a particular person based on those facts can one be classified as a racist or a bigot?

    Based on my experience, I would say no the person is not a bigot or a racist just an uninformed individual.

  12. Byron,

    Bush doesn’t have the verbal complexity to read let alone understand either Tolkien or Lewis and you know it. You just wanted to equate QM and magic! 😀

  13. Sure there’s witchcraft involved. The kind that made kids devour books 800 pages long. Too bad the spell doesn’t work on everyone…

  14. I must second Quins’ conclusion. So J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis would then be in the same batch, I am sure Bush was an avid fan of both.

    A talking lion is no less sorcery than a child being able to run through a wall (unless of course this “witch craft” is actually a metaphor for quantum physics in which case Bush would do well to distance himself as science and reason to a fundamentalist is like garlic to a vampire).

    By the way Quin nice avatar.

  15. Oh, I just love that! It explains one hell of a lot about Bush.

    Anyone that stupid, but with the raw cunning to surround himself with even more stupid people in order to make himself look less inept is always going to be dangerous – as we all saw to our cost!

    It also demonstrates very clearly why religion should not be allowed to interfere in any way shape or form with the running of a modern secular state.

    1. Quin:

      You have obviously been put under a secular imperio spell. Just stay home, get plenty of rest, and read Revelations at least three times while listening to Rush Limbaugh. You should be fine in the morning.

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