As George W. Bush’s administration fades away into history more details about its character are starting to see the light of day, perhaps some of the most revealing so-far come from former Bush speech-writer Matt Latimer’s new book “Speech-less: Tales of a White House Survivor”. Filled with embarrassing quips from George W. Bush and other top administration officials, it also seems to confirm a sneaking suspicion among modern Pagans that Bush and his administration had a unique obsession with Witchcraft and the occult.
Latimer writes that administration officials objected to giving author J.K. Rowling the Presidential Medal of Freedom because her writing “encouraged witchcraft” (p. 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 withcraft.”
This newly-revealed “Harry Potter encourages witchcraft” attitude, along with Jim Towey’s misguided comments, the VA interpreting old anti-Wicca Bush quotes in order to make policy, and the snubbing of a Wiccan military widow (that Bush later apologized for) seems to confirm at the very least that Bush’s people (like the VA) either broadly interpreted his past anti-Witchcraft comments, or that conservative Christian attitudes towards minority faiths were pervasive.
Considering the newly hyper-partisan anger among conservative “values voters”, it could certainly be read as a movement in turmoil over being removed from the access to the executive power they felt was their right. Looking at the preferred candidates of conservative Christians over the years, we see a certain evolution (if you’ll pardon the term) in preference. From Ronald Reagan (who now looks moderate by comparison) and George W. Bush to Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee. Conservative Christian activists are increasingly demanding adherence to troubling strain of charismatic Christianity that isn’t afraid to engage in a little malefic prayer-warring to get the job done. If Bush’s mild (by comparison) anti-Wiccan comments and subsequent reliance on folks like James Dobson were enough to color the executive branch as it did, imagine if someone the “values voters” really love got into the president’s chair.