JK Rowling responds to ‘death to gays’ pastor who thinks Harry Potter is Satanic

JK Rowling has responded to claims that her books are an attempt to convert children to Satanism.

The Harry Potter author made the remarks at the PEN America literary gala on Monday night, where she was honoured with a Literary Service Award.

The avowedly pro-equality author took the moment to address some criticism of her Harry Potter books from US-based hardline evangelicals.

One pastor, Kevin Swanson, claimed a few months ago that children should be drowned rather than allowed to read the ‘Satanic’ books last year.

The pastor – who has also called for gay people to be put to death – urged people to “repent of Harry Potter”, adding: “For tens of millions of parents it would be better that a millstone be hung around their neck and they be drowned at the bottom of the sea.”

Referencing the criticism, Ms Rowling said: “My critics are at liberty to claim that I am trying to convert children to Satanism… and I’m free to explain that I’m exploring human nature and morality.

“Or to say ‘You’re an idiot,’ depending on which side of the bed I go out on that day.”

Elsewhere in the speech, she reflected on a petition to ban Donald Trump from the UK.

She said: “It seems that unless a commentator or television program, channel, or newspaper reflects exactly the complainer’s worldview, it must be guilty of bias or corruption.

“Intolerance of alternative viewpoints is spreading to places that make me, a moderate and a liberal, most uncomfortable.”

Ms Rowling continued: “Only last year, we saw a petition to ban Donald Trump from entering the U.K. It garnered half a million signatures.

“I find almost everything that Mr. Trump says objectionable. I consider him offensive and bigoted. But he has my full support to come to my country and be offensive and bigoted there.

“His freedom to speak protects my freedom to call him a bigot.”