Delaware Senate candidate, Christine O'Donnell has upset national Wiccan and pagan groups with her explanation about the "dabbling in witchcraft" remarks. Her half-hearted attempt to defuse the furor surrounding it is at issue here, not the original statement.
The situation began on Friday September 17 when a 1999 video clip of O'Donnell was aired on HBO' "Real Time with Bill Maher". You can get more on the original story from HULIQ's Sandy Smith, here. The Senate candidate had to scramble to recover and after canceling appearances on network news shows, she headed for the safety of her home state.
In an attempt to keep it all in perspective, Ms. O'Donnell used a tried and true political tactic, which has worked in the past. She blamed it all on being young, silly and, you know, a typical teenager. It worked for Bill Clinton and his non-inhaled marijuana and George W. Bush's problems with alcohol. The American public can relate to stories of youthful indiscretions.
But O'Donnell went further with it. She told a Delaware audience over the weekend, "How many of you didn't hang out with questionable folks in high school?" she asked. Blasphemy, slander and other choice words were used by a Wiccan and a pagan group who don't believe they deserve the dubious distinction of being called, "questionable folks."
Wiccan group offended by being called "questionable folks" by Christine O'Donnell
One such group, the neopagan network "The Witches' Voice", had a spokesperson contact the Huffington Post to blow off some steam and warn O'Donnell that she is angering citizens of Delaware. Diotima Mantineia resents the candidate mixing her metaphors. Satanism and paganism are two separate belief systems, and should never be spoken of as if they were interchangeable. Mantineia warned O'Donnell that Delaware has a "large pagan population."
Reverend Selena Fox, the High Priestess & Senior Minister of the Circle Sanctuary a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting paganism and nature spirituality, spoke out as well. "But the kinds of things she is saying now, saying 'well in high school you are with despicable characters' or some such thing, she is actually defaming Wiccans."
"Whether she intends to do that or not as a way to try and get herself out of this political problem she has created for herself, the fact is America really needs to be a place where you can celebrate diversity and practice your religion without getting ridiculed or defamed." And here, Christine O'Donnell thought she'd only have to deal with fallout from the national Republican party organization. Guess again.
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