Witchcraft becomes a campaign issue

By Elizabeth Tenety Something is brewing in the state of Delaware. In what might be a first for American politics, … Continued

By Elizabeth Tenety

Something is brewing in the state of Delaware.

In what might be a first for American politics, Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell (R) offers an anti-witchcraft message in her new campaign ad:

“I’m not a witch.”

That’s the opening line O’Donnell delivers directly into the camera, alluding to her decade-old televised confession that she had “dabbled into witchcraft” as a teenager.

After she clears up that rumor about her spiritual practice, O’Donnell goes on:

“I’m nothing you’ve heard. I’m you. None of us are perfect, but none of us can be happy with what we see all around us: politicians who think spending, trading favors and back room deals are the ways to stay in office. I’ll go to Washington and do what you’d do. I’m Christine O’Donnell and I approve this message. I’m you.”

O’Donnell’s distancing herself from comments made about witches and witchcraft has agitated at least one constituency: Wiccans. Reverend Selena Fox, the high priestess and senior minister of the Circle Sanctuary, told the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein that O’Donnell’s recent comments “defame Wiccans.”

“America really needs to be a place where you can celebrate diversity and practice your religion without getting ridiculed or defamed,” Fox said.

And On Faith panelist Starhawk emphasized that, “Witchcraft deserves the same respect accorded to any other spiritual tradition.”

Was O’Donnell politically savvy to address the ‘witchcraft’ controversy head-on? Was she sensitive enough to Wiccans and America’s religious diversity? What did you think of the new ad?

About

Elizabeth Tenety Elizabeth Tenety is the former editor of On Faith, where she produced "Divine Impulses," On Faith’s video interview series. She studied Theology and Government at Georgetown University and received her master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. A New York native, Elizabeth grew up in the home of Catholic news junkies where, somewhere in between watching the nightly news and participating in parish life, she learned to ponder both the superficial and the sacred.
  • SeattleRain

    You can’t buy media coverage like this – everyone is now taking a second look at Christine. I suppose its okay to elect a clown from Minn or go to a political rally with comedians, but someone Christine is way out of main stream. Not really – elect the witch.

  • SeattleRain

    Anybody else notice the real clown from Minn is in town defending the bearded Marxist.Talk about creepy…

  • bailey50

    I can’t believe the stupidity of some of you democrates. This woman said something years ago and now you want to slam her with it. Like Clinton, he had no sexual relations with that woman, Obozo, I smoked in college, Clinton, I smoked but didn’t inhale. You people are bringing this up? Well, I think I’ll go put a spell on the democrates…lol what a bunch of idiots! These people are in control of our government! Please! How embarrassing you dems are!

  • lepidopteryx

    Bailey, I’d be happier if she WERE a witch. The witches I know are ethical, intelligent people.

  • JordanSekulow

    Christine O’Donnell made a strategic decision to address the controversy surrounding the statements she made as a young person on national television.Her decision to start the ad with such a bold statement (1) places her campaign right back in the news – good for getting attention to her campaign/support, (2) puts focus on the negative campaign being waged against her – a campaign focused on what she said pre-30 years old, and (3) makes it clear she isn’t afraid of addressing the remarks she’s made in the past.I don’t know the day-to-day political situation on the ground in Delaware but this ad implies that many voters have asked her about her media appearances.As someone who does a decent amount of live media (and happens to be young), I understand where O’Donnell is coming from.Conclusion: She faces an uphill battle in Delaware and needs all the support she can get inside and outside the state. I don’t think saying she isn’t a “witch” is insensitive – the term witch carries very negative connotations in America.

  • lifeonmars

    She certainly isn’t me, so she’s offended wiccans AND me! I’ll take the wiccan any day.

  • nonvoter

    I SAW GOODY O’DONNELL WITH THE DEVIL!SHE WAS DANCING NAKED IN THE FOREST AND SHE SIGNED HER NAME IN HIS BLACK BOOK!

  • 2012frank

    The reason Christine O’Donnell will win is that the electorate in Delaware will vote for her. Why?Not because of witchcraft, masturbation or any other craziness the Left tries to marginalize her with.The reason O’Donnell will be elected is the tanking ECONOMY, double digit UNEMPLOYMENT, inane TAXATION and totally out of control SPENDING!November can’t come soon enough!

  • jonswitzer

    Jesus said, “If anyone looks on a woman with lust in his heart, he has already committed adultery with her.” In doing so, he placed a man’s immoral thoughts about women on the same level as immoral actions. That being the case…ask any man out there what he thinks about as he masturbates…Jesus is the one who made this an issue. He was agreeing with Proverbs 7:25 that warns against a man letting his heart turn to adultery.

  • bigbrother1

    O’Donnell has serious mental problems. Nobody was concerned about whether she was really a witch or not. They just thought she was amusing for bringing it up in an interview years ago. She doesn’t understand what a joke she is.I don’t know who she thinks she is, but she sure isn’t me or anyone I know. Then again, I don’t tend to associate with the sort of people who think of masturbation as a moral problem.

  • WmarkW

    See, this woman is a nut.

  • ConcernedDutchman89

    Since when is it offensive to claim that you are not something? When I would state that I’m not a muslim, would the muslim community be offended? Clearly not I hope…When she wants to make very clear that she is not a witch, to counterattack the fuzz created about it, it is not offensive but defensive! She only defends herself here in order to prevent the accusations of damaging her bid. The fact that it gains a lot of media attention is nothing but a bonus.

  • poosky

    The issue is not witchcraft.The issue is just how stupid are the American people?

  • poppysue85

    I don’t care if she is a witch or not- there is nothing in her background that suggests that she has the ability and experience to be an effective legislator.

  • djmolter

    Double double, toil and trouble.

  • pjs1965

    There are ways of telling if she is a witch. If she weighs the same as a duck, then she’s made of wood. And therefore, she’s a witch!Seriously, this stuff is so silly that it cannot be made up.

  • KillerChihuahua

    2012frank: So you admit O’Donnell’s comments about masturbation and witchcraft are “craziness”?

  • WmarkW

    Actually, it was Delaware that got us to over-borrow. (Remember the return address on all those loan solicitations we used to get?)We should kick them out of Congress until they change their lending laws.

  • ScottHollyHenry

    I’m sure the wiccans are confident enough in their religion not to worry whether or not Christine O’Donnell is a witch.

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