Christine O’Donnell’s ‘witchcraft’ claims questioned by pagans

by Shannon Harris on September 21, 2010

Christine O'Donnell's admission that she "dabbled in witchcraft" in high school has people on both sides of the political aisle talking. But now the tea party candidate is taking heat from what might seem like an unlikely source – witches.

In his latest episode of HBO's political talk show Real Time with Bill Maher, host Bill Maher showed a clip of the Delaware Republican senatorial candidate saying she went on a date with a "witch" during her high school days and claiming she "had a little midnight picnic on a satanic alter."

And while Democrats and Republicans alike have been asking for O'Donnell to explain her remarks, it now seems she has angered pagans and wiccans who feel she spoke negatively about their religious beliefs.

In his blog on the website BeliefNet, Gus diZerega – who is described as "a political scientist/theorist with a PhD from the University of California at Berkeley" on the site – questions O'Donnell's account and points out that wiccans do not use altars as "date props."

"All in all, I think she probably went out with a creep claiming to be a witch, using his claim as a tactic to have sex with attractive young women," writes diZerega. "Since then she has embellished the tale to make it more exciting than it really was."

But the fact that people are talking about O'Donnell's "dabbling" is a problem, according to Star Foster who writes a Pagan blog at Patheos.com.

"The idea that witchcraft or wicca is a negative for a political candidate shows what a sad state of affairs our electoral process is in," says Foster. "It shows how ignorant the American public is to fall for the 'scary boogeyman' tactics of the media."

In fact, some might be wondering if the attention on O'Donnell's witchcraft claim is taking the media's eye off her campaign for Senate and potential ethics questions that have arisen over the last few days.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a governmental watchdog group, announced yesterday that it is calling for a federal investigation into the use of campaign funds by O'Donnell.

On its website, the group the alleges that O'Donnell has misused campaign funds, lied in forms filed with the Federal Election Commission and committed tax evasion.

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