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You have to be going some to end up with the witches getting involved in politics.  It takes a lot to get them angry.  And Christine O’Donnell has fairly rattled their brooms.  The entire episode is now, deliciously, being called Dabblegate.

Her remarks in a 1999 taping of “Politically Incorrect” where she acknowledged she had “dabbled into witchcraft” but “never joined a coven” have angered many pagans in the United States, where they already feel politically sensitive.  Her remarks that they are “questionable folks” have gone down badly.

 The Reverend Selena Fox, High Priestess & Senior Member of the Inner Circle Sanctuary – a non profit organisation dedicated to promoting paganism and getting cold standing in the countryside, said yesterday O’Donnell was defaming Wiccans.  “Whether she intends to do that or not as a way to try to 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 practise your religion without getting ridiculed or defamed”. 

 The neopagan network “The Witches Voice”’s spokesperson Diotima Mantinea has joined the condemnation.  Apparently there is a large pagan community in Delaware who are “disappointed” in her remarks.  Mantinea correctly points out that her experience could not have been Wiccan if it involved a “Satanic” altar as Wiccans and Pagans do not recognise the concept of Satan. 

 CBS even managed to find a Satanist to confirm this distinction.  Dianne Vera founder of NYC Satanists, Luciferians, Dark Pagans, and LHP Occultists also states that O’Donnell misrepresents Satanists.  “No serious practitioner” she states magisterially, “would have a picnic on an altar”.

Sylvia T Webb first officer of the Covenant of the Goddess said this misinformation about the difference was “bizarre”.

 Reverend High Priest Oak-Lore, known to his pals as E J Haley, founder and senior clergy of the Fellowship of Anamastia Coven in Albany, said that his congregation practise “Druidic Wicca” a celebration of the Divine as expressed in Nature and inspired by Celtic tradition.  “Her use” he opines “ of Witchcraft and Satanism interchangeable tells one that she has had absolutely no exposure to genuine Witchcraft”.

 So pretty damning them. 

Now the question must be : Did she make the whole thing up to sound cool on TV all those years ago, and it’s come back to bite her?  If so that is bad news in itself.  Maybe she might illuminate us as to which branch she thought she was working with.  Or was the whole thing just a silly date, like kids telling each other ghostie stories to scare one another on Guide camp?  If that is the case all it has achieved is to alienate a vocal, articulate and previously unaccounted for political sub-group, and to meld together an otherwise disparate and unconnected constituency.  Which is political madness.

There are already Pagans in American politics, albeit few in number.  New York’s Dan Halloran is a Heathen Theodinist and Republican, whilst Maine’s Kennebec County Democrat Committee Chair, Rita Moran, was a pagan too.

 O’Donnell has a wonderfully leaden gait, with two left feet.  I wonder where they will lead us next.

Copyright David Macadam 2010