Politics and first impressions — Disaster for Pagans

This political season has been interesting….. Being a libertarian/Rockefeller Republican watching how this campaign season has folded out has been, to say the least “entertaining.”

In particular, the Delaware Senate race between Coons and O’Donnell has been interesting to watch.   It’s also, from a public relations standpoint been a disaster for pagans in many many ways because of O’Donnell.

The short part of the story is that ten years ago O’Donnell was on a television show with Bill Mahr, and she said at that point in time that she had had a boyfriend who was a witch   Or a satanist, or something.   It’s really not clear except that she claims their first date was “on a satanic altar.”    Since that point in time she’s become a born again christian.   In addition, she’s had some significant financial troubles, and has made some statements about sexual activity (in particular masturbation) that make Jimmy Carter’s “I have sinned with lust in my heart” quote seem innocuous.

Personally, I could care less whether she was, or was not a pagan 10 years ago, or the fact that she’s a born again christian now.   But what does bother me is that the media seems to want to label her as a “past pagan.”   This gives the pagan movement a number of black eyes:

First, she’s not entirely stable.  Even John McCain’s daughter has labeled her a “Nut Job.” So, if she is a pagan, she’s a nutty one.   There are “non nutty” pagan candidates out there including Erin Lale and Dan Halloran who come off considerably less crazy.  Do they get put in the news?   No of course not.

She’s also fiscally irresponsible.   Now there are lots of people that go through hard financial times, and she has dug her way out, but the media seems to grab onto the facts from so long ago and beat her up with them.   This also doesn’t look good if “she’s a pagan.”

But lets take the other side, that she never really was a pagan.   Now show comes off as a right wing conservative Tea partier who is speaking against paganism, when if you look at the Tea Party themselves, they actually have come out more in support of pagan candidates than either of the other two parties.    The Tea party does have some fairly socially conservative members to it, but it is largely an economic movement, and one about government responsibility.

But if we take O’Donnell as a non pagan, and leader in the Tea Party movement, pagans now can’t lean that direction, because they aren’t welcomed by her.

 

All and all quite a mess.

 

 

 

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