Christine O’Donnell is trying to laugh off the controversy surrounding the revelation in a 1999 episode of Bill Maher’s old show, “Politically Incorrect,” that she “dabbled in witchcraft” apparently while in high school.
According to AP:
“‘How many of you didn’t hang out with questionable folks in high school?’ she asked fellow Republicans at a GOP picnic in southern Delaware on Sunday.
“‘There’s been no witchcraft since. If there was, Karl Rove would be a supporter now,’ O’Donnell jokingly assured the crowd.”
Great line, that, since Karl Rove has casted doubt on Christine O’Donnell’s electability. That has not stopped O’Donnell’s many opponents from hitting on the witchcraft angle so hard that one gets the impression that they might want to burn her at the stake. That would tend to display bigotry toward a religion that is estimated to have 50,000 practitioners (perhaps more) in the United States.
Indeed, the following riff is making the rounds on the Internet, based on the famous Monty Python sketch:
“Christine O’Donnell is a witch! Burn her! Burn her!
“But how do you know she is a witch?
“Bill Maher showed a tape that she was.
“That was a youthful indiscretion in High School!
“She turned me into a Newt Gingrich…I got better.
“There are ways of telling she is a witch….”
Well, you get the picture. Add your own jokes from Harry Potter.
Mind, while the religion of Wicca is considered unusual, it is widespread enough to be recognized by the US military so that Wiccan clerics can be chaplains. The military has some guidelines for dealing with Wiccan soldiers.
One would think that if being a witch is good enough for our fighting men and women, it is good enough for a teenage Christine O’Donnell. Furthermore, while Wiccans do worship a goddess and engage in practices that some might find unusual, they have not flown planes into buildings or cursed out the United States (as did Barack Obama’s old preacher, Jeremiah Wright) or protested at fallen soldiers’ funerals, cursing out gay people.
Indeed, O’Donnell’s brief flirtation with witchcraft can be seen as benign compared to the youthful foibles of other, more well-known politicians. Barack Obama has admitted to drug abuse. John Kerry, a current senator and former presidential candidate, slandered Vietnam vets by comparing them to “the army of Genghis Khan.” Former President George W. Bush used to drink to excess.
And let’s not forget Christine O’Donnell’s political opponent, Chris Coons, has admitted to having been “a bearded Marxist.” By all accounts, he is still a Marxist, sans the beard.
The only thing that would make this comedy more delicious would be if O’Donnell were still a Wiccan. She has since converted to evangelical Christianity. But just think. Electing a practicing witch to the Senate, someone who believes in a neo-pagan religion, would be a greater show of tolerance and diversity than electing a black President. It would wipe away the shame of the Salem Witch trials and show that America has at last welcomed Magic Using Americans as full citizens.
Sources: O’Donnell makes light of witchcraft comment, Randell Chase, AP, September 19th, 2010
Military Views on Wicca: US Army Chaplain’s Manual, The Celtic Connection