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Wiccan: GOP candidate's witchcraft dabbling a teachable moment
September 22nd, 2010
11:05 AM ET

Wiccan: GOP candidate's witchcraft dabbling a teachable moment

The high priestess followed the media coverage this weekend and grew concerned.

Not only had a woman running for the U.S. Senate once lumped witchcraft with Satanism, a horrible insult in and of itself, but she also went on to distance herself from that earlier statement by calling those who practice witchcraft “questionable folks.”

Once again, the Rev. Selena Fox realized, it would be up to her and other Pagans to educate.

“It’s an opportunity to get some correct information out there. That’s how I see it,” says Fox, who is the high priestess and senior minister of Circle Sanctuary, a Wiccan church near Barneveld, Wisconsin, that serves Pagans worldwide. “There’s comedy about it, hot debate about it, lots of pundits weighing in. But one of the things that really hasn’t gotten through is how ridicule and defamation can harm people.”

The teachable moment presented itself when Christine O’Donnell, who won the GOP nomination for Delaware’s U.S. Senate seat, was featured on Friday’s premiere of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” – not for what she said recently, but for words she spoke in late October 1999.

Maher played back an old segment of his former show “Politically Incorrect,” in which the Tea Party darling, a repeat guest back then, said she had “dabbled into witchcraft” and “hung around people who were doing these things.”

“One of my first dates with a witch was on a satanic altar,” she said. “We went to a movie and then had a little midnight picnic on a satanic altar.”

These dug-up words led Karl Rove to demand an explanation. While addressing Republicans this weekend, O’Donnell tried to laugh off the whole matter, asking the crowd, “How many of you didn’t hang out with questionable folks in high school?”

She also canceled her Sunday appearances on two news programs.

There’s an irony to the timing of this hubbub, says Fox, 60, who led her first Pagan ritual in 1971.

Twenty-five years ago, almost to the date, Sen. Jesse Helms (R-North Carolina) – who Fox says called Wiccans Satanists – led the charge to try to pass legislation that would have taken away tax-exemption status for Wiccan churches. This attempted infringement on her church’s constitutional rights led Fox and others to form the Lady Liberty League, to educate lawmakers and others, dispel misconceptions and promote Pagan civil rights.

“It was the first time in American history that Wiccans, other Pagans and those of other religions and belief systems came together to defeat an unconstitutional piece of federal legislation directed against the Wiccan community,” she says.

Pagan, she explains, is the “umbrella term for nature religion practices with roots in Old Europe.” Wiccans represent one branch of Paganism, as do Druids and Heathens, for example, she says.

Nailing down the exact number of Wiccans and practitioners of related Pagan paths in America is next to impossible, Fox says, in part because of people’s fears of discrimination. But her church, which sits on a 200-acre nature preserve, has been in contact with more than 250,000 practitioners in the U.S. since it started in 1974. She’s also heard estimates that the U.S. numbers are anywhere between 500,000 and 1 million.

Numbers measured by the American Religious Identification Survey, most recently completed in 2008, suggest that practitioners may be getting more comfortable owning up to their beliefs. Those identifying as Pagans jumped from 140,000 to 340,000 between 2001 and 2008, according to the survey.The number of Wiccans skyrocketed as well in that time frame, climbing from 134,000 to 342,000.

Fox, who was raised Southern Baptist, explains her beliefs this way:

We honor the Divine as a goddess and god, as well as a great oneness and a multiplicity. We celebrate the cycles of the sun and seasons. … We honor the five elements of nature: earth, air, fire, water and spirit. The circle that connects the five points [of the pentacle star, a symbol used by Pagans] represents the greater circle of nature that we’re part of, love and wholeness. … We honor ancestors and seek to live in harmony not only with other humans but with nature.

And, she insists, she and other Pagans do not recognize or speak of Satan. Some people within the nature religions are trying to take back the words “witch” and “witchcraft,” but she says others stay away from such terms because of the continued misconceptions.

The battles to protect Pagan rights have been ongoing.

Fox delves into what she calls the “Barr Wars” of 1999, when Rep. Bob Barr (R-Georgia), tried “not once, but twice” to illegalize Wiccan practices in the military. And from 1997 to 2007, a successful – albeit lengthy – fight was waged with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs to give Wiccan and Pagan veterans the option to have the pentacle appear as their faith symbol on grave markers.

There have been positive developments over the decades, too, she says. Pagan studies are being offered in some universities, and graduate students are conducting research. Law journals have included reports on the Pagan quest for religious freedom. And the American Academy of Religions established a Contemporary Pagan Studies Group.

Fox, who facilitated an equinox full moon circle last night, even counts the fights for equal rights as positives.

"America, as a whole, needs to be aware that nature religion practitioners are part of the religious diversity in this country," she said. “If these battles hadn’t happened, I would say that people up on Capitol Hill or aspiring to run might not have been aware."

CNN’s Belief Blog reached out to senator-hopeful O’Donnell, who now faces allegations about misused campaign funds, for a comment on this matter, but so far has gotten no response.

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Paganism • Politics • Religious liberty

soundoff (609 Responses)
  1. FoolKiller

    "a woman running for the U.S. Senate once lumped witchcraft with Satanism". Apparently "dabbled" may be overstating Christine O’Donnell's involvement.

    September 22, 2010 at 12:36 pm |
  2. Roscoe Chait

    I appreciate that high priestess Rev. Selena Fox is trying to present Wiccans, pagans, witches and witchcraft in a positive light. It is a beautiful nature religion and deserves respect. However, what Wiccans say they practice and what they actually do is questionable. Most of all, witches are supposed to do no harm. Unfortunately, I've encountered a Wiccan high priestess who is a vicious, conniving liar who thinks nothing of defaming others. Her goal seems to be the pursuit of power at any cost. There is nothing respectful or beautiful about her. She is supposed to represent this religion, and If she is an example of what Wiccans do, then they deserve the skepticism and ridicule they are receiving. I apologize to Rev Fox, as she seems like a genuine, loving person. But not all representatives of her religion are like her and do it a terrible disservice.

    September 22, 2010 at 12:32 pm |
    • El Kababa

      In any religion, the best people are in the pews. Those who crave leadership and being looked up to as a superior spirit – Christian, Witch, Muslim, whatever – are the problems.

      September 22, 2010 at 12:41 pm |
    • OrangeCat

      Tell me you can't find the same thing in a "Christian" church...and I'll say you need to find a couple of churches around here which will open your eyes to some of the worst in humanity.

      Bad people get power, and behave badly, it's got nothing to with the religion, it's with them.

      I suppose you could blame whatever higher power is involved for not smiting them with bolts of holy wrath but...

      September 22, 2010 at 12:44 pm |
    • Andy B

      Wow. I can't believe you just said this! So let me get this straight, what I'm reading you are saying is that you know one Wiccan that is conniving, lying, deceitful and untrustworthy and therefore of them are. Well, I know one (choose: Republican, Democrat, Conservative, Liberal, Christian, Jew, Muslim, business executive, white guy, black guy, American, European, Asian, or whatever group you want to disparage) that is conniving, lying, deceitful, and untrustworthy and therefore all of them are. All you are saying is that Wiccans are human just like the rest of us, with all the same human frailties as anyone else, yet you are trying to cast them all in a negative light based upon one individual.

      September 22, 2010 at 1:08 pm |
    • ScottK

      ... However, what Christians say they practice and what they actually do is questionable. Most of all, Christians are supposed to do no harm. Unfortunately, I've encountered a Catholic priest who is a vicious, conniving liar who thinks nothing of defaming others. His goal seems to be the pursuit of alter boys at any cost. There is nothing respectful or beautiful about him. He is supposed to represent this religion, and If he is an example of what Christians do, then they deserve the skepticism and ridicule they are receiving...

      See, it works for just about any religion or group, its like an ad lib for just about anything you want to discount because of your own beliefs, just pick one person out of the whole and claim they represent the majority.

      September 22, 2010 at 1:14 pm |
    • Roscoe Chait

      Ahhhhh... So it seems that everybody got my point. Wiccans are just like everybody else, good and bad, no matter which religion they are. However, since Wiccans make a big deal about "Do no harm", I hol d them to a higher level. Since the person I mentioned is a high priestess, I hold her to the highest level. Alas, she is no better than a pedophile priest. Thanks for pointing that out.

      September 22, 2010 at 2:32 pm |
    • veggiedude

      Just because Darth Vader went to the dark side, does that also make Yoda evil? Of course not! Not all Jedi should be judged by a few bad apples.

      September 22, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
    • SurelyUjest

      Having been a pagan (witch) for over 35 yrs I have met many, most are very nice and kind, most practice alone in solitude and do not join covens ever. I have done both like any church or group the larger it gets the more chances at wierdo's, power mongers, and other not so positive types have of joining undiscoverd for sometime usually.,also you can meet more absolutley wonderful people! The point here is Witches are people, some even though they are "good" witches still embrace emotions like jealousy, hate, fear, anger etc....for part of there lives. The spiritual journey of any religion be it naturalist pagan, Wiccan, Buddhist, Christian, Jew, Muslim etc....is supposed to help us with those negative sides of our humanity. So to point out you met 1 high priestess who has issues does not add much to the conversation. As a Witch/Pagan I know nothing about what a Satanist may believe in, or try to acheive spiritually, so I cannot comment much on that since I have no knowledge or experience pertaining to a lessor God of another belief system.

      September 22, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  3. Angie

    I wrote about this very issue the other day. The fact that she doesn't know the difference between a Satanist and "witchcraft" shows that she's quite fond of making stuff up. She'll do well for the Repubs.

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/5806856/christine_odonnells_witchcraft_claim.html

    September 22, 2010 at 12:31 pm |
    • Kate

      @Angie

      I'm just waiting for someone to turn around and link the whole subject of wicca with the healh care overhaul – it's too good an opportunity for them to miss up "black kenyan anti-american Muslim socialist satanist death panels"™

      Just linkin'

      September 22, 2010 at 12:35 pm |
    • Margaret

      @Kate. We heard it from you first 🙂

      September 22, 2010 at 1:41 pm |
  4. Elizabeth

    Oh for heaven's sake, as a teenager she had a date with some dude who tried to impress her on how "bad" he was by feeding her dinner on a "satanic alter." And she was so goody two shoes that she thought she was being adventurous and dabbling in witchcraft. The only thing I can't understand is why a political hopeful would be stupid enough to mention the experience publicly!

    September 22, 2010 at 12:31 pm |
    • Kate

      @Elizabeth

      Google "Forlorn Hope", it might explain that hopeful part 🙂

      Just sayin'

      September 22, 2010 at 12:33 pm |
  5. Kandice

    I want to thank CNN for running this story and giving people the opportunity to see the pagan side of this.

    September 22, 2010 at 12:30 pm |
  6. Sandra

    I think it's also hilarious that this woman REFUSES to speak to the national media yet she's running for national office. Methinks she's getting advice from that other witch.

    September 22, 2010 at 12:27 pm |
    • Chelsea Willis

      Please don't call them witches because it only insults those of us are really are. Thanks.

      September 23, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
  7. Capt. NoDuh

    What is happening before our very eyes is the Tea Party is rejecting television and radio media to get their message across. Mainly because they have no message and exposure to the public will expose their piggy ways.
    Tea party = pigs wearing lipstick wearing pirate hats. Aaaargh!

    September 22, 2010 at 12:27 pm |
    • Arrr!

      It's pirate!

      Arrr!

      September 22, 2010 at 1:21 pm |
    • Druid in Wasilla AK

      Ye Scurvy Dog!!!! Now Ye Be insulting Pirates Pagan Pirates at that

      September 22, 2010 at 2:08 pm |
    • Meeeee

      So funny to see one person mock another person for their beliefs... So funny to watch a person mock another person for wanting fiscal responsibility in our goverment.. and i've asked this question already... if having nothing but ivy league elites in power for so many years, has gotten us nothing but debt and over spending, why would we want to continue the same?

      September 22, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
    • Kate

      @Meeeee

      Then you won't mind taking a crack at the two questions I already suggested the media be asking every candidate for November on this thread – just do a search for my name, you'll find them. Let's hear your answers – cos no-one else has had the courage to provide theirs yet.

      Just challengin'

      September 22, 2010 at 3:38 pm |
  8. Goodstuff

    Stop obsessing about the small things, it detracts from larger actions going unseen.

    September 22, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
    • Kate

      @Goodstuff

      If they're going unseen, how are we supposed to obsess over them? Or are you just saying we should generally obsess over some indefinable ethereal unseen big things, the ones Beck and Limburger pointedly warn about is such general terms they could be speaking of the dangers of Iran getting nuclear weapons or the cost of repairs to your car because the potholes haven't been fixed?

      Details, please!

      Just obsessin'

      September 22, 2010 at 12:28 pm |
    • SurelyUjest

      Thank you Kate!!! I have been reading your comments.....good job!!
      just sayin....

      September 22, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  9. natalie

    10 bucks says the lady in the pic is a virgin.

    September 22, 2010 at 12:25 pm |
    • Kate

      @natalie

      Hopefully O'Donnell is (at 41) else she's a hypocrite too.

      Actually, if she's said things to her prospective boyfriends like she's said in interviews and on TV, it's more than hopeful.

      Just sayin'

      September 22, 2010 at 12:30 pm |
    • Nemo Crets

      1) What if she is?
      2) Are you implying that pagans are all social misfits? You obviously haven't met many pagans.

      September 22, 2010 at 12:31 pm |
    • El Kababa

      I know a few pagans myself, though I am not of that persuasion. They are the nicest people in the world. They are kind and polite, good to animals, and loving to their children. The adjective that fits most of them is 'harmless.' The world made a big mistake when it invented monotheism.

      September 22, 2010 at 12:39 pm |
    • Spudslee

      yeah well to bad bristol palin didn't remain a VIRGIN instead of following the 'family values' line her mother preaches and end up knocked up at the age of 17. Good going Sarah! your family should have practiced what you preach! Hypicrites

      September 22, 2010 at 12:46 pm |
  10. Hal

    I wish this woman (O'Donnell) had dabbled in intelligence!! Palin, O'Donnell, Angle – is that all the Tea Party have? Folks, welcome to the official "dumbing down" of America!!! "Values" voter may have "values" (whatever values they call values) but they certainly are not "thinking" voters.

    September 22, 2010 at 12:23 pm |
    • Kate

      @Hal

      I've been saying that on my blog.

      As far as I'm concerned the only tea party most of these idiots (male or female) are qualified to be part of is one attended by Alice and the Cheshire Cat.

      Are they the best we've got??

      Just sayin'

      September 22, 2010 at 12:25 pm |
    • Hal

      @Kate
      It really is disheartening!! I don't always agree with Democrats and I don't always agree with Republicans but this is downright scary. Who let the lunatics out??? Oh wait, McCain!! He chose that media junkie nut from Alaska and now all the like-minded crazies think it's mainstream to be insane and stupid. I'm a proud moderate – call me a RINO, it's better than calling me a right-wing nut!

      September 22, 2010 at 12:41 pm |
    • Kate

      @Hal

      I'm a moderate independent – unregistered, of course.

      I'm pro gun, pro choice, anti idiot.

      Which means I don't bother voting as they're all as bad as each other, it's my choice, just try and come take that away from me! 🙂

      Just sayin'

      September 22, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
    • Meeeee

      Well you see what the "elite" have gotten us... Nothing but debt, high unemployement and a never ending spending spree with moneys we do not have.. So you tell me who is better for the US... Some elite blow hard with a harvard education or a person with real life experience who has been through hard times and knows what hards times are like...

      September 22, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
    • Kate

      @Meeeee

      Bush had an education – a lot of Republicans currently in office had "elite" education.

      But if you want to talk about "elite", do you consider someone who gets paid millions for sitting in a radio studio "a hard working American"? How about the professional politicians? "elite" is a red herring, because Republicans want people to consider elites the same way the Khmer Rouge did – and we know what happened there.

      "Elite" is those who think they're better than everyone else. Being "elite" is party-agnostic, it's the people, and there's "elites" who don't give a cr@p about middle class America in both parties.

      If you want to lay the blame on the Democrats go right ahead – you'll be just as big an ostrich as the ones who want to blame it all on Bush.

      It was politicians who did it, both parties. And the people who "claim" to represent the middle-class Americans are no better than the ones in power – the only difference is that the Republican Party (not the Tea Party, because it might as well be Republicans) candidates being foisted on states all have one thing in common.

      They're all religious elites. They're the Christian Taliban. And they're Socialists.

      That's who you want to hold up as the saviors of America?

      Just sayin'

      September 22, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
    • Hal

      The Christian Taliban will not stop until we have a Republic that resembles Iran (in Christian form)! If they do have their way, we may as well rename this country to the Christian Republic of America – CRA (it's only missing the P).

      I am a fiscal conservative who owns a business and understands that it takes strategic spending to make money.
      I am Pro-Free Markets however we do need some regulations to keep check and balances against fraud.
      I am Pro-Gun; NRA member for 20 years.
      I am Pro-Choice including support for Embryonic Stem Cell research.
      I support Gay Rights because I believe in "NO TAXES WITHOUT REPRESENTATION" and if they are going to discriminate against them, then don't expect Gays to pay taxes.
      I am Pro-Keep your religion to yourself because then you are treading on my rights to not hear your fairy tales.
      I am Anti-idiot absolutely!!

      The uncontrollable spending and government expansion they are up in arms over started under Bush (a Harvard and Yale educated elitist who supposedly had business experience – rather unsuccessfully). Did these people actually think that tax cuts and funding 2 wars, magically just paid for themselves? I think years of poor management (in both parties) culminated into absolute disaster. However, putting "whack jobs" such as O'Donnell in place just because she spouts religion to somehow "fix" the government is absurd. They accuse Obama of being a socialist and communist but doesn't believing that we should all want the same things / one size fits all / right-wing ideology is the only way, sounds like communist propaganda? Here is a novel idea: like the Tea Party which was hijacked by lunatic simpletons, a moderate think tank. That should shake up the political spectrum. Although I doubt it will be anywhere as loud and in your face like the Tea Party because Moderates unlike Tea Party members, have actual businesses that are prospering in these "difficult" times.

      September 22, 2010 at 8:49 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Hal

      I like the way you think! Cheers dude!

      September 22, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
    • Rox1SMF

      Hal – September 22, 2010 at 8:49 pm

      Well said, and I couldn't agree more. It's time for US to take back *our* country (from the halfwits!).

      September 22, 2010 at 11:08 pm |
  11. Donna

    The self-styled high school "coven" in my town in the 1980's drank the blood of kittens, skinned dogs alive, and showed up at high school events to educate people about their hero Lucifer. Nasty, nasty stuff and definately a questionable crowd. O'Donnell said there was blood on the altar on her "witch date" - what brand of coven was operating in her town?

    September 22, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
    • Kate

      @Donna

      Those sound more like satanists than wiccans. You can always go to the great satanic convention at OKC and ask them (as opposed to the Democratic National Convention, which is pretty much the same only they spill the blood in conference)

      Just sayin'

      September 22, 2010 at 12:23 pm |
    • El Kababa

      Sorry Donna. That just doesn't get past my BS detector.

      September 22, 2010 at 12:25 pm |
    • Nemo Crets

      Those were definitely not pagans or Wiccans. I know many pagans, and I can't name one who doesn't love animals.

      September 22, 2010 at 12:28 pm |
    • Moli

      Donna those aren't Wicca those were Satanists! Never in all my 35 years have i ever heard of a person who practices Wicca doing any of those things

      September 22, 2010 at 1:12 pm |
    • JenniPoohBear

      Wow. I can't believe how freaking closed-minded you are. To ASSUME that a bunch of stupid kids who did atrocious things and claimed to worship Lucifer were Wiccan totally makes you the @ss here. Wiccans don't drink kitten blood, they don't sacrifice dogs and the CERTAINLY don't claim to worship Lucifer. They don't even BELIEVE in your Christian anti-god, so how about you take your head out for a sec and take a breath. Might do you some good.

      September 22, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
    • SurelyUjest

      Donna I have to chime in the same this doesn't fly at all. Several cities police forces created task forces during the 80's and 90's to track down and find Witches that killed kittens and purportedly killed people in some areas of the country. After over 10 years and millions of tax payer dollars no organized groups performing these "ritual killings" etc....were ever found! Look in to it their always seems to be hype but NO proof. So I don't buy your story at all.

      September 22, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
    • KAScofield

      Lucifer comes from Christian theology, not Wiccan or many other Neopagan religions, many of which practice magic or witchcraft (the arts and disciplines of change). Witches can be atheist or agnostic too.

      Only about 3 percent of witches are Satanic and it's against Satanic laws to kill animals except to eat or in self defense.

      The idea of killing/harming animals in an abusive manner and the term "black witchcraft" are just a few of the red flags indicating that either someone is lying or the people involved really don't know anything about witchcraft. They are abusers though, and the concern is that many people who abuse animals will also or already are involved with domestic and other criminal abuse.

      September 23, 2010 at 12:41 am |
    • KAScofield

      The Satanic Panic was already refuted. http://www.religioustolerance.org/sra.htm

      September 23, 2010 at 12:44 am |
    • Kate

      @SurelyUJest et al

      Oh you think that's bad, google search for details about the Orkney Island Satanic Abu5e incident in the 90's ... And that was because they were Quakers! (Note to American readers, the only thing Brits know about Quakers is they make porridge (Brit word for horrendously evil oatmeal served to unsuspecting children in order to torture and subdue them every morning), Society of Friends to them probably meant they all went to the pub together)

      (I'm not even going to try to fathom the Brit interpretation of Elks Lodges)

      Just reviewin'

      September 23, 2010 at 12:49 am |
    • HotAirAce

      @SurelyUjest

      Perhaps this search in the 80s and 90s for witches/covens/kitten killers was the model for the Weapons of Mass Destruction charade in Iraq.

      September 23, 2010 at 12:59 am |
  12. Nacho1

    Look at the photo....the high leader of wiccan needs to get her teeth cleaned.........

    September 22, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
    • Kate

      @Nacho1

      Do we want to know which body parts you have in need of cleaning?

      Just wincin'

      September 22, 2010 at 12:41 pm |
    • Bianca Bradley

      Yes Virginia there might actually be Satanic Witches. Try not to get your panties in a wad. Witchcraft is a term not owned by the Wiccans.

      Selena isn't the High priest of Wicca and that if they are truly interested this site is a heck of a lot better at teaching without the condescension in it.

      http://wicca.timerift.net/

      Yes, Witccraft can be Satanic as Wicca does not own the term.

      September 22, 2010 at 1:07 pm |
    • NYPrincessTt

      Natural toothpaste. Good for the environment, but no 'whitening power' and not so good at cleaning organic type stains.

      September 22, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
    • SurelyUjest

      I use organic toothpaste as well......not as whitening as that other bleaching stuff but I try to limit the chemicals I digest.

      September 22, 2010 at 1:42 pm |
    • Lawrence

      Obviously your a deep thinker, why don't you go back to watching lame movies and celeb. reports, waste of consciousness

      September 22, 2010 at 1:47 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      'Yes, Witccraft can be Satanic as Wicca does not own the term'
      Yes and witchcraft can be wiccan, Satanism doesnt own the term either. Its that distinction that the person is complaining about people not making.

      September 22, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
    • Dr. Bob

      Wow, what an ignorant statement. Those white teeth you see on TV and in magazines are the fake ones. There is considerable variation in natural tooth color and this is well within the range. I think she has a wonderful smile.

      September 22, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
    • KAScofield

      Dr. Bob is correct!

      And the snide comment about the color of her teeth was what is known as a personal attack, something that people do when they either don't have or don't care to have anything worthwhile to add to the conversation.

      September 22, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  13. OnanismO

    Why does anyone care whether this chick dabbled in "witchcraft"? That equates to "she wished upon a star" or any other fantasy. Witchcraft is not real. Devils, gods, witches, demons, spirits are all made up BS!

    September 22, 2010 at 12:19 pm |
    • Moli

      She dabbled in witchcraft and they dabble in fairy tales.....you know burning bushes.......baby's being born in the winter but tended by shepherds.......Sky Fairy son turning water to wine(witchcraft)

      September 22, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      @Onanism

      As many know, I am an atheist, so I don't have a side when the various religious tribes starting ripping into each other, but I do get a great laugh out of it all. And I'm a Canadian, so while I might have a preference for which party is in power in the US, I don't get a vote. All to say, I think I'm neutral when it comes to Miss O'Donnell... :^)

      All that being said, and for what it's worth, I suggest that Miss O'Donnell's self admitted dabbling in a "non christian religion" (in quotes, so as not to stir up any sect...) is wwwaaaaayyyyy more conclusive than the allegations that your president is not an American and not a christian. I won't claim that the tea baggers are solely responsible for perpetating these mysths (sorry, allegations!), but they certainly aren't doing anything to stop them. Perhaps ther'e some irony, and a little payback, here...

      Finally, interesting name you use – given that it appeared at first glance to end in "ism", I search "onanism" on the web. Interesting results. Then I noticed the "O" on the end, so I searched for "onanismo" – the results in english still seem interesting. Is there a story here?

      September 23, 2010 at 12:20 am |
  14. Nacho1

    The news media sucks.............they INFLATE everything..........all the news that fit to print.........yada...yada....yada......O'Connell can bewitch me anytime she wishes (wiccas)

    September 22, 2010 at 12:18 pm |
  15. Reality

    Mocking Wicca and Paganism?

    Mocking spells, curses, covens, black magic, witches, voodooing dolls, hoodooing the results, shadow books, maypoles, the horned god(s) and the triple goddess(es), Gerald Gardiner et al??

    Never!!!!

    September 22, 2010 at 12:18 pm |
    • Kate

      @Reality

      You've never found a belief you haven't wanted to mock in your life, don't try fooling us.

      On the bright side, you just performed another miracle – another original post! Next thing we know you'll be driving a Bentley.

      Just sayin'

      September 22, 2010 at 12:21 pm |
    • ScottK

      Mocking Christians and Jews?

      Mocking someones imaginary diety because they dont believe in your Imaginary diety?

      Never!!

      September 22, 2010 at 12:48 pm |
    • MrEee

      One religious flake mocking another is always fun to watch. Sadly neither has the common sense to step back and see it's all a bunch of cr@p.

      September 22, 2010 at 1:15 pm |
    • Lawrence

      Your knowledge is both broad and shallow

      September 22, 2010 at 1:40 pm |
    • KAScofield

      @MrEee, Atheism is a fine choice (so is agnosticism), but if you're saying that all people who have at least one religion are flakes, then you just pulled a false dilemma logic error (you were irrational):

      Rationalism vs. Religion

      September 22, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
  16. The_Dude

    I like the fact the O'Donnell really upsets the limp-wristed crowd of obama voters. She must be doing something right.

    September 22, 2010 at 12:16 pm |
    • Alex

      You serious? Something right? The only thing right she has said is that she's not giving more national interviews. She has said too many stupid things already.

      September 22, 2010 at 12:23 pm |
    • Thomas

      I see your interested in limp writs ... wonder what this says about you? Me thinks some people are not as confident in themselves as they would like others to believe. lol

      September 22, 2010 at 12:28 pm |
    • John Clayton - Altanta

      And you just demonstrated that the right sees success as beating the left and winning power. If you fools cared more about our country first, you would be a whole lot less destructive to the country when you are in power.

      September 22, 2010 at 1:08 pm |
    • Bertina

      She doesn't upset me she makes me laugh – far from a limp wristed Obama supporter.

      September 22, 2010 at 1:08 pm |
    • Lawrence

      And do you also like the fact that she is ignorant, doesn't work much but maybe lives off campaign money, and whats with the limp wrist comment do you have some hidden unresolved issues you need to work on?

      September 22, 2010 at 1:33 pm |
    • Liutgard

      John Clayton, I LOVELOVELOVE you comment!

      September 22, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
    • Nikki

      She offended me and I didn't vote for Obama (and yes I voted) This sort of ignorance/intolerance has got to stop.

      September 23, 2010 at 11:38 am |
  17. Mentallic

    I don't understand why they settled on using a pentagram. Did they check all the other pointy-grams? What if their magic doesn't work because they are using the wrong one? How about some scientific pagan research, people?
    Doesn't anyone do religious research?
    When's the last time anyone did a study on effective methods of prayer without going off the deep end?

    September 22, 2010 at 12:08 pm |
    • Kate

      @Mentallic

      And Mentallic gets today's prize for inventing "pointy-grams" – expect Hallmark to file a trademark infringement suit against you however in the future for thinking of that one 🙂

      I think you might be getting the point of them wrong though (no pun intended) ... other than their actual physical properties and uses, it's my understanding that such things are symbolic focuses that help to get the brain in the right space to do things, the power isn't so much theirs as it is the pract|tioner's.

      I might be wrong though, it's been an awful long time sine I read Starhawk.

      Just sayin'

      September 22, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
    • Ituri

      While I'm no Wiccan, I can tell you that you're using the term "magic" shows me you don't understand what Wiccans generally are, which is naturalistic, NOT magically natured. They call circles and celibrate astronomical dates, they don't cast love spells. The only ones casting magic are the isolated teens looking for some fad to fulfill or movie fans looking for a cheap thrill.

      September 22, 2010 at 12:27 pm |
    • Edwin

      Well said, Ituri. But I do have friends who practice spellcraft, too (well, I did - I've sadly lost touch with them). Wiccans blur lines of magic much as Christian Faith Healers and Speakers of Tongues do (though those are not actually called magic, the effect is the same - trying to use divine power to alter the physical world).

      September 22, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
    • SurelyUjest

      Its Penticle not pentagram another miscue by the uniformed. Read the article again it is explained.

      September 22, 2010 at 1:37 pm |
    • TeachableMoment

      @Ituri,

      Correct, you are not a Wiccan. If you were one, you'd know that many, even most believe in Witchcraft, Magic (sometimes spelled Magick), and Sorcery.

      But, you are also correct, that its a trendy type thing, and if someone doesn't feel like admitting to believe in weird things, they may just describe themselves as naturists. It's not usually the type of group where people are going to try real hard to defend their faith, they may just bend to peer pressure.

      By tradition Wiccans also believe in keeping their beliefs secret, and lying is not a 'sin' in Wiccan belief, so... you really can't judge this religion by other religions, say like Muslim.

      Comedians make fun of them asking people at the airport if they are terrorists, we think 'like we would admit it if we were a terrorist' – We wouldn't but a Muslim might admit it. That's why they ask. Some religions teach honesty stronger than others.

      That's neither a complement nor a criticism, just food for thought.

      September 22, 2010 at 2:15 pm |
    • KAScofield

      You're describing scientism, the belief that scientific methods are applicable to all other arts and science.

      There indeed are scientists that are Neopagan.

      September 22, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
    • Moondancer

      Mentallic

      I'm just shocked that you had the audacity to say you don't understand why they settled on using a pentagram then asked if anyone ever did religious research!! The pentagram is a sacred Pagan symbol dating back thousands of years before Christianity and it was the Christians who portrayed this symbol as evil. They were in the middle of trying to convert Pagans to Christians and used as much misinformation they could. Haven't YOU done any religious research? Why on earth would any Pagan give up his/her sacred symbol? We had it first, and choose to ignore how Christianity distorted OUR symbol among their members. I would never conceive of giving up my symbol, faith, traditions or what I call myself, just to let another misinformed dupe trample all over any of it.

      Plus, our magick doesn't work because of the symbol, but because of our minds. The symbol itself doesn't cause any changes in energy. It is how it's perceived by the magick worker. So that statement was completely ridiculous.

      I'm not Wiccan, which is a fairly new religion formed mid 20th century but based on ancient Pagan belief systems. I am Strega, and my faith is centuries old. But I will defend anyone's religion, no matter what, as long as it never harms another....Period.

      As for O'Donnell, I don't know much about her or her politics, don't live in her state, but anyone running for office I would think would shy away from any connection to Paganism just because of the negative publicity it gets, along with the misinformation most of the country has grown up with. I'm hoping within my lifetime I will see this change, and for most to know that being a Pagan is beautiful, nothing evil at all, and nothing to distance yourself from. Until then, I highly doubt you will see any rep running for any office ever come forth with any true feelings about Paganism, witches, Wicca, etc.

      So sad.

      September 23, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
    • Rob Poole

      "I don't understand why they settled on using a pentagram."

      Well, I noted your rather flippant tone, Mentallic, but here's my non-flippant response: the five points of the pentagram correspond to the five "points" of the human body - the head, the arms, the legs, outstretched in a manner similar to DaVinci's illustrated man (the human form inscribed in a circle). A lot of Wiccans will tell you the five points of the pentagram correlate with the "five elements" - earth, air, fire, water, spirit. The only problem with this neologism is that ancient Western culture only recognized four elements, which persisted into the early study of alchemy - earth, air, fire, and water. "Spirit" is a made-up element that many Wiccans added, and I've had many healthy arguments with my Wiccan friends over this. It's one reason I call myself a pagan but not a Wiccan.

      The odd number of points allows the pentagram to be drawn "right side up" (pointing upward) or upside-down (pointing downward), and this latter configuration is thought to be a symbol of evil and banishment; modern Satanists have coopted the upside-down pentacle for their purposes, using it to symbolize the triumph of the flesh over the spirit. The upright pentacle is conversely viewed as a symbol of invocation, summoning, and the triumph of the spirit over the flesh.

      There are other symbols with different numbers of points that are used in various pagan and non-pagan belief systems. The hexagram, aka the Star of David, is one such symbol - it has an even number of points, and is considered balanced. (A recall a rabbi noting how it can be deconstructed into two triangles, pointing upward and downward, linking heaven and earth.) The septagram is a 7-pointed figure used by those who are into faeries.

      It's worth noting that your query about scientific inquiry into various symbols and practices isn't as silly as it might sound to some. Aleister Crowley firmly believed in using the Scientific Method when investigating the paranormal and the occult. (Crowley figured out the correlation between the Tree of Life of the Qabala and the Major Arcana of the Tarot, for example.) So, it's been done before, and if you really wanted to study the religions of the world to find out how the work and what parts of them work best, and why, you could definitely take that approach... that is, if you're truly serious about it.

      October 1, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
    • Rob Poole

      In response to SurelyUJest:

      First off, the word is spelled pentacle, not "penticle." Secondly, the term pentacle is more or less synonymous with pentagram, although the word pentagram might be favored more among mathematicians and geometers. I personally know pagans who use both terms freely and interchangeably, and I see nothing wrong with this. I don't think you should either.

      Also, though the article favors the term pentacle, that doesn't mean the term pentagram is somehow wrong. I wouldn't consider a blog piece in CNN to be authoritative about what pagans believe in general, especially with so much variance in our beliefs - although the article was pretty darned good.

      October 1, 2010 at 7:38 pm |
  18. Steven

    I thought Eric Zorn's column in the Chicago Tribune was much better informed and more thoughtful, as well as thought-provoking. I agree with Zorn's statement regarding O'Donnell's comments about dallying with Witchcraft: "good for her." As for Rev. Fox, the Wiccan priestess, being offended by O'Donnell's comments, it seems to me that this is an indication even witches aren't as open-minded as they think they are. Perhaps O'Donnell's experience was with a coven that had different beliefs from Fox's. This is a vitally important point not mentioned in the above article: unlike Christianity, Islam, Judaism, etc., there is no central belief system that one must adhere to in order to consider one's self a witch. Perhaps even adherents of Wicca/ Witchcraft need to be reminded of that now and again.

    September 22, 2010 at 12:00 pm |
    • Thomas

      UHMMM, I do not think you quite 'get it' being, when O'Donnell made her comments she linked, either by ignorance or belief, 'witchcraft' to Satanism. I doubt someone of her age on a first date with a 'witch' could have made an accurate determination whether the 'altar' was a Satanic variety unless she was very much more qualified to make such a judgment then she lets on. I would disagree with you on a central beliefs system, I think the central belief system does it exist while the peripheral system may not be the same, still calling a Christian a Satanist would be as incorrect as calling a Wiccan a Satanist, perhaps even more so since the Wiccan religion does not profess the concept of a "Satan".

      September 22, 2010 at 12:22 pm |
    • Origen

      @Thomas

      Calling a Christian a Satanist is not exactly without merit. Read the Bible, and you will find out that in the Old Testament "god" itself reminds us, and more than once, that he "created evil". So who's the evil one now? The god of the Bible. Well, one of them to be more precise. As a result, Christians worship the creator of Evil, the one they call Satan.

      September 22, 2010 at 12:35 pm |
    • Bianca

      Agrees with you Steven.

      September 22, 2010 at 1:06 pm |
    • D.C.

      Thomas, for someone who speaks as if he has knowledge of a subject, your comments reveal your ignorance. Different pagan/ wiccan systems DO accept Satan as a being worthy of praise and worship. However, this acceptance/ unacceptance is up to them. Read a book on the subject sometime, one that is not written by an individual practicioner of a certain form of wicca.

      Steven is correct, all of us who consider ourselves "liberal" have to stop and remind ourselves that modern witchcraft/ paganism/ wicca is so open-ended and accepting of ALL that we have a hard time even conceiving of it. They can worship whatever or whoever they want or not worship anything at all. We could all learn from that, especially those who claim the concept of wicca has boundaries.

      BTW, "Kate" that "Just sayin'" garbage makes you look like a buffoon, which is a shame because you make a (few) good points.

      September 22, 2010 at 1:07 pm |
    • Kate

      @DC

      So much for open and accepting of all 😛 Who are you to criticize my religious observances?

      Are you a coulrophobic?

      Just notin'

      September 22, 2010 at 1:12 pm |
    • SurelyUjest

      The difference between "witchcraft" and "Satanism" has been very clear since the 70's. I was raised open to all religious beliefs when my parents dabbled in Wicca when I was about 15 I finally found a spiritual home. I am a Pagan meaning to me I enjoy spiritual elements of Wicca, Druidism, Native American and Buddhist (all nature based)beliefs all rolled in to a happy non dogmatic, spriritual home for me. So it is not so simple to call myself a Witch or whatever without raising questions. Folks still confuse Wicca with satanism all the time mostly because Wiccans (most that I know) still like to call themselves witches. Education is what is needed to remedy this situation of slander to pagan, wiccan, druid, believers. I agree she insulted Witches by connecting them to "Satanic alter" and again with the "questionable folks" statement. When I have a question I ask it, I don't run around saying that is "questionable"? if I really want to learn something. So if you don't know about someones beliefs, don't be afraid and connect it to some dark picture you learned somewhere, just ask.

      September 22, 2010 at 1:34 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      I am sorry DC but you are incorrect.
      Wiccans do not believe in 'Satan' so do not 'worship' said individual.

      September 22, 2010 at 1:46 pm |
    • Ol' Dragon

      @ Origen, don't Gnostic till you've tried it! lol

      September 22, 2010 at 1:46 pm |
    • Anne

      @Steven

      You are rather off-base. Just because Paganism is an open faith that accepts many different practices does not mean it must sit down and shut up when someone mis-characterizes its basic tenants. When someone feeds into a negative stereotype of your religion, the proper thing to do is to politely but firmly refute it. It's absolutely imperative to do so when that person is a public figure, and when the story is picked up by the news across the country. This story feeds into many persistent myths including: anyone who refers to themselves as a witch is a satanist therefore paganism which sometimes uses the term 'witch' and 'witchcraft' is Satanist; those who call themselves witches are by definition not good people, and anyone who associates with them should be ashamed; witchcraft, or anything associated with the term is not a religion deserving the same respect as other faiths, it is a dangerous or silly practice that people 'dabble' in but are not serious about. All of these are common misconceptions and actively harm pagans who are just trying to go about their lives.

      September 22, 2010 at 2:04 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Steven: I don't know you so I have to wonder how you know more than Fox, a pagan high priestess of 40 years? If she says paganism and satanism are not the same thing... I'm likely to believe her, not you.

      September 22, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
    • CC

      Um, Steven, as a witch, may tell you that you are wrong. There is no such thing as a witch that follows satan. Period. Satan does not appear in any pagan teaching or following, it is strictly a Judeo/Christian thing, which excludes them from being Pagan. This is not exclusionary or anything, it is simply fact. If you worship satan, you are an offshoot of Christianity. You may not call yourself a witch or wiccan, since they both require a certain nature belief and are absent of anything in the Bible. I mean, if you want to start throwing the word witch around and say anybody can call themselves a witch- perhaps in name only. But there are no satanic covens. Those are called cults and I think, even Satanists might take umbrage.

      September 22, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
    • KAScofield

      This is not about having an open mind but involves confronting denigrating defamation, demonization and disinformation - the problem was that O'Donnell **equated** witchcraft with Satanism when many religions (and atheists) practice witchcraft/magic (arts and disciplines of change). (Only about 3 percent of witches are Satanic witches according to some estimates.)

      Among some circles, there is a known ex-witch phenomenon in which the ex-witch claims to have gotten mixed up in Satanism, after which they salvation through Jesus Christ. Within this trope, they present all things Paganism/magic/witchcraft as Satanic, evil, despite the fact that Satan or the Devil come from the bible, not Wicca or Druidry or the many religions that practice magic/witchcraft (change). (Yes, Christian witches and Satanic witches are the exceptions, but, again they are few in number compared to others who practice witchcraft or magic).

      September 22, 2010 at 9:20 pm |
    • Lighsinger

      The insult comes from having her beliefs misrepresented...there may be people out there who identify themselves as "witches" who may believe in Satan, but Wicca is an established belief system that does not, nor has it ever had the construct of Satan as part of its belief system. It's like saying that thre are Christians out there who don't believe in Christ as part of their religion....huh? Say what? That's a contradiction in terms, since "Christian" literally means "Christ-like". Why would anyone want to be "Christ-like" if they didn't believe in Christ?

      I've known Wiccans most of my adult life. Not a single one of them - regardless of which Wiccan tradition they follow or what coven if any - who has ever believed in Satan or the Devil. These are strictly Christian/Judeo/Islamic traditions and have nothing whatsoever to do with Wicca. Never have...never will. To assume that it must be something that a "different coven" believes is to demonstrate a complete ignorance of the Wiccan religion. Read up on the subject...any book dealing with it written by a Wiccan...any book at all. You will not find any mention of your Christian Satan there....trust me.

      September 25, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  19. Starwind Evensong

    While Paganism continues to be ridiculed by some, indeed – as Selena espoused – it is advantageous to use these teaching moments to clarify our beliefs. While I, like others, don't expect this to impact those who are fundamental adherents to Christian doctrine, there are those who question some Christian teachings and it is with those people, and those who are more open and accepting of varied beliefs, where we will find greater acceptance as they come to better understanding.

    September 22, 2010 at 11:50 am |
    • Mark

      Well if I had to choose between between believing a Christian or a Pagan, the Pagan will always win; I do not dislike Christians, but they have lost all credibility

      September 22, 2010 at 12:58 pm |
    • JakeD

      @Mark

      How hilarious, so Christian's have lost credibility, and now people who believe in witchcraft are credible. How about, one has nothing to do with the other. The credibility of Wiccans, doesn't raise or fall in contrast to Christianity.

      The reality is, the Wiccan faith is just another faith system. A series of made up beliefs coming from people who like make believe.

      September 22, 2010 at 1:45 pm |
    • Amalor Myrnnyx

      @Mark,

      So what would you say of a Wiccan who follows the teachings of Jesus? Not a "Christian," but one who recognizes the wisdom of Jesus, and his teachings of peace and forgiveness.

      In all fairness, I also look toward anyone who promotes peace and tranquility, be they a religious icon or otherwise.

      September 22, 2010 at 1:59 pm |
    • Mandy180

      Pagans are retards, who WASTE their lives, trying to make it better by studying MUMBO JUMBO. What would make your life better is studying healthcare or something USEFUL. What a friggen waste and drain on society. You should be ashamed!

      September 25, 2010 at 8:27 pm |
    • Thultarn

      Wow Mandy typically closed minded are we? Why is it that people love to forget history? Especially christians more people have been killed in the name of the christian church than most wars added up. Not all are bad but religion in any sense is just a control method. Step out side all them and read on other religions without your own beliefs getting in the way. People will learn alot don't read on a couple i mean really read many others including satanism. Remember do it without your own belief making you say this is wrong, do it with an open mind, if you cannot then you are no better than the extremist people we are fighting against in The War on Terrorism. Their minds are closed and set on destruction even against their true religious beliefs, why?.... control. Bin Laden and others that want to see the USA brought down are using Islam to control people, and don't tell me that that also don't happen here with our government using the church to their advantage. These people are no better than the ones we fight. O'donnell is just trying to buy votes, ones religious beliefs should never matter in the way one votes. Separation of church and State.

      Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity.
      -Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782

      Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.
      -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814

      “The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion”
      George Washington quote

      Gettysburg: 'Under God' Inserted Long After Speech Given
      We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain - that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom - and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
      - Abraham Lincoln, closing the Gettysburg Address

      America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.
      Abraham Lincoln

      September 25, 2010 at 9:03 pm |
    • Lauren

      Mandy180- please tell me you at least share that opinion for all religions that study the "mumbo jumbo" of mythology instead of studying medicine or law, including various mainstream religions like Christianity, Islam, Taoism...

      September 25, 2010 at 10:04 pm |
  20. jonolan

    More likely, she's seen how the anti-American "lamestream" media attacks any and all conservatives and how they go out of their way to vilify any conservative woman – any woman at all, in point of fact, as their treatment of Hillary plainly showed.

    But to the meat of this post –

    And so? She doesn't trust Pagans and find them "questionable." OK. So what? Do you expect a Christian to feel otherwise?

    I'm Pagan – a follower of Morrigu and Cernunnos – and I certainly don't expect any Christian to think other than that I knowingly or unknowing serve their Devil.

    September 22, 2010 at 11:30 am |
    • Kate

      @jonolan

      I don't know, I think any socialist hiding behind conservative credentials deserves to be attacked, regardless of gender – and O'Donnell is a socialist (at least a s3xual socialist)

      But to the meat, as you put it.

      What on earth gives you the idea she finds pagans "questionable" (and note how she never defines what she means by that) because she's a Christian? Given the context of her denunciation, it much more likely to be a reaction to the clip showing up.

      Which would mean she might find pagans questionable because other people are Christians, rather than because she is. Amazing how eagerly she tosses her friends from the time to one side on the national stage.

      You might not expect Christians to think otherwise, I'm just confused why you seemingly refuse to consider that a politician might say they think otherwise simply to preserve votes?

      Do you just prefer the idea of being discounted or considered questionable because of belief over the idea you might be discounted or considered questionable because of expediency?

      Just wonderin'

      September 22, 2010 at 11:54 am |
    • ugghh

      you really think that your "lamestream" media would not question the same if it were someone who was considered Liberal?...really?...It is not a matter of her side...it is a matter of her hypocritical nature...as well as the "what the heck are you doing having dates on alters (of any kind)"

      September 22, 2010 at 12:40 pm |
    • Alverant

      No, she's not being attacked in this article for her conservative views. She's being attacked because she slandered the Wicca religion twice and acts like it is acceptable behavior.

      Unfortunately this is another case of conservative christian persecution, when they're not doing it to others they're claiming to be victims of it.

      September 22, 2010 at 12:58 pm |
    • Margaret

      Politics aside, I think O'Donnel was had. If she had a picnic on a satanic altar, then she wasn't with a witch, aka Wiccan. I think someone was having her on, and witchcraft/Wicca had nothing to do with it. She was probably told that by someone who was pretending for her benefit.

      September 22, 2010 at 1:15 pm |
    • RobL

      What a load... She didn't defame Wiccans. The reality is, satanic ritual's are among the beliefs floating around there in the stratosphere...and if you have ever met some of these people, as I have, they are most definately of the belief that they are dabbling in 'dark arts'. In fact, the 'good witches' would be referred to as 'white witches' so as to give them a distinction from what they are doing – which is as they say in nerd parlance – gone to the dark side.

      While I think O'Donnel is a quack, and it must make Bill Buckley spin in his grave to see what's become of conservatism – moron like Palin are leaders now. Witch-dabbling know nothings like O'Donnel are now serious candidates - the idea that O'Donnel is a Wiccan basher, just because she once mentioned about her dabbling in witchcraft, which included a satanic alter – which is not a made up story, but alas, in fact accurate (like this is a good thing?).

      I find both sides of this argument is being waged by singled-minded, and misinformed people.

      Maybe you all should take a break from politics. One can only hope.

      September 22, 2010 at 1:41 pm |
    • Kate

      @DavidMichael

      I posted an example of two of the intelligent questions the media should be asking all the candidates already. Give the Terms of Service means CNN gets the perpetual irrevocable unlimited and absolute right to use any content we posts here, you want me to do their jobs for them?

      Just interviewin'

      September 22, 2010 at 1:55 pm |
    • Kris Greenn

      I'm with you Jonolan.

      September 22, 2010 at 2:01 pm |
    • vdee08

      @RobL
      thank you so much for enlightening us with your oh so wonderful knowledge of things. your full knowledge of the facts of ALL religions astounds me and makes my internet presence humble in your internet presence.

      oh by the way, YOU SIR ARE AN IDIOT!!!!!!!!

      September 22, 2010 at 2:16 pm |
    • Griffin Moss

      So here is the really fun part about the Satanism comment. Wiccans, on the whole, do not believe in pure good or evil. While there is some debate about he use of the name Lucifer (which literally is 'light bringer'), strictly speaking the vast majority (read almost all) Pagans and Wiccans do not include Satan in their pantheon.

      Why? Because Satan is a Judeo-Christian-Muslim construct. Satan does not show up in any traditional mythos except the Bible. So...after you flame me for lumping Muslims in with Christianity & Judaism (that is all Abraham's fault...family squabble) you can flame me for this:

      Because the only religions that embrace the existence of Satan and are at the root of that construct, in order to be a Satanist, you must first be Christian or Muslim and then be corrupted.

      It is impossible for those of us who have no construct of Satan to be Satanists, much less worship at an altar dedicated to such a construct.

      I'm just sayin'

      September 22, 2010 at 2:22 pm |
    • MikeTX

      This Catholic Christian knows the difference. I know several Wiccans, one is a pretty good friend. I know they are not satinists, nor does Wiccan have anything to do with satin or his followers.

      I don't agree with their beliefs (Wiccans), and neither do they believe in mind. It's a non-issue between us.
      We respect our differences, occasionally talk about them, but mainly are friends and acquaintances who belief different things.

      September 22, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
    • David Branch

      What I expect is that our elected officials possess some basic knowledge of the world we live in and more importantly have the ability to research things before they spew off pre conceived misconceptions. In this day and age of the internet you really have to be a complete fool to not to be able to validate your statements.

      September 22, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
    • bunsen

      As Christians aren't they supposed to leave judgement of others up to their almighty . . .

      September 22, 2010 at 3:43 pm |
    • Frogist

      @ David Branch: You're asking politicians to be informed and understand what they're saying? Wow! Cool it with the inflammatory rhetoric! Good grief, you'll start a riot!

      September 22, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
    • Sorcha

      Jonolan: Not all Christians are narrowminded and judgemental. Some of us know that everyone has to believe in their own way.

      George in Texas: That might possibly be a logical argument if anyone actually believed they floated around in space after death. Other than people who don't actually have their right minds, I don't think you could find anyone Christian who believes that literally.

      WiserAngel: The Catholic Church persecuted people, but they weren't "Wiccans" – the Wiccan religion as we know it today was codified by Gerald Gardner in the mid-20th century. Most of the people persecuted were women who were too outspoken, or werepeople who were mentally ill or disabled in some way, or who angered the wrong person. Some were herbal healers, but very few could have been called "pagan" in any sense that we recognize the word today.

      September 22, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
    • Nunya

      They don't vilify 'vilify any conservative woman' – only those who aren't smart enough to defend their views.

      September 25, 2010 at 11:57 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.