Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Paganism in the news: Satanism isn't Witchcraft, and recommended post: "Pagan Reactions to O’Donnell’s “Dabble-Gate”" at the Wild Hunt

When the video first broke of a certain DE Senate candidate supposedly admitting back in the 90s that she'd "dabbled into Witchcraft" (yes, ladies and gentlemen, those were her exact words), I admit I went and watched it, and even shared it in a certain social networking forum... because at the time, I thought it was ridiculous, and even a little funny.  

I also made comments about how in talking about a "Satanic altar" she clearly hadn't a clue, because any self-respecting Witch or Satanist will tell you that Witches don't have Satanic altars, because Witchcraft and Satanism are not the same thing. 

Conclusion, somebody was trying to impress her, thrill her, be a jerk, get her to sleep with him, etc, and took her on this midnight picnic.

I put it out of my mind, went to visit family out of state, and focused on my Tradition's Fall Equinox celebration.

While I wasn't paying attention, the media got all over it, and that hasn't been all good for Real-Life Pagans.   On the other hand, times have changed enough that representatives of several Pagan organizations have been contacted, and have been quoted in the news. 

Jason Pitzl-Waters over at the Wild Hunt has some good analysis of the news coverage; check it out here: 

"Pagan Reactions to O’Donnell’s “Dabble-Gate”" at the Wild Hunt

On the whole, I wish the mainstream coverage had been a bit more nuanced. I think there are larger issues to confront than “Witches don’t worship Satan” involved here, and I’m disappointed that we may have lost our chance to raise them before the media machine moves on to the next controversy. Still, I suppose it’s a mark of how far we’ve come that representatives from several organizations and traditions were contacted by the mainstream media for our thoughts.



But wait, there's more!  Now even Democrats seem to agree that being Pagan means not being electable.  Gah!  

"The O'Donnell "Dabble-Gate" Feeding Frenzy" at the Wild Hunt

While we stick to the “it’s not Satanism” talking points of old, a larger narrative, and one harder to easily refute is taking shape before our eyes. That any taint of Paganism, of Witchcraft, of the occult, is political suicide.

1 comment:

RantWoman said...

What is it: the Chinese character for change involves both challenge and opportunity.

What an excellent opportunity both to winden the space for conversations about what is meant by specific terms and practices and to have more conversations about real religious pluralism.

Culture is NOT nothing but this is also a case of the media seizing on some cultural exotica; let us hope the conversation also helps energize serious truth squadding about everything else coming out of the Tea Party!