Thursday, October 14, 2010

Media needs to stop enabling stigmas

Mandee Kuglin

The Senate is on the verge of change as 37 of the 100 Senate seats are up for election in November. However, one candidate for the senate in Delaware is causing quite a stir. Tea party favored Christine O'Donnell caused an upset when she became the GOP Senate candidate after the primaries. Though I disagree with everything the tea party stands for, my issue with O'Donnell does not revolve around her party affiliations, but rather her idiotic comments.

Ten years ago, O'Donnell was recorded on Bill Maher's show "Politically Incorrect" saying that she had "dabbled in Witchcraft." Now, being that I am Wiccan and have been for 10 years, I was immediately interested and curious to see how someone, a conservative especially, was portraying the religion in the media. However, I was disappointed as I realized that O'Donnell was simply an idiot that continues to perpetuate negative connotations and stereotypes with the religion.

According to a Star Tribune article entitled "Comedian digs up clip of Del. Senate hopeful talking of 'witchcraft'; candidate nixes TV spots," O'Donnell was quoted saying that she had experimented with Witchcraft. What most bothers me about her comments, even if they did occur 10 years ago, is that she gives the wrong impression on the Pagan religion. "'One of my first dates with a witch was on a satanic altar, and I didn't know it. I mean, there's little blood there and stuff like that,' she said. 'We went to a movie and then had a little midnight picnic on a satanic altar.'"

First of all, you cannot "dabble" in a religion. You either believe in it or you don't. Second of all, her comment about her first date with a witch has no basis in the beliefs of Wicca or Paganism. What she is referring to is called Satanism, something that is not at all the same thing as witchcraft. In fact, the idea of Satan or the devil does not even exist in the Wiccan belief system as it is something created within the Judeo-Christian religions.

The media does not do a good job of accurately portraying Pagan religions in any way whatsoever, but this politician is someone that people look up to, which is a scary thought. And though she is crazy and ignorant in my eyes, to other people I am the one who is crazy for believing in a religion that isn't Christianity or Judaism.

I'm not here to argue what belief system makes more sense or which one is true. The point I'm making is that it is ridiculous to allow people like this to continually perpetuate stigma and ignorance. Lately, injustice has been made against the Islamic religion and the media have protested and become active in helping to change public opinion about the religion. But this is never done with Paganism or Wicca, and it should be.

Original Article

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