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Christine O'Donnell's Witchcraft | The Nation

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Katrina vanden Heuvel

Katrina vanden Heuvel

Politics, current affairs and riffs and reflections on the news.

Christine O'Donnell's Witchcraft

Anyone want to ask Christine O’Donnell how many stars there are on the American flag? Because as a “2 + 2 = 5”-believing officer of the Thought Police, she just might insist that there are fifty-one—and keep you locked up in a chastity belt till you agree.

O’Donnell claims to know what’s going on in your brain and your heart when you’re at your most intimate, and it’s not Al Green-style love and happiness. O’Donnell instead equates sexual pleasure with impurity and lust, two demons that she wants excised from the American mind. It’s anyone’s guess, really, as to why she cares so much about what (or who) goes down in beds that she’s not sleeping in, but the senatorial candidate certainly has—pardon me—a hard-on for the sexual motives of her neighbors.

"You can’t masturbate without lust,” she says, equating self-pleasure with adultery. (Who knew?) And she wrote in 1998, “I know many physical virgins who are not sexually pure. I know many virgins who are into pornography or who are 'doing everything but' with their boyfriends. On the flip side, I know many non-virgins who live beautiful, holy, pure lives through the power of Christ's blood.” Aside from the creepiness of O'Donnell's ability to channel the thoughts of a masturbating teenager’s mind, there’s also the logical conundrum of how someone who perceives the world in such a black-and-white, positive-or-negative fashion, can imagine such a vast gray area concerning sexuality and virginity. No hymen examinations for her, no ma’am—not intrusive enough. What’s more, it’s certainly a sick individual who brings Christ’s blood into a discussion about pornography, but then again, what besides an offensive mishmash of imagery should one expect from an ideologue who also suggests that the medical bills accrued by an AIDS patient are embodiments of God’s wrath?

You can only imagine, then—only someone with O’Donnell-type clairvoyance would actually know for sure—what might have been going through her mind when, as a teen, she “dabbled into witchcraft.”

“One of my first dates with a witch was on a Satanic altar,” she says, “and I didn't know it. I mean, there's little blood there and stuff like that.... We went to a movie and then had a midnight picnic on a Satanic altar.”

Ironically, it’s O’Donnell who’s adulterating the real message of witchcraft, which has nothing at all to do with Satanism “and stuff like that.” Wiccans are more partial to Mother Earth than they are to Judeo-Christian cartoon characters, and it makes one wonder how much of her own faith—Roman Catholicism—O’Donnell actually understands if she can’t get straight this fairly basic precept of witchcraft. Could O’Donnell’s sexual Puritanism actually be a misinterpretation of the Bible specifically geared towards garnering votes?

O’Donnell is wrong—wrong for America, wrong for Congress and wrong for Christianity—on so many levels that mere logic and common sense preclude supporting her. Then again, if you’ve always wondered why your neighbors are having such great sex, she might be just the agent you need to find out.

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