Sep 202010
 

C is a registered Democrat and lives in a suburb of a large city. C requested I not use her name as her employer does not know she is a Wiccan and her Pagan friends do not know she is involved with the Tea Party Patriots.
D is a former GOP member and lives in a small town in Delaware. He describes himself as a Forge Witch. D also requested I not use his name.

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P+p: How did you become involved with the Tea Party?
C: I was vehemently against the Tea Party, but after reading the interviews on Pagan + Politics, I decided to look into it for myself.  I promised myself I would read the messages and attend at least one meeting so that I could say I took the time to understand what the Tea Party is all about.  I expected to find right-wing drivel and lots of praising Jesus that we aren’t all queer, and I found it. I found the right-wing drivel and praising Jesus, not anything anti-homosexual.  What I noticed is religious comments are ignored and if they move past a surface statement and go into condemning or proselytizing, people tell them to take it elsewhere. “Take it outside” is how they say it. The same is true when people try to bring up social issues. Take it outside. They are very focused on economic issues, a bit on some civil liberty issues.

The next thing that I noticed is the level of disgust and anger directed at the GOP. I thought I hated the GOP, but this group is really angry at the GOP Party leadership. They call them the ruling class. It was surreal, reading many of the same critiques of the GOP there as what I read on the Daily Kos or Democratic Underground. That’s what got my attention and caused me to take a second look at the Tea Party and what they are doing.

What they are doing is what I wish we were doing in the Democratic party. Cleaning out the Party elite. Focusing on our weak economy. Talking about jobs. Most importantly, soliciting ideas from the rank and file and pushing those ideas upwards instead of having these platforms imposed on us from on high. It’s a very collaborative process, very consensus based. I enjoy that greatly. I’m part of the Tea Party now, in part to learn how to effect change like this within the Democratic Party and in part because the people are so very earnest and open. I’ve told them I’m a spy and only there to learn their tricks and they think it’s funny and welcome me anyway.

D: I left the GOP in disgust during the last half of Bush’s term. Anyone who thinks Bush was a conservative should have their head examined. I had held my nose and voted for him, considering him the lesser of two evils. Turns out there was no difference between him and Gore and Kerry. By voting for him, we helped push the GOP further to the left economically. It was like the Democrats and Republicans were in a race to see who could be more corrupt, who could spend more, who could take a bigger shit on the Constitution. After that, I had decided to withdraw. No donations, no votes.

When the Tea party started up, I jumped on board. At first I was hopeful it would become a third Party. I almost left during the in-fighting that shook out what our goal was. I’m glad I stayed in. We are standing together to support the most fiscally conservative candidate for each office and we don’t care about any other issue. The GOP has taken the conservative vote for granted for a long time and that is ending. The ruling class thinks they can choose the candidates and we will just have to vote for them no matter what. We don’t and we won’t. Party does not come first and control of Congress is not our main concern. The sooner the GOP understands that, the better. Right now the GOP is learning some painful lessons and they aren’t real happy with us. That’s good. I haven’t been happy with them for a long time.

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P+p: Christine O’Donnell, what happened there?

C: Deep pockets were taken out the equation. She wasn’t supposed to win, shouldn’t have had the money to win, and if the strategy is to elect as many GOP candidates as possible to take back Congress, the Tea Party didn’t get the memo. That’s not quite right. The Tea Party got the memo and threw it in the trash. It’s amazing to me how they kick possible candidates around, argue over who will fit their economic policy ideas the best, and then there is a moment of consensus. The decision crystallizes and they all pitch in to support the chosen candidate. Her social policy ideas were embraced by some and were repugnant to others, but people were reminded again and again that the Tea Party is neutral on issues like abortion. There is a group of conservative Christians who are trying to push more of their religious agenda on the Tea Party, but so far they haven’t been successful. I’ve heard about other Tea Party groups who have been taken over by social conservatives.

D: She’s flat out bat-shit insane and I’m going to vote for her. I’m ok with a candidate who is a bit screwy on things as the mainstream would consider me a bit screwy in some of my views. It’s better than the white-washed lying politicians who keep everything vague rainbows. I’ll take someone with real-life baggage that I can see. It’s making me do a double-take when I hear Pagans talk about how weird her ideas are and then start talking about how their aura feels off today. Don’t you think some of our ideas sound daft to those outside our group?

I’ve made my decision that the number one problem facing our country is our economy and I’ll support the candidate who will rein in the deficit and not take pay-offs to screw me over. O’Donnell looks to fit that bill.

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P+p: Some of O’Donnell’s views are being mocked, by both the Left and the Right. What do you think of Masturbationgate?

C: Everything that we are facing and the main topic in the news is if she enjoys masturbating? You’ve got to be kidding me. As long as she isn’t saying she will introduce legislation to ban self-pleasuring I don’t care what her personal religious beliefs are. My religious beliefs are that masturbation is a great way to raise fertility energy for my seedlings. I’m sure the same people who are mocking O’Donnell for not masturbating for religious reasons would mock me for masturbating for religious reasons. I thought it would bother the Tea Party. Some of them find it funny, some of them approve of her views on masturbation, but over all, they don’t appear to care.

D: I don’t care if she hasn’t ever jacked off or does it every day before eating her Wheaties.

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P+p: A video has come to light talking about how O’Donnell “dabbled” in witchcraft. What are your thoughts on that? Will this hurt her chances for election?

C: What chance for election? I don’t think she will be elected.

I don’t like how she calls it “dabbling.” That’s my religion you are talking about. What I have enjoyed even less is the Left going after her for this. Should being a witch or “dabbling” in witchcraft make you unelectable? Is it a sign that you are mentally unstable? A joke? Progressive friends and co-workers, not knowing that I’m a witch, have had the most appalling things to say about O’Donnell and witches. It’s very hurtful to hear. The GOP Party leaders are also attacking her over this. Within the Tea Party, the response what I should be seeing from the Left. Some are questioning her fitness, but the consensus response is now, “Religious attacks are not allowed here and her religious beliefs are none of our business. Take it outside.” I’m curious how other Tea Party groups are responding to this. Are they laughing at her? Condemning her for devil worshiping? If any of your readers knows this, I would like to know.

D: I think she will surprise the ruling classes when she wins. She is behind in the polls, but we are energized to vote and we will show up to vote. I don’t think the Democrats will come out in heavy numbers.

If this witchcraft admission affects her or not depends on how she handles it. I would like her to come out and explain what happened, not denigrate witchcraft, and then move on. If it was some guy who wanted to get into her pants, that’s what I think happened, she should say so. Ideally she would talk about the difference between Paganism and 1980′s and 90′s style Plagans. I doubt that will happen. A mage can dream, right?

I haven’t seen anyone in the Tea Party throw a fit like they have in the media. When people make fun of her for dabbling in witchcraft they are making fun of us. I’m seeing Pagans do that, too. They are so interested in making a Republican candidate look bad that they are willing to hurt our own path. But no, I’m not seeing the Tea Party get too upset over this. They are saying that it doesn’t matter and is an attempted distraction, don’t fall for it.

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P+p: Thank you for answering my questions. I have a final one – will you be voting for O’Donnell?

C: No. I don’t think I will be voting for the Democratic candidate, either. He is not a Democrat. I may be sitting this vote out.
D: Barring something earth shattering, I will vote for O’Donnell.

(edited for formatting)

  57 Responses to “Delaware Tea Party Pagans React to O’Donnell”

  1. No one I know cares if O’Donnell is Christian or Wiccan (but I don’t know any Wiccans who are Satanists, nor do I know any whe ended a date on an altar and “didn’t know it”), or Muslim, or whatever. I will defend freedom of and freedom from religion, as long as religion is not coercerced. I will defend freedom of speech. Nowhere in our Constitution does it say or imply that freedom of speech incudes protection for those who choose to lie. We include in our 5th amendment a way for people not to implicate themselves in the commission of a crime by saying nothing at all; they may not testify if doing so might lead to a conclusion negative to themselves EVEN IF THAT CONCLUSION MAT BE INCORRECT. I don’t believe O’Donnell was ever Wiccan; I think she is sadly In need of a great deal of attention and will play any part that gives her that attention. 22 appearances on Bill Maher? And a special note for toy, C; if the R’s back the T’s (and they are), they WILL kill Social Security and Medicare, they Do Believe this is a Christian country and no one else belongs (including the original inhabitants, with whom the Christian settlers made Trust agreements that have never been kept), and if they gain the House there will be nothing but subpoenas and Bachman hunting for Unamericans. Keep your eyes and ears wide open.

  2. Nice job, Cara. Good to see some reporting on this from a Pagan perspective. This jumped out at me:

    “The GOP has taken the [fiscal] conservative vote for granted for a long time”

    I’ve heard the social conservatives say the same thing from time to time. The Republican party invites these folks to the prom but never asks them to dance. Maybe this is the year the pigeons come home to roost.

    “What do you think of Masturbationgate?”

    I suspect this is as much a non-issue for most Americans as it was for your two interviewees, especially inasmuch as this is an opinion she held when she was younger, not (afaik) anything she’s pushing now.

    I’d've liked to see some larger questions. The Tea Party had a lot of “a plague on both your parties” when it first emerged. Now it’s involved in GOP primaries. What’s happened to the folks who wanted nothing to do with either party? Or is this a sea change within the Tea Party?

    • Good question. This is my personal perspective on “What’s happened to the folks who wanted nothing to do with either party?”

      It’s still a “Plague on both your houses” but a few things happened that directed the outlet for this feeling.

      The Democrats (leadership) shut the Tea Party out. There were Democrat Tea Party members who tried working within the local Democrat Party, but when the Democrats heard about it, they blocked them out. So you have Democrat Tea Party members become frustrated and either lose interest or switch to Independent and lean more Right. (A lover scorned, you know?) Which is a shame because the Democrat Tea Party was looking to increase the number of (fiscal) Blue Dogs. It could have put the two parties on equal standing for economic issues like balancing the budget and the Democrats would have had an edge in Social issues like abortion. It could have pulled Conservative votes away from the GOP while keeping the liberal base.

      The GOP Leadership let the Tea Party in. They kept seeing the Tea Party as a group they could control. They underestimated their learning curve. So the Tea Party energy became directed towards the GOP because that was the Party they could affect. The words “Hostile take-over” (coined by Dick Armey) are resonating within the Tea Party. Which is why you are seeing long-time GOP leadership just raking the Tea Party (and TP supported candidates) over the coals.

      Third – Independents make up just under 1/2 of the Tea Party and they, as a group, are leaning far more to the Right on fiscal issues than they were 2 years ago. (it was an almost even split then, now it is closer to 60/30) Many of them were Obama voters, but now favor Conservative fiscal policies (which is not the same ad GOP policies) and this has redirected the Tea Party as well.

  3. I am always curious to hear more from people involved with the Tea Party, so thank you both for sharing! I’m a bit anomalous in my voting in that I usually go between Green or Libertarian. My only real issue is Education. I don’t care what groups want to do with the economy, I just want them to support a complete education for every citizen!

    So since the Big Two have only ever done a lot of talking and very little walking on that front, I’m forced to look elsewhere for political satisfaction. I’ve watched the Tea Party gain some serious momentum but I have also sadly seen it become another venue for political opportunism. I will always consider every available candidate when voting but I wish I could see more TP candidates who matched the economically-focused ideas of the movement speak. Thus far I’m seeing largely far-right candidates willing to lean left to get in the door.

    Again, I’ll be watching any candidate I can vote for but as time goes on, my eyes light up a little less brightly when I hear about new TP developments. Who knows, though, could just be a few bad apples =)

    • If government funded education is your main issue – you are going to find a VERY mixed bag in the Tea Party.

      Most want to end federal funding along with the federal mandates. However, almost all of them want stronger state funding and more local control to increase local involvement. Some want vouches. An idea that is being brought up more often is some kind of financial incentive for parental school involvement combined with the vouchers – a parent can increase the voucher amount through time worked – almost a habitat for humanity approach to education. Almost none of them want to fund college level education on a student level (but will fund state colleges directly)

  4. Thank you Cara, for this wonderful article.

    Baruch, I think the reason the Tea Party is working mainly in Republican elections is mostly because that’s the only place they can at the moment. Democrats hold the power and don’t see a reason to change (those who do realize that no matter what they say, the actions of the last two years won’t make them believable, so they may wait for the next round after that). Meanwhile, the “Republicans” are desperate to get into office and many are newbies to the game are happy to hold the “Cut Spending” line in order to have a leg up on their higher ranking and more wealthy party members. But I suspect you will see a rise in the “Plague on both your houses” again soon enough. I think most of the “solidarity” is just a media shadow game, trying to discredit the Tea Party as “republican” rather than any actual reality.

    Personally, I’m not happy with either side of the Media at this point. Painting us as quacks simply because it’s more useful to discredit someone who has shown serious political power because the “dabbled” is just wrong. (And we shouldn’t really get on her for the dabbling comment. We all “dabbled” when we started, it’s just we figured we’d stick with it. She didn’t. What other term could she really have used?)

    Interestingly enough, I think almost every state has “anti-masturbation” laws already on the books, but no one bothers to enforce them. I wouldn’t worry too much about this O’Donnell’s views on such matters. Even if she wants to enforce them, she is but one of many people out there, and I suspect she’ll be more interested in pleasing the Tea Party if they get her elected, than in any “Pro-Christian” platform.

    • Alchemist, I agree completely that none of us is in a position to scorn “dabbling;” how did we get here? Of course I prefer the term “spiritual exploration.” ;-)

      The US Supreme Court has held anti-sodomy laws unconstitutional, which probably makes anti-masturbation laws dead letter even if they are still on the books.

  5. Glad to see I’m not the only Pagan Delawarean who is trying to figure out their own politics and not someone else’s rhetoric.

    • Does this mean you have been investigating the Tea Party or other political groups? If so…what’s your perspective?

  6. “We are standing together to support the most fiscally conservative candidate for each office and we don’t care about any other issue.”

    I’m sorry, but I have to take issue with that kind of attitude. I think that its a very convenient way of absolving yourself of any kind of responsibility for what may happen if the people you vote for win and aggressively pursue a socially conservative agenda while in office in addition to the fiscal conservative one you agree with. Some of us have very really things to lose with a socially conservative government in place. And I’m sorry to sound harsh, but its very easy to not “care about any other issue” when you’re straight, white middle class person, the rest of us, however, have to care. As a gay person I have every right to call out any of you on electing someone to office who might persue anti-gay legislation and you are trying to justify voting for them by saying that only their fiscal policy matters.

    • Some of the people supported by the tea party would have no problem steaming rolling over a Pagan’s rights as they are thick in the “This is a Christian nation and should be governed by Judeo-Christian principles” meme.

    • I have to echo some concerns about this. If you have a broken foot and someone comes along and says, “hey, I can fix that foot for you good as new as long as you let me shoot you in the hand,” well, it doesn’t seem like a reasonable trade-off for me. I can’t say for certain at this moment as I haven’t researched it, but so far it REALLY wouldn’t surprise me if O’Donnell were all for legislating her religion into (further) dominance. If she just happens to be a Christian running for office who isn’t a theocrat, then by all means vote for her based on economics. But personally I have my suspicions about that, and I simply think any responsible Pagan would be concerned with that facet of the candidate as well.

    • But in theory, aren’t you doing something similar? It seems you’re putting the “Pro-Homosexuality” thing over the whole “Fiscal Responsibility” issue. Let’s face it, even with the discrimination going on in America, it is still one of the most homosexually friendly countries in the world, but without financial strength and stability, America might, and probably would, lose the stability needed to maintain and further the rights of all its citizens. To insist that only “Straight, White Middle Class people” have nothing to worry about is false, or that it is easy to “Cop out” or “Not care about other issues” because they fall into that category strikes me as, well rather discriminatory itself.

      Okay, maybe O’Donnell will push her religion. She has the right to do that, just as a Muslim has the right to build a mosque, and a Pagan has the right to pray to many gods and goddesses. But we must remember, she is one person, who won’t end up having all that much power in reality. If what I think is the goal of the Tea Party is to elect candidates based on their Fiscal ideology, then you’ll get plenty of people with differing ideas that will keep her from pushing her religion, while being moderately successful in their financial goals.

      That said, the real issue for us is not “will she push her religion” or “Do straight, white people have it easy” or any number of other issues. The issue at hand is how will her “Dabbling in Witchcraft be treated by the media?” And frankly, Left and Right have treated it and our religions as either a joke or insanity.

      • Ok, let’s put it this way: Would you or other people be so quick to advocate supporting a candidate who expressed openly racist views and would try to legislate those views simply because you agree with their fiscal policy? I’d imagine most people wouldn’t, but apparently gay people are fair game for you Tea Party types.

        I also never said that “‘Straight, White Middle Class people’ have nothing to worry about”. What I was suggesting, though, was that such people are born into the world with more privilege that pretty much everyone else and so it is not as easy for them to comprehend what the world is like when you are not born with that kind of privilege, and therefore very easy for them to not see something such as gay rights as having much priority in the choices regarding whom they will vote for.

        I think you entirely missed my point which was critisizing someone voting based solely on whether the candidate holds certain fiscal values and outright stating that all other issues are unimportant (I, on the other hand, never stated that someone’s position regarding homosexuality should be the only criteria in whether someone votes for them). I find that to be naive, shortsighted and completely disrespectful to those of us struggling to achieve civil rights and who stand to lose a lot if people vote according to that kind of philosophy.

        P.S. And for the record, there are many countries who have made far more effort in giving gay people full civil rights than the USA.

        • “but apparently gay people are fair game for you Tea Party types.”

          That is an unfair statement. Do you think gay people are “fair game” to me? To the Tea Party Pagans I have interviewed? Or perhaps the gay Tea Party members who go around with the “That’s right, I’m a Tea Bagger” t-shirts at the rallies think gay people are fair game?

          You are making assumptions when you dismiss us as “straight, white middle class.” (Although I would venture to say that straight, white, middle class people have a right to their opinion, too *grin*) Some of the Tea Party Pagans I’ve interviewed are nothing of the sort. Tea Party demos, in general, very closely match those of the general population of the USA.

          People say they don’t understand the Tea Party. That’s fair enough. What I don’t understand is why there are so very few fiscally conservative candidates in either party. What I especially don’t understand is why there are almost NO candidates in either party who are both fiscally conservative and socially libertarian.

          The Tea Party is a Special Interest group based on economic issues. That’s all they focus on. Just as Planned Parenthood focuses on womens’ reproductive health. No one expects or comes down on Planned Parenthood for not taking a stance on corporate tax policy – that’s not their area. Yet people expect the Tea Party to take stances on issues outside their mission. I have no clue why. So that would be another thing I don’t understand.

          • Why aren’ there more fiscally conservative candidates? Three words: The American Voter, because in this country we have what one expert called an schizophrenic economic policy in that Americans love certain government programs but hate paying the taxes for them.
            This is what the Republicans discovered when they took power after the elections of 94, that saying you shrink the government and actually doing it are two very different things.

          • Cara, the comparison with Planned Parenthood is strained. PP doesn’t campaign for candidates for public office; the Tea Party does. If O’Donnell were to be elected we would be getting the whole O’Donnell — fiscal conservatism, social conservatism, and whatever she actually thinks about Witchcraft.

            • Many special interest groups like the PP endorse issues and then note which candidates match those views. With the Supreme Court ruling I think you will see this in a more blatant way. you are right in that it wasn’t a direct match as PP was in a different category of special interest groups.

              The NRA and other special interest groups (a category more akin to TTP) do endorse candidates and support them.

          • “The Tea Party is a Special Interest group based on economic issues. That’s all they focus on. Just as Planned Parenthood focuses on womens’ reproductive health.”

            That’s an unfair comparison as Planned Parenthood doesn’t set itself up as a political party that is trying to get candidates in office as Planned Parenthood party politicians. The fact is that by the very words of one of the people you interviewed above, the Tea Party philosophy is to focus solely on fiscal concerns and get as many Tea Party candidates elected based only on their fiscal policy and completely disregard everything that they believe. Answer me honestly, is it so surprising that I, as a gay man, could take issue with that given that whether or not we have social conservatives running our country is going to have a direct impact on me and what rights I’m given or are taken away from me? Can you honestly deny that there is not part of the Tea Party movement in any part of the country that also advocates the same conservative social agenda that has been brought out by Republicans for decades now? I’m only suggesting that disregarding all of any candidates other positions is shortsighted and that many of us have valid concerns beyond the economy that deserve to be addressed. You say that the Tea Party isn’t obligated to have an opinion on non-economic issues, but I have to reply that any candidate running for office is completely open to have all of their positions questioned and judged and their affiliation with the Tea Party doesn’t absolve them of that.

            “Do you think gay people are “fair game” to me? To the Tea Party Pagans I have interviewed?”

            I don’t know you, maybe in your personal life you are very accepting of gay people and I respect that. However, as someone who identifies as being on the conservative side of things (even if just fiscally) how often has a candidate’s position on gay rights even entered your mind? How often has your vote been cast for a conservative candidate who, while perhaps agreeing with your economic views, has been publically against gay rights? These are valid questions that I have every right to ask of those of you here who identify as Pagan and conservative if your votes have empowered politicians to continue making gay Americans into second class citizens. So, I come back to the question that I opened my last comment with: would you advocate supporting a candidate who expressed openly racist views and would try to legislate those views simply because you agree with their fiscal policy? Or is anti-gay discrimination, bigotry, oppression, hatred etc somehow less wrong than those things against someone on the basis of their race?

        • They have white supremacists in to speak at the rallies. Or they did before all the neg. press started. At the one in my town you could hear them decrying the voting rights act.

      • The problem is she is not alone in the “We need to get back to our judeo-Christian roots” brigade, Jim Demint and others are making the case that fiscal conservatism is intimately tied with social conservatism and that or fiscal crisis is tied to our so called moral crisis.

        Having said that I agree that Left and Right have treated our religions as a joke.

        • Gotta agree with Paul’s last point. I’d hoped for better behavior from progressives but that hasn’t been the case.

      • So wouldn’t it make the most sense to vote for someone who has good fiscal policy AND won’t try to legislate their religion? All I’m saying is that focusing on one issue to the exclusion of all others seems a bit off.

        You said that this one person won’t have enough power to do anything about religion, but if that’s the case then what is the point of voting for her based on fiscal policy? If she doesn’t have enough power for one thing then she doesn’t have enough power for the other.

        I’d also like to point out that Joe Miller, Jesse Kelly, Ken Buck, Dan Maes, Marco Rubio, Rick Scott, Raul Labrador, Rand Paul, Sharron Angle, and Mike Lee are ALL socially conservative as well as Christine O’Donnell. If you are aware of a Tea Party candidate who ISN’T socially conservative I’d be interested in seeing them. I’m sorry, but I can’t buy the whole “they’re just all about fiscal conservatism” when every single candidate I’ve looked into has a socially conservative agenda alongside their fiscal agenda.

        Also: “Okay, maybe O’Donnell will push her religion. She has the right to do that”

        Privately, maybe, but she is NOT guaranteed the right to push her religion into law through her role as an elected official.

        • Actually, O’Donnell has every right to try to push her religion into law. Religion was the backbone of the Civil Right movement, at least in the early stages, and nobody today objects to those principles being enshrined in law. (Well, OK, maybe Robert Bork and Rand Paul…)

          The appropriate caution is to O’Donnell’s multi-faith fiscally-conservative backers. They’re rallying round her because she’s a fiscal conservative but they will be responsible — because they’ve had fair warning — if she gets in and tries to enshrine Christian supremacism or sanctions against masturbation into law.

          • There is a difference between supporting an issue because of one’s religious convictions and what I’m talking about. The Civil Rights movement makes sense from more than just a Christian standpoint. But I’m talking about things that have no secular or other purpose, like putting the Ten Commandments in court houses, National Days of Prayer, congressional resolutions to recognize the “historical importance” of Christianity to America, etc. These are agendas that have no other purpose than to assert Christianity as the preferred religion, which one very much does NOT have the right to enforce through one’s appointed office.

            So I guess what I’m saying is that you are right about what the appropriate caution is, and that is exactly what I meant in my post. I also agree that people who ignored the possibility and voted her in will be responsible for it.

            • Yes, but such things can easily be countered without infringing on her “religious rights.”

              Say she wants to put the Ten Commandments up. Say fine, but we get to put up the Nine Noble Virtues of Germanic Heathenism and a similar display by various other Pagans, etc. Either She and those like her let them go up, or they back off for fear of Pagans and Heathens getting more representation. It’s easy to deal with her religion, simply by insisting that every thing that aids hers, must also aid ours.

              As for Social Conservatism, It’s roots can be traced back to the ancient attitudes of the Celts, Germanic, Norse, Roman, and Greece Pagan/Heathen values. All we really have to do is find a way to shift these to work for us once more, rather than the Christians, while adding in our own liberated ideals in addition, to return to the balance that once existed.

            • “The Civil Rights movement makes sense from more than just a Christian standpoint.”

              Which is why it had non-Baptist supporters like me. (I wasn’t a Pagan yet but I sure wasn’t a Christian.)

              My point is, Martin Luther King made it clear that Christian principles underlay his non-violence, and that his goal was to save the soul of the oppressor as well as secure the liberty of the oppressed. That’s drenched in religious language, but nobody felt threatened by it. Today’s political religious language bristles with threat, for the reasons you describe.

    • EXACTLY this with a cherry on top!

      I spent 2/3 of my childhood in Missouri where I saw the other side of conservative Christian “love” because I wasn’t in their religion and my family got outed by a neighbor. (Thank Gods I didn’t figure out my sexuality until after I moved away.) We also had our property vandalized during election times because we dared display signs for non-Republican candidates.

      Anything involving conservative politics just scares me. When there’s an earthquake, the P-waves get to you before the S-waves, but they both get there in the end … and socially conservative/Christian Nation people see it as their duty to keep the rest of us from sinning.

    • Exactly. I’m not going to vote for someone who will oppose my other rights just because I think it *might* benefit my *pocketbook.* I’m not going to really care how much I’m paying in taxes when the government is threatening to take my kids away over my religion.

  7. [...] in Delaware? Individuals who may actually want to vote for O’Donnell? What do they think? Cara Schulz from the PNC blog Pagan+Politics has interviewed two Pagan Tea Party members about their reactions to the O’Donnell witch-revelations. “If this witchcraft admission [...]

  8. Just do not get it, support your right to believe, vote, speak ect., but when all is said and done I just don’t get the Tea Party

    • Oh I get them. I get them loud and clear. What I can’t fathom is how anyone belonging to any sort of minority group can join them in good conscience.

  9. I’m glad to know that Paganism is a respected and serious religion that has nothing but noble intentions.

    Unfortunately that message is, at best, diluted when we have confidential informants reporting and opining. How is anyone going to take us seriously if our people continue to hide?

  10. I am conservative when it comes to politics and the economy. I also don’t find the Tea Party’s ideals to be repugnant or having a hidden agenda. HOWEVER, I believe it is a mistake to support a group solely for it’s stance on economic policies. If that were true I’d vote Republican every time, simply because I don’t feel the Federal Government should have as much power as it does and that States should have more rights. But wait a second–Republicans have also been well known for having a stance against who I am, as a bisexual Hawaiian Pagan woman.

    In the UK we can see the Torys instigating austerity measures through the emergency budget put forth by Finance Chancellor George Osborne, like unto Thatcher in the early 80′s. These cuts, while heralded as saving England from further decline are aimed at sectors of an almost entirely social nature. In fact, according to the Fawcett Society (http://www.fawcettsociety.org.uk/) 3/4 of the economic burden would be born by Women–and more than any other group in the UK. The economic measures are so severe that the Fawcett Society has taken up suit on Chancellor Osborne, not simply because of it’s damaging blow to women but also because of the social services cut that would end up affecting the poor, elderly, disabled, etc.

    Is it a cop out to vote only on an economic platform? That’s for the voter to decide. Could this end up putting people in power who would then actually *have* the power to insert their personal agenda? Definitely. Does the Tea Party think that their candidates will “take it outside” with regard to their personal agenda? Let’s hope so.

    Lady Bless,
    Lamyka

    • Agreed.

      I have (former) friends who voted for Bush with an expectation of backing his economic agenda and got a religious one as a bonus…

      • I think the bonus was they got screwed on his economic policies, too – as they were certainly not fiscally conservative in nature. Which is part of the Tea Party’s point.

        • Right when it came to which group to pander to Bush choose the social conservatives (even they felt shafted in the end) over fiscal conservatives, which begs the question if the Republican party will do the same if returned to power and the answer looks to be yes.
          Already the leadership has assured the social conservatives that their favorite wedge issues abortion and same sex marriage will be addressed in their governing statement.

          • And with that you are getting to heart of the matter – why Independents left the Republican party during the 2008 election (Bush wasn’t fiscally conservative and the GOP wasn’t libertarian enough) for the Democratic Party. And why the Independents and disaffected fiscal conservatives and libertarians are in the Tea Party – which is staging this hostile take-over of the GOP. If the Tea Party could do this to the Democratic Party, they would. As I said in comments further up, Which is a shame because the Democrat Tea Party was looking to increase the number of (fiscal) Blue Dogs. It could have put the two parties on equal standing for economic issues like balancing the budget and the Democrats would have had an edge in Social issues like abortion. It could have pulled Conservative votes away from the GOP while keeping the liberal base.

            • I think there is a blurring of lines between fiscal responsibility and fiscal conservatism here, one is broadly popular and the other is the vision of a (sizable) minority. The reason the tea party didn’t catch on in Democratic circles is because the base of the Democratic party doesn’t believe in fiscal conservatism.
              The Republican party getting more socially libertarian isn’t going to happen anytime soon no mater what the tea party does and from the slate of candidates they are helping promote senate side I would argue that they are only going to strengthen the party’s social and religious conservatism.

  11. We’ve got a teabagger lunatic as the republican candidate for governor here in Maine. The guy’s already been caught lying about a multitude of his claims. His wife’s been outed as a tax evader, claiming “resident” property tax exemptions in both Maine and in Florida.

    His announced plans for the state government, basically describes wanting the taxpayers to put the fox in charge of the hen-house, install a taxpayer-funded conveyor belt running out of the hen house to a truck he wants the taxpayer to purchase for the fox, and throw in a subsidy on top of the rest.

    The idea that the wealthy people should have more open “rights” to rip off the taxpayers and their own customers, and their suppliers, and destroy the environment for mere profit; the environment we all depend on for our future survival in order to become more wealthy is a sick, bent and twisted concept.

    Anyone who can get behind the further advancement of the Plutocratic takeover of our government is welcome (in my book) to emigrate to the bottom levels of the black hole of Calcutta.

    • Could you translate that into English? *grin* I have no idea what any of that means.

      • That this Tea Party endorsed candidate we have in Maine, in Paul LePage has no respect for the law. (7 accidents, almost as many speeding tickets, 51 in a 25?) He has no respect for the tax code (Homestead exemptions in two states, and he threw his wife under the bus to save his campaign).

        I used to be for conservatism once until I realized that most of the politicians on that side simply chose to disregard laws they didn’t like. I don’t understand why — if the Tea Party is as described by many on this blog — why are they rallying around someone who EVADES paying taxes, thus meaning each and every one of them has to pay more to pick up his share?

        • Their whole shtick is that taxes are somehow unconstitutional — they’ve supported tax cheats in a lot of places.

  12. I’m in favor a more fisicaly conservative budget, but not at the expense of social liberties and civil rights. Lets cut farm subsidies for Geneticly Modified Corn and return our agriculture to a Free Market system, instead of the “Welfare Corn” system that makes Monsanto and ConAgra rich and turns are farmers into corproate surfs. Better yet, lets repeal the patent of GMOs, and treat our farmers with respect!

    • Agreed, and I don’t think enough people can separate their fiscal goals from their social ones to feel comfortable about voting based on the first and putting the latter on a back burner. Too many people around here can’t really talk about the budget or spending, except to say they’re sure that the economy is bad “because the liberals are letting them gays, them Mexicans, and them Ay-rabs take over”. They believe the only way to fix economic problems and government corruption is to put “good, moral people” in control of everything, and their definition of good moral people is pretty narrow.

      (hands Homesteader an Heirloom tomato sandwich)

  13. Personally I’m starting to hope that Nader runs again in 2012.

    The Tea Party is many things to many people, but as far as I am concerned it is Sarah Palin + Rand Paul. These are people who think that Jim Crow should have been protected by the Constitution but that seat belt laws represent a totalitarian abomination.

  14. Why is it we continue to live with this fairy tale that we don’t need to be protected from ourselves? The human heart is as dark as we allow it to be. We will needlessly subject ourselves, and sadly, our children, who depend on us for safety and security, to unsafe conditions all in the name of freedom. I have neighbors who zip up and down our dirt road on four-wheel ATV’s at high speed with their TODDLERS sitting in front of them, and I have visions of the local headlines that report of the deaths of so many people, grownups, teens and children, on these machines. I personally witnessed a man smacking into a van at 60 mph (in a 45), of course not wearing a helmet. Our tax dollars went to work on THAT fubar, I can promise you. The housing crisis and resulting resession bordering on another depression didn’t happen because people simply made mistakes; people made concious CHOICES that hurt other people, all in the name of making insane profits without accepting any of the risk. Minorities are NOT serving as equals in our military by any moral choice on it’s part; it was segregated by Presidential decree. And now we have Republicans insisting over and over again that letting the markets go wild without regulation will serve all Americans in a just and equal manner……..what planet have these people been living on? NO, I do NOT like having my government tell me what to do, but then I don’t have any more desire to have a greedy corporation doing it either. And don’t tell me I have a choice when it becomes a Walmart-style take-it-or-get-nothing sort of proposition. Every year I struggle to pay my property and other such local taxes because my REPUBLICAN commissioners keep raising them and allowing my property insurance rates to skyrocket, so what are they telling me; that I have the right to own my own home as long as they allow me to afford it, and when I no longer can due to THEIR actions, well, too bad? But I want wealthy taxpayers to pay their fair share and what do you hear…SOCIALISM!!…give me a freakin’ break! I am supposed to be living in a society that is run by the rule of law…for EVERYBODY, and not just for the benefit of wealthy Jesus freaks. And I welcome ANY law that reduces my exposure to these capitalist predators who hide behind “freedom” and the bible in order to put hard working people like me out on the street. And tea party people? Ask them for a specific complaint against the status quo and all you get is stammers and that deer-in-the-headlights look. Corporate shills, all of them. Where in the hell were they during the Bush years? Wishing in their heart of hearts it was still the Clinton years but being to stubborn and brainwashed to admit it. When Europeans laugh at us, I laugh with them. Oh, excuse me, I have to go to the airport and welcome the next planeload of Swiss, Danish, and Finnish refugees from their frozen communist gulags……my how they must SUFFER beneath the yoke of their socialist democracies………..

  15. [...] with two Delaware Tea Party Pagans (C and D) for a first hand account of Tea Party attitudes. From C: I don’t like how she calls it “dabbling.” That’s my religion you are talking about. What I [...]

  16. [...] herself from witchcraft isn’t too shocking, but I wonder what Tea Party-aligned and conservative Pagans will make of this new direction for O’…. “If this witchcraft admission affects her or not depends on how she handles it. I would like her [...]

  17. [...] ad — which clearly made a lot of pagans unhappy – and wonders what her diss may do for the pagans who supported her campaign.  The title of the post is, “I’m you, unless you’re a [...]