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Christine O'Donnell's Younger Years: Forget Witchcraft, Think Media Goddess

5 years ago
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Bless her heart. Christine O'Donnell has a lot of people angry at her -- Wiccans, Satanists, Bill Maher, and even some Republicans.

No small feat, but reflecting on O'Donnell's history, it's par for the course.

Maher made an appearance on "Hardball With Chris Matthews" Tuesday night to discuss O'Donnell, who made more than 20 appearances on his "Politically Incorrect" show years ago. Over the weekend, O'Donnell, who is the Republican Senate nominee in Delaware, said she made comments like the one about dabbling in witchcraft to help Maher with ratings.

Maher called foul.

"It's funny to me, Chris, because this is the woman who claimed on another one of our 'Politically Incorrect' episodes from the '90s that she would not lie, even in the case of hiding Anne Frank in her attic," Maher told Matthews. "Eddie Izzard confronted her and said, 'Really? If Hitler was at the door and you had Anne Frank in the attic, you wouldn't lie?' She said, 'No. God would find a way.' "

Perhaps, Maher did want ratings, but O'Donnell had her own agenda as a young, firebrand former Catholic-turned-Evangelical Christian pushing her message. She said on Sean Hannity's Fox News show Tuesday night that she viewed such appearances as a ministry and that she was excited back then about her new-found faith.

Some will laugh at her naivete, and likely doubt the veracity of her statement, but I know plenty of people who, in their teens and twenties in the Bible belt, tossed their heavy metal albums into the roaring fireplace and began quoting the Gospel.
O'Donnell told Hannity that her "faith has matured" since her twenties.

But that comment doesn't appease Wiccans and Satanists, who want her to understand their beliefs. Wiccans say that O'Donnell is confused about witchcraft. They have altars but no blood. Satanists have rebuffed O'Donnell, too. They claim no real Satanist would ever have a picnic on an altar.

Give Christine a break. Her dabbling in the dark side may have happened exactly as she described. Blame the boy she dated. Maybe the young warlock was trying to impress her by turning his weight bench into a devil-worshipping altar and splattering some red food coloring for effect.

Her story to Maher also could have been pure theatrics. After all, she started off as a theater major in college and ended up in the College Republicans. From there, she found her way to Washington, working with Enough Is Enough, an anti-pornography group, and later at the Republican National Committee. She even attended the 1996 Republican National Convention.

Like many ambitious twenty-somethings who hit Washington, she networked and created her own group, Saviors Alliance for Lifting the Truth (SALT). If she was looking to create a media launching pad, it paid off.

She discussed creationism in schools on CNN and the sins of masturbation on an MTV sex special in 1996. But like the witchcraft statement, O'Donnell has taken too much criticism for her viewpoints on masturbation. To be fair, masturbation was a hot, controversial topic in the 1990s. In 1991, Pee-wee Herman was busted for masturbating in a movie theater. In December 1994, Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders was fired by President Clinton for promoting masturbation as a means of preventing young people from engaging in riskier sexual acts.

Author Martha Cornog wrote in The Journal of Sex Research in 2004 that, since the 1960s, only 30 books focusing on masturbation had been published. Guess which decade had the most? Yep -- the 1990s, when there were 13.

Talking about such a taboo topic greatly benefited O'Donnell, who became a popular pundit. She took her cheery smile and bouncy hair all the way to Maher's show, where she was the chaste Sandra Dee foil in the grungy sex-obsessed Clinton years.
Like any good grassroots activist, she kept her name and her cause in the headlines. In 1997, she wrote a Washington Post op-ed about witnessing at rock concerts. "Walking through the crowd I also noticed more pentagrams than crosses around the teenage necks," she wrote. "Satanism is the religion of the '90s, I was told."

While Maher chides O'Donnell about her appearances on his show, he contends that he likes her and that she is sincere in her beliefs. He wants her to come on his HBO program. But O'Donnell told Hannity Tuesday night that she was only focusing on local media until after the election. But can a media junkie really ignore phone calls from big-time talk show producers? Doubtful.

After all, the biography attached to a 2003 article written by O'Donnell -- in which she tackles "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy and the women of Middle Earth -- describes her as "sassy, stubborn and sweet, and by those who disagree with her as 'the girl you hate to love.' This young woman who National Review Magazine says 'blends the flare of the Bible with Cosmopolitan,' shatters the stereotype about her generation."

If O'Donnell loses to Democrat opponent Chris Coons, she'll likely land her own television show. Maybe that's what she's been after all of these years.
Filed Under: Woman Up

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The Pentagram was used by Christians in much of Christianity's history prior to the late 20th Century to represent the five wounds of Christ. It represents the five senses, the five fingers. It was a symbol of protection against evil used by Medieval Christians. It represented the five joys of the Virgin Mary: annunciation, nativity, resurrection, ascension, and assumption. It also represents the Five Vitues of Knighthood: noble generosity, fellowship, purity, courtesy, and compassion. This is why it is on Sir Gawin's shield. The very idea of a Pentagram for satan, evil, or witchcraft seems very odd and alien to my mind. But the people of this generation are temporal immigrants, and did not get the classical training education once provided.

September 28 2010 at 8:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This woman couldn't handle her own finances, and you think she is going to "spend" your tax dollers effectly? When uninformed, uneducated, pretty faces lie their way into America's forefront as top candidates, we are in deep trouble. How did Sharron Angle get this far to begin with? How did Sarah Palin make it to top news billing? Christine O'Donnell? Michelle Bachmann? These women appeal to white-power-loving right-wing men whose forefathers wore white sheets--men who are angry that a "person of color" lives in the White House. That's why their well-known chant is "We want our country back!" It has nothing to do with taxes, patriotism, or tea parties

September 27 2010 at 11:04 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

The true test of a principled person is if they can apply the same rules to every situation, even when it causes some damage to their own previously held believes or positions. I ask every Republican out there who state that the media should not take into account things Ms ODonnell has said or done in the past to also apply that same principle to our president and the Democrats. Please step forward and also condemn the birthers, Newt Gingrich and all the others who drag every Dem through the mud for not just things they actually said or did, but also for outrageous extrapolations of how they supposedly think. You can't have it both ways and still be credible. So either complain about all personality smears by everyone, or just live with it when it happens to your side.

September 27 2010 at 8:55 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

She took a job to pay her mortgage off. Just goes to show how old the mortgage story was. The Witch craft story was while she was in high school. Her opponents ( both Republican and Democrat ) are just desperate. She is the best candidate for Deleware.

September 26 2010 at 8:58 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Ms ODonnell was only on Mahers show because she was a recent born again Christian, who Maher, being a self proclaimed atheist, likes to make fun of. Who cares what she did in high school also?

September 25 2010 at 7:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Svz, She has not stolen from her campaign. She did get behind on her mortgage and got caught up. She is to be commended for that. Who cares what she said on Bill Maher's show?

September 25 2010 at 7:31 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to MY LORD's comment

How did she get caught up on her mortgage? She hasn't had a job in years.

September 25 2010 at 5:24 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

Why are the liberals so concerned about why ODonnell said she did in high school? She is 41. I mean really......who cares what she did in high school. ANy why would anyone care about anything ever said on a Bill Maher show? She was only on there so Maher could bash a Christian since he himself is a self proclaimed atheist.

September 25 2010 at 7:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Another liberal writer trying to bash a conservative. The whole "dating a guy who was into withcraft " thing was in high school. She is now 41. Give me a break. Want to talk about lying, what about her opponent who raised taxes TWICE after saying he wouldnt? And that wasnt when he was in high school. Bill Maher went on a show that no one watches to complain. boo hoo

September 25 2010 at 7:21 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
Stephen B.

I really don't know about you people that you think you are so perfect that you can complain about someone that "dabbled" in witchcraft".I will bet you that there isn't one of you out there that does not have something in your past that is bad. Get a life befoew the witches get after you.

September 24 2010 at 2:35 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to Stephen B.'s comment

It's so easy to throw around statements about someone and for those too lazy to go back and do research, perhaps you can get them to stick. For those of us who don't mind doing the rearch, that's another thing altogether. So far, I haven't found anything illegal in what this candidate has done. Certainly not in using campaign funds on rent when you are using part of your home for your campaign headquarters. It is unfortunate that we elect people because of how much money they have to spend. I also find it unfortunate that the left always says "someone isn't qualified to be dog catcher" when they don't like someone. What's wrong with being a dog catcher anyway? It's a perfectly legitimate job that requires certain qualifications.

September 24 2010 at 11:17 AM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to reamaurice's comment

Actually, according to campaign finance laws, it IS illegal to pay your mortgage with your campaign funds, even if you DO use part of your home for your campaign headquarters. You can be reimbursed by the campaign for a reasonable amount based on home much of your home is used, but if she wrote a check out of a campaign account for her rent than she did break the law and should be treated just like a politican you do not like or you are a hypocrite. I just want to know how many of her supporters on this board will pull their support if she is found to have broken the law. It would be hilarious if they did not, for in effect, the Tea Parties are saying, "We want to get red of Democrats and Republican who are corrupt and replace them with Tea Baggers who are corrupt." LOL

September 27 2010 at 4:33 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply


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