Saturday, September 18, 2010

Christine O'Donnell and the Satanic Altar: A Follow Up on Fears of Occult Ritual Scenes

Previously, I have discussed the folk forensic archaeology of occult ritual scenes, the material culture of religious and cultural beliefs fearful of witchcraft and Satanism. Often stereotyped as being an 80s thing in America and the Anglophone media sphere, identifications and accusations have never really gone away, and keep popping up.

But this one is a blast from the past. This week, Tea Party supported US Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell shocked the media and political establishment in a surprise primary victory. Even before, but certainly after, there has been much attention on the more extreme statements and background elements to this religion-invoking populist candidate.

This one caught my eye. Not unlike Ann Coulter, repeat guest appearances on Bill Maher's Politically Incorrect back in the 1990s played a part in raising O'Donnell's public profile. In one appearance, O'Donnell states that she "dabbled" in witchcraft and Satanism (a common conflation on the religious right in particular), and had a date on a "Satanic altar." She is admitting this to back up her stance that Halloween is Satanic, again, a far right Christian hobby horse. Can't guarantee how long the video will be around

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