Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Problem with Christine O'Donnell

As you might expect, I have a problem with Christine O'Donnell.

Before her Republican primary win in Delaware, she had appeared on television and radio preaching an extreme message of "chastity" -- not just abstinence from sex with other people, but abstaining from masturbation as well. She has promoted herself as an example of someone who can remain chaste until married, and generalizes that anyone and everyone can and should follow that example.

She opposes abortion to an extreme degree. When asked if she would allow a critically ill woman to terminate a pregnancy in order to save her life, she said she would allow it if her family consented.

She's claimed that she's "dabbled in witchcraft", that one of her high school dates took her to a "midnight picnic" at a "Satanic altar" complete with evidence of blodd sacrifice. Given my own knowledge of modern paganism, based on both personal contacts and extensive research, this doesn't sound all that believable. Sounds more like some of her high school peers decided to pull a prank on her. Either that, or her perceptions and recollections are way off. Or, she made it up. We'll probably never know at this point.

O'Donnell is also a creationist. She has said in at least one media interview that she considers homosexuality an "identity disorder". She has also repeated the claims expounded in "abstinence-only" propaganda that condoms have holes large enough for HIV to pass through. These are views which run completely counter to the findings of rigorous scientific study. She's yet to produce any solid evidence to prove the scientists wrong, and her comments sound like she's merely regurgitating fundamentalist Christian dogma.

And I won't even get into the allegations of financial mismanagement - personal, professional and political.

Besides, my problem with her is not her beliefs. We're all entitled to believe whatever we want, and to persuade others to agree, no matter how wacky.

My problem with Christine O'Donnell is that if this woman is elected to the Senate, she will be in a position to shape public policy based on these extreme beliefs. And that, quite frankly, is dangerous.

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