What Happens to Real Pagan Politicians

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  June 26, 2007 — 6 Comments

While the press wastes its time covering the latest foolish things people like Jonathan “The Impaler” Sharkey do, real Pagan politicians and their struggles are often ignored. A perfect example is Rita Moran, the Chair of the Kennebec County Democratic Committee in Maine, who is being singled out by the local Christian Civil League for what looks like a campaign of harassment and intimidation.

“Rita Moran is well-known in Central Maine as the longstanding Kennebec County Democrat Chair and the the owner of Apple Valley Books at 121 Main Street in Winthrop. Less well-known is Moran’s involvement in one of Maine’s thriving underground pagan worship circles … most disturbing of all is the involvement of Moran’s Apple Valley Books store in promoting her pagan-worshipping beliefs to Maine’s children … Rita Moran can be reached at…”

The author then proceeds to list every address, phone number, and e-mail address he can find for Rita Moran (no doubt so Christians can show their “concern” for the “children”). While its doubtful this will go beyond a few crank calls and letters in left-leaning Maine, it can be seen as a harbinger of what is to come as more and more modern Pagans get involved in local politics.

Once we start to be seen as any sort of real threat to the political status quo in which everyone, left and right, struggles to display their Christian allegiance, you can bet smear campaigns will emerge that will make the Maine Christian Civil League’s actions seem quaint by comparison. Just look at the reaction when a Muslim was elected to Congress (and refused to pretend he was Christian), modern Pagans should expect no less once they start to hold office. The best response now is to continually educate the public to reduce the effect of fear-mongering, and to show unified support (no matter what the party) for Pagans who are trying to get involved in our political system.

We can start by using all that contact information so kindly provided by the Christian Civil League, and send Rita Moran our thanks and support. If we are lucky, perhaps she’ll end up one of the first modern Pagans to hold a significant political office.

UPDATE: This just in from Rita Moran on the situation.

“I’ve been a bit shaken up by all this. While I’ve never denied being Pagan, I considered it a private matter. Lots of folks figured it out; lots of folks enjoyed the plausible deniability my privacy offered. Perhaps even more disturbing is how Michael Hein and Company have both edited the comments supporting me, and investigated folks posting those comments, posting additional information about them which they did not want posted. I have the full support of the Maine Democratic Party, and the Executive Committee of my own county Dems, and resignation is not in the picture.

My primary concerns are financial. When this happened, I “zeroed out” the donation total on our county Dems website (http://www.kennebecdems.org). There has not been a single donation since I’ve been “outed”. I’m even more concerned about the loss of business here at our bookshop as Michael Hein’s attack turns to even more vicious rumors. I guess what I’d ask from the community is whatever support they can offer. Tranquil energy, book orders, donations to our county committee if you wish to recognize that aspect of my community service. Thanks all…”

Show your support, and let these Christian cowards know that their fear-mongering tactics won’t work with us.

Jason Pitzl-Waters


  • ander_s_drake

    I readed about this situation on the witches vox and though it was truth dishearthing to hear that Ms. Mogan has been bullyed. I though the least i could do was leave a comment supporting her. I hope that enough support comes in and if i can find any other way of supporting her i will. I hate to see other people suffer becasue of the actions of ignorant people. This reminds me of a movie that has been censored in the United States by the christian right called the heart of the beholder. It’s based on a true story of a couple who loses their video store chain for refusing to let a local christian group tell them what videos they can and can’t show. The way i see fanatics like this all have one well definable weakness they may preach about moratly but they them selfes have hidden crimes if only you could find what the christan civil leagues secrets are you might be able to get them off your back.

  • And Little Fishes

    An update on the Civic League attack: they are now going after Rita Moran’s vice chair, who has also declared himself Pagan. As a member of the Kennebec County Democratic Committee myself, I can say that it is NOT a hotbed of Paganism, but that I am pleased that Pagans haven’t encountered any resistance to their involvement. Good for the Dems; they seem to have the concept of Freedom of Religion worked out. Unlike the CCL . Here’s their article: http://www.cclmaine.org/artman/publish/Maine_3/ME_Dem_Pagan_2.shtmland here’s my response:www.andlittlefishes.blogspot.comRegards,Andy > >

  • ggeorge14@cox.net

    I am a republican and a pagan.I have studied /been involved with Wicca for many,many years.I am also learning about the ancient Greek and Roman pantheons.I am appalled at the religious attack on Rita Moran.I wish to say that not all republicans think in such a way and not all republicans are automaticlly fundalmentalist christians.I believe freedom of religion means all religions not just one.

  • Aradia B

    Any updates on this issue? Would love to hear the latest but don’t see anything new in my searches. ~Aradia B

  • Jason Pitzl-Waters

    Aradia,Check here for my latest update:http://www.patheos.com/2007/07/update-on-pagan-politician-story.html- Jason

  • Lea

    I think it would be a fab idea if all her party and all her supporters “came out” as Pagan whether they are or not. If they all satnd up and yell, “I’m Spartacus”, the CCL will not be able to zero in on anyone else.