Longstreet is a Pagan and has identified as being Wiccan. Though not all Wiccans identify as Witches, some do. The newspaper says they did not have Longstreet in mind when they created this cartoon.
Longstreet, though, believes they did. She feels the cartoon was run to mock her religion and also felt the cartoon had a slightly threatening tone.
She says that shortly after the publication of The Wild Hunt article on her run for office and religious beliefs, HPE reporter Paul Johnson called her to discuss the article and its content. She says that Johnson asked if the TWH article was a joke.
“I said of course not. I’m openly a Pagan. I’ve been a Pagan and doing a worldwide Pagan radio show for quite some time,” continues Longstreet. She adds that Johnson then remarked that her opponent Monica Peters knew about Longstreet’s religion and may try to use it against her.
However, neither HPE nor Peters mentioned her religion during the election process.
Then, the day after the election HPE ran the cartoon about hunting witches. It was created by HPE staff and appeared in its Three Views section.
HPE Editor Megan Ward says the cartoon had nothing to do with Longstreet and was about the climate in Washington D.C. Ms. Ward says the idea that the paper would go after someone for their beliefs is “absurd.”
Ward told The Wild Hunt, “To me, her being Wiccan, we’re just not interested in that. This wasn’t against her or Witches.”
Longstreet says she knew that when she interviewed with The Wild Hunt she could be attacked. However, she did it anyway. “I wanted to be real and inspire other Pagans,” she explains.
While Longstreet says she finds this kind of prejudice unfortunate, she adds, “I refuse to present myself as something other than what I am and I encourage everyone I know to do the same.”
Ward said that she intended to call Longstreet to discuss the cartoon, and Longstreet did confirm that Ward had left a voicemail message for her, but they had not yet spoken as of press time.