Conservatives come in all shapes, sizes and colors. We come from every education and income level. We come from every sexual orientation and every faith. With that in mind, let me introduce myself. My name is Becky. I am a conservative and a Wiccan.
I think it is safe for me to assume that my audience is pretty well-acquainted with conservatism. We conservatives believe in small government, low taxes and a strong military.
But it is also safe to say that many of you aren’t familiar with Wicca, my religion. Wicca is an earth-based religion. We Wiccans revere the earth and all that is on her. We believe in goddesses and gods. Most of us work with and worship several goddesses and gods of our own choosing, be they Greek, Roman, Celtic or any other. We observe the phases of the moon, usually by some form of ritual. We celebrate eight holidays — or “Sabbats” — throughout the year. Our next Sabbat, the Winter Solstice — or “Yule” — is this Thursday. Yule is a celebration of the balance between light and dark, day and night. After Yule, the days start getting longer.
We do not worship the devil. We do not believe in a devil (it is a Christian concept). We create charms and spells. We do not practice any form of magic intended to harm or manipulate anyone’s free will. Any witch who tells you that he or she (men can be witches too) does is not being true to his or her faith.
As I’ve become more politically aware and learned more about my faith, I’ve come to realize that conservatism and Wicca, two seemingly opposing belief systems, are not really in opposition.
Wicca has four basic tenets. The first tenet is that you should harm no one — not even yourself. As a conservative, I respect all forms of life on the planet. Most conservatives, usually out of religious conviction, are pro-life and wish to preserve and protect all forms of life.
The second tenet of Wicca is that you should love, respect and protect nature. As a conservative and as a human being, I’m aware that we are all stewards of the planet. Conservatives have gotten a bad rap when it comes to the environment. Recently, President Obama said that conservatives want dirtier air and dirtier water. But that’s not true — we want to care for and nurture the planet as much as anyone else. When people say otherwise, we should stand up and defend ourselves more aggressively than we have in the past. After all, caring for the environment is part of being pro-life.
The third tenet of Wicca is that you put out into the universe what you want to get back. This is similar to the Christian notion that you should treat others as you would want to be treated and be kind, respectful and altruistic, not because you have to but because you ought to. We believe that if you do these things, positive energy will revisit you threefold, and if you do the opposite, negative energy will revisit you threefold. Why threefold? We believe there are three aspects of the Goddess: Maiden, Mother and Crone.
The final tenet of Wicca is that you are responsible for your actions. Of course, personal responsibility is central to conservatism, too.
I don’t know how many conservative witches are out there. The numbers are hard to come by, as many Wiccans could lose custody of their children or be fired from their jobs if their faith became known to others. Freedom of worship, of course, is also a deeply conservative value. It’s one of the principles our great nation was founded upon.
What I do know is that being a conservative and being a Wiccan isn’t as hard as it might seem.