Have you ever seen a pagan politician where you live? Openly? I haven’t. But, through a little bit of research, I found a very interesting issue arising in Maine regarding pagan politicians. After a little bit of secondary research, I received a background on the issue – and then, had a chance to briefly interview a man directly involved.
As it was told to me, the entire thing began when, after the passing of a legislator in a skiing accident, the arguments between the Democratic and Republican candidates for the position became heated, with the Dem. candidate arguing very strongly for Pro-Choice, in response to the Rep. candidate arguing the opposite. The Dem. candidate won by a landslide.
Not a few weeks later, an article was published in The Christian Civic Leagues’ RECORD regarding the Democratic County Chair, Rita Moran, and more or less ‘outed’ her to the world. You’ll note that the Christian Civic League kindly included the majority of Rita’s contact information. (How nice!)
After speaking to Edward Lachowicz earlier today, he did mention that Rita wanted nothing to do with the ‘controversy’ while it was happening, and he doubted that she wanted nothing to do with it now.
As it turns out, the majority of people turned against the CCL. In fact, if you look (or want to donate!) at their ActBlue page, you can see that in response, pagans and other outraged members of communities offered monetary aid in case of financial hardship resulting from the entire issue. All across the internet, google-ing “Pagan Politician Rita Moran” or something similar will pull up hundreds of comments of support. Unfortunately, the story dropped off the face of the earth in mid-July, and so I gave the vice-chair, Edward, a call earlier today to discuss the matter.
According to him, he outed himself soon after on a blog, and it was immediately picked up and reiterated on the CCL’s page. Similarly, they included his personal information.(How nice!)
Rita Moran and Edward Lachowicz were not strangers to the political forefront prior to the CCL’s articles. Rita Moran has been the County Chair since 2005, and Edward himself, although achieving the Vice-Chair post recently, had served with Rita in other political realms since 2004.
Thankfully, neither Rita nor Edward received any intimidation, pranks, or other malicious actions with the posting of their information on the internet. When asking him if it bothered either of them to be outed like that, he had this to say:
“Rita freaked out…she wasn’t sure how the party was going to respond…but luckily, the party came out in full support of her. And, as far as I know, her business hasn’t taken any hits at all.”
According to Mr. Lachowicz, there was an attempt by the CCL to invade the Maine Pagan Pride Day festival and use it as ammo. He explained that everyone was alright with the CCL present, taking pictures…until they tried to take pictures of the guest and sign-in books, which no one liked. A few people asked the photographer to leave, and eventually he did, crafting this article in response.
I am so proud of both the internet pagan community in response to this, as well as the Maine pagan community’s response. Edward quoted the 13 principles in his own response to my questions, “We show no animosity towards Christianity…” and explained that he doesn’t mind being openly pagan.
I did ask him if he thought the exact same response would occur in a different community than his own. He told me that, to be honest, he didn’t know – but he could hope.
There are great pagans everywhere. Don’t be afraid to rally the troops if you find yourself in a similar situation. This just proves how loyal we are – across town, county, state, and any other lines that you can draw.
He did ask me that if there were any additional questions or comments, to forward them to him. So, comment away!