Thursday, June 30, 2011

Travel Log 6-30:United We Stand, Devided We Fall

  Just recently NotHannah over at Divining Women put up a post that pretty much hit the nail on the head for how I've been feeling about our greater Pagan community lately. With all the very scary things going on in politics lately (admittedly sprinkled with good nuggets such as the latest victory for equal rights in NY) I've been honestly looking at real estate in Canada. It worries me that women are being arrested in Alabama for miscarrying, or that politicians are actually trying to play chicken with our national credit. And lets not even talk about the current crop of republican candidates for President- I may just toss the kids in the car and head for the border.
   All this craziness has really pointed out something that is missing from my peace of mind. A whole in my safety net if you will. There is no where for me to turn as a Pagan to have my rights and freedoms protected or enforced. I am completely at the mercy of police and government agencies that have been proven time and again to not be the most open minded of bodies as a whole. Sure I could go knock on the ACLU's door, but they're currently fighting for women's and voter's rights in a bunch of states so I doubt I would be a priority. That is what worries me. That should something happen I am pretty much on my own because I don't have a large church behind me to get my back so to speak.
    And what is really to blame for that? Why can't we as a community band together to further our group interests? In my opinion it's because we (as a group) are just a little bit too attached to our 'fringe' status. We want to be allowed to do whatever we want without bowing to the societal requirements that build the respect that would give us the validation necessary to go about our business unmolested by legally sanctioned persecution. In essence we want the reward but don't want to have to compromise enough to get the work done that earns the reward. We all want to be seen as sparkling individuals, be respected and accorded all rights. While in a perfect world this would already be and we wouldn't ever have to talk about it, but as I think we are all agreed that this is far from a perfect world.
    Why can't we all unbend enough to accept that we need to be a group, represented by identifiable figureheads that can do interviews and promote our causes in the media? Are we really that afraid that we'll somehow morph into a christian styled church just because we're all grouping together? Or that we won't be able to recognize a power hungry leader and let them run amok?
     I think that this is a discussion that we all as a community need to seriously have with each other. I think that something needs to start being developed so that we have a way to fight these evangelical movements that are attempting to stamp us out like bugs. Between fight or flight I would much rather find a way to fight but none of us can do that on our own. There needs to be a recourse for people other than stay in the broom closet or move.
   Besides I already have to stop myself from saying 'aboot' I really don't want to add 'eh' too.


  1. Hi Trav, a very well-worded post. I understand what you are saying; however, pagans are such a very very diverse group, that I am not sure it would be possible to find figureheads that we all could relate to. Your situation is different from mine in that you are raising young children, so negative reactions are a huge concern for you. I, on the other hand, have grown children, and my Wiccan path is dedicated to the Earth, our mother, and all upon it(focusing on wildlife and natural habitats). My days and nights are spent working with natural elements, and truly, political and social subjects are not on my agenda. This is not to say that I would not support my Pagan Sisters and Brothers; it is just my priorities don't lead me in that direction. I know there are many pagans working diligently on the political front and it is vital, heartfelt work. But you have put forth thoughts and ideas that other pagans may grab hold of. On a side note, I am half Canadian, and our family owns property in Quebec. I am heading north myself if this country descends into mayhem and Palin-type leadership. Bonjour, eh? Hugs and blessings from Robin.

  2. I share your fears on this. I really do. Hubby and I are looking at land in Maine, but have toyed with the idea of jumping ship MANY times.

    I do differ with you on one point. Our problem isn't that we need to be more out front with our religions and work for equal rights that way, it's that what this country needs is LESS religion.

    Unfortunately, religion is in your face, all the time. No matter where you turn, there it is. Christianity is one of the biggest culprits. It's not has bad as it was in older times, though. Back then a person's entire life centered on religion. Not just at home, but when talking to people! We are slowly moving away from the "eat, sleep and breathe" religious ways. We need to. This country is too much of a melting pot now to be able to fully support all the religious diversity we have. We need less religion, less focus on it.

    Religion is as personal as a person's sex life, and it really needs to go that way. Granted, for people like you and me, ours is a lifestyle, but we don't really need to wear our religion on our sleeves, it doesn't change the Gods we worship to keep it at home.

    I'm not looking to be mainstream. With mainstream comes all the stress and angst and I think we're close enough. This is the reason I refuse to band together for a common purpose, refuse to allow another pagan to speak for me. They don't represent my interests. I like living in the shadows.

  3. Oh, you'll be talking like one of us in no time, eh? Brush up on your hockey knowledge too.

  4. Robin: I think if things keep getting so out of hand there will be a steady stream heading north.
    LJ: Oh I agree completely, but the problem with the way our system works is that in order to be able enforce a separation a group has to have enough political clout, and in order to get that political clout they have to be active and visible for some time. In other words to get left alone we have to dance to the tune for a while until we become unremarkable- just part of the landscape. And living in the shadows may become dangerous in the future if there aren't others out there who do dance that dance. Considering how far they are going to abjure women's rights in order to push theological ideals, not to mention the current crop of Republican Presidential candidates, a full on theocracy is not so far out of the question as the sane part of our country would like to believe.
    Debra: I know very little about hockey, But I did grow up outside LA, so I got the rioting down- think that will count?

  5. Hugs.. I know how you feel. I have to agree with Robin. I think it's too difficult for a bunch of us independent types to really allow someone else to speak on our behalf. BUT, I've seen us rally around something and get it done when it's necessary- from a simple blog contest to raising money for Japan to Pentacles on military tombstones. Hang in there.. we'll be there for one another when the time comes.

  6. While individuality certainly has a hold on why the issue isn’t getting resolved I do believe there are other factors as well that we have to consider.

    Issue one would be the crazies are growing in number! Those who truly believe are discouraged and don’t want to be lumped together in the minds of the nation with those who have watched The Craft too much and forgotten lipstick comes in other shades than just black. (I have a personal issue with this and could rant for days on the topic)

    Then you have the pagans who claim that only people who have 4 generations of witches can be called pagan. There are the ones that go on talk shows and swear they can make it rain, and then don't. Maybe they should have claimed they could make cupcakes!!

    Then you have the media propaganda. Any time someone goes on trial for murder and it is the slightest bit bizarre he must have been a pagan! Oh look he walked pass the occult section in this bookstore once so he must be the ‘hive leader’ of the pagans and this is what they do!!” Or someone in a WHOLE OTHER COUNTRY decides she can beat up cops or not pay tickets or whatever because she is a “witch” (i.e. needed to get out of a ticket and the God’s Law thing was played out already).
    It's hard to get anyone to take us seriously or respect us as a real religion when all of this is going on.

    Maybe you're right though. I think that it is possible to take our rep back if those of us who aren't crazy step forward and over shadow "them"! If we CAN all come together and work as a unit we may be able to accomplish this. We don’t have to elect a pope or anything, but we can work as one towards a united goal. Just be careful not to make a crazy the spokesperson! We had that issue here trying to start a church. One person decided it was going to be the church of HER and we had to turn around and run!

    Sorry I guess that got a bit long! LOL!