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.