A man named Gus diZerega who describes himself as an “elder” of the Gardnerian Wiccan tradition and a “Brazilian shaman” wrote a piece for Patheos describing five reasons Pagans need to vote for Barack Obama. His arguments were basically MSNBC talking points devoid of any statements of faith. Republican theocrats hate women, want to destroy the environment, and live to transform America into a giant cathedral where everyone would be forced to buy copies of The Watchtower on pain of death.
This appears as the “Pagan” view but really only a subset of Pagans embrace these politics. There are in fact many conservative Pagans whose voices tend to be drowned out by the shriller and more activist Left; I know this because I’m one of them.
I have five reasons why I would never vote for Barack Obama — or any Democrat — and, unlike Mr. diZerega, my reasoning reflects the rational, political expression of my faith, not Internet memes popular among the uneducated.
The first reason is I believe in the freedom of all people to practice their faith and worship the divine as they choose. Obama’s attack on the Catholic Church is not just a political fight between pro-life and pro-choice. It is the government trying to claim the right to force people to betray their god and abandon his teachings. This is an outrageous and unconscionable breach of those Catholics’ First Amendment rights. The state must never be allowed to believe itself the arbiter of any groups’ theology or how it is expressed. Religion must be experiential; each person must experience the divine personally and be allowed to act in accordance with that understanding. Unless a religion is actually hurting other people, like say committing almost 20,000 terrorist attacks worldwide since 9/11, the state has no business involving itself with adherents at all.
And I challenge liberal Pagans to name one time when the “theocratic” Right has not only demanded that you change your religious doctrine, but then passed a law forcing you to do something you thought ran contrary to your religious beliefs.
The second reason I won’t vote for any Democrat, including Barack Obama, is that I believe in life. I believe that life is sacred and the so-called pro-choice movement has devolved into a transmitter of nihilism and anti-humanism. Unlike some of my pro-life cohort, I don’t actually believe that abortions can ever be made illegal. More importantly, I believe the legality of abortions is a symptom of our unhealthy and unnatural views of sex, parenthood, and children. My generation was one of the first raised with the “pro-choice” message that children ruin lives, that pregnancy is to be avoided, and that sex is no more important or profound than a handshake with a stranger. My generation and the generations that followed have internalized this view and it expresses itself in our sexual neurosis, self-esteem issues, and self-destructive behavior.
Sex is sacred. It is a gift that two people share and the fact it can create life makes it more wondrous. And while I’m not quite prude enough to insist you should be in love with everyone you bed, I do think ideally you should at least respect and appreciate them. The mainstreaming of sado-masochism and violent pornography makes me feel I may be in the minority with those views. How do you raise healthy adults in a society whose rhetoric implies that most mothers secretly resent children coming into being because it “ruined her life”? And how can we expect to live in a healthy, moral society when one party’s platform involves trying to force the rest of us to pay for people to have unprotected sex with strangers?
That leads me to my third reason: I believe in objective morality. Some things are right and some things are wrong. Liberals seem to always find a way of siding with what is wrong and punishing what is right. Every Halloween we see liberals howl about the indignity of sex offenders — rapists, child molesters, and other degenerates who have committed serious crimes — being banned from handing out candy. They have fought against sex offender registries from their inception, as if a single mother going out on a date doesn’t have the right to easy access to a public record to make sure her date won’t endanger her children. When I hired a summer camp staff for a YMCA, we required applicants to get finger printed to ensure they weren’t criminals. About 25 percent of the applicants never followed through, most likely because they were in fact criminals. But there are liberals who object to the idea that we protect children from criminals.
When he was a state senator, Barack Obama was the sole senator to not vote for a bill that would protect rape victims from having the details of their victimization released publicly. Some would include that in the supposed “war on women,” but for me it’s just another example of how immoral the Left is.
Morality shouldn’t be a political issue, but it is. The Left rejects the very basic foundation of morals — that we treat each other with respect, that we don’t take what isn’t ours, that we don’t inflict ourselves on others — and replaces that foundation with decisive, petty groupthink that assumes decent people are oppressing criminals and crime victims are no more victimized than the criminals they believe are forced by society into a life of crime. We see the result of this in the violent flash mobs that terrorize our cities, in the threats of rioting by Obama supporters if he doesn’t win the election, and in the looting that happens after disasters as we see in New York right now. My faith leads me to believe that those forces that undercut morality cannot be allowed to maintain political, social, or cultural power in our nation.
Self-reliance is the fourth reason I won’t vote Democrat. I believe that a man must be unshackled from the fetters of dependence to achieve his full, divine potential. That doesn’t mean I don’t believe in charity; I give to charity when I can. It doesn’t mean I don’t think people should help each other. But I believe a person shouldn’t have to decide between dependence on others or death. Government cannot guarantee your welfare as the disaster in the Northeast currently proves, but liberals demand people give up the ability to provide for themselves in return for creature comforts that evaporate like smoke before the mirrors that reflect the light of a welfare state.
New York City long fought a war against “foraging” in the parks, at one point arresting “Wildman” Steve Brill for eating a dandelion in Central Park. How wicked that all seems now that there are people unable to get food and water in the disaster area. How sad it it seems to see people diving into dumpsters for food a mere two days after a storm. How detestable it is to watch young, healthy people demand and receive assistance from the government whose resources should be used to help the elderly, injured, and infirm.
I watched a video of a woman begging for a generator because she would freeze without electricity. No one, it seems, has ever survived the winter in NYC without not only a roof over their head but also reliable power. While reading an article about New Yorkers starving, I saw a picture of a beach covered in fish, clams, seaweed and other edibles rotting in the sun while being feasted on by edible if not particularly tasty seagulls. Worse, the Democrat voting public of Queens, happy to curtail the Second Amendment rights of their neighbors, are asking for firearms to be delivered to fight off looters, laws they voted for be damned!
All this when people were warned a week in advance and many of the “suffering” live a mere 20 blocks from sections of NYC where there is power. I walked 20 blocks to work when I lived in the Bronx — it’s about a mile.
Is this what people are meant to be? Can we in good conscience continue to produce people so dependent on First World convenience that they will freeze to death rather than start a fire or starve before collecting food? Liberalism did this to those suffering people and I will not support it.
The fifth reason I won’t vote for Obama is because I believe in sustainability and that man’s place is to be a part of nature, not above or below it. As the crisis in New York goes on you will hear more and more liberals demand that we all accept that global warming exists. Let’s pretend for a second it does. Who causes it? Liberals. It is their cities that produce the most pollution, use the most resources, and produce nothing but the greenhouse gasses they claim kill the planet. The Democrats’ obsession with creating millions of factory jobs flies in the face of their supposed dedication to the environment, and Barack Obama has presided over some of the most egregious attacks on small farms and subsistence hunting and fishing that this country has ever seen.
If the Left cared about global warming, they’d move out of the cities, grow their own food, and ride bicycles.
Global warming aside, the leftist view of how a society should operate remains unsustainable. We have more liberal arts majors working in the food industry than we have farmers in this country. Is that sustainable? New York City needs to import food, fuel, and other consumables from all over the world just to keep going and there isn’t enough food grown in New York state to feed the five boroughs. Is this sustainable?
The only sustainable society is one where the majority of the population produces wealth — not consumables, not gadgets, not “ideas,” but wealth like food. Small towns and villages surrounded by farms are sustainable. A family home with a large garden and some livestock in an area where the family can hunt and fish and trap is sustainable. Brooklyn is not sustainable, but it is preferred by liberals because to live a truly sustainable lifestyle is to embrace conservative values like industriousness and self-reliance and to be cut off from the paternalistic state. I will not vote for anyone who seeks increased urbanization, which is the basis for much of the Democratic platform.
Unlike Mr. diZerega, I don’t claim to speak for my faith though I do know many conservative Pagans who agree with these points. I also will tell no one how to vote but simply refute the specious argument that there is some reason Pagans in general should vote for Democrats or Obama.
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