This cartoon by David Sipress, flowed across my Facebook feed earlier this month…
I’ve mentioned before, that keeping abreast of current events is an important practice to me; I also mentioned that it wears on me, erodes some parts of me like a sandcastle meeting the incoming tide.
These are trying and complex times we live in, the specters of hate and ignorance and prejudice are rearing back to ugly life like the oh-so-fashionable Zombie Apocalypse in both our news events and political debates. In the last several weeks the stories of a boy in Kansas City, and Shaima Alawadi in California, and most famously and closest to my home Trayvon Martin here in Florida, have struck my heart and sent me reeling.
I find myself sometimes just wanting to run away from the awfulness and selfishness and hatred and anger and ignorance and fear in the world. It seems like the same sorts of struggles and same sorts of horrible things happen again and again and again. At the same time I know that it is by too many people running away from such things, or seeking a scape goat, seeking an easy answer outside themselves, that that is why such things are able to have such a power to stain the Holiness of Creation.
The thing is that so often the discussions are mired in the either/or and One-True-Way-isms of the (still) Predominantly Monotheistic Overculture. The discussions on these difficult and complex issues don’t always seem to genuinely speak to complexity and difficulty that issues of Race and Politics and Poverty and Systemic Change that seem to have bubbled up in the first decades of the 21st Century. Too many times I find myself only partially agreeing with one side, too many times I find myself falling into the trap of trying to demonize one side or the other as entirely wrong or bad even when I have some guilty sense 0f “yes, but they have a point here…”
I like to think that the faiths and paths of Contemporary Paganism can bring new ideas and new ways of looking at difficult issues that are much needed in our world. Whether it is by acknowledging the beauty and value of the world around us, or by trying to respect and resurrect the very Pagan idea of the worth and dignity present in the many points of view around us, or our intertwined communities increasing participation in Interfaith movements… I believe that Paganism -in all its faiths and forms- has much to bring to the table.
Are we doing so?
I’d like to think we’ve started. Our voices are being heard in ways great and small. We have shown Compassion to the peoples of Japan in a time of trial, we have worked to bring our voices to the table in the Interfaith movement, we are creating Community Centers to come together across lines of faith and philosophy and building stronger communities, we are acting and speaking to the complexities of Societal Change that are needed to meet the challenges of the 21st Century, and we are raising our voices in our own communities to speak to issues of fairness and equality.
Today, I pray that our voices will be heard. I pray to the Holy Powers that our words and actions will change the world for the better for all.
I also would like to know…
Where and on what issues to you think Paganism’s voices are needed and could do good?
What voices speak to your heart and mind on the issues of the day, and are they reflective of your Values and experiences as a Pagan?
Pax / Geoffrey