Archive for January 23rd, 2009

I consider myself to be a pleasant and curious person.  I like to meet interesting people of different cultures and faiths and races.  Other peoples’ religions in particular fascinate me, and have since I was very young; I always want to know about their beliefs and customs and practices, what they do and what they believe and above all the whys and wherefores of it all.  Maybe this makes me insufferable instead of pleasant and curious; at any rate, rather than ask people such questions directly, I tend instead to read their blogs and websites and books instead, to gain the insights I seek.  The reason for that is quite simple: the more I read from people of other (read: monotheistic) faiths when they post among their own kind, the more certain I become that there can never be a meaningful dialogue between people of wildly divergent belief systems.  Gods know it’s hard enough to communicate with those ostensibly of your own path.

Jason at the Wildhunt put up a link to a story about a pre-inaugural ritual smudging of the White House.  To me it seemed pretty harmless, a pretty typical generic neo-pagany thing with smudging and chanting and such; not my thing, but also not a bad thing.  Despite the site’s being called the “Progressive Examiner,” a read-through of the comment thread indicates that the readership thereof is anything but.  I’m sorry to say, but such ranting screeds are what I’ve come to expect from those who call themselves Christians these days.  There may be–must be–certainly are Christians out there who are more moderate, more progressive, but it is always the voices of the unhinged fringe that rise above the softer speech of the reasonable.  Here are a couple of tastes, if you’re curious:

Yes, they are trying to use matter to invoke demonic spirits. Since, they don’t probably believe in Satan, they don’t realize what they are doing. They are probably thinking from a “naturalist” perspective, meaning that the world has it’s own powers, which, of course, it doesn’t. The only power that is ordered to the Good is God. They are harnessing Satanic power…

Or, how about:

What about the abortion demons? Where are those now? I believe they just moved into the White House and plan to stay.

There’s a fair bit of anti-abortion rhetoric along with the demon stuff, perhaps because of the President today rescinding the Global Gag Rule (which I will discuss on my other blog later).  One commenter stated “Make way for the infanticidal communist!”  I don’t really see how it’s possible to have a reasoned and reasonable conversation with people who have their heads shoved that far up their own holy asses.  If your worldview is that firmly divided between Us and Them, then there can be no understanding.  And those of us who are Them, and who would consider extending a hand in friendship or a heart in understanding, are only wasting our energy and our time.

Not that I intend to stop seeking and reading and learning, if only because I feel it behooves us to know what our enemies (for, unfortunately, that is surely what they are) think and say about us.  I do have hope for the future, if only because our new President made a point from the very start, in his first official address to our nation, to use speech inclusive of all faiths and non-faiths.  Some of the inroads made by extremist religious groups under the previous administration will not be allowed to stand, and we can perhaps move forward with the realization that this is one nation under many Gods and many Goddesses.  And maybe, just maybe, some of the more defiant and fearful (on both sides of the fence) will some day be able to recognize others as fellow Americans, even if they’ll never be able to meet as friends.

So mote it be.

(ETA:  Hahaha!  Now the commenters at the Examiner are dismissing the ritualists as “young people.”  HAHAHA! Could they be any more arrogant, dismissive or wilfully ignorant?

Oh, wait.  Yes, they could.  Never mind.)


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