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Posted: Sep. 8, 2002
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Question of the Week: 83 - 10/27/2002
Time to Talk Politics and Elections…
Eek! It’s the silly season again.
For U.S. Pagans/Heathens: The U.S. is holding mid-term elections Nov. 5th. Will you be voting? What are the issues that are most important to you? Do you vote by issue or by party? Do you have any thoughts on how it will turn out?
Non-U.S. Pagans/Heathens: The U.S. is woefully ignorant about your political processes. Please enlighten us. How many parties do you have? What are the names of the parties and what platforms do they represent? Do you have 'liberals' and 'conservatives'? How often do you vote? Do you elect representatives? How do you contact these representatives about your issues?
As always while talking politics, discussions can become heated. Please stay on the issues and do not resort to personal attacks. Further discussions should be taken to e-mail.
| Reponses: There are 109 responses posted to this question.
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| It's Ugly In Wisconsin ||Oct 28th. at 6:01:49 pm EST|
|Seeker (Madison, Wisconsin) ||Age: 41 - Email |
Here in Wisconsin, we have 4 candidates for govenor. Both the Democrat and the Replublican incumbent are so unbelievably dishonest. Lots of mud slinging, them broken promises to stop. Bingo parties for the mentally disabled, then showing them how to vote absentee. Taking families on vacation at state expense, then lying about who paid.
We do have Green party and Independent candidates, and though I have. in the past, been caught up in the old 'if you vote for the little guy, it's really a vote for the big guy' thing, I am really considering. If everyone who is disgusted with the current state of affairs voted for the little guy, we might have more Minnesotas.
I know lots of people who are refusing to vote altogether. I think that's a mistake. Too much is going on and it's so important to make your voice heard. Your vote has to be your voice.
| Vote Third Party ||Oct 28th. at 6:35:00 pm EST|
|lilith (los angeles) ||Age: 33 - Email |
i so cant stress this enough-- third parties are where the actual democratic process is at. i usually vote green-- i have occasionally voted libertarian. but people, its not enough to vote. voting seems to lull a great many people into a false sense of participation. actually voting is one of the tiniest little things one can do. its like recycling cans-- that alone is not going to save the planet, but its a good thing to do. voting is admittedly disappointing the vast majority of the time. i admit every time i go to the polls i feel like im spitting against the wind. but i must be a masochist cuz it has yet to stop me.
california is in a state of total chaos. people who think that we are some kind of liberal bastion full of hippies and peaceniks clearly have never spent any time here. there are right wing forces encrouching upon our liberties all over the country and california is as in dire danger as any place else. part of this is because california is like every other prosperous place in the world-- we are so f***ing COMPLACENT. our complacency has led to our being overrun by the insurance industry and by taxes-- our schools are in shambles, the mainstream religious right is moving in on all manner of fronts-- we are in TROUBLE. we need to take this seriously. we need to do more than vote. we need to act. we need to protest, we need to spread actual news around, we need to present an alternative view to the world of what is really going on in this country. we need to work for peace. and it aint as easy as voting, but its probably more effective. every actual moment of political progress in this country was made actual by regular people. not politicians acting out of the goodness of their hearts, but by US.
"in god we trust" does not represent this country well. "e plurbis unim" does. trusting in "god" and politicians is an exercise in futility.
| What About....... ||Oct 28th. at 9:21:49 pm EST|
|Diama White (Wayne, MI USA) ||Age: 46 - Email |
Ok Heathens, Pagans, Druids and the like: maybe it's time we got out of the cauldron and hoisted up a represenative to run in one of these here election things. We all seem to agree on the issues, but have no one to be the front runner for 'us'. Maybe we need a Pagan in the politics to mix things up a bit and to help keep the peace. I am not smart when it comes to politics, but all I seem to see and read are what I have deemed, 'hate commercials'. These are when you slam your opponent. Never mind what YOUR opponent has NOT done, but rather what have YOU done?
| Kleptocrat Or Good Christian? ||Oct 28th. at 10:53:29 pm EST|
|Stacey Michael (New Orleans) ||Age: 34 - Email - Web|
Indeed, since a very powerful right wing extremist politician like John Ashcroft, who were a States Attorney, Governor, and Senator. Who lost his re-election bid to a dead guy, and ultimately appointed to Attorney General of the United States by a squatter, became the most blatant show of munitions in an obvious agenda of war on the people. His nomination was a sign of the ‘just try and stop us’ mentality. The top cop, and head of the long arm of the ATF, FBI, and the 'defender' of the Constitution. Is also the strong arm of the Christian Cartel.
The people who knew him best, voted this man out of office. The opponent wasn’t even alive at the time of the election, but the Christian Cartel couldn’t let an experienced Zealot fall through the cracks of their pot.
The Christian Cartel admired him for, in only one six-year Senate term, he supported 16 efforts to amend our founding charter; several of that took direct aim at the Bill of Rights. In fact, none of the amendments he supported would have expanded individual rights, many of them instead represented obtrusive attacks on our most cherished freedoms.
Senator Ashcroft, favored school vouchers, which would force taxpayers to support religious beliefs and practices with which they disagree, finance discrimination in education and weaken the public schools.
It is distressing that Senator Ashcroft was willing to impose his religious beliefs on others through a variety of federal policies. He has consistently stated his support for government laws authorizing prayer in public school and he argues for laws that would help our nation return to "traditional values."
His style of ‘values’ smacks of the Ku Klux Klan’s hymnal of “Put the Bible back in our schools”. In December 1999, Ashcroft told the magazine Charisma, “It's said that we shouldn't legislate morality. Well, I think all we should legislate is morality.”
On the Senate floor he opined, "Just as in the larger culture prayer can play a unique role in dealing with violence, drugs and the other challenges in the schools ... Prayer is the answer. Prayer is not the problem."
After all, since the Christian faith isn’t strong enough to change the lives of people to be moral, then the only alternative is create laws that make criminals out of those who don’t emulate the life of Christ.
“I am for freedom of religion and against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendancy of one sect over another.” –Thomas Jefferson
Over the objections of District of Columbia leaders, Ashcroft attempted to impose a pilot Church Tax voucher program in the District public schools. This would mean that schools that are religiously controlled would for the first time receive federal funds, yet would not be required to comply with federal civil rights laws. Ashcroft also voted to have the government endorse the posting of the Ten Commandments, notwithstanding Alabama State Court Orders that such displays violated the establishment clause of the First Amendment.
Ashcroft's incessant support for ‘Charitable Choice’, which puts a happy face on the issue of a Church Tax, is perhaps the most damaging of his positions in this area. Under current law, religious institutions must form non-sectarian affiliates to provide federally funded social services. But Senator Ashcroft pushed repeatedly - and at times successfully - to allow churches, mosques and synagogues to provide direct federally funded social services. Which is the defining element of a ‘Church Tax’.
‘Charitable Choice’ legislation could undermine the very civil rights laws that Attorney General Ashcroft must enforce. In fact, the ‘Charitable Choice’ legislation that Senator Ashcroft championed sought to exempt from civil rights laws - specifically Title VII, which prohibits employment discrimination of the religious organizations it would fund. For example, under ‘Charitable Choice’ proposals, organizations receiving taxpayer funding would be permitted to discriminate on the basis of pregnancy status, gender and sexual orientation as long as doing so was part of the religion's "teachings and tenets."
The boy George administration is also inline with that form of imposing law, saying on July 28, 2001 that the administration was going to be concentrating on “universally appreciated values”, which sounds like new ‘buzz’ words. In fact, a memo about the program was leaked to the media saying, “Avoid a traditional media roll-out of the program…Use creative media tactics to create a buzz.”
For what is universally appreciated among conservatives, like the tried and true tactic of censorship by encouraging news organizations to conduct what the administration calls an “increase reporting of good news.” Giving the wide speculation what “good news” actually means, could be stories of kittens in trees to the ‘Good News Bible’. Regardless, the administration feels the need to ‘encourage’ the media in a direction that it wants the public to see. When those who have control of government try to ‘encourage’, most often, those who are targeted for this, are ‘intimidated’.
Taken from my book "Religious Conceit" Page 147
Link to More info related to this post -- HERE
| Following In The Goose-Steps ||Oct 28th. at 11:13:54 pm EST|
|Stacey Michael (New Orleans) ||Age: 34 - Email - Web|
Recently, Amnesty International’s annual report card of the Bush administration gave a flunking grade to its treatment of humanity. “The year 2001 witnessed a direct challenge to long accepted human rights standards by the very governments that campaigned for their establishment.” In other words, the Bush administration lied. They are not “Compassionate Conservatives”; they are human rights abusers, with crimes against humanity according to international law. If this were not the intention, then why would the Bush administration refuse to agree to an international court? Perhaps fear of standing trial, himself?
Without an international court, the Bush administration could very well legalize the use of the military against the citizens of the United States. A standard which is prohibited in the Constitution, even reinforced through the 125 year old Posse Comitatus Act. Which prohibits the use of civilian police to form military posse’s from the days of the Wild West. Interestingly, that’s the very Act in which the Bush administration wants to modify to combat terrorist threats from the “office of homeland security”.
What does this mean for the American people? If a terrorist threat is made against a particular city or town which holds some national security interest, you could have a standing military presents, or occupation, locking down the region to maintain order. A total blackout of the military operation in the media, telephone services and normal daily movement by the people to even go to work, or evacuate the area. Basically Marshal Law, without having to declare Marshal Law. Suspending the Constitution on nothing more than a frivolous tip.
Since the term “terrorist” is being used for everything under the sun for those with power, whether that is peaceful protests or a simple “boycott”, it’s quite certain that this power grab by the federal government will be used against innocent people. It’s amazing how fragile our “rights” actually are in this country.
Have you wondered how the German people of the 1930’s could have ever allowed Hitler to come to power? It appears we are about to receive an education.
The Christian Cartel has relentlessly tried to find validation for their ideology by lobbying heavily to have the Ten Commandments posted in every corner of public life. Trying to force everyone to become idolaters of the stone monument, as a true Pharisee would do. The latest version of this type of bill comes from Rep. Brian Kerns (R-Ind) in May of 2002, where the Ten Commandments would be hung on the walls of the legislature. When it was introduced in the previous February, Christian Cartel organizations such as the Christian Coalition, The Family Research Council and the Traditional Values Coalition alerted members to pressure their lawmakers to back it. “It’s the right thing to do,” said Steve Lutes, spokesman for Kerns.
Which only proves that Rep. Kerns believes that Idolatry and the forced worship of that idol is righteous and true.
The superstitions of the Christian Cartel can be now used against them, as their rhetoric often invokes “the power of Satan”, into the folds of politics. They are not small or weak, but they are clumsy. Just as they trip over their feet, so too with their words.
Today people understand reason, rather than superstition. If the Christian Cartel is devoid of reasonable excuses for their lunacy, then their directive will be considered psychotic in the public eye. Using actual reason instead of bombast and rhetoric point out the errors they promote as philosophically sound.
How do you do this? Inertia is the best example. Quite simply, the Bush administration proclaims faith as an ambiguous order upon the people. When the order is misunderstood, or not adhered to, then guns are used to clarify the administration’s point, an abuse of authority, which will eventually be seen as tyranny. After which, it wouldn’t matter how much faith the administration has, the end results would be the loss of power. If they are allowed through the hypothetical to try and prove a point, which is promoted as virtue, yet is not, their own actions place the noose around their necks. The lie exposes itself in practice, but you can be the one who sees the results before it manifests; proving the virtue of truth, by their error.
This will be our strength. As ignorance is not considered a virtue in these modern times, the false claim to virtue by the Christian Cartel must be exposed and exploited.
We should put on notice to the leadership, they are going to be held responsible for their actions or the actions of their followers. Just as Yasser Arafat is considered responsible for the actions of the terrorist network in Palestine, whether or not he actually has any control over them. So too, with the leadership of the Christian Cartel, as they promote the teaching that zealotry is acceptable, if not required, then the backlash against them should be just as passionate. Just as they have judged others, so too, should they be judged.
While it is true that this is a fight which is quite unappealing as non-violent as it is. It is a fight, none-the-less. You don’t win a fight by simply dodging the punches; you punch back as hard as you can, at the weakest point in your attacker; any woman’s self-defense class will tell you that. It’s high time that we give our attacker a good swift kick, right to the twins, metaphorically speaking.
This is not to prove who’s right or wrong in a theological sense, but in a physical sense. Self-preservation is as important to our ideology as is the ideology itself. The justification for the War on Terrorism is the same. But, instead of fighting against foreign terrorist, we are fighting against domestic terrorism. The cause is the same, but the effects are quite different.
If the Christian Cartel is successful, even temporarily, in changing our government over to a theocracy; the results will be the destruction of religion altogether. It only takes a couple of pricks to screw it up for the rest of us. Abuse of power is so very easy, destroying civilization has become even easier. Are we to allow these lunatics to destroy their selves and us, because they fanaticize the Apocalypse?
Link to More info related to this post -- HERE
| Politics & Poker ||Oct 29th. at 3:16:19 am EST|
|Perrin (Hades) ||Age: 26 - Email |
Some things we should be worried about, but this realy is not one that matters. In America, we have the illusion that our votes or opinoins matter, but over half of our population, myself included, refuses to vote, as none of the cannidates are different. We have a two party system, Democrats, and Republicans, due to this situation the people are stuck with the lesser of two evils. One party wants to start wars to stimulate job growth, the other wants to cut the benefits of freedom to produce jobs. There is an old saying, "If the bear and the wolf argue over you, it does not matter to you who won, because you will be in their belly.", the same applies to ANY two party system. The unstoppable force meets the immovable object. It is past time for their to be a third party that actually has a presecence in our government, and in my opinion it should be the Pagan community. If we are to become more than just a "Cult" then we should take a hand in politics. I know this is contrary to what I said last year at this time, but given that another Bush is in the White House, I think we should act. The route to power is a bumpy one, but if we all went the same direction we might get there, if we are disjointed by our own prejudices then we will never succeed.
The other question posed for people who live outside the USA unsettled me, perhaps Iam a unique individual, who went to both Canada, and Mexico, and realized that they have less say in the government affairs than we do. In Canada you and I could never own property, the government owns it all, and forces you and I to pay taxes on that land until we die. In Mexico they use prisoners as their "Policia", and have ellections that the state controls. As for other countries the political structure gets wors, not better. China has population controls which wipe out at least one third of their population annually. I could go on with the other attrocities of other countries, but I do not think that would not be fair, after all I'm just an American.
| Oops ||Oct 29th. at 3:21:06 am EST|
|Perrin (Hades) ||Age: 26 - Email |
Merry Meet again,
Iam human, therefore not infallable, when I typed "structure gets wors, not", I should have used "structure gets worse, not" sorry about that.
| Two Elections For Me! US/UK ||Oct 29th. at 4:11:10 am EST|
|Jade_Moon (London, England) ||Age: 16 - Email |
Im both a US and UK citizen because my Mum is from the UK and my Dad is from the US. Im gonna be 17 in November and we live in the UK so naturaly I will be voting here but I will also probably be voting in the US! I really hate Bush and his policies (even though my opinion has raised slightly since 9/11/01 but I still want to vote against him) I have to say I know very little about US politics so I will need more info about that but I know plenty about UK politics (well in England anyway.)
Here we have 3 main Parties: Labour and Concervatives are the main two. They are both Right wing although the Concervatives are more so. Initialy Labour was right wing, but hey, they just changed. We also have the Liberal Democrats who are Right in the middle of left and right wing. As they are the most left wing I will vote for them as most of my veiws are Social or Communist. I also agree with most of their policies.
There are also some other parties such as the Green Party and the Monster Raving Loonie Party (who are a really cool party who go around making strange policies like "at least one day a week you must wear under pants on your head" and are just there to make fun of politics. They have never been voted in though.... LOL!!)
Thats about it.....
| Apathy ||Oct 29th. at 11:10:58 am EST|
|The Sweeper (OK) ||Age: 48 - Email |
The fact that less than 50 % us vote is exactly why the “two party system” is so entrenched. Apathy is the enemy of good government. Casting a vote is only a small part of our responsibility, being involved in the whole process from beginning to end is the answer. Some of you folks seem to want to wake up on Election Day and be given menu of candidates to select from like ordering lunch at a restaurant. You have to be involved at the grass roots if you want real choices. Start by finding someone at a local level that you like and respect and help getting him or her elected. Be part of the system, it’s like gardening, if you don’t plant the seed, and tend the sprouts you can’t expect to reap much of a harvest. It’s easy to sit back, complain, and do nothing, getting involved is tough work, but, being a Pagan isn’t easy why should Politics. For this election find the candidate that is more in line with your views then the others. It won’t be a perfect fit, heck it may not be even close, but do the work; one will be better for you then the other and that is the point.
| Apathy Again And Again ||Oct 29th. at 12:27:16 pm EST|
|Sammy M. (Billings, Mt.) ||Age: 36 - Email |
Apathy for sure... it's easier to laz out that to make an effort. Bitching is easy!. Yet, the 50% that don't vote, DO Bitch about what is happening and do it constantly. Amazingly THEY are majority and could dramtically change the game if they got off of their lazy butts and DID change the game. Voting requires a tiny bit of effort... but not all that much.
The alternative parties just can't seem to get off the ground with more than a few percents of the vote - meaning they don't make it to the game. Hence they are not players at this time. I really hope that changes, but until it does we must deal with what we've got.
I will vote the lesser of two evils. I have soured on the democrats as an alternative, but will vote with them to make sure that Ashcroft, Robertson and Bush don't end up owning the entire show.
I say get out and vote and (unless you live in Florida), YOUR vote will matter.
| Screw It! ||Oct 29th. at 2:51:07 pm EST|
|Matt (Detroit) ||Age: 25 - Email |
I'm moving to Finland. Lot's of trees there, my ancestors are buried there, and their Constitution is short and sweet. It's also in a far off corner of the globe which is less likely to be bombed by "mistake." Unless we go to war with Russia of course. I hate to say it, but let America kill itself. I’m tired of living here, and yes once I am able to afford a plane ticket I will be leaving. It’s not just the politics, it everything: corporation (let us hold your hand through the dark underworld of your own opinions), religion (government in action!), bogus science (based on a false definition of skepticism), advertising (please let me think for you), hypocrisy (like Dubya doesn’t have his own Lewinski!) and general disrespect for the wellbeing other people (animals, plants and minerals included). I also have no time for the persecution complex that plagues every single American; it’s all soap opera mentality here, life has to be dramatic in order for it to have any meaning. Can’t life just be boring? My life is very boring and I am happy for it. Simple: go to school (Computer Science major with a strong focus on UNIX based OS’s, I don’t listen to the counselors much, they say I should go with Windows – BLAH!) go to work, and go to sleep. That’s good enough for me.
Damn I went way off track on that one; sorry I just had to rant.
| Pagans Are Not Monolithic! ||Oct 29th. at 4:46:35 pm EST|
|Peragana (Northern Virginia) ||Age: 32 - Email |
>We all seem to agree on the issues, but have no one to be the front runner for 'us'.
Well, no, we don't all agree on the issues. That's the one thing that drives me dizzy about Paganism and politics, this assumption that Pagans all walk in one, left-leaning lock-step mode. Plenty of Pagans, myself included, are conservatives and Republicans. As for the "Christian Cartel", the best way to counter their influence is to become involved. They are as influential as they are (especially in the GOP) because they're well-organized, and because their opposition has abdicated the responsibility to oppose them. This is a message I'd like to direct toward Republican-leaning Pagans: do NOT let the religious right scare you out of the Republican Party. Yes, that's what they'd like to do. Don't let it happen. I'm out as a Pagan and a Witch, and I hold office in both my local and state Young Republican groups. I know of at least 2 other Pagan YRs in my state alone. The opportunity to meet, in a friendly setting, candidates and prospective candidates, and make your voice heard on religious freedom issues is invaluable. The more moderate voices are heard in the party, the more influence we have. This is NOT an impossible battle!
For all Pagans, not just GOP-leaning ones, what I can say as an active volunteer is to get involved. Find a party that suits you, or a candidate, or an issue group, and don't just vote, but GET INVOLVED. Talk to the candidates-- they're at 4th of July events, fall parades, county fairs, they're out there. Tell them what your concerns are. Become a part of the process, and you will be remembered-- for those candidates and political people, a "pagan" will become a known quality, the face of a trusted, intelligent and well-grounded volunteer. If you want "the system" to listen to Pagans, you have to be heard.
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