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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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1. Who are you going to vote for and why? - [233]

 Author:    Posted: Sep. 8, 2002   This Page Viewed: 19,971,269  

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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. Reverse Sort 

It'll Get Ugly Before It Gets Better Oct 30th. at 2:24:17 am EST

OakWise (Redlands) Age: 34 - Email

About 1/2 my good friends are also extremely conservative. We talk very often about politics, religion & ethics. We've agreed that its OK not to agree. We talk at length - they';re truly wonderful people and I care about their families, their goals etc.. that's what friends do for each other. But in the last several weeks, I've seen an ugly almost predatory side to them as they absolutely salivate at the thoguht of controling the Legislative & Executive branch. They've lost track of their ability to think for themselves - and have turned into single issue voters. Abortion, Prayer in School, School Vouchers, English only initiatives, etc - they're absolutely scary. My only hope is that they;'re not successful in dividing the liberals any more than we mange to do ourselves. If not - watch out - The Jesus Club will be coming to state/city capital near you... oh yeah, we'll be going to war too.

I Can Spell... No Really I Can! Oct 30th. at 2:28:16 am EST

OakWise (Redlands) Age: 34 - Email

Hello again. I just read my post. I really can spell and write fairly well - obviously I just can't type worth a damn. - please forgive. :)
Bright Blessings - OakWise

I'm With Stephanie... Oct 30th. at 9:46:52 am EST

Morgan Ravenwood (Arizona) Age: 21 - Email

I vote in every election mainly to give voice to the opposition, so to speak. Arizona is a primarily Republican state but it seems this time we may actually get a Democratic governor. I hope so, anyway.

Because of its conservative bent, AZ is a tough place to be for Pagans. We have a tough battle against the Xian majority as well, but many of us are working toward the furtherance of tolerance. When we work together, there's nothing we can't do.

ALL Pagans should realize what kind of power we have in the vote, and not waste the opportunity for our voices to be heard. So get out there and do it!

Are State Lotteries A Tax On Those Bad At Math? Oct 30th. at 12:33:01 pm EST

DJ (Kingsport, TN) Age: 32 - Email

Let me say first I tend to vote Republican. However, I am registered as an Independent. The big issue in Tennessee is the constitutional amendment to establish a lottery. The Christian element is highly upset because the people seem to want a lottery rather than a flat income tax. The current polls show 63% in favor of a lottery while 37% oppose it. For the past several years the Christian element of the Republican party has been able to stop bills which would give us the right to vote on a lottery. I can not believe for so long they pushed their religious morals on an entire state and it took our state's dismal financial situation to allow a vote. I wouldn't be surprised if the Christian coalition in TN pursues legal action when the lottery amendment passes.

Conservative Does Not Equal Republican Oct 30th. at 2:08:57 pm EST

The Sweeper (OK) Age: 48 - Email

Please folks, being a conservative is not the same as being a republican. Conservatism is a philosophical viewpoint; a republican is a member of the Republican Party. The Republican Party’s views, as does the Democratic Party’s, changes year to year reflecting there membership. JFK, the icon of the Democratic Party, had many views that reflect strongly with the current Republican Party.

Casting ones friends, as having “an ugly almost predatory side” and being “absolutely scary” may be a bit harsh don’t you think? When you are discussing issues with your “friend” are you out spoken about your beliefs, and have you ever been swayed by their arguments?

The issues of Abortion, Prayer in School, School Vouchers, English only initiatives, are exactly that, issues, ideas with which people agree or do not. Because a large number of people have these ideas in common does not make then a “single issue” and does not make the people who hold them “single minded”.

Using phrases like “The Jesus Club” is just as harmful and counter-productive as the stereotyping of Pagans and Heathens.

Over the years my viewpoints and opinions have change, with good fortune and the guidance of those wiser them myself I hope they will continue to do so.

Engaging in Debate is a wonderful thing; sitting in judgement is not.

The Sweeper

Earth Based Religions/voting To Protect Our Mother Oct 30th. at 3:40:31 pm EST

Dorian Eldritch (St. Petersburg Florida) Age: 33 - Email

I have always felt that religion and politics are intimately entwined. Of course a person's fundamental beliefs about the world will affect how he/she acts and wishes to influence the society at large. MOst of the posts I have read here have mentioned the obvious self interest of keeping civil rights extant in America because Pagas will be one of the first groups persecuted when the full effects of the Patriot Act are allowed to play out. As members of (predominantly) Earth based religions, it would seem obvious to me for Pagans to be heavily concerned with environmental
issues and protecting the Earth. I am continually confused by the Republican party calling itself "conservative" and then being the ones to steal our National Natural Resources and give them away below cost to huge multinational corporations. I am conservative-I want to conserve our natural resources, leave a country and a world in as good or better shape than I found it. I want our leaders to pursue sustainability rather than short term huge profit margins that benefit only a few already overly rich individuals. Forests are integrally important to the water systems of teh entire planet. They are necessary not only to protect watersheds, prevent horrific floods, and regulate the rain cycle but also to produce air and soil. It is unbelievable that we have been so shortsighted as to destroy most of the world's forests in the last 100 years. We have a responsibility to our children and as people who worship the Earth, to Earth herself, to protect what remains. The current administration has the worst environmental record in recent memory, if not in American history. (Not surprising since most of them are former energy corporation executives!) I try to be as active as possible in these(and in civil rights issues) as well as opposing Mass Murder for Oil, and it is my deepest hope that there are many pagans who will go to the polls this year with these things in mind and vote in people who will work to protect the Earth-bbecause, the simple truth is, pagan or not-we've only got this one and once the natural resoures have been destroyed for fast profit-NONE of the other issues we discuss will matter. You can't argue over prayer in schools if the children can't go to school because they can't breathe(as is already the case in Mexico City.
Blessed Bees & Trees!

(tree hugging dirt worshiper:-) Link to More info related to this post -- HERE

Bush Knew And Is A Traitor Oct 30th. at 8:02:05 pm EST

Irusan (Bastrop,TX) Age: 52 - Email

I am convinced in my heart - it was my first thought upon seeing the Trade Center Towers fall - that the Bush administration allowed it to happen to boost their political power and help their imperialistic ambitions. I am 52 years old and have never seen this country closer to totalitarianism. I would not have believed it some years ago, but I am continually amazed at the
gullibility of the American TV-teat-fed public. "Against Ignorance, even the angels contend in vain." The more I read and hear, the stronger my conviction becomes that our unelected leader and his handlers in the Shadow Government are traitors, who used the deaths of innocents and true heroes to achieve power otherwise unavailable to them.

I have voted for the Green Party in several elections, including voting for Nader in the last
two presidential elections. I am currently trying to decide whether to vote for the Green candidate for governor, or to vote for the Democrat, which might hurt the Bush regime more...or
would it? I really don't want Perry to be elected. He is totally odious. But some say that Sanchez is just as beholden to the Bushes. Voting Green would at least help to add support to that worthy party, but might give Perry the victory. Not an easy decision for me. I am definitely voting Democratic in the U.S. Senate race, & definitely voting Green in some local races - our ancient Lost Pines are threatened by an unleashed Alcoa, slavering to strip-mine what forest remains. I do know that this is one of the most important elections in memory - of mythic proportions, as they say.

Not Quite Answering The Question, But Highly Political Oct 30th. at 11:06:32 pm EST

Magenta (Minneapolis, MN) Age: 52 - Email

"We must all hang together or assuredly we will all hang separately." Ben Franklin said that over two hundred years ago, and it just as true today as when he said it. I wrote this the day after Paul Wellstone died in a plane crash, and my first thought when I heard the news was, "The Republicans managed to kill him, and we will never prove it." As I found out more about the crash, I realized that it would be impossible to ever know, one way or the other. At the time, I was packing to go to a local science fiction convention, a small relaxacon, meant for people to gather and hang out, watch videos, play games, and eat. I hesitated about going, but my partner pointed out I would feel bad, no matter where I was, and we had planned this as a getaway weekend we both needed, so we went. I ran into friends there, and as we consoled each other, and hugged each other, we talked. Many people had had the same reaction, "The Republicans got him." As we talked we realized we did not mean that a whole party, a large segment of the American people, really would assassinate a prominent Senator. What we really felt was that control of the United States has passed from the hands of its people to a tiny cabal of powerful men, most of whom were never duly elected, and who would stop at nothing to keep their power.

"We must all hang together or assuredly we will all hang separately." What does this mean for us, today? Perhaps we need to consider under what circumstances this was originally said. The American Revolution was not a 'popular movement' as some might think. It was organized by an elite group of well educated free-thinking men. Free-thinker meant, in those days, that they questioned everything, including religion. Many of them were Freemasons; in fact, Masonic meetings were used as cover in planning such events as the Boston Tea Party. Going against the British meant going against the King. Many considered it blasphemy, rebelling against 'the King that God had placed over them to rule'. The Revolution represented perhaps a third of the population; another third opposed it and were loyal to Britain. Still another third were indifferent, or so isolated by distanced as to make their opinions irrelevant. But that handful of men changed the course of history.

"We must all hang together or assuredly we will all hang separately." Who are 'we' today? Pagans, Witches, Quakers, Science Fiction fans, Pacifists, Gays, Lesbians, Bi-sexuals, Fairies, Transgender and Queer peoples, Blacks, Native Peoples, Artists, Musicians, Writers and many many more. All of us who are outsiders, who are in grave danger, whether we know it or not. The problem is that history does not repeat itself. That would make the danger signs too easy. Was September 11, 2001, Pearl Harbor or the Beer Hall Putsch? We may know in a hundred years, but it will be too late then. My instincts are the latter, or closer to it than the former. We could be on the verge of the end of democracy as we have known it. In theory, our rights have expanded over 200 years, from white male adult landowners to women as well as men, people of color as well as WASPs, the poor as well as the rich. But the trend seems to be going the other way. Black votes get lost. The rich can flout laws. (My partner Martin's solution to Enron and the like: apply zero tolerance like they have to big drug dealers, seize all their property, even before a conviction and distribute it to those who lost money in the crash. Then make the CEOs work at MacDonald's or Wal-Mart as community service, and live on minimum wage income for the rest of their lives.)

"We must all hang together or assuredly we will all hang separately." How do we 'hang together'. That's easier. Literally, hang out with lots of different people. How many of us hang out only with people just like us? Reach out. Go outside your community, whatever it is. Connect with people who are weird in different ways than you are weird. We need to accept differences. There are so many of us, and none of us are the same in all ways. That is what makes each of us unique. But we need to reject those who say they have the One True Right And Only Way. They don't. The fanatics and fundamentalists of all religions are the enemy. Anyone who wants total control over another person's life shouldn't have that control (other than the parents of young children). My body is my own, my thoughts and beliefs are my own - and YOURS BELONG TO YOU. We each have to decide how to live our lives, what choices to make. No one should take than responsibility away from us. When someone tries to tell us that they know, for certain, what is right and wrong, it doesn't matter what symbol is on the front of the building, the cross, the crescent or the American Flag. No one person or group has that right. Some of the fundamentalists we hear may not be hypocrites, but I wonder about those at the top. It seems the leaders won't take the risks, they leave it to sincere underlings to be the cannon fodder. Power is the most dangerous drug of all. Too many of our leaders have a power addiction that is destroying our country and the world.

"We must all hang together or assuredly we will all hang separately." They won?t literally hang us. But they will kill us, one airplane at a time, if necessary. (Does it matter who takes over the plane if you are dead?) They will bust us, for medical marijuana or DWB (driving while Black). They will grind us down with rules and regulations, curfews and restrictions, until Stalinist Russia looks like a summer camp. Remember when informing against your parents was something the Godless Communists tricked children into doing? Know about the D.A.R.E program? It does the same thing. They will help us build prisons in our own minds -Starhawk talks about this in Truth or Dare - until we become afraid to speak out or act because 'the man comes and takes you away' in the words of the Buffalo Springfield song. Start by thinking, talking, sharing. Get together with new people and discuss the issues. Find out whatever you can. Boycott. Write letters. Speak out in public. VOTE

Preposterous Oct 31st. at 12:54:06 pm EST

The Sweeper (OK) Age: 48 - Email

When I come to this web site I expect some nonsense; however, I rarely see the level of preposterousness that I see today. What an incredibly paranoid imagination, “The Republicans did it”?

I understand that there is a considerable feeling of loss and I understand that death is never easy to understand. However, lashing out in this way only widens the gap between two deeply divided philosophical viewpoints. Yes, philosophical viewpoints, neither the independent, the democrats, nor the republicans are evil. They’re just people with different ideas.

Beating each other up can not solve the real issues of this world. Because we do not agree on issues does not make one of us evil, wrong perhaps, but, not evil. Fighting the good fight does not mean, when debate fail, try character assignation, if debate fails try again with a better argument, but don’t forget to listen to there views as well.

Do we not have enough on our plates, with out inventing such nonsense.

The Sweeper

Preposerous!!-? Oct 31st. at 4:36:59 pm EST

Irusan (Bastrop, TX) Age: 52 - Email

Sweeper - there is evil in the world. Hitler and Stalin were evil.
Osama and Saddam are evil. And Bush and those behind him are evil.
It is not a matter of old-time bipartisan disagreement anymore.
It is not a matter of reasonable debate. American, once She emerged as
the only Superpower in the world, faced a crossroad. Bush and the
multinational corporations he represents have chosen a path of
worldwide imperial domination. They are out to control worldwide
oil. They want a pipeline through Central Asia. They want to silence
dissent and manipulate consumers, to crush those who would oppose
them while maintaining an appearance of democracy, until the time
comes when it is no longer necessary. Some of them are motivated by
fundamentalist Biblical zeal, some of them are cynically using
religion to achieve their materialist ends. It is a rougher game now,
much rougher than even Nixon, Reagan, or Bush Sr. hoped to play.
Don't assume "it can't happen here." But it is still not too late.
Some dissent is getting through. For example, see Gore Vidal's
recent articles on how Bush allowed 9-11-01 to happen. Some
protests are beginning. Watch carefully how they are handled!
Don't buy into the media distractions. Goddess help us.

Yes - I Will Be Voting! Oct 31st. at 6:01:55 pm EST

Vocalize (New Jersey, USA) Age: 42 - Email

I usually don't tell the people I know but I didn't vote for many years. I never trusted the government or saw any value in voting for one of two people I don't believe in or agree with. But as I got older, I realized that the majority of Americans I spoke with didn't agree with most of the government's policies either. I'm sure many of the people who don't vote are just as fed-up with the system as I am. I will no longer let the mass media tell me that we have a two party system and that I have to choose from one or the other or my vote is wasted.

Now I look at the issues. Almost every candidate has a website. It's easy to see their position on the issues. I find myself almost always voting for 3rd party candidates. They are the only ones speaking out on the issues that matter like universal healthcare, stopping the war on drugs, protecting the environment, and holding on to our civil rights.

I'm sure that voting here in the U.S.A. is fixed to some degree. The polls are controlled by the two parties so 3rd party votes can be lost. But given this, just the idea of alternative candidates getting a significant number of votes can help to make their voices heard on some of the issues. It's not hard to vote - at least I'm doing something to change the system.

As many on this site have said, I believe that George W. Bush is a Hitler for the 21st century. He is a dangerous man, but even a little over a year after September 11, 2001 most Americans no longer believe in him - despite the media's efforts to convince us otherwise. I believe he, and is minions, will stop at nothing to gain control over the world. But, understand that these people are not a majority and the only power they have is that which we allow them to steal from us.

On the lighter side, I'll leave you with a funny sig. file I saw on someone's email during the 2000 elections:

I'M VOTING FOR SATAN! Why should I settle for the lesser of two evils? Link to More info related to this post -- HERE

“The Conspiracy Games”. Nov 1st. at 12:04:31 pm EST

The Sweeper (OK) Age: 48 - Email

And now we introduce for your edification one of America most popular participation sports “The Conspiracy Games”. On stage tonight we have George W Bush and his all Powerful Cabal, an organization so secret that only a few people are aware of there evil present; other, of course, then every cheap rag printed, a few dozen novelists and every comedian in the country. George W is supported by everything evil and of course the new media. By the way; the same news media that called the 2000 election (accidentally of course) in favor of Al Gore just in time to disenfranchise Florida’s republican Panhandle and to dampen the Republican vote all across the county west of the eastern time zone. I suspect the news media would be a bit surprised to find that it is a Bush supporter.

Irusan, the game has always been tough, we are just now more aware of it because we are privy to more information then ever before. This same information brought down Richard Nixon and The Soviet Union, cast President Clinton in a bad light, and created havoc with President Reagan’s two terms. Now with the Internet we have available to us, even more information, however, like all sources of information, some of it is suspect.

Have we so soon forgotten the Cold War, The Cuban Missile Crisis, the Japanese Empire, Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin? For heaven sake, don’t you remember what it was like living with the threat of all out nuclear war? Sure it’s tough but it has always been tough, we live in a world filled with greed and averse, hate and violence, starvation and need.

This country has, for the most part, sat snuggly in it’s safe continent and only helped when it had to, that has changed, we are no longer invulnerable. We must do what we must to protect ourselves and protect others that are being brutalized. We can not sit and watch as; women are raped, battered, and bartered. We can no longer watch at the sideline ringing our hand as mass murder is being committed, and we can no longer wait for an ineffectual and flawed UN to do its job. I no longer care what the world thinks. There are people out there in despair for help, we have sat on our hand for to long making excuses we must and are doing something.

As an individual if my children are threatened I do what has to be done to protect them, even if it mean taking a broom to someone. As a member of this country I want my President doing what ever it takes to protect my children and myself and protect innocent women and children around the world.

If that, Irusan, is part of a conspiracy, then so be it.

The Sweeper

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