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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Nov. 17, 2002   This Page Viewed: 16,509,188  

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Reponses: 153

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Question of the Week: 95 - 1/19/2003

How Do You Feel About War?

‘Yes I'm talking about this war dance/ A patriotic romance./And I know all you poets/Have seen it all before…’ – Colin Moulding, XTC

Colin: ‘The words were originally prompted by the Falklands War in 1982. But it was too much on one piece of history. Then along came the Persian Gulf War and I put the revised lyrics to a new piece of music. It was time to bring war out of the closet again.’

And again, it would seem. How do you, from your own spiritual perspective or tradition, view and/or cope with the ideals and realities of war and armed conflict?

Do your political leanings influence how you feel?

Do you have a difficult time explaining/defending/advocating your position to other Pagans or Heathens? Non-Pagans?

 Reponses:   There are 153 responses posted to this question. Reverse Sort 

Peace And Non-violent Resistance Jan 20th. at 6:32:01 pm EST

Bittersweet (New Jersey, USA) Age: 29 - Email

War is morally wrong. There are always other avenues open when you want to change the world. Human beings working together, in harmony with each other and with the Earth, will always be more powerful than guns and tanks. The war machine needs labor in order to function. It needs complacency and silence. It needs ignorance and helplessness.

When the people are empowered, when the people reach out to their neighbors as equals, then the war machine stops in its tracks. Having the power and using it are two different things. This applies to a government with the power to slaughter thousands of human beings and desecrate the sacred Earth. It also applies to the people who have the power to put an end to it: by no longer participating, by no longer conceding their will by remaining silent, by no longer feeding the fires of hate and destruction.

No matter the material difference between the wealthy and the poor, the privileged and the excluded -- all human beings are equal. That is a fundamental truth. Bullets do not change that. Power does not change that.

As a Pagan, as a Witch, I am dedicated to Goddess and to the Earth and to all who dwell here. I cannot stand silent in the face of pain and destruction. I am not helpless. None of us are helpless. War is morally wrong, whether it is the United States dropping bombs on Iraqi soldiers, or the United Nations sanctions that have driven so many Iraqi children into an early grave. It is wrong whether it is an American president calling human beings from another country "evil," or the American government curtailing the freedom of its own citizens.

Who is at war here? Who is "us" and who "them"? Or is the question itself the issue?

There are no foreigners. Goddess Bless.

Skeggi Jan 20th. at 6:09:38 pm EST

The Sweeper (OK) Age: 48 - Email

I was simply responding to your comment “The UN is the only protection available to us as small countries, and America seems determind to throw this protection to the wolves.” America is the only significant force available to the United Nations to enforce it’s rules, regulations, and laws.

As far as trade, we has something you want, our business and market, you have something we want access to your ports. Sounds like a fair trade, however if it does not seem so, and it appears not, so be it.

Regarding the fate of the East Timorese, if we became involved in some one else’s civil war it might make you happy, but it would make some one else unhappy. Are we supposed to become involved with every Civil War a crossed the entire Planet Earth. Even our resources will stretch only so far.

I would like to respond to this, however I have know idea what it means, “Im not sure why anyone needs to be afraid of someone before they respect someones right to exist.” Anyone? Also this? ” However it is interesting that in the name of freedom and the right to voice our opinions America has back several cold blooded and ruthless dictators”?

I in no way thought or intended to disparage New Zealand it is a wonderful, beautiful country that considering its size does more then its share.

The Sweeper

Case In Point Jan 20th. at 5:40:29 pm EST

Morgan Winterfrost (Nova Scotia, Canada) Age: 34 - Email

*sigh* The sound you hear is my head shaking. Jade, I echo your sentiment as a fellow proud Canadian. Funny how some people react when they're taken to task. As for Canada and NZ having the US to thank for everything we have, I really must comment. First question... who is internationally renowned as being peacekeepers... Canada. Who is the 3rd largest exporter of oil to the US... Canada. Who was involved in both world wars (and were kicking butt) before the Americans joined in... yup. Who consistently, in military exercises, without the use of fancy toys, defeats the US guessed it. Oh... and read up on your history... who is responsible for the White House being white... (hint - look under the war of 1812).
Don't get me wrong here, I have nothing wrong with "Joe American". Hell, I was born in Queens, NY, and still have a ton of family in the states. The average american citizen is like the average Canadian... hardworking, taxpaying, lawabiding. It's the "my daddy had a Gulf War and I want one too" leader and his court of jesters that I take issue with. Sure, our politicians are no great shakes either, but at least they're not sending us into a war that the majority of world leaders have already said needs UN approval first.
And my appologies to the Kiwis for not knowing more about your country... but if the scenery from Lord of the Rings is any indication... you live in paradise.

Not Following You Sweeper. Jan 20th. at 4:42:11 pm EST

Skeggi (New Zealand) Age: 32 - Email

Im not sure why anyone needs to be afraid of someone before they respect someones right to exist. However it is interesting that in the name of freedom and the right to voice our opinions America has back several cold blooded and ruthless dictators. You dont free the rest of the world you use the rest of the world to keep yourselves free. This country has done its fair share of protecting real freedom. Where was America when troops needed to be sent into East timor? But then it wasnt Americans dieing or your interests being affected.
As for your money keeping New Zealand going well it might if you lived up to your own free trade agreements. However we have several blocked exports to your country right now and Asia provide way more in terms of tourism and trade. However we we told that if we lifted our Nuclear Free policy then this trading hurdles might be removed. America can not stand to be told what to do can it.

Propaganda Jan 20th. at 4:39:05 pm EST

Andrew (Manitoba) Age: 21 - Email

pure and simple: america wants to be the world police and control everything. the only reason bush wants to attack iraq is because of the oil. it's all about the resources.

War... Jan 20th. at 3:36:00 pm EST

Seeker of the Owl (Michigan) Age: 39 - Email

Only in self-defense.

Iraq has not attacked us. To me we have no legitimate grounds to invade their country. The U.S. is becoming a self-indulgent belligerant gangster. We're ready to attack Iraq with zero evidence, but tell North Korea, "We won't invade." I wouldn't believe this administration for nothing, based on their actions alone.

Why should any other country in the world be silly enough to believe the U.S. right now? The U.S. has no credibility when it demands others do disarm, and we are armed to the teeth. We demand that others do as we tell them, yet we throw a tantrum when the others try to tell us what to do. Our actions make our words nothing but lies. The rest of the world has a legitimate right to be afraid of us. We are a "Do as I say and not as I do" nation.

Deep Breath, Now Let It Out. Jan 20th. at 2:53:38 pm EST

The Sweeper (OK) Age: 48 - Email

I have a question. What makes peace possible or more simply put what makes people obey rule, regulations, and laws?

Okay make that two questions. What exactly is meant by the demands to “resolving the Iraq problem using diplomatic means”? “Diplomatic means” are in progress at this time and if and when they fail war is possible.

Adolph Hitler was appeased with diplomacy until diplomacy no longer served his purpose and the world had to turn and fight. Sometimes there is no choice; the bully of the block has to be faced.

Dear Jade (Canada); you may thank America for your right and ability to spout your insults and utter such inane nonsense. (As should most of the free world).

Dear Starlight Bunnybutt; The real Question is, do we have the courage to face our fears and, knowing the cost, turn and boldly face our enemies. Pacifistic philosophies looks good on paper, however, like almost thing learned in a classroom or from fiction, they take a bit of a beating in the real world. Turning the other cheek often results in just getting the other cheek slapped.

Dear Skeggi (New Zealand) the only power the UN has to protect you in your wonderful though small country is the power of America. No one is afraid of the UN, no one. Rule, regulations and laws are wonderful in print, but unless enforced, mean nothing. America is that enforcement; American money and lives are what make small countries like New Zealand possible.

Dear Allison (USA) Oh, never mind.

Dear Xius (Tampa, FL) you have restore my faith in youth.

Some one spoke of focusing our attention on education, health care, etc. Good things to work on, unfortunately, the implication seemed to be, put our head back in the sand and wait for another kick in the paints. Bad planning.

A few have spoken about propaganda, of oil, and of conspiracies. Looking at things at face value and considering the source of these wild ideas, I must conclude that politicians and the news media will say anything to get what they want. Politician comes in all shapes and sizes, from Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Green, Rainbow, the list goes on and the news media has lost its credibility years ago.

I fear war and hope it can be avoided, however, if history has taught us anything, it has taught us that violently aggressive countries generally do not go away on there own. Human monsters exist and they seek power. These monsters have no compunction what so ever against using any means possible to gain this power.

I struggle everyday to balance my Non-Violent nature with the sometimes-predatory world. My instinct is to pull back and separate myself, hide in my home and use my family as a buffer. Everyday, I challenge myself to step out into the world and face the force of humanity. It is rare that am I not rewarded by this effort.

The same is true about our country, there are bad things out there, and war is one of them, if we face the bad, we have the whole world, if we don’t our small part of it will just get smaller.

The Sweeper

History Jan 20th. at 1:04:02 pm EST

MOrgan Winterfrost (nova scotia) Age: 34 - Email

Angie... just a tidbit of history for you... the allies were kicking Hitler's a** before the US got involved in the war. It was only following Pearl Harbour , when the US was made to feel vulnerable, that they joined in the European theatre.

The Vietnam Of Our Generation? Jan 20th. at 1:00:25 pm EST

Morgan Winterfrost (Nova Scotia, Canada) Age: 34 - Email

My thoughts on this are many... and the more questions I try to answer, the more I seem to coemup with. It's not about oil? Really? Saddam has been the same SOB he was since the end of the last Gulf War. Why go after him now? If the US government thinks he's sheltering Bin Laden, then why not just accuse him of it and get it over with. Is it because of how the Iraqi citizens are starving as a result of his tyrany? That would be the pot calling the kettle black (look no further than the increasing number of homeless and social welfare recipients in North America).
One common theory among somepeople I know is that Bush needs the war to stimulate the flagging US economy.
My husband in a member of the Canadian military, and is proud to serve. Like we used to say... "you wear the green tuxedo, you dance where you're told". But this war is wrong. With so many people protesting, the US government should get the clue that the global community is not behind him.

I Think... Jan 20th. at 12:43:32 pm EST

Angie (Indiana) Age: 29 - Email

Sometimes I think war is necessary. But not nearly as often as our political leaders apparently do. Such as our war against Hitler. To me, that was more than necessary. I wish we'd kicked his butt sooner and saved more lives, but I have disagreed with every war since then -- except the war on terrorism. I am not a pacifist (and please don't think that I am saying there is anything wrong with being one.There's NOT.) and I do believe that Usama Bin Laden deserves WHATEVER we chose to do to him, no matter what that might be, as well as anyone else who was directly involved in Sept. 11. However, I view the war on terrorism as completely seperate from the war on Iraq which I totally disagree with, just as I was vehemently opposed to Desert Storm. I believe that Sadaam does indeed have WOMD, but SO DOES EVERONE ELSE!!!!
We could go after him, sure. But to be fair and truly JUST we'd have to go after EVERYBODY (including ourselves). How prudent is that? Not very.
I also think that it is plain WRONG to bomb a country anymore. Our "intelligence" is SUPPOSED to be among the best in the world. So -- USE IT! Go in, get rid of Usama and his lackeys, and LEAVE THE INNOCENTS ALONE!!!! It wouldn't really be that hard, if that's what the leaders of this country chose to do, but they'd, for reasons I will NEVER understand, much rather have a full blown WAR. I am a libertarian, I guess, if I must put a label on myself. I want the liberals out of my pocketbook, and the conservatives out of my bedroom. I don't agree with most of this administration. In fact, they truly FRIGHTEN me. But, sadly, I'm not sure anyone else, of any particular party would be any better.
It would be a beautiful thing if we could all just love each other and live the way the youth of the 70's wanted us to. And I am so glad there are bright, shiny people who still believe this is possible, but I cannot be numbered among them. I don't think we can. There is too much fear of things that are different still in the world. And I think there always will be, but I love the dreamers. And I hope they can find a way to make their dream come true -- for all of us.

Thoughts Jan 20th. at 12:38:30 pm EST

Marquise (USA) Age: 29 - Email

I am proud to be an Pagan American, I am not proud of our President and his actions at this current time-on any issue--but this is the most important issue that I stand against. My family will not support a war with Iraq. However, I will fly the American flag over my door for those soliders who will leave their families and for those that have died or will die for this country. Because of the actions of one person-will not make me say that I am ashamed to be an American or turn my back on the men and women who provide us with freedom with their blood. Goddess Bless America and her military, may she see them safely through whatever mission they are assigned--wether we agree with it or not.

Well... Jan 20th. at 12:02:52 pm EST

Dawn (Ocheyedan) Age: 20 - Email

We are not the only county to be hit be terrorists. And it always seems that things get the most uproar by society when it happens to us. We should feel the same loss when it happens in other countries. No, matter what it will be painfully complicated to pick out the bad guys. No sense in blowing up a whole country to find some terrorists. Realistically, it will never end. We don't wanna make it worse by attacking. Because all that will do is prove the point that other countries believe we are so bad. I say leave them alone. If the leader of the country flat out engages in war. I say fight back. Thats just self defense. But we can't continue to bomb countries just to find a few groups of people. Hell they need to use their heads. Most of the terroist groups are not in other countries they are in the US! And I doubt very much we would blow up our own country! The problem with the US is we always get to be to cocky. We think no one can touch us. And if they do, well we blast them. Personally I think we would save a lot of problems if we would heed warnings when they come and for Goddesssakes pull our heads out of our asses! When we let people like that go through pilot programs, and we know that they only want to learn how to fly the plain and not land it or take it off, and we don't get supsicious! Something is wrong there. Very wrong! We ignored the obvious warning signals weather out of ignorance or just plain stupidity. But the result was a horrible one. Although that is no excuse for the people who did it. We may have been able to prevent it if someone had bothered to investegate these people who trained to be pilots right in our own country.
Blessed be.

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