Calling on Angels

You, you may say
I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one.  John Lennon, Imagine

It suffers my authorial soul that I must own up to an old fashioned rant here today.  However, it came to my attention this beautiful morning that a mother suffered the removal of her two children, without a trial, simply because she harbored an altar in her home.  When questioned, she explained her faith and was forced to take a psyche examination because: “she thinks she’s a witch.”  Seriously.  Inscribed across the warrant.  Sigh.  Are we really back here?  Again?

Sorry, y’all. Today’s post will not be about food–that is, unless the body of Christ counts . . .

I have been perfectly clear on my stance: I am related to, friends with and respectful of my Christian neighbors.  As far as I can ascertain, we’re not as disparate in our worship as we would like to believe.  Lesse:

First Do No Harm

Love Your Neighbor

Respect All That God Hath Made

Worship Thy God With All Thy Heart

Got it.  Plug a small “ness” behind God and, well, I’m all that. Now, for a little reality check: Catholics keep altars in their homes, complete with candles, statues and incense.  Check.  Methodists (and most of the rest) take communion in remembrance (symbolically)–unlike Catholics, who literally assume the blood and flesh sacrifice that was meant to save their souls.  Check Check.  Baptists believe that, regardless of the sin, if you ask for forgiveness, it is wiped.  Check Check Check.  Presbyterians believe that their salvation was preordained and (pretty much) written in the stars.  Sokay.  Mormons . . . let’s just stop here.

It was getting a little scary for this little ol’ witch.

I’ve got a few historical memories tickling my brain, like the Children’s Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the Witch Trials of Salem and the mass murder of the Aztecs.  Whew.  That’s a lot of blood.  Not even Bounty could sop up all of that.  Now, I realize that I am fundamentally pulling from the nastiest side of Christian history.  I reckon I’m doing that on purpose, when you factor that, as a Pagan, I have been accused of being part of a religion that sacrifices animals, worships the Devil (silly, I would have to believe in him, first!), curses crops, dances nekkid (so?) and ultimately are attempting to corrupt family values, children and fried chicken.  Humph.  I guess I’m a busy bee.

Let’s have a little chat on what really goes on in a Southern witch’s life, shall we?

We are the ones who bow our heads out of respect when our Christian kin pray . . . all the while Amening as hard as we can muster.  We are the ones who will help you find your dog, roust up the money to pay your light bill, wipe the tears from your child’s eyes on their first day of college, donate to the local Humane Society/Old Folk’s Home/Beaten Women’s Shelters and we are the ones who make the food that makes your eyes roll back in your head at the department party.  We bite our tongues when you “bless us,” bless you back (but for real), show up on Sunday when you need help fixing your lawnmower and variously offer our time, finances, energy and love at the drop of a pope’s hat.  We are also the ones who are forced into dark closets, even by a supposed friend, asked to hide our pentagrams, put away our altars and not “share” our faith with your children as it might lead them astray.

Most Christians I know promote charity, acceptance and love.  My question is thus: why hast thou forsaken us?  As Ghandi once said: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians.  They are so unlike your Christ.”  You remember him, yes?  Groovy dude, hung out with criminals and beggars, didn’t hanker much to bigotry or hate?  That guy with the beard, remember?  Personally, I dig him.  Find him audacious.  But, the religion . . . I have to say, I think we’ve been pretty patient with y’all.  After all, we’ve been around for, oh, 30,000 years while y’all have been hanging out around 2,000.  We let you have our holidays, without so much as a never-you-mind, and for the most part have stayed in our “closets” so that you could feel more at peace and so that we could be assured of our jobs, our children’s safety and our own sanity.  While it has become politically-correct for Christians to accept homosexuality (at least, north of the Mason Dixon Line), we are still without security or acceptance in our Christian communities.  I attempt to be, at the very minimum, respectful of your systems–but this story that has come to my attention, this sweet woman who has grown up in your bosom and shares your very blood, has driven me to distraction.  And like Jesus, I feel that there is a temple to clear.

We hold altars because our church is our home.  We follow precepts, too, have ethics, respect our earth and all that She holds dear.  We believe, many of us, in an afterlife of some sort.  We tend to not force others into our faith, and as of yet, I have not met any of us who recruit–though we will be there if you knock on our door.  Personally, I do not know one single witch/crafter who sacrifices live beings of any kind.  Personally, I do not know of one who would knowingly hurt a child.  Kharma/energy holds us in its grips–we teach this to our young, as you teach yours heaven and hell.  We do not, as a whole, purport to know if our Goddess/Great Spirit/God will punish you, primarily because our relationships with the former are so intensely personal.

Can you imagine, as a Christian, having your children ripped away because they took communion? Had an image of Mother Mary over their bed? Prayed before their supper?  Of course not, but as we have learned, what comes around, goes around.  We are your brethren on this ground.  We are your sisters, brothers, neighbors, and friends.  It is my sincere hope that Pagans will unite against any travesty of justice such as the case of this Alabama mother.  Yet, it is my desire that the Christians whom I have loved, fed, stood by and cried with in great times of loss will stand with us and prove that Jesus was not the only one of you with balls.  And a heart.


P.S. This is, apparently, as serious problem in Alabama.  The reports are harrowing and it’s time to stop the bigotry.  Get off your butts.

10 Comments on “Calling on Angels

  1. Perhaps a call should be put in to the Lady Liberty League as it was for the family in Bowden, GA recently who was dealing with school administrators harrassing one of her children over their spiritual beliefs and traditions.

    • Yes, I think I shall. And I want all of us to rally behind each other at times like these. Thanks, Lady Ishara.

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed this ‘rant’ (though I really hesitate to think of it as such, simply because of how well thought-out it is), and found myself remembering something a friend of mine had forwarded me regarding the ‘gay agenda,’ which turned out to simply be a daily routine (Get up, shower, eat breakfast, etc.). I agree, that the bigotry must end, and hope that this situation finds its proper solution quickly.

    • K.S.: exactly. Why this could even be an issue in 2012 is just ridiculous! Our “agenda” is like everyone else’s, like love and worship. 🙂

  3. This is the most beautiful rant I’ve ever read – your writing gives me chill bumps. It’s such a terrible, scary time when children can be taken because of a parent’s belief system – not much, if anything, seems to have been learnt since the Middle Ages. *sigh*

    • Lyn: Thank you for this comment. I woke up thinking–maybe I should smooth the edges down a bit. Then I saw you comment! Leaving it as is. And yes. Just terrifying, for the children, too. BB

  4. Just the other day, my little one was looking or a Pent to wear, I was helping & ultimately had to explain to her why a basic one wouldn’t be a great idea ’round here. Yes there are covens & even a druid order intown, she goes to a very let’s say, conventional school. I want her to be proud but I don’t want her to be picked on or ostrasized 😛 I do find it pathetic that I should have that fear this day & age…..

  5. Thank you *so* much for posting this. It absolutely breaks my heart for this mother… how this could still happen in this day & age (!!)… I’m not really surprised, though. I’ve had so much of the same treatment, even from my own family.
    When my brother & SiL told me that they were expecting their first child (they have 3 now), I was beyond ecstatic. I bubbled over with joy & told them that I’d love to take my little niece or nephew 2 weekends out of the year, just a “me & them” sort of special tradition. My eager offer was met with blank-faced silence before my brother said “No. Sorry. We just don’t think you’re a good influence and your home is an unfit environment. We won’t leave any of our children in that sort of situation.” … Needless to say, I was shocked to the core. I knew they didn’t agree with my life, but I had no idea the depths of their bias. And I didn’t have an altar or anything else ‘overt’ set up, exactly so that I wouldn’t offend anyone that came to my house… MY house! Years later, I was told that if I wanted to spend time w/ the children I could come over to their house, but that I was not to discuss anything about my thoughts or beliefs with them. I chose to simply leave it be.
    I can only hope that when my nephews & niece get old enough to think for themselves, that they know they can come talk to me about anything… that’s all I can do.
    So thank you again… beautifully written, as always. And please let me know if there’s anything I can do (other than sending love & light) to help this Alabama mother.

  6. OMG! What is wrong with these people? There’s a separation of church & state. Who you choose to worship is a private and very personal choice. I have a meditation altar in my place. Are they going to come take my dog away? As Unitarian Universalists, we were encouraged to practice this spiritual meditation. We walk labyrinths to connect at a deeper spiritual level and let go of negativity.
    If anyone studies psychology today, there is now proof that even in Salem, there was mold in the grains the people used to make bread. If a witch happened to make it, they intended no harm to those who consumed it. There’s a documentary all about this subject.
    This is so wrong on many levels.
    It’s 2012! I get mad enough about homophobia and transphobia, now my blood is boiling over this travesty.
    I’m glad you shared your thoughts about this Seba.

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