Thursday, April 5, 2012
Keep strong the wind horse especially in adversity
I was asked an interesting question by one of my guardians the other day and it made me do more thinking. The question was: at what point do the outside faiths make you focus on their beliefs more than you are paying attention to your own faith and experiences within it? In the most recent past, mostly due to silly season, there has been a great deal of attention given to those on the outside of my faith because of actions they have taken against the pagans in general. I further examined this and began to wonder if this is an intentional move on their part to put other faiths on the defensive to get them to pay more attention to them by distrating the practioner of those faiths from practicing or if it is just an accidental side effect of the attack? If it is intentional, it would indeed be a sly thing. Rattle enough cages and swords to weaken the faith of the others so that victory is easier to achieve. Like they say: all is fair in love and war. Mistake not, they ( fundamentalists) have declared spiritual warfare upon all that is not like them. The point my guardian was making was not to say that it isn't important to defend your human rights, but that we are not alone in this and to keep the link between yourself and spirit strong inspite of all the rattle. Yes, defend yourself and your rights to practice your faith. Yes they want you to feel isolated and alone in the matter and therefore don't matter. However, do not give in to that tactic. Know that you are not alone. It is not your sword alone that they will face should they come after you and yours. Every pagan should know this. They are not alone in this matter. Not only are other pagans answering the call, the spirits themselves will answer your call of personal distress and lend you their strength and courage. In order to do this you must cut out the rattle deliberately, cut out a peice of time to reaffirm your connection with them and, as the Asian Shamans say, keep your wind horse strong. A perfect example of this example would be when the Haitians over threw their oppressors it is said in their lore that the Orishas rode them into battle to victory. We may not be facing an actual blood spilling battle, but it is a battle none the less to keep the secular government we were entrusted with by our founders. Even as is it true that there are those who are right now attempting to make laws based upon their religious convictions (to which they are entitled to), and it is important to remind them that the Constitution prohibits
the jamming of any religion down your throat religion from dictating law, it is even more important to keep your personal faith and connections to the divine nurtured and strong as we face these challenges together. I was prompted to talk about this because of not just a question my guardian asked me, but a question from a friend on line. She asked how many pagans study the bible so that they can make a strong argument against it. While I am not averted from studying other religions, in fact I am fascinated my many of their commonalities, I am not certain that studying it as though it were a weapon is what is needed. One of the things I have noticed about most fundamentalists is that they are SOOO sure that their understanding of the Bible is rock solid and infallible and to argue with them about it is just plain insanity and a waste of breath. They will never listen to you. Not one word, not one syllable not one point can be made to them. In their eyes, not matter what you say, you are wrong or making fun of them.
For me this question can only be answered as such: while I will continue to stand with those who wish to preserve the secular nature of our nation, I will not study the sacred texts of other religious beliefs as though it is a weapon against them. What that means is that I will pick up the Bible, the Quaran, the Bagahvadgita, the Book of Mormon, the Torah etc. But I will be seeking enlightenment that can help me understand my own path and how it relates to those who are not on it with me. It helps me to understand and frame statements made by others from this paths. I think that Holy Texts should be treated with respect and read in peace. We have enough people out there who are of those respective beliefs wielding their books as weapons by taking what it says out of context to make it mean what they want it to mean. It is causing great harm. You want an example? Ok.
Let's take the story of Sodom and Gommorah. There are those who are using that section of the Bible to point out that God hates the homosexuals and that's why the cities were destroyed. No, if you do some history and cultural homework while you are reading this part of the Bible you begin to understand that in the Jewish faith, hospitality is a mandate. To ignore this mandate is considered to be an insult to God and all the gifts he has bestowed upon you and yours. The cities of Sodom and Gommorah passed a mandate to provide no hospitality to any stranger out of fear of being robbed of their wealth. When Lott welcomed the strangers into his home and gave them hospitality, there came to the door an angry mob of people who wanted to cause his guests harm. He did not stand aside and as it turned out, his guests were angels in disguise. Sodom and Gommorah were not destroyed by God because He hates the homosexuals. In this context, Sodom and Gommorah was destroyed because the people of those cities renounced His mandate to provide hospitality.
Anyone can misuse their own Sacred Text and bend it to their desires. I don't wish to participate in that sort of wicked game. Apparently, I have my own wicked game to pay attention to (insert dripping sarcasm here.) I do believe that it is important to have an awareness of other sacred texts and religious beliefs, but it is very important that while you are seeking understanding of these faiths that your own faith must continue to be nurtured and strengthened. It is easy to get wrapped up in someone else's beliefs, especially when you come under attack because of those beliefs. For me, the words of my guardian struck home: your strength is in the practice of your faith and together we can overcome the obstacles put before you.