On Clout, or the Lack Thereof
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Illogical, irreverent, and ill-conceived since 2005!
What do the following have in common?
1. The United Auto Workers
2. The American Civil Liberties Union
3. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
4. Mothers against Drunk Driving
5. The Sierra Club
Not a whole hell of a lot, you say. How about this group?
1. The Westboro Baptist Church
2. Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids
3. Daughters of 1812
5. Green Party
Even less, right?
Sorry, wrong. The first group has an important cache (accent acute). They have clout. The outfits in column two, by virtue of numbers, cash on hand, and distribution over the general population, have no clout whatsoever.
Oh yeah, you may see those dunderheads in the Westboro Baptist Church on t.v. from time to time. The overwhelming majority of Americans watch the t.v. and say, "God, are those people morons." And then WBC is forgotten instantly.
Whoever heard of the Daughters of 1812? Trust me, they exist. They have a national society. The youngest member is probably about 62.
I wonder who has more members, the U.S. Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids, or the Daughters of 1812? Thank goodness both of them have more members than WBC, which seems to consist of one family that retains a great deal of Australopithecus DNA.
The point I'm after here is this: Pagans are not going to be taken seriously, no matter what they wear. In order to be taken seriously in America you need to be numerous, well-heeled, and organized. As far as I've seen, the whole point of Pagan worship is to be independent of central organization. The idea of a Southern Pagan Leadership Conference doesn't appeal, savvy?
I don't have any ready solution for this dilemma, because of course your average Pagan would like to see some social change. Oh, say, like the end of this moronic inferno in Iraq. Or state recognition of same-sex marriage. But in order to get those things done, Pagans would have to organize.
Then they would bicker. Have you ever known a large group that didn't erupt regularly with well-publicized bouts of bickering? Look at these mainstream Christian yearly conventions and see how they're resolving the burning issue of gay clergypeople. Yuck. Ack. Who wants that?
But if those same conventions want a big-name politician to come greet them and give a rousing speech, you can best bet they'll get whoever they call. I'm not going to hold my breath until Candidate Clinton addresses the Daughters of 1812.
Suppose Pagans suddenly exploded in the population, until they could actually have significant political clout? Suppose those same Pagans could vote into office candidates who would enact laws respecting same-sex marriage, a drastic program to curtail CO2 emissions, and massive preservation of wild lands, including the end to Mountaintop Removal? Okay, how would that make Pagans different from the fundies, except in philosophy?
Oooooooo. Annie gonna get in some deep buzzard droppings here.
Earlier I said I didn't have a solution for this problem. Actually I do. It's called Separation of Church and State. Suppose all existing Pagans, and all Pagans to come (of which I predict there will be many more than D of 1812), joined the Green Party?
Aren't you fed up with politics as usual? I know I am. Let's take our minimal clout and try to maximize it.
Before you scold me by saying that Ralph Nader caused Al Gore to lose the 2000 election, let me answer. I hear you. Al Gore would make a splendid candidate for the Green Party.
Okay, swing away. I'm wearing 100 pounds of fake vulture feathers. I won't feel a damn thing.
NO PARTICULAR STUPID PAGAN NAME
Photo: Communications Workers of America, Labor Day 2006