Perplexed Pagan Parent
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," celestial clearinghouse for peppy pantheons! If you're thinking twice before pulling up those baby trees in the backyard, you may be a Pagan. After all, those saplings have a right to life!
And, bye the bye, Happy Earth Day! I'm celebrating by not pulling up the saplings in my backyard. Small as they are, they're helping to stem global warming.
Now back to our regular programming. I've been reading this book called Deliver Us from Evil: Putting a Stop to Occult Influences Invading Your Home and Community, by Cindy Jacobs. And today I need her personal advice, so please bear with me.
Dear Mrs. Jacobs,
As a practicing Pagan parent, I'm having problems squaring my daughters' behavior with what you consider "occult." Let me explain.
My daughter The Heir (eldest, age 18) loves to listen to weird, experimental music like The Residents and Negativland. She just showed me a Residents CD with song titles "I Hate Heaven" and "In Judas We Trust." She says the entire CD is a condemnation of the Bible. And she loves it. She also took me to the University of Pennsylvania to hear Negativland's program, "Christianity Is Stupid."
That's all well and good. But The Heir doesn't drink, take drugs, or have sex. She doesn't mutilate herself or small animals. In fact she raises under-age kittens for the local animal shelter. She's in the National Honor Society. All of her friends are nice, and so is she. I always know where she is and what she's doing, and it's never criminal activity. In fact, she likes nothing better than combing flea markets for old cookbooks from the 1950s and 1960s. She wants to analyze eating patterns in postwar America as part of her college research.
In your book you said that listening to anti-Christian music leads kids to become Columbine-type murderers. I'm just wondering when my daughter's going to get busy with that. I suppose it doesn't help that she hates guns, and we don't own any.
Now here's my other problem: my daughter The Spare (youngest, age 14). She never fails to participate in our Druid Rituals. She usually takes South, but if the smoke is blowing in that direction she switches to West, and then I take South. Anyway, I know it's early in her teens and all that, but she's showing definite tendencies toward being a peacenik. She just wrote a report on the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and how their detainment and treatment violates the Geneva Convention. And how can I stop her from listening to sappy Broadway music? My computer is loaded with show tunes.
My kids just aren't following the trajectory you spell out in your book as the one and only path any Pagan kid will take. Either you rushed into print without bothering to see if there were any nice Pagan kids out there, or you conveniently overlooked the fact that the vast, vast majority of Pagans are morally upright individuals motivated by respect of self and others, love of justice, and harm to none.
You may want to address this concern in your second edition. Either that, or please tell me how I can turn my sweet daughters into the horrible, hurtful, hateful felons you describe.
Psyche! I wouldn't follow your advice if you were telling me how to get to the corner store.
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS