My Country, My Flag
Every time I hear politicians begin arguing they clearly divide the country between conservative Christian Republicans and atheist liberal Democrats. So where should pagans stand? The general stereotype is that pagans are extremely liberal, welfare leeches, and anti-military.
Where does this stereotype come from? Well, the hippies. As anti-witchcraft laws were repealed in the 50's, a wave of people interested in witchcraft came forward and founded the modern religion of Wicca. This wave of returning to old pagan beliefs coincided with the anticultural movement of the 60's and anti-war
movement of the 70's. Wicca became entangeled with this anti-cultural atmosphere of experimentation and many experimented with drugs and sex - really anything that rebelled against the societal norms of conservative Christiandom. Then they continued to adopt anti-war viewpoints during the Vietnam War. Because the Celts were so anti-war, right? Please.
Unfortunately, subsequent generations continued drug use and superliberal views. So what about those of us witches who are anti-420 (smoking marijuana) or abusing any substance that alters one's ability to function, anti-illegal drug use, pro-military, and for the political values which support rewarding people for working hard and believe that people should support themselves rather than being dependent on the government? We exist!
The belief that to be patriotic must mean following a certain religion is ridiculous. The founding fathers were a mix of Christians, Deists, Atheists and who knows what else. Ever read this piece in history class? (Note: 's' were written as 'f ' back then.)
"As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.." 1796 Treaty with Tripoli
(Yes, we've been at war with various Muslim factions since the 1700s).
So where does the logic spring from which dictates that to be for this country we must be Christian? Some point to the Pledge of Allegiance; "One nation under God". Did you know that the words "under God" weren't added until the Communism scare of the 1950's? As it is "to the flag of the United States of America" wasn't added until the early 1920's (the Pledge was written in 1892).
I pledge allegiance to my flag and am loyal to my country and to the freedoms it was founded on. My patriotism has everything to do with my country, and nothing to do with my religion. My political viewpoints have everything to do with my knowledge and logic, not what my religion mandates I believe or don't. Let's strive to end the ridiculous belief that a persons religion dictates their political affiliation and vice versa.
"Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State."
- Thomas Jefferson to a committee of the Danbury Baptist Association of Connecticut, Jan. 1, 1802
Politics are About My Flag and My Country,
NOT My God and My Religion.