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Mon, Apr. 25th, 2005, 09:42 am
ursus77: On being a Libertarian Republican Pagan

I generally support the right of consenting adults to do as they will in the privacy of their own homes. I am far from believing our culture should giddily embrace every silly lifestyle out there, I merely am skeptical about the government’s right to prosecute people for having weird sex lives.

In the privacy of my own life, however, I’m fairly traditional, clean-cut and quiet. I prefer to chose my friends and colleagues from people who share a similar mindset. I don’t mind in the slightest being snobbish to people I find too bizarre for my sensibilities.

I would consider myself a Right-leaning libertarian, then. I’ll give you the right to live your life in private as you see fit. Just stay the hell away from me, don’t expect me to join in if I find it silly or offensive, and don’t tread on my right to form exclusive groups with my own kind. I’ve been called “intolerant” for this attitude but I think this hands-off approach defines socio-political tolerance. “Tolerance” certainly doesn’t mandate “acceptance” despite what liberals would have you believe.

Most pagans seem to deliberately immerse themselves in every kind of fringe activity they can get their hands on. They don’t consider themselves “the other” because they practice a minority religion – they probably practice a minority religion because they have always identified themselves with the cultural other. In other words, they most likely always identified with the fringe, and they deliberately chose a minority religion because it was another bullet in the ammunition they fire at traditional society. I’m quite the opposite. I’ve always been fairly traditional. My status as a pagan unfortunately confines me to the fringes at times with respect to Judeo-Christian society, but I certainly didn’t pick my religion to be different. I just happen to be a normal member of society with a different religion.

My version of paganism is not the one I see being practiced by a majority of self-described pagans. Particularly if they live in liberal Meccas like Boston or San Francisco. Everything to them is being different, everything is a matter of “deconstructing” normal society. Their liberal counter-culture activism seems to be the most important thing in their life; their pagan religion, as it were, seems merely to be an expression of that. Just another notch in their “being different” mantra.

The conservative in me is rather disgusted by their antics. But the libertarian in me says they have the right to do as they want, as long as they stay the hell away from me. And the pagan in me bemoans the fact that my gods are being used as a cover for so many charlatans and morons.

Mon, Apr. 25th, 2005 07:44 pm (UTC)

Me too, dearest. Me too. I am a very traditional and quiet sort of person, not fringe in any stretch of the imagination, except for being polytheist in a Christian nation.

Tue, Apr. 26th, 2005 01:20 pm (UTC)

And wearing Doc Martens! ;)

Tue, Apr. 26th, 2005 08:05 pm (UTC)

Christian by name only. We live in a traditionally Judeo-Christian society, but how many people do we see actually follow their faith? I once heard someone talk about "Cafeteria Catholics" I think the really applies to most Western Christians of any denomination. As a free and secularized society, we have become quite obsessed with worldly things. Greed, power, money, and sex run everything. All the while Americans profess to be Christan. We preach values, but in the end pick and choose the ones we adhere to. I am not a pagan, nor am I really affiliated with any faith, but I have been introduced to paganism by one of my best friends. He's been studying it for a couple years and is deeply into it. He, like many others believe that George W. is using his political capital to push his Christian moral views on the American people. I disagree; I don't see very many things wrong with his stance on protecting life. He seems to have backed down on the marriage issue, which was a good idea in my opinion. It is true he has a strong association with the religious right, but in the republican party you must have a strong base to win.. and they can be counted on to bring in the votes. Maybe they do have an influence, but the Constitution would never allow for such a theocracy as these conspiracy theorists would like to have you think. As long as you live in America, your individual religious practice(thank you Amendment 1) will always be protected as long as you don't trample on anyone else's basic rights.

Tue, Apr. 26th, 2005 09:21 pm (UTC)

I've argued about the subject of a theocracy rather critically over on my LJ. take a look if you'd like.

I don't find the Theocracy argument very compelling at all.

Wed, Apr. 27th, 2005 05:18 am (UTC)

I've often noted myself that modern Capitalist America has taken a lot of wind out of the sails of organized religion. Capitalism seems to be the only real religion and many people, especially if they are educated and wealthy, seem to pay little more than lip service to their religion.

So I think you have a point when you say a lot of this overtly Christian talk can seem like hot air when compared to more secular values.

Anyway, as I told Kallistos, while the ideas of a Christian theocracy are probably hysterical and hyperbole, at the end of the day I'd still probably choose a Christian theocracy over the Politically Correct Thought Police. At least the Christians don't despise me for being a white male who internalizes his European heritage.