Yay, this shit again!

A while back, just about a year ago, there was this obnoxious prayer initiative for Dominionist Christians to get all pagan influence out from the nation’s capital, the District of Columbia.  I mean, when you have Deist or religiously uncaring Founders of a nation, naming their capitol after a goddess, looking towards classical Greece and Rome for inspiration on running a country, there’s probably going to be some pagan influence, yes.  Democracy itself and the court system of justice, after all, is a pagan creation from Athena and Athens way back when, mythically from 1100 BC or so.

Well, guess what?  They’re doing it again, only this time with the alarmist and oh-so-dramatic title of “40 Days to Save America“, coincidentally ending on November 6, 2012 (Election Day).  They claim that “[all] around us, we see economic decline, immorality, corruption, growing secular humanism and attacks on religious liberty”, and that we need saving from moral terpitude and national decline by praying and fasting until the election.  It’s not expressedly linked to the election, because that’d be political and then churches would lose their tax-exempt status (though some churches are challenging the IRS to do exactly that, because reasons).  What’s really confusing is how they uphold their high-and-mighty talk of democracy and voting being a Biblical mandate, when Biblical notions of rulership and justice were all centered on autocracy and kingship, decidedly un-American systems of governance.

It may elude all but the most astute readers, but frankly, I’m increasingly tired of and annoyed at this bullshit.  Not at Christians, because this is one hell of a way to fail at being Christlike, but at stupid hyperchristianist assholes who can’t shake the persecution complex because society is changing without them.  I understand that they may not individually be hateful, bigoted, spiteful, or whatnot; they’ve always just been used to being the only ones on the scene, the only ones who mattered.  When other guys get in on the scene (even Muslims are excluded from praying to the same God as Jewish and Christian voters, according to the above website), they suddenly feel threatened because they have to share a bit of space, breath, food, and water.  Tribulation of tribulations!

Whatever.  I may be biased, being a non-Christian, gay, liberal, young, middle-class, software engineer cum magus, but when they talk about religious liberty and personal freedom being bound and taken away, you bet I agree with them.  It’s just that it’s not their liberties and freedom being restricted; it’s mine.  You want to pray for God’s intercession in the election and the guidance of the nation?  I hope you’re careful what you wish for; you just may get it.  If I know anything, it’s that God has a sense of unexpected and sarcastic humor.

I got 14:6 problems but a Christian ain’t one

Chances are that you’ve seen John 3:16, either in total, in part, or by reference.  From the King James Version:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

This is often combined with John 14:6, which goes:

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

These two statements are often (too often) combined to make the arguement that Christianity is the “one true way”, that one’s specific interpretation of the Gospel is the “only way to salvation”, and that anyone straying from this particular path is evil, wicked, sinning, and bound for destruction and annihilation.  This has been used to justify endless prosecution, endless pain, and endless death at the hand of mankind, who take judgment into their own hands and dole out punishments they think fit the crimes (when they almost never do), never leaving it to God to do the work as he said he could, would, and should.  People have used this as a means to sweetly encourage people to convert and fuel their organization or die at the post, when this goes against Christ’s command to tell people to move on and wipe the dust off their feet when they don’t want to listen to them (Matthew 10:14).  Even if you ignore the story about Jesus and the crowd about to stone the prostitute, injunctions abound in the Gospel and Bible to tell people to back the fuck off from others, let go, and let God handle the work of faith, life, and afterlife. 

It’s all kinda shitty, really.  I mean, if you’re going to be a tool, at least let someone who knows how to handle tools use you instead of going off and fucking shit up on your own.

Now, let me also show you another quote from the same gospel, John 10:16, which has Jesus saying:

And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

Consider it this way: the Son is the Logos, the eternal and almighty Word of God, which is God.  God is pretty damn big; speficially, he’s infinite, and infinite things are endless.  Infinite things cannot be defined (literally, “to mark an end”), so no one word of mankind can match up with the Word of God.  It’s like this: there’s only one Sun that shines on the earth, and it’s the only real source of power that we have to give us food and life, but each language has their own word for it, their own pronunciation, intonation, spelling, and graphological style for it; each culture has their own myths about the Sun; each person has their own memories and interpretations of the Sun’s effect in their lives, from the sentimental to the scientific.  Does any of this change the underlying truth, existence, or nature of the Sun?  Does the Sun not shine on a particular group of people because they pronounce their word for Sun in a different way from their neighbors?  Does the Sun deny some people their crops and livelihoods if they prefer to stay inside?  Does the Sun burn one person more because fuck that guy?  No.

Just so, I can’t bring myself to fall in line with what is (unfortunately) a pillar of institutional Christian religion.  Christ is the Word, and the Word is available to all using no tongue mankind can utter; why, then, do we try to put words in his mouth and make ourselves more right than the other guy?  It’s stupid, pointless, and misses the whole point of what Christ was trying to do.  Yes, God as Logos was given by God as Nous to the world to make it better (John 3:16); yes, God as Logos is the only way to fix shit, your own or of collective Creation’s (John 14:6); no, any one way to God as Logos is not the only way with all others leading to the garbage heap just because you think you’re special (John 10:16).  Divinity is One, Truth is One, Power is One, but as they say, “all roads lead to Rome”.  If only the current denizens of Rome really grokked that, maybe the world wouldn’t be as badly off.

Now, with all that said, let me be clear about my stance on religion: I have no problem with it.  I’m not Christian by any definition, and in fact I’m pretty far from it, but Christ is awesome.  Christ got it (not only did he have it from the get go, he was it from the literal start), and a good number of people I know do, too.  The people who actually follow Christ’s words, the real Christians in the crowd, the ones who are charitable, are kind, don’t judge, live well, and live forgivingly and tenderly are amazing, and should not only be befriended but aided whenever possible.  It’s the Christianists, the greedy liars who segregate themselves from the poor, weak, meek, and shunned because “ew dey sinnin’ ‘cuz I dun likes ’em”, that I can’t abide.  It’s the people who use holy writ to kill, maim, torture, control, dominate, and fuck with others just because they’re different (in color, in belief, in sex, in sexuality, in language, in culture, in origin, in success, in failure, or in any other way) that I can’t abide.  It’s the people who use religion, faith, and spirituality as a crutch to support themselves in the world instead of using it as a gate to reach higher that I can’t abide.  It’s the people who use something holy and sacred beyond utterance into a base and vulgar tool to obtain filthy power entirely opposed to holiness and sacredness that I can’t abide.  Whether it’s Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Confucianism, Alexandrian Wicca, or any other spiritual path, if you can’t use religion to reach higher, if you can only think of using religion to fix things in the world for your own benefit, be it material, mental, or otherwise, then STFU and GTFO, because you’re wasting all our time, mine and yours.

To the occultists in the crowd: please don’t go thinking that I’m equating Jesus with Logos, or Jehovah as the First Father.  Yes, they are the same, just as much as Osiris or Bakkhos is Logos, but in the sense that the emanations are a part of the greater Source, not the other way around.  I’m stating things from a fairly reasonable Hermetic standpoint, which (you should know) allows for a very wide interpretation of how Logos can be revealed to individuals.

Vitriol, Acid, and Prayer

So I live in the DC area.  Understandably, I get a lot of news about DC and the politicking and bureaucrasshattery that goes on here.  I also keep tabs on some of the local occult news and goings-on, for the off-chance that something both catches my interest and lands in a free spot in my oh-so-busy schedule.

There’s this particularly nasty event coming up called DC40.  It’s a gathering of New Apostolic Reformation Christians (“Dominionists”) who are praying around the country and in DC to rid the nation of its pagan, occult, and in-any-way-not-their-narrow-view-of-Christianist-dogma-dogshit influences.  It’s pretty damn horrifying, really, and it only gets more vitriolic and angry day by day.  I refuse to link to it since I don’t want to give them the traffic, but it’s horrifying.

Their general plan is this: for each of fifty-one days, they’ll be praying in different state, gathering together these sorts of Christian extremists to “pray out the demons” from the nation and getting God to elect people just as hardcore, extreme, fundamentalist, and uncompromising as themseles.  From 10/2 until 11/11, they’ll be praying to turn DC into the “District of Christ” within DC, and another 11 days after that in Philadephia.  They’re keeping this around the pagan festivals of Halloween/All Hallows Eve/Feast of the Dead/Samhain, in case you didn’t notice, for added douchebaggery.

Pagans, occultists, and non-Abrahamic practitioners haven’t let this slip, and have made an uproar about this among themselves and to the DC40 folks.  The DC40 folks replied with this almost revolting “prayer”, of which I will only post an excerpt (the whole thing is available over at the Wild Hunt, see links below):

We release perfect Blood-covered love into the core of your being!
May eternal light flood your hearts this day with the revelation of who you really are, and, more importantly, who God really is! We also pray that this revelation will dismantle and refute all arguments, theories, reasonings, and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the true knowledge of God. Your ladder has been placed on the wrong wall. We call you to your right mind through the finished work of the cross.

The sheer number of issues I take with this alone is daunting.  “Blood-covered love” makes it sound like they’ve been reading too many trashy vampire books, and who exactly is being cursed, here?  Fuck if I know, but it sure ain’t the people who feel entitled to having a whole nation suited to their every whim whipped up by frenzy and fanaticism.  Also, keep in mind that this “prayer” is really a legit spell: invoking names of God, casting of blood and divine essences onto their targets, entering into a sort of legal deal of “he started it, thus he must be punished”, and that they’ve already done significant work beforehand to this end and this is just the implementation of something already done.  There’s a lot to this that makes it far more like something a maniacal and disturbed ceremonial magician would do rather than some Christ-like good shepherds and sheep gathering for some spontaneous heartfelt prayer.

Now, I’m not gonna lie.  This gets me worked up in no good way.  I’m rather glad to live in the US where I can expect, as guaranteed me constitutionally, that I’m free to practice whatever the fuck I want for my religion, including not practicing at all; that I’m free to live my life as I choose without harm and harming none in the process.  That, to me, is the essence of America, and moreover, of America’s deity, patroness, and deification Columbia, Goddess of Freedom.  I’m going to help out as I can by making prayers to Columbia, if at least to counter the imprecatory bullshit espoused by the Dominionists, for one.  For another, I’ll see what I can do about getting together an effort to nonintrusively affect the Dominionists’ sphere of influence to limit, chain down, banish, and maybe even nullify their prayers (daunting, yes, impossible, maybe not).  While they may not call it such, what they’re doing is exersizing a fuckton of magical will and power here.  They may not call it magic, they may not have much experience with different planes, and they may not realize that divinities and powers listen to humankind of all streaks and creeds, but they’re doing magic and harmful magic at that.

Have some links to help you out, if you’re interested in more info to help against this bullshittery:

  • Over at Into the Mound, the splendid IanC has written a prayer and charm to help act as a counterspell.  I’ll be using it daily in my devotions and works for anything related to this or future Columbian works.  (UPDATE!) IanC gave permission to repost it, so to keep it in my index, I’ve reposted it in full below.  Go give him site traffic anyway.

    This is a voice of the people, the people of the United States of America.
    In the United States, let no god be master, and let all be free.
    Let this be the voice of the Wise, for wisdom is my prayer.
    In the United States, let no god be master, and let all be free.
    Let the wisdom of the founders bring freedom.
    In the United States, let no god be master, and let all be free.
    Let the freedom in our spirits be the foundation of the law.
    In the United States, let no god be master, and let all be free.
    Let our law proclaim that we have no ‘lords’.
    In the United States, let no god be master, and let all be free.
    May our Ancestors witness our commitment to freedom and justice.
    In the United States, let no god be master, and let all be free.
    May the Other Kins of North America know our commitment to their well-being.
    In the United States, let no god be master, and let all be free.
    May the Gods and Goddesses of all peoples know welcome in our nation.
    In the United States, let no god be master, and let all be free.
    By Sky and by Grain, by Mountain and by Plain, by Liberty and by Justice
    In the United States, let no god be master, and let all be free.
    From sea to sea, so be it!

  • Jason Pitzl-Walters keeps tabs on the event and other associated topics at his blog The Wild Hunt over on Patheos.
  • If you’re interested in getting a statue of Columbia for an altar or focus, the United States Capitol Historical Society sells them made from the same marble as the Capitol Building itself.  I’m considering getting one myself.
  • (UPDATE!) The Hail Columbia project is a group of Pagans and like-minded people to protect and guard the religious freedom that America was built on.  They’re getting together an effort to fight back against the DC40 campaign and other projects, and you can follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

Also, if you’re interested, talk to your local pagan groups, meetups, covens, whatever.  Get involved, send an email, get some coffee with them.  Anything within an hour’s drive is fair game.  Strength here lies in numbers, and the Dominionists get more day by day; there aren’t that many of them, but they’re being loud about it, and that can be even worse.