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Saturday, January 01, 2005

Replies from A Reader

A reader from Oklahoma sent email replies to some recent posts. With her permission, they are below for everyone to read:

As to this post, I think the longer that I live, the more I realize this:
There is no one RIGHT way or one TRUTH. There are merely the right ways for ourselves and the Truth was we perceive it and believe it and live it.

It is true that for some, beliefs can be positive or negative, yet even so.. isn't that all within the individual perceptions? What is negative to one person, is not necessarily negative to others.

I think, by far.. the larger goal of our beliefs is to find the pattern weave of them all. If we are all truly pieces of a grander weaving or larger puzzle, then there is a place for all within the scope of that.

This was a wonderfully thought provoking quote.

And this one:
On Reasons for the Season:

Actually, many of our current celebrations are merely revamped, retold and repackaged and marketed versions of the earlier customs of the Tribes of man and their celebrations of the seasons of the earth.

One only need to go back to some of the cultural celebrations of the Ancient Tribes to find the base celebrations and in many cases, some of the same traditions though in simpler, more earthy fashions.

To the point of allowing for the creations of "holidays" for cultural groups, we need only to look backwards a short time to realize that we are not creating anything that has not been celebrated before in some of the tribes and clans of the earth. In being part of one nation, it does not mean that we must be of the same clan/tribe system. That in part, is what makes being a diverse populace upon the earth a wonderful thing. It was also in the "enforcing" of common ways, that many of the tribes/clans were lost, metabolized into the "states and governments" of the world, watering down their culture and their ways and their languages.

Speaking from a Druidic frame, it was in the coming of Rome to the Isle, that the overpowering of the Tribal ways caused much cultural conflict and actually gave rise to more of the "pict problem" as was *cough* solved by Hadrian's wall. The methodology being one of "If you can't beat them into submission, then wall them in." Talk about the ultimate set of blinders.
It is true, that the Clans were a feudal people, yet each had its ways, its heirarchy, its celebrations. There were not dictated by "might equals right". They gathered together in festivals throughout the year that would allow for trade, sharing of stories and lore, safe passage through other Tribal territories, etc..

The answer it would seem is in allowing Self empowerment without giving rise to Power OVER. Diversity, celebration, linguistics of others are all what make the world a beautiful place to live upon. A garden is not a garden, if it has but one type of flower growing in it! The United States of America, was founded on freedoms, one of which was freedom of religion, or freedom from religion as the perspective may be. It is in allowing cultural, religious diversity that we actually reveal the greater weaving of mankind as a whole. To be united does not mean to be generically the same as all others around us.

My two and a half cents.

And finally, this one. One of most thought provoking comments we've had in a long time:
In reading this post, I think my question would be this:

If it is governments intrustion into religion that we were being protected against.. what of religion's intrusion into government? To say that the American founding fathers believed in the Judaeo-Christian system is to deny that they were not the founding PEOPLE upon this continent? What of those people and their system of government and religious practices? Once again, it is the Power Over that should be feared the most, in my opinion.

What of the Salem Witch trials, in which religion made its way into the government and judicial system and numerous people were hung on Gallow's Hill and pressed to death, for crimes that later were 'retracted' and were based upon young, bored children's fantasies? Religion and the value system of which you speak, caused unnecessary death and this was but one case, of many. If today, we allow for the placement of the Ten Commandments in our nations school rooms, would the Christian population then welcome beside it, the Wiccan Rede? The sayings of the Buddha? La Vey's various statements? There can be no division of what should and must be allowed, if we allow for the establishment of the religious creed of one faith to hang upon the walls; we then must allow for all.

I am a Pagan/Druid. This is who I am. I do not feel it necessary to hang my credo upon the walls of my public school in order to justify or issue moral command for others. I also do not feel that others should be allowed to do the same to me. Spirituality comes from within it is housed in the quiet places in our hearts, in which we find the balance that we may conduct our lives and our life's affairs. Morality and virtue is not learned by reading it upon a wall - it is learned through the oral lore that was handed down to us all from cradle to grave and it is exemplified by each person's actions to the healing and good of the whole of mankind.

If we are to govern this country based upon the Judaeo-Christian system then we must accept that there are those amongst us who still should be subject to stoning at the outskirts of the city. That we should discontinue the Pork industry and probably should not have Tampax commercials on TV for all of these were considered taboo and "unclean" under those laws. Where then is the line drawn? Do we then pick and choose which of the commandments we will keep? Which of the laws were retracted under the New Testament? I believe it was Christs words that said "I do not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it." and further, "Not one part of the Law shall pass away until all be fulfilled.." (paraphrase)

If by the bible's own code we will judge morality and virtue and allow for the same Judeo-Christian tradition and values to be our guide of government, then by all means, should that not be in the most strict interpretation thereof? If this be the case, then we have numerous "sinners" walking the halls of Congress and writing our law, while all the while placing the laws which condemn them upon the walls of our public establishments such as schools and courthouses.

With all due respect, why not allow the code of humanity to govern? The code which though never plastered upon a wall has always been the wind of freedom in this land. "Allow me my space. Allow me to believe as my heart dictates. Allow me to worship as I will, where I will.. the God/dess as I understand them to be. Allow me to be fair with you, as you are to me. Allow me to define and live honor and then give to you the honor that is due to you by your personal actions. Allow me shelter and food and safe passage in your lands and I shall allow you the same within my own."
This is true freedom to me. I believe it was this code that dictated the Native people's and defined their relationship to the Land, the Great Mother and to Father Sky. Who were we, as immigrants to this land to ever seek to establish new religions, new ways, usurping places of power and doing away with what had always worked before we had ever arrived? It is a bold and a prideful people that would do such a thing.

Respectfully my brother, these are my opinions.
Thanks Patricia! You're comments deserve a complete post all by itself, which will be coming in the next couple of days.

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