Walking into Oblivion

I’ve been overwhelmed a bit lately with what is going on with the government these days. I listen to the news and it boggles my mind. A group of people are perfectly willing to let people suffer for their own perceived notion of political gain.

And in the name of God.

Doesn’t this sound familiar?

The same people that are quick to blame Muslims for the world’s ills are the very same people that are, at this very minute, holding our country hostage by a completely manufactured crisis. They are the same people that are compromising on the backs of the poor, the elderly, veterans, and the middle class by severely cutting government programs, yet are perfectly willing to keep waging war in the middle east.

Many of the people who are doing these things claim that God sent them to Washington to do this.

Bishop Yvette Flunder, who I saw preach last weekend at New Spirit Church, said it best: what they are doing is wicked and evil and we need to do something about it.

We need to use whatever talents we have to let them know that we don’t like what is going on with our government.

But here’s the problem: I have no faith that it will work. Unlike the UK, we have nothing in our constitution that allows for a vote of no confidence in our government. We have another year and a half before we get vote out the people who are causing these problems, and I’m afraid of what damage will be done in the interim.

And I have no faith that people will actually care or get angry enough to make change.

So, I ask Christians: what are you doing to counter the people that are causing this havoc in the name of Christianity and in the name of God. I know that they don’t represent all of you, not by a long shot. These are the extremists of your own faith, a good many of whom will allow people to suffer, starve, or die, in the name of Jesus.

And I ask the pagans: what are you doing to help the Christians that do care? Do you just grumble about “those damn Christians”? Or maybe rattle something off about the Burning Times? We can’t just assume that all Christians are going to agree with the extremists on these issues. We need to work together because, while we’ve been enjoying some mainstream success, we just aren’t a powerful enough group on our own.

Sometimes I wonder if this is the real consequence of 9/11. It was a gruesome blood sacrifice with the intention of bringing down the government. I think that, in the way blood magic does, it has worked, just not in the way the extremists who carried out the attack did.

As much as there were many of us that recognized what it was at the time, there wasn’t enough magicians to stop it from doing what it wanted. It was just too big.

And, now, here we are. I still don’t know what to do. I know what I think, and what I feel. I’ll try to do my work with the dying and my interfaith work. Some other pagans think I’m weird to work with Christians, but I think that more of us should. We should be learning from Christianity’s mistakes. We should be making a conscious decision to be better than what we’re perceived as.

But we’re human, and what’s sad is that, to some degree, we don’t realize that, as a group, pagans are making the same mistakes.

Extremism hurts everyone, not just “those people” over there.

About me being smart…

I’m taking some time from my paper to write this. I’m a little over halfway done with the first draft, but I have a lot more to do, of course. Writing papers are always a strong act of will on my part. It always seems to be that I have to convince myself that, I am, in fact, smart enough to do this damn paper, and that, yes, I actually have knowledge in this brain of mine.
People have always told me that I’m smart. I’d get decent grades in most things, but some things were a real struggle. I went to college and did fairly well, but not well enough for any awards or accolades. (Although, sometimes I wish that the effort I put in to some classes was given some credit.) Maybe it was the major I picked (biochemistry), or my procrastination, or because I had a difficult time on tests, or…well, I don’t know…And maybe there was a little jealousy, too, since a lot of the classes I was in had the super-intelligent students who never seemed to need to study all that hard.
It just never felt to me that I was quite good enough to be there, no matter what anyone told me. It’s not that people weren’t encouraging and supportive, it’s just the way I felt. No one ever told me directly that I was a crappy student, or stupid, or any of the things that go through my head. But grades aren’t forgiving, and standardized testing doesn’t really gauge where you are in the learning process. Never mind health and emotional issues (the first half of my senior year of undergrad was, to put it mildly, rough).
Then there’s being in the corporate world. In my 14.5 years (dude!) of working in the emotional cesspool that is office politics and hiring practices, I’ve learned that my intelligence is not really a factor. You learn not to cause trouble, you learn to watch your back, and you learn that being smart and reliable is not how you get promoted or how you get to do more interesting work. If you are somehow having issues outside of work, and explain these things to those in charge, they just don’t care. You are a warm body that does things, and co-workers are rarely real friends. You are reduced to a thing that makes money, not a person.
So, now that I’m back in school, I need to purge this kind of thinking from my system. I keep telling myself that they wouldn’t have admitted me if they didn’t think I could hack it. They did recognize my intelligence and my calling. They recognized that I wanted to learn. And, to be honest, there’s a part of me that knows she’s smart, otherwise, I never would have applied in the first place.
What I’m finding weird is that it’s taking a lot of work to convince the rest of my brain of that.
But there’s time, and there’s this paper, which I now need to get back to…
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