Ethics, Wisconsin, Pagans, and Politics

In addition to the post about religion and human rights, I find myself taking issue with a more recent Pagan+Politics post, entitled “Wisconsin is none of my business…” that continues its first line with “…and probably none of yours.” Cara, the post’s author, is wrong. Cat C-B, (a Quaker Pagan), in the comments, is right. Star Foster is right, and Hecate is right. What is going on in Wisconsin is our concern, and we ought to consider how we’re responding to it.

Lest I be seen as mischaracterizing Cara’s post, let me point out that she says the main thing she objects to is people coming in from outside Wisconsin to demonstrate. I see where she’s coming from on that, and I agree that I am not part of Wisconsin’s internal political process and do not have standing there. On the other hand, I think that shows of support from other workers in similar situations might be welcomed by the Wisconsin protesters, and I’m not going to declare that I can decide whether those shows of support ought to be made locally or by joining the protesters in Wisconsin. But the overall tone of the first half of Cara’s piece is that those of us not in Wisconsin ought to sit on our hands unless and until a similar situation comes to our jurisdictions. As Cat points out, that’s ridiculous.

I haven’t fully worked out my own response to the situation in Wisconsin yet. But just like what’s going on in the Arab world, even though the choices aren’t up to us, the upheaval concerns us. “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality,” MLK wrote. Pagans like to talk about the interconnectedness of all things, how life is inherently interdependent and we as people cannot live in isolation from each other or our environment. Well, that goes for our social environment, too, which is largely shaped by politics. So, as Hecate says, at the very least, sit down and devote some energy to this issue.

Finally, on a side note, I’m finding myself increasingly disappointed by the overall quality of the posts on Pagan+Politics. Surely there are some other Pagans out there who have a deeper well of historical understanding and intellectual analysis. I’m no great shakes at it myself, but I’m going to try.


About Literata

Literata is a Wiccan priestess and writer. She edited Crossing the River: An Anthology in Honor of Sacred Journeys, and her poetry, rituals, and nonfiction have appeared in works such as Mandragora, Unto Herself, and Anointed as well as multiple periodicals. Literata has presented rituals and workshops at Sacred Space conference, Fertile Ground Gathering, and other mid-Atlantic venues. Literata offers healing and divination services as well as customized life-cycle rituals. She is currently completing her doctoral dissertation in history with the support of her husband and four cats.
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