All Our Relations: Pagans and the more-than-human world.
For aware Pagans the Sacred encompasses us all, rivers and mountains, oceans and deserts, grasses and trees, fish and fungi, birds and animals. Understanding the implications of what this means, and how to experience it first hand, involves our growing individually and as a community well beyond the limits of this world-pathic civilization. All Our Relations exists to help fertilize this transition.
The case for a 100% Democratic vote
I have put a more complete argument for why I think Pagans should vote 100% democratic up on my personal blog. Here at Witches and Pagans I compress it only to the issue of women and the feminine. In reality that should be enough. My basic point is not that the Democrats are awesomely good. In almost every case they are not. It is that their opponents are awesomely bad, in every case.
The War on Women and the Feminine
Pagan spirituality in almost all its forms praises feminine values, usually in through a Goddess. The Republican Party has demonstrated over and over again that even during times of high unemployment, attacking anything that empowers women takes precedence over all other issues with the possible exception of increasing the wealth of the 1%. Most of my readers will know of the recent comments by Todd Akin that women when raped cannot get pregnant along with Richard Mourdock’s ‘insight’ that when they do get pregnant from rape, it’s God’s gift. (Theological coherence is not a right wing trait.)
The Republican and right wing attack on a woman’s right to choose whether to be a mother when she finds herself pregnant is of long standing. But this past year it has broadened enormously and ominously to assault anything that empowers women except as obedient servants to right wing values.
• The Republican controlled House passed a bill with overwhelming Republican support that would allow hospitals to let pregnant women die rather than give them an abortion if they thought it a matter of ‘conscience.’
• The Republican Party and its theocratic allies, Catholic and Protestant alike, are now attacking contraception. Contraception causes no abortions and gives women control over their lives more than any other single development in human history. Honest conservatives (there are a few, and I respect them) admit as much.
• This attack on contraception is relentless and implacable even though abortion rates drop when birth control is easy to get. Pregnant women should die if their doctor dislikes abortion, but women should not have free access to contraceptives. Nothing proves more clearly than this that these people are in no sense ‘pro-life.’ It is a marketing label with as much depth of commitment as any of Mitt Romney’s many promises.
• Republicans argue women who have abortions should face criminal charges. Some might dodge the issue, but this conclusion grows out of their arguments and some have made the implications explicit.
• Republican legislators have intervened into women’s relations with their doctors, forcing doctors by law to perform unnecessary vaginal probes of women seeking legal abortions. Far from wanting small government, they want theocratic domination over every woman in the country. As a start.
• The Republicans and their religious right allies lie and lie and lie regarding giving people medical information about abortion and other issues specific to women.
• The religious right and their Republican allies fought administering the HPV vaccine that reduces a woman's chances of getting cervical cancer. If it were administered they argued more young women would have sex which was apparently worse than their getting cancer.. For them, better women dead than independent or powerful.
• Republican dominated states with strong antiabortion laws provide less funding per child for foster care, smaller stipends for parents who adopt children with special needs, and smaller payments for poor women with dependent children than do states with strong abortion rights laws. In 1999 Louisiana had America’s strongest anti-abortion laws and spent $603 annually for each poor child. Liberal and Democratic Hawaii spent $4,648.
• Nearly half the states with the strongest antiabortion laws did not make it a crime, for a third party to kill a fetus of any gestational age so long as a deliberate abortion was not the reason. But six of the strongest antiabortion states that do not criminalize fetal battering prosecute women for prenatal drug use.
• They have sought to cut funding of the Violence Against Women Act
• The Vatican whose agents enthusiastically support Republicans argues that ordination of women is a crime on par with sexual abuse by their priests.
There is a pattern here that only someone in deep denial could miss: an attack on women as independent and self-governing beings and an attack on feminine values, especially spiritually. In their place they praise “manliness,” which involves talking tough, never serving the country, and debasing being a strong man to, as Neoconservative Harvey Mansfield put it, “the claim to protect is the claim to rule. How can I protect you properly if I can’t tell you what to do?” Michael Ledeen, another Neoconservative supporter of Romney’s, says Americans “must not be left to our own devices. We must be forced or, under ideal circumstances, convinced or inspired to do good.” The religious right agrees. Right wing theologian Bruce Ware tells us "it's true that in the Trinity itself--in the eternal relationships of Father, Son and Spirit, there is authority and submission, and the Son eternally submits to the will of the Father--if that's true, then this follows: It is as Godlike to submit to rightful authority with joy and gladness as it is Godlike to exert wise and beneficial rightful authority."
Be they secular or religious, the 'manliness' of the Republican right is the ethics of a baboon troop. They debase men as much as they seek to dis-empower women, all in worship to whatever form of domination appeals to them.
This is one of the biggest differences between even corporatist Democrats like Barack Obama and his Republican opponents, and it is great enough that I cannot imagine any informed Pagan voting for Romney and his enablers.
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