Paganistan: Notes from the Secret Commonwealth

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Sanctimonious Voices, or: Evangelicalism's Besetting Sin


Of all forms of government, theocracy has got to be the worst.

If you haven't noticed yet that a Kreesh-chun America is the Great Evangelical-American Wet Dream, you're not paying attention.


What do you call it when a power-driven and dictatorial religious minority bullies, lies, and stacks courts, in order to legislate its own religious values onto others?

Sure sounds like tyranny to me.


Well, the Trump Court of partisan hacks has overturned Roe v. Wade, as we all knew it would.

For me personally, the hardest part of all has been hearing the smug, sanctimonious voices crowing about their victory, and vaunting about what they're going to do next to shove their hate-filled religion even further down everyone else's craws.

(Make no mistake, the war over abortion is at heart religious. Anti-abortionism is a specifically Christian movement embraced almost exclusively by certain forms of Christian conservatism, both Catholic and Protestant. When it comes to abortion, Jewish and Islamic religious law tends to be both more pragmatic and more nuanced. Nuance, of course, has never been an Evangelical strong suit, and Catholicism threw it out with Vatican II.)

So here's what we need to remember when it's our turn—as it eventually will be, because the Evangelical cause has already failed; having to legislate your religion onto others is already a concession of defeat—and the shoe is on the other foot.


Win graciously.

Acknowledge that this triumph is painful for others.

Acknowledge the humanity of the other side.

Acknowledge that their positions are as deeply-held, and honestly-held, as ours.

Affirm that we go forward together into a shared future.


If you're not hearing voices speaking in any of these ways at the moment, it's because hubris has always been the besetting sin of Evangelicalism.

Well, the gods hate hubris.

Our time will come. Let us learn from the mistakes of others, and prepare ourselves to be good winners.


Political Cartoon: Counting the votes for abortion rights





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Poet, scholar and storyteller Steven Posch was raised in the hardwood forests of western Pennsylvania by white-tailed deer. (That's the story, anyway.) He emigrated to Paganistan in 1979 and by sheer dint of personality has become one of Lake Country's foremost men-in-black. He is current keeper of the Minnesota Ooser.


  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham Monday, 27 June 2022

    Like many people I am upset about the recent Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade. Not so much about abortion per se as their rejection of the Right to Privacy interpretation of the 14th amendment. I ask that you and your colleges draft a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the Right to Privacy. Given the nature of the current court I think it will be necessary to enumerate the rights protected by the Right to Privacy:

    Right to an abortion; 2. Right to contraception; 3. Right to sexual intercourse between consenting individuals over the age of consent, regardless of gender.; 4. Right to same sex marriage; 5. Right to choose one's gender identity; 6. Right to interracial marriage.

    I wrote the above to my congressman and my senators and reposted on Facebook and Twitter. If anyone out there agrees with me that we need a constitutional amendment to guarantee our right to privacy please write your congressman and senators and let them know you feel the same way.

    When I think of Theocracy I think of Iran and China. I'm one of those people who views Communism as a cult not a viable theory of economics. I do not want the United States to become a religious autocracy.

  • Jamie
    Jamie Tuesday, 28 June 2022

    Mr. Posch,

    The fight has only begun.

    I know that a lot of Progressives have a distaste for the concept of "States' Rights", owing to its racist history. That's legitimate.

    However, this is the 21st century. I don't think 1970's progressives/liberals seriously anticipated that reactionary forces might hijack the entire machinery of American democracy itself, and roll society backward 50 years. LGBT rights will be next on the chopping block, followed by religious freedom. We need to preserve places of refuge against this insanity, by any means necessary.

    Yes, I am being alarmist.

    Should the Christian Right tighten its ill-gotten hold on the federal government, and force more of its wish list on the majority which disagrees with it, the Blue States need to openly defy Washington...and the Revival Tent which passes for the U.S. Supreme Court.

    These people think they hold all the cards. They are wrong. Sooner than later, it will be time to play hardball. The fight has only begun.

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