“And ye shall go out and proclaimeth my name on all that you see and do, and ye shall write it in every document for I am Pan, the god of all.” From the book of Arcadia 2:9
I’ve always felt that the gods and I were pretty secure in our relationship(s). Despite what’s at the top of this post, Pan does not require me to proclaim his name at all moments of the day, nor does he require that I put him into everything I write. I do pay daily devotions to love, but when I’m snuggling with my significant other I don’t always give a whisper of thanks to Aphrodite. Despite what many out there think, I don’t honor Dionysus daily with drink either. My gods are with me, and with others, no need to shout it from the mountaintops.
This is all I need to know that my gods are real.
Not loudly yelling the names of my gods makes me far different than many of those on the Evangelical Right who seem extremely insecure about their god. This was really brought home to me last week while arguing with some conservative high school friends online. As you might have guessed many of them were incensed that the platform of the Democratic Party did not include the word “God” in its original construction. I don’t think any of them noticed this until the broo-ha-ha on the convention floor when the word was reinserted into the platform, but that’s beside the point. God wasn’t in the platform! I’m sure that ruined their non-existant reading of it too!
One of the comments made during our online argument was “God is involved in every thing that takes place on earth, from, road, to food to the air, God is involved in it all, who do you think gives us air?” If someone wants to believe that, I’m totally OK with it, but I fail to see why that means the name of Yahweh has to be inserted into a political party’s platform. There’s nothing on the side of a can of green beans saying “Made by God,” why should a political platform be any different? When I brought that point up I was told “Green beans don’t make decision that can effect the lives of millions, politicians do,” true enough (unless those beans are tainted with salmonella), but party platforms don’t make decisions, people do. Obama has been very clear and honest about his Christian faith, but that doesn’t mean his party should make his faith the litmus test for everyone else under that tent.
If “God” is in everything, why would you have to write his name on anything? Wouldn’t you just accept his being there by default? Why would anyone portray their god as so shallow and insecure that he needs his name written down constantly and shouted about 24/7? I just don’t get it. Despite all the caterwauling, the gods don’t really play favorites with politics. If the Yahweh of the Evangelical Right was deciding elections McCain would have won in 2008, and if Pan was deciding elections perhaps Stormy Daniels would have won a Senate seat in 2010. Relationships with deity are personal things, they don’t (and should not) transcend into the world of mundane politics. My gods are in all that I see and do too, but they don’t blind me from all else. They shape my world view, and guide me to greener pastures, all while not having to be a plank in a political party’s platform.
People who constantly proclaim their god often come across as insecure about their faith. The yelling seems to be a desperate cry for approval from others. I’ve never needed anyone else’s approval when interacting with my gods. My interaction with deity is all the confirmation that I need. It’s insulting to deity to think that something as powerful as a god would be unknown to the rest of the world unless you yell about it, or it gets stuck into a political document. To think like that limits the power of deity. If Yahweh wanted to be mentioned in The Constitution he would have thundered and lightninged his way into it, but he didn’t, that should probably tell you something.
Oh no, Pan’s not in the Republican Party Platform! Maybe it’s because he’s right here.
I can go to someone else’s ritual and not get bent out of shape when they invoke their gods instead of my own. I’m not offended by having to look at nativity scenes when I’m at Target pursuing the Holiday decorations. Pan is Pan, that doesn’t change because he’s not on billboards or being name-checked by Mitt Romney. I don’t care about that kind of crap, all that matters is our relationship. My gods aren’t diminished or insulted when their name is absent from a useless piece of paper.
The security I feel with deity is one of the many strengths of my Paganism. My gods aren’t so weak that they have to be invoked in a fleeting budget crisis My gods are eternal and they are in the hills, in the sky, and in the oceans. They walk this land and I walk with them. Even when their names were scarcely uttered they were here. My gods leave giant footprints and all without saying a word.