Vote for the Worth and Dignity of Every Person

Vote for the Worth and Dignity of Every Person November 4, 2012

There is a value that people in the various Pagan and Magic traditions share: the inherent worth and dignity of every person. Everyone has a human right to health care, sustenance, and housing. This election vote for the candidates who will uphold the programs that put these values into action.

What stronger actions are there to show a person they are valued then to maintain their physical temple by feeding them, housing them, and getting them the medical wisdom they need? Fortunately there are programs such as Medicare, low-income housing programs, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Unfortunately, there are cases when these programs don’t go far enough or their qualifications are too restrictive and the lower-middle class and upper lower class don’t qualify.

The right to food, shelter, and medical care needs to be upheld on a national level. The push by some politicians to put these programs in State’s hands can create a gap for religious discrimination. Pagans struggle with having our religious rights recognized. Some states treat us more equally then others. This is seen in the differences between the not so lenient Southern and Midwest states versus the East and West Coast. Medicare and SNAP are Federal programs. Applicants have to submit their income information, not their religious preference. If such programs are left up to the states and states decide not to do them, the benefits could be handled only by Christian charities which are currently the majority. There are good programs that don’t discriminate; however, there are some that do.

A Pagan friend of mine in Missouri went to the Salvation Army for food. He was in his late teens and had left an abusive foster home. They said he had to attend a church service before he’d get assistance. He swallowed his pride so he could swallow some food.

I want to again address health care not only because it’s been a campaign issue on a State and National level but because health care is an important issue for people with chronic and even temporary disabilities or illness.

There are sixteen nations that participate in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and have some form of multi-payer or national health care. OECD provides a lot of research and statistics. It is a myth that multi-payer or national health care:
1. is inadequate with long waits and substandard aide
2. is a tax burden on citizens
3. bankrupts nations

The Physicians for a National Health Program (in the US) offer the statistics and explanations of why national health care would succeed in the U.S. Those would have to be covered in a post at another time. So I’m going to encourage you to visit the site.

People with disabilities often rely on housing, food, medical and financial aid. It is important that members of Congress who support such social services and are willing to expand them are elected. There is a lot of focus on the U.S. Presidential race since it is the top office in the nation. The real power for legislative change lies in the hands of Congress. That’s where the bills are voted on, passed, failed, or stalled. Presidents can give great speeches and come up with good ideas but ultimately their legislative power goes only as far as their motivational talents to persuade congressional members. Even a veto can be overturned and a Presidential Proclamation isn’t accountable under the law unless Congress passes a similar act.

Go vote. Encourage people you know to vote and don’t lose hope. Don’t give up on the world we live in. Turn away from the negative ads and all the rhetoric and memes that have bombarded social media so you can find some peace. Turn toward knowledge, meditation, or your personal sacred space.

Don’t waste your energy of hope on the energy of hate.

Remember that once the election is over, the world will still be here.

Content Director’s Note: This post is a part of our Election Month at Patheos feature. Patheos was designed to present the world’s most compelling conversations on life’s most important questions. Please join the Facebook following for our new News and Politics Channel — and check back throughout the month for more commentary on Election 2012. Please use hashtag #PatheosElection on Twitter.

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