I’m no longer surprised when I hear “keep politics out of Paganism,” but I don’t quite understand it. Politics affects nearly every aspect of our lives. It’s politics that determines what rights we might have as practitioners of minority religions. It’s politics that will determine what shape our planet will be in twenty-five years from now, or whether endangered animals will be protected. Politics, and the aftermath of politics, is responsible for much of what exists behind and then beyond our front doors.
I’m cognizant of the fact that not everyone in the Pagan Community votes the same way. I don’t believe Trump voters represent a majority of Pagans, but I think the number of Pagans who voted for Trump in 2016 is higher than many believe it is. Though I believe that voting for Trump is abhorrent to Pagan values, I’m not going to condemn everyone who voted for him in 2016. Having lived in the Midwest for many years I understood much of the alienation that drove Obama voters to Trump. However . . . .
After nearly four years of Trump in the White House, there has been absolutely nothing from the Trump administration in line with the values of the Pagan Community. There is nothing commendable about Trump, and he has nothing to offer the Pagan Community. His administration has actively worked against our values, which is why voting Trump out of office is a part of my Paganism.
Allegedly Pagans love the Earth and the natural world, anyone who wants to vote for more of Trump is actively voting against preserving our most precious resource, the planet. Climate Change is not a matter of debate, it’s like gravity, real. Living in California I’ve seen the end result of climate change more than most.
Because of increased temperatures worldwide, our state has become a tinderbox from April to December. The increasing mercury has also resulted in less rain, droughts are now common place throughout much of the Western United States. And that lack of rain makes our fire season last longer than it did just a few years ago, and increases the intensity of those fires. A President who cannot address the reality of a situation like this is not a President who should be re-elected or admired.
The way to combat climate change is to reduce the emission of green house gasses, most especially carbon. Of course Trump has actively worked against this. Upon taking office he pulled us out of the Paris Climate Agreement, which was not a draconian agreement, it was simply the bare minimum that could be easily done to help avert this crisis. Trump has actively worked against clean energy in favor of coal, the dirtiest of all power sources.
Trump has rolled back rules on the fuel economy of cars, meaning those cars will burn more gasoline than ever, and not give Detroit a reason to continue to innovate automobile manufacturing. (Detroit is great, and capable of making the fuel economy standards set back in the Obama-era.) Trump has also eased rules on letting pollutants into our air, including methane, which is actually worse than carbon when it comes to making our planet warmer.
Our planet is becoming warmer and dirtier because of the Trump Administration. Trump puts corporate interests before the welfare of the planet, and the things that live on that planet, which means us! A vote for Trump is a vote for animal extinctions, drilling on public lands, and contaminated water. A vote for Trump is a vote against “nature religion” because there won’t be much nature left.
You don’t have to take my word for it either. Here are 75 ways Trump has made America warmer and dirtier. Don’t have time for 75 things Trump has done? Here’s just fifteen, and they are all bad. National Geographic breaks down the differences between Biden and Trump on environmental policy, and the differences are stark.
We deserve a President who listens to science and takes our environmental challenges seriously. We deserve a President who will encourage innovation and create new jobs in the energy sector. We deserve a President who values the natural world.
White Evangelical Christians represent just 15% of the US population, but Trump has tailored much of his administration around their cares and concerns. The most important issues to this constituency always seems to be gay marriage and abortion. The Trump Administration has pushed back hard on the rights on our LGBTQ+ friends and families. Adoption agencies are allowed to exclude gay couples. The Trump Administration has also argued that an employer should be able to fire employees simply for being gay. Other rules would allow the Affordable Care Act to discriminate against gay individuals, and those who have previously had an abortion.
Abortion, Evangelical Christians love embryos and zygotes, not so much actual children when they are born. Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett is likely to be the long sought “fifth vote” to mostly overturn Roe Vs. Wade which protections abortion rights. Coney’s confirmation to the Court will probably go further than that, and will most likely result in states being free to overlook gay marriage, and any of the remaining protections for LGBTQ+ folks.
Not surprinsgly we aren’t allowed to talk about Barrett’s highly irregular Catholic-Christian faith which makes her subservient to her husband. (Great thing to vote for if you are a Goddess worshipper.) Of course, questioning Barrett’s cult-adjacent worship group is religious discrimination, but when he discriminates against Muslims everything is OK in Trumpland? I don’t think so. (And don’t forget it’s right-wing nationalist groups that are the biggest terrorist threat within the United States, not Muslims.)
Trump and his cronies have pushed a lot of your (Pagan) money into Christian schools. Money that was once set aside for public schools has increasingly gone to Christian institutions, and states that use “school vouchers” must now allow those vouchers to be used for religious schools. I don’t want my tax dollars being used to discuss the reality of the Book of Revelations, I hope you don’t either.
SATANIC PANIC 2
Most of you are probably too young to remember the original Satanic Panic of the 1980’s and early 90’s. Back then Satanists were lurking behind every city street light waiting to whisk your child away and sacrifice them to Satan. Both the federal government and law enforcement officials took this threat seriously, even if there was never any evidence to support it.
And innocent people went to jail during the original Satanic Panic, mostly day care providers who were convicted of child abuse despite outlandish stories and absolutely no evidence. One couple was released from jail as recently as 2013, long after the original Satanic Panic had been debunked.
Why is this important in 2020? Because we are in the middle of a new Satanic Panic, and we practice spiritualities that are likely to get caught up in such nonsense.
Once a fringe belief on the far right, the QAnon Conspiracy Theory is now a part of mainstream Republican politics. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican running for the House of Representatives in a safe GOP Georgia district, will soon be elected to Congress. Greene is a raging bigot, an intellectual lightweight, and a QAnon supporter. After first distancing themselves from Greene, the GOP has fully jumped on the crazy train (sorry Ozzy) and are now touting her endorsement.
What is QAnon? It’s a political conspiracy theory that places Donald Trump against the Deep State, a Deep State with ties to a Satanic pedophilia ring run by Hillary Clinton, Tom Hanks, Barack Obama and other political and entertainment figures. QAnon is named after “Q” who claims to work in US intelligence and “drops” information on right-wing disinformation platforms such as 4Chan, 8Chan, and 8kun. Q’s first drop suggested Hillary Clinton was just days away from going to jail for trafficking children, obviously that has not come to pass, nor have any of Q’s other predictions.
Every day that Trump stays in office, the influence of QAnon will grow. Trump has retweeted QAnon related Twitter accounts, once retweeted “The Storm is Coming” a reference to the idea that soon Trump and his allies will soon round up over 10,000 individuals related to the non-existant Satanic pedophilia ring. The Texas Republican Party is so broken and paranoid that they are selling “We Are the Storm” merchandise, further mainstreaming this nonsense. Not surprising though, the GOP takes its marching orders from Trump and when asked about the conspiracy recently refused to condemn it.
People have committed violent acts in the name of QAnon, and that number seems likely to grow in the aftermath of the election (no matter who wins). Already we’ve seen one deranged QAnon devotee live stream an attempt to kill Joe Biden. There have also been standoffs with law enforcement on the Hoover Dam, and a man murdered with a sword, because the victim was though to be a lizard. There have also been attempted kidnappings, and the muder of a ten month old child.
Trump aids and abets QAnon, a conspiracy theory that puts American lives in danger, and especially the lives of those who practice minority religions. How anyone could believe it’s in the best interest of Pagans to vote for a man who will actively contribute to violent against them boggles the mind.
A vote for Trump is a vote against the Pagan Community.