Pagans are a diverse lot, and I have more in common with some than others. But I think there are two qualities central to our beliefs that prevent any honest Pagan from voting for Mitt Romney. First, almost universally we honor the sacred dimensions of the feminine and how those values manifest on the Earth. Second, we honor the Earth itself as a direct expression of the Sacred.
What follows is not a brief on Obama as a wonderful president. I personally give him mixed marks. But just as a cat burglar is not as dangerous as a serial killer, so I believe Barack Obama is a far better choice for president than Mitt Romney. And that is the choice we have. If you do not vote under such circumstances, when there are only two choices, you effectively vote for the candidate you dislike most.
There are five core reasons I believe Pagans should have little difficulty voting for almost any Democrat against any Republican for any office. None have anything to do with the virtues of the Democrats, although there are some I can happily vote for (just not many).
1) War on Women and the Feminine
Pagan spirituality in almost all its forms praises feminine values, usually 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 percent. 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 long standing. But this past year it has broadened enormously and ominously.
- The Republican Party and its theocratic allies, Catholic and Protestant alike, are now attacking contraception, which 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) admit as much.
- This attack is relentless and implacable, even though abortion rates drop when birth control is easy to get. Nothing proves more clearly that these people are in no sense 'pro-life.' 'Pro-life' is a marketing label with as much depth of commitment as any of Mitt Romney's promises.
- Republicans argue women who have abortions should face criminal charges. Some might dodge the implication, but it grows naturally out of their arguments, and some state the position outright.
- Their legislators have intervened into patient/doctor relations to force doctors 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.
- The Republicans and their religious right allies lie and lie and lie regarding medical information about abortion and other issues specific to women.
- The Republican-controlled House passed a bill with overwhelming Republican support that would allow hospitals to let pregnant women die rather than give them abortions if they thought it a matter of 'conscience.'
- The religious right and their Republican allies fought the HPV vaccine that reduces the chances of a woman developing cervical cancer because they argued that the vaccine might convince more young women to have sex.
- 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 low-income 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 low-income child. Liberal and Democratic Hawaii spent $4,648.
- Nearly half the states with the strongest antiabortion laws do not make it a crime for a third party to kill a fetus of any gestational age so long as a deliberate abortion is not the cause of death. But six of the strongest antiabortion states that do not criminalize fetal battering prosecute women for prenatal drug use.
- Republicans have sought to cut funding of the Violence Against Women Act.
- The Vatican, whose agents support Republicans, argues that ordination of women is acrime on par with sexual abuse by their priests.