I am Pagan


I am interrupting my blog, on the explanation of the 1st Amendment, for something which I feel needs to be said. This stems from hearing a certain ex-presidential candidate’s speech at CPAC yesterday. Another part of what spurred this is my reaction to the loss of a leader in the Denver Pagan community; someone I have known and respected for over thirty years.

This morning on my Facebook page I called for everyone who is not Judeo-Christian to raise their voices and let the people of this country recognize the true diversity of our culture.To lead the way I’ll offer myself up as an example.

My mundane name is Greg Robinson. I have never really cared for my first name (no offense Greg B), but I accepted it. Then a lady I was seeing told me that I didn’t look like a Greg. She said that I looked like a Marc and started calling me by that name. Pretty soon everyone was calling me Marc. And it felt right to me.

My last name is shortened from what it was originally, as well as what it became later in the SCA (the Society for Creative Anachronism.) I originally adopted the name of a town here in Colorado: Silverthorne. It fit because I was a fencer. It soon evolved, in the SCA, to the long French name of Marc de la Lame` d`Argent which means Marc of the silver blade. For ease of use as a nom de guerre (pseudonym) I shortened it to Marc Sylvir.

I have been a Pagan for about twenty years. I have been out of the proverbial “broom closet” for quite some time. I am also a participating citizen of the United States of America. I vote in every election. I do so,  not with a knee-jerk reaction, but with great care and thoughtfulness; I take the time to do my research on issues and politicians. I love this country but I consider myself a part of the greater whole of humanity, and a steward of the Earth, as well.

I believe that the hypocrisy and injustice in this great country needs to be revealed and resolved. This is not a country made for the rich. This is not a country made for one race, belief or sexual orientation. We are a nation of individuals with individual values. As the historian Carl Degler said: “The metaphor of the melting pot is unfortunate and misleading.  A more accurate analogy would be a salad bowl, for, though the salad is an entity, the lettuce can still be distinguished from the chicory, the tomatoes from the cabbage.”

We need to recognize and accept this. We need to provide for the poor and the sick. We need to be able to spread our artistic wings freely. And we need to recognize that there are many ways to look at all these problems, which is why we need to be able to have open conversations free from rhetoric. We must be able to state our positions intelligently and not fall back on sound bytes or generalities. By doing so we can maintain a civil society that will be helpful to all.

I state my positions on issues quite strongly, but I do not believe myself to be infallible. I am not all good or all evil. As a human being I am a mix of both. The balance which I’ve achieved was the result of a lot of hard work and personal introspection on my part, and it is not yet finished. As an individual I am constantly evolving. And I will, occasionally, find myself put off of that balance. But with help from others, and more hard work on my part, I always find my way back to my own center.

Now it is time for all of us to speak up. We have this wonderful tool of free speech called the Internet. Use it. If you are a member of any of the Neo-Pagan or New Age religions out there, stand up and say so. If you are an Atheist or an Agnostic, stand up and say so. If you are Christian, Muslim,  Jewish, or of any religious persuasion and you feel that all religions have their own validity, stand up and say so.

You may be Black, Hispanic, Anglo, Asian, Native American, Arabic, Indian, or of mixed heritage. You may be a Democrat, a Republican, a Libertarian, a member of the Green Party (as I am), or a member of any other political organization. You may be an Occupy supporter or a Tea-Partier. You may be hetero, gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, trans-gender,queer or you may identify your sexuality in other terms. You can identify yourself in any way you choose but, please, stand up and say “I want to be part of the conversation! I believe that each living person is entitled to everything that this country has to offer.”

If you want to do so in response to the notification of this blog post on my Twitter or Facebook, feel free to do so. If you want to do this on your own blog, twitter, or Facebook page, then do that. I respect your decision if you don’t want to come out of whatever closet you find yourself in. But you should find in yourself the fortitude to stand up for the others who are willing to do so. Please don’t stand there and say “Well, that’s just the way it is.” It doesn’t have to be that way.

If we stop caring about other individuals and remain fixed only on our opinions, or our own sphere of influence, we will become a nation of sociopaths. I am fearful that we are already on our way to becoming that nation. And the only way that we may be able to stop this trend is to speak up.

We can be one nation composed of individuals only if we care enough to make it so.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by christopher h. merrell on February 11, 2012 at 4:02 am

    Well, I agree. But. I don’t know. I’ve been taken by all of the “I’m a Mormon” ads. What I especially “like” about these ads is that it is painting a picture of Mormons as being something other than the traditional white shirt boys. I personally would like to see that kinda thing happen to the Pagan/Wiccan community. We are a very diverse community. Unfortunately, society has kept us so far hidden that I think at times the only way we feel that we can truly express ourselves is by our “outlandish” behavior and dress. I don’t have tons of tattoos (only one small one on my chest), I don’t have a alternative hair style, I don’t have piercings. But what I do – is that I honor (or at least try to) honor the Gods and the Elements on a daily basis. I take care of a home, have a job and come home to a cat. Life – I try to keep it – is simple. Yes, we do need to stand up for what’s happening in our country. What we are seeing in our lifetime is really quite unique. Many, many people are against. Against the flow – or the standard. Many people are saying there are new American Standards – and what are they anyway? So, yes, I too am a Pagan. But I also think more importantly – I am a human being on this little ball – trying to make it all work – and trying to have a little happiness. Just a few of my random thoughts on this cold Friday evening.

    Reply

    • I know what you mean Christopher. At this point I am worried about anyone who is different getting steamrolled. And the diversity is what makes life interesting.

      Reply

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