Our friends of the First Nations have a saying: “Walk your talk.” In other words, put your money where your mouth is; don’t make hollow claims. Thinking about that idea, we reflect that in the Wiccan/pagan community fewer and fewer people are willing to do that. An example:
Recently we’ve* been trying to find Wiccans who will visit prisons to counsel–or even to chat with–the many inmates who claim Wicca as their religion or their spiritual path. So far as we know, no one has yet volunteered: not one single individual. Ten years ago we used to get volunteers, but not today.
And so once again it falls on us to do any visiting that gets done. Given our advancing years and given the state of our health, it’s quite a chore to travel across country for perhaps a one-hour session with an inmate.
The sorry irony about all this is that it was through inmates (the famous Dettmer versus Landon case) that Wicca got final confirmation of its federal recognition as a valid religion. Now it seems that self-styled Wiccan/pagans in the outside community–“on the street”–are not willing to support inmates as inmates supported the Craft.
Big Brother is out there. In the last year three “churches” have been declared believers in a philosophy, not in a religion. If this keeps up, the Community will lose the federal recognition for which we Frosts have fought so hard and to which we Frosts have committed our lives, our strength, our creativity. In a recent blog we tried to encourage people to come together and form larger groups that would have more political power. The idea was that if we could agree on even a few of the most basic tenets, the Community might become a more visible presence and might work together to strengthen its validity in the public perception. The comments on that blog totally disgusted us. And beyond disgust: we were heartsick. Apparently, there is no consensus in the self-styled Community even on such an essential idea as the Wiccan Rede. In fact we wondered whether we should stop blogging altogether and simply save ourselves the heartache.
Quite frankly we’re fed up with it all. We’ve been the Community’s scapegoats for over forty (40) years. Well, Community, you won’t have to bother with us that much longer. And if you don’t pull together now, you never will.
The choice is yours. The future is in your hands. What sort of future do you want? Having to meet furtively in secret? Having to lie to your associates about how you’re spending your time? Having to live again under total repression? Do you want to live in a spiritual void, wondering whether you are alone on the planet? (Ask an inmate how fulfilling Solitary is.) Or do you want to go into the future having a strong spiritual and mundane belief system to live by, that governments and individuals around the world cannot ignore?
If there were a coin engraved on one side with the word Privilege, its other side would have to be engraved Responsibility. Two of us have made our choice. If you have the testosterone or the ovarian fortitude, you can make the same choice. If you don’t have those qualifications, ask yourself: Do I deserve to share in what the Frosts have won?
– – – – – – – –
* Throughout this blog “we” means “we Frosts”.