I do get a perverse kick out of listening to certain groups complain (bitch actually) about the “homosexual agenda.” Or certain Christian groups complain that attempts to remove overtly Christian icons from public funded areas are an attack on Christianity
It’s more than potato/potahto. What some groups see as an agenda I see as human beings wanting to act like human beings. And I don’t mean copping a feel in public. The only couple I ever saw doing that was relentlessly heterosexual. I’m not talking about bedroom stuff. I’m talking about normal, everyday stuff. Imagine a co workers’ work area. Are there pictures of family and friends? Imagine the reactions of some of your co workers if a new hire posted shots of two guys or gals hugging, or a same sex couple standing with their kids and a soccer trophy.
Remember the Monday morning catch up conversations at work. Who did what with whom? How easily the words “the wife and the kids went to” wherever trip off the tongue. What would be the reaction if the speaker was another woman? Or “Joe and I had to take the kid to the ER, the flu’s going around.” What would happen if the speaker happens to named Steve, not Eve?
Imagine not being able to do all those little things that the rest of take for granted. Imagine having to constantly self censor what you’re saying. I don’t think any of us want to live like that. But, the behaviors of the majority society are so ingrained that you really have to stop and think about what’s happening.
To be honest, I don’t really have a problem with religious icons in public places. As long as we make room for icons valued by other groups. Somebody wants the Ten Commandments. OK, let’s include the twelve tables of the Roman law. There’s even a built in bias in Word. If I don’t capitalize the entry about the commandments it reminds me to do so. The twelve tables set out customary Roman law in mid 400 BC. They were written on twelve stone tablets and set out in the Forum for all to read (if they could read). They were destroyed several decades later in the beginning of the period of civil wars that wracked Rome for generations. Anyway nobody reminds me to capitalize them.
I’m not familiar enough with Greek or Roman festivals to really know what festivals took place around the time Christians have their major festivals. Saturnalia took place around the time most of us celebrate Christmas. And of course there is the Celtic (and Wiccan) Yule that takes place at the Solstice. Imagine the hoo ha if a group of pagan reconstructionists wanted to put up an alter dedicated to Saturn next to the Nativity Scene. Or if a group of Wiccans wanted to add in a solstice celebration at the same site. I can think of a few local churches that would not be happy. And even if the locals were OK with it, there would be somebody from somewhere out of state trying to make political hay on the six PM news.
Or what would happen if a candidate for election answered the question about his/her religion with “Greek Orthodox, old orthodox, I serve Apollo, or Athena, or Hestia or Gaia the mother of them all or ………...” The shit would hit the fan so fast they could smell it in Greenland or Antarctica.
And let’s not even talk about discussing my reading list at work. Oddly the only person I feel comfortable with is working towards ordination as an Episcopalian priest. He’s a good egg and very supportive. As for most of the others? No way. I’ll keep my observation that February 1 was Bridghig’s Day before it was Candlemas to myself, at least for now.
And probably the biggest difference between what we have and what we had can be found in those Mormon missionaries that knocked on our door last month. While the ancients expected you would serve or at least honor a god or goddess I haven’t found any references to anyone beating the bushes for converts. If you were sincerely seeking you would eventually find a good fit, the god or goddess found you, and when they did, you knew it. There are times when I feel I’m being offered a chance to spend the night in Procrustes bed, not faith.
As for where I am right now? Every question I answer brings up at least five more. I find myself surrounded with possibilities I never dreamed were possible.
If you’ll excuse me, that's it for the lunch hour. And for tonight I just got a new book on herbs, and what to do with them. And I need to read another entry in Yearning for the Wind and a few more pages in the book on Greek Mythology. So many treasures so little time. :-)