THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 195, October 21, 2002

ARE WE PLAYING IN PEORIA?

The Pagan Libertarian Connection
by Kathryn A. Graham
kate@devtex.net

Exclusive to TLE

Being a Pagan and a libertarian does make for interesting conversations with new acquaintances.

"You're a Libertarian?" they ask me.

"Well, yes," I agree. "With a small 'L.' I'm actually a member of the Western Libertarian Alliance, not the Libertarian Party. I'm tired of the party's bumbling."

"And a Second Amendment activist?" the person will ask. "I've read some of your articles."

That's encouraging, I think to myself. Maybe I'm reaching somebody. "Very much so," I agree aloud. "Hope you enjoyed the articles ..." I add hopefully.

"Oh, yes, thanks. But I just found this other article by some gal with the same name. Any idea who this might be?"

I sigh. Here it comes again. "That's me, too," I point out. "See? The hyperlink on my name takes you to my web page."

"Yes ... but it says here that you're a Pagan. A Witch." The word hurts his teeth. His pain is obvious.

"That's right," I agree gently, trying to lessen the poor guy's shock before I have to call EMS for him.

"But . . . you're a freedom activist! And you carry a gun!"

Well, I think to myself, it could be worse. At least he isn't the variety of fundamentalist Christian who thinks that Witches sacrifice Christian babies under every full moon. No, this one is the sort who thinks of us all as fluffy tree huggers, so there is some chance of reaching him. "Yes, to both," I agree. "I'm also a pilot, an aircraft mechanic and a private investigator. But what does any of that have to do with my religious beliefs?"

My conversational partner has just developed lockjaw. He splutters for a bit, then screws up his courage and summons strength for one last verbal effort, "But don't you guys have a rule or something about not hurting people?"

Okay, I'm not perfect. I admit that I have not achieved the ultimate spiritual enlightenment. I can't even say that the devil made me do it, because I absolutely do not believe in any such things as devils, let alone the devil — but this one I can't resist. I take a deep breath, smile sweetly up at this idiot from my imposing 61 inch stature, and reply, "Yes, we most certainly do. And I have tried earnestly not to shoot anyone all week."

End of conversation.

Why is everyone so totally gobsmacked when they meet a Witch who is also a patriot, a committed libertarian and a firearms instructor? Believe it or not, there are more than a few of us out here.

Libertarians are the only politicos who talk about religious freedom — and really mean what they say. Conservative Republocrats think freedom of religion means you can freely pick your sect of Christianity. And the Democrooks want everyone to be warm and fuzzy together while they seize your guns so you can't do anything about it when they give away the contents of your wallet.

Thomas Jefferson would be turning over in his grave.

Sorry. I guess I'm not a warm and fuzzy sort of person. And contrary to what you may have heard from some of the sillier adherents to my religion, the vast majority of my fellow Witches are not warm and fuzzy either.

Wicca has been the fastest growing religion in the world since its resurgence under Gerald Gardner in the early 1950s. A disproportionate number of Witches in the United States come from baby boomer professions like scientists, computer technicians, doctors, lawyers, law enforcement — yes, and the military. This is because these professions are about realism, and Wicca doesn't ask you to take anything on faith. The whole religion is based on observation and experience.

Surprise! Those same professions are where a lot of your patriots and freedom activists come from, too.

Wicca places a heavy emphasis on individual responsibility. We have one rule instead of ten, and it is not written for the brain dead. You must determine what it means and live by it. When you screw up, you are the one who must face the Karma for it. And there is definitely no get-out-of-jail-free card through repentance and/or belief in the unbelievable.

Individual responsibility. Now there's a concept that should sound familiar to Libertarians of any description.

It doesn't end there.

That one rule that Witches must live by is called the Rede. In its simplest form, it says "An' it harm none, do as thou wilt." In most traditions, there is an explicit exemption to "harm none" for self- defense. Short of harming someone in other than self-defense, Wicca teaches that you have absolute freedom to live and pursue spiritual enlightenment in your own way.

Libertarians believe in the absolute freedom of the individual, saying only that the initiation of force by any person or government is wrong.

Initiation of force and harming someone in other than self defense sound remarkably similar. In fact, they sound an awful lot like different ways of saying exactly the same thing.

Here's a wakeup call for my fellow libertarian patriots who also happen to be Christians. Witches have more in common with you than you realize, and I absolutely guarantee that this world holds a heap more libertarian Witches than you know about. That number is growing geometrically every day, and Witches don't even proselytize.

So when Shrub's jackbooted thugs come for all of us, and the time has come to draw a line in the sand and defend it with our lives, take a really good look at the patriots who stand to your left and your right. One of us will probably be a Witch. Whatever you may believe about the state of that individual's soul, he or she will be cheerfully willing to die for your freedom — including your right to worship your Christian God as you will.

Never forget that.



Kathryn A. Graham's web page is at http://www.kathrynagraham.com/


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