Saturday, April 05, 2003

The Elephant in Our Circles: Pagans, Tolerance and the War in Iraq

This article was written just after the war started. It appeared at TWV.

The key points, I felt, were these:

Here are some things to keep in mind in the coming months:

* It is possible to support our troops and still be against the war.

* It is possible to protest this war using the tactics of peaceful, civil disobedience and still love one's country. As Molly Ivans and others have pointed out, dissent is not unpatriotic, even during wartime. The history of civil disobedience and public protest runs the gamut from Ghandi to Martin Luther King, and from Emily Pankhust and Margaret Sanger to the students in Tiananmen Square. All of these people loved their country while disagreeing strongly with the actions taken by their government.

* It is possible to support military action and still work within viable & ancient traditions of Pagan practice. The Code of the Honorable Warrior; who in the words of T.H. White is one who believes in "might for right", teaches its followers to protect the innocent and to defend liberty. This path is thousands of years old and can be found within Celtic, Nordic, Native American and Asian traditions, just to name a few.

* Citizenship is an on-going process. It requires that we show up, pay attention and tell the truth. So while it's easy to be against something it is much, much harder to be a positive force for change. Active citizens will decry injustice, but they will also educate themselves on the issues, decide what they are for and support that.

* History has shown us that it is possible to win a war and loose the peace. This will happen again if good hearted men and women can't reach out to one another and work together to make a better world for all our children.

Right now, courageous people in every country are working for the highest good of all. Each will do so in their own way. If we believe that different spiritual paths can lead to enlightenment, then we also must acknowledge that individuals can and will contribute in different ways while We, The People share a common vision of peace and freedom for all.

No comments: