Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Once More...With Feeling

This country has an undeniable infatuation with guns, powerful assault weapons in particular. As much as we'd like to buy into the romantic notion of the Old West being as American as apple pie, a reality check is seriously needed. Not everyone needs to own a gun, and there are more than a handful among us who should never, under any circumstance, have access to a weapon.

The NRA pours millions of dollars into the pockets of Congress to influence laws concerning gun control, and this needs to stop- but it won't- because money talks louder than common sense and reason most of the time. That's a sad reflection of who we are in America today.There are too many individuals with reckless bravado hiding behind the 2nd Amendment to define their personal power. Firepower doesn't make you a man, however, in certain circumstances lack of reason and control does make a killer.

'Thoughts and prayers' are what we send when we are at a loss for what to do; as a minister I am a big supporter of holding space with those who grieve, but in cases such as this horrific event, something in addition to thoughts and prayers is required...We need to pressure our elected officials into taking a legal and moral stance legislating gun control: increased vetting for permits and properly regulated training for ownership and use. In my opinion, our elected officials taking funds from the NRA and similarly related lobbyists while doing nothing to protect the public are literally taking blood money.

And while we're at it, folks, lets throw a little more funding toward mental health care, since our POTUS has now admittedly confirmed what those in the field already know: help is woefully inadequate and inaccessible. A good way to begin would be for our elected officials to stop sabotaging the ACA and extend Medicaid, because the first contact point for treatment and recovery is a primary health care provider. Mental illness is a disease and should be treated as seriously as all other diseases. Thoughts and prayers may help, but realistically they are not a cure. In fact, as I see it, if anyone needs the grace and mercy of a Higher Power, it's our elected officials and the people who elected them.

But the gods will not save us, no matter how much we plead. Humans have free will, according to the religious beliefs of some. The gods will not do the work we have to do- that is squarely on us. We can ask for discernment, for ours eyes to be opened to reality and truth, but it is up to the individual to act and put change into action. It is up to us to seriously get down to the matter and not just send, "thoughts and prayer" every time a crisis arises. Thoughts and prayers are a temporary warm fuzzy, fleeting in their comfort. Condolences  are a panacea which is only short term.

I believe in the power of magick; yet without action in the physical world, magick is reduced to 'thoughts and prayers'.

We need a long term solution to stopping the violence that has permeated our society and seeped into our culture; that is where citizen advocacy comes in. The gods do not allow violence to flourish in our country, we do. We allow it by doing nothing, by allowing apathy to over take us and take away our power. Engaging with elected officials as constituents is making a conscious choice to act. Elected officials -who represent 'we the people'-are put in place to do the will of the people, not the will of Washington lobbyists who represent special interests. They occasionally need forceful reminding of why they hold office. Doing so is the right of every registered constituent. Do it, as often as necessary. The gods support action, not reaction. Remember that the next time you are tempted to send thoughts and prayers.

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