Snakes, Power Dynamics and Green Beer

Yah! The mythical St. Patrick’s Day. Hooray! Wear green! Equate St. Patrick to Hitler! Hooray! What?

Yeah. There are folks that claim that Pagans equate St. Patrick as a horrible man, in much the same way that the Jews equate Adolf Hitler as a terrible human being. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Adolf Hitler was just “some dude” – the comparison is not mine. The “snakes” that St. Patrick chased out of Ireland were supposedly the Pagans and Druids, who had snake arm-bands or tattoos of snakes on their arms to signify that they were Pagans and/or Druids. My estimation? What a load of horse shit…freshly dropped.

Look, throughout the history of our planet, we have had folks killing other folks for following the wrong religious belief. Nine Hells, it still happens today. But I am not about to stoke that fire by making a claim that St. Patrick is the same as Adolf Hitler – all in the name of a specious holiday that essentially has people wearing green clothing and drinking color-dyed beer. Let’s try not to get carried away on the tens of people that are continuing the long standing tradition of hating those different than themselves, shall we?

Perpetuating wars, violence and hatred towards those that worship differently than ourselves is a long standing tradition in our world history. But let’s be a little realistic as to what it is about. This is not about which religion is right or wrong. Certainly, people don’t like to be considered as “wrong” in things that they believe and supposedly hold close to their hearts. But its not an issue of right and wrong – its an issue of power. A religion that has the claim of more adherents is supposed to be right, right? The more people you have, the more right you are. The more people you have, the more you can force your beliefs on to others. The more you force others to come to church, the more likely they are to follow the perspective of placing monies into the coffers of the church. The larger your mob, the more likely those with smaller crowds will bend to your whims and desires without a fight. And in the mob mentality we have in our daily society – the larger the crowd,, the more followers. Stop. Is this honestly the right way to market a religious belief? I believe that to be a loud “NO”.

When we, as Pagans and Polytheists and the such, participate in this idiotic St. Patrick stanza…we are participating in this power-dynamic that we have pushed against for so long. Sure, there are more Christians in the world, but I honestly do not believe that the majority of them see Pagans as needing to be driven off the face of the planet. Certainly, there are some folks like that claiming to be Christians, but they are a very loud vocal minority. Certainly, I might be naive, but I do prefer to see the good in people rather than assuming the very worst in them.

See, I am not at all about this power dynamic. If I were, I would be striving to lead a group of people – teaching them my concepts of the world. It could be argued that I am doing just that here on the blog, but I am not. I write my opinion, and am not worried if anyone agrees with me or not. My idea of power is walking side by side with those on their own individual Pagan Paths. I have no desire to be in the very front – the shining example of anything. For me, success is doing things together. Pagans are no better than Christians or any other group of people out there. We are all working towards our survival. And if we make that survival a mutual thing, where we all thrive together – we are stronger.

So…its St. Patrick’s Day. Awesome. Let’s all wear green and drink our green beer together – side by side. I can toast to this day with a Christian and not be a betrayer of what I am as a Pagan. A Christian can hoist a pint with me tonight and not be betraying who or what they are as a Christian. Why? Because we are human beings. We may not see eye-to-eye Spiritually, but so long as we do not demand that others see things the same way that each of us does – we remove the shackles of that Power Dynamic that traps us into rejecting those that are different. Our power is not in what is right or wrong; nor does it come from being more correct than someone else. Our power comes from acknowledging the Sacred in each of us, no matter what Path we are on.

So let’s go have a green beer, what do you say??

–T /|\

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