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The Village Idiot

I allowed Iís a Pagan

Jack Deatherage, Jr.

(5/2012) May arrives with an invitation from an ADF Druid Grove in Baltimore, asking our family to attend the Beltane rituals as practiced by that Grove. While Iíve yet to set foot in said Grove, I did stand outside the Sacred Circles at a proto-Grove in Pennsylvania during Earth religion (Pagan/NeoPagan) festivals held there a few years ago. DW would like to join a Circle again (she misses the sense of community), but knows Iíll not drive into a city short of a court order, or a medical emergency. (Even then, Iíd be more likely to hire a cab. Upon entering any version of Hell, I prefer a knowledgeable guide at the wheel.)

The invite reminded me of another that came from a member of a church near Thurmont, back during the coldest part of last winter. He had his family along and was going door to door making a pitch for his church. While I enjoyed our exchange (they were freezing even bundled against the cold and me sitting on the concrete without benefit of shoes or coat) the conversation was short.

"We are Christians." They said. I allowed Iís a Pagan. (The wife shoed the children behind her. They peeked around her, wide-eyed to behold a devil worshipper. I managed not to laugh.) The husband seemed intrigued, I suspect heíd have welcomed a challenge had his family not been with him, and it wouldnít have been so freakiní cold. Not that I was challenging their belief, merely stating my own, that their god ainít mine. The Missus probably thought I was able to sit so comfortably in that fridge air, and on frozen concrete, because I was warmed by the fires of Hell. She might well have been correct if gaining knowledge were as evil an enterprise as some Xians seem to believe. On the chance Iíd learn something interesting, I simply ignored the cold.

"We follow the Bible as the word of God."

I allowed that was cool, but I didnít believe the Bible was the word of any god Iíd follow. The man invited me to their church so I could get a better understanding of their purpose. So far, Iíve not been curious enough to attend a service.

An even older invitation came from a "whites only" Pagan group somewhere in the Midwest. They had established a compound, armed themselves and were seeking like-minded people to join them. I declined, just as I would have an offer from an Xian group trying to establish themselves in the Idaho/Montana area.

A conversation with a white Nationalist, also attempting to enlist me in his cause, opened my eyes to a number of things I hadnít known about myself. He was the first person to call me a misanthrope, a term I happily embraced! (The longer I live, the more I hurt. The more I hurt, the crankier I get. The crankier I get, the less I give a damn what others think of me, and the less I think of them.) He also told me I was an individual in a time of clans. That I would soon be trampled by the stampeding races of apes as they begin to war with each other. (I think the conflicts will be pitched as race wars, but will really be political ideologies using race as a weapon.) I suspect there will be men and women who manage to avoid the ape wars, but not being particularly bright, Iím likely to wade into such conflicts clubbing any and all who demand I follow them!

All of this set me to cogitating (No wonder Iím a misanthrope! I hate cogitating as much as I dislike being inspired to do it.) about the philosophical argument that a benevolent creator god exists (I used to think a creator couldnít be proved by looking at humans.) Iíve managed to survive several college lecture series on philosophy of religion and such, and was amused that the profs were able to bring me to the edge of agreeing with their arguments for a creator god still active after the creation. Somehow, they always failed to convince me with their facts and logic. No matter how close to acceptance they drew me, belief always entered the argument and their facts collapsed under my lack of belief.

I recall keen disappointment each time a philosophical argument fell apart due to the need for belief. Even the atheists (Oh, how I longed for them to prove their argument to me!) failed as miserably as all the religious. How surprising that I manage to find enough evidence on my own to prove beyond any doubt, (as far as Iím concerned) that there is a creator. Maybe not a benevolent one, but one nonetheless.

I accept that I can prove I exist, but canít prove anyone else does. (Well, maybe DW exists and Iím a conjuration in her mind, but sheíd have to be sick in the head to conjure me, so Iíll stick with my being provable and everything else a conjecture of mine.) Now Iíve tried to create people, places and situations in my head as I while away hours each day doing something at the factory. Over time, Iíve noticed that nothing I create in my head comes close to the bizarre people and events I encounter every day.

If I stand in amazement at events I canít even imagine, then I canít possibly be the shaping force of my universe. Something must be creating the reality Iím in. This is especially true as I have little influence over anything I canít touch.

Having proven (at least to myself) that there is a creator, I suppose I should begin ruminating on what this thing is and what it expects of me, if it expects anything. Iíd have much rather retreated to the garden, studied worms in the soil and bees on the blossoms. Or contemplated honey in ferment and sweet mead flushing heat from the belly outward. Maybe I can find this creator in such contemplation? I certainly didnít grasp it while in a pew, or standing in flickering bonfire light outside the Circle.

A second batch of mead is clearing. I promised a philosopher friend a couple of bottles. I guess itís nearly time to keep that promise. While I doubt Iíll understand most of what I hear while tipping glasses, I know Iíll come away with something worth pondering. If nothing else, Iíll get an appraisal of my mead making efforts and some ideas for future ferments. If the creator has waited this long for me to discover it, it can wait for a few more batches of mead to lubricate my pondering equipment.

Read other articles by Jack Deatherage, Jr.