Thursday, May 24, 2007

There are days I love my horoscope

I get my horoscopes (sun and rising, I'm thorough people) via email every day. I read them the way I always have, with a hefty grain of salt, for fun. And when I get one that reads like today's:

Don't turn down one single invitation, even if you just want to stay home with a comfy blanket and a really good movie. Anything could happen. You two could even like each other. A lot.
You're the hottest show in town. Just ask your stunned, grinning companion. What on earth will you do for an encore? Your audience can't wait!

it gives me a little lift. I kid you not people, it doesn't take much!

I've always been teetering on the fence with astrology - I think it can be highly entertaining but I also think there's some validity to it. I don't think it can or should run anyone's life: but I think there are enough similarities in people within the confines of each sign to say that there is something to it. And I like to keep an open mind. Plus it coincides with my spiritual path of choice; and there are too many unknowns in life for us to negate anything totally.

I'd like to think there's validity in today's horoscope - and often I think by reading something in a horoscope we can choose to make it happen to varying degrees. The power of our thoughts is our great untapped resource. Anything that gives us pause, makes us think, is worthwhile. Oh no... I'm sorry but I feel a little of that ol' time religion comin' on!

When I don't feel well I like to comfort myself with movies. I particularly find horror movies distracting. Not slasher-flicks, but suspense, ghost stories or good sci-fi. I rented and watched Jesus Camp yesterday.

Oh golly-gee, can you guess where I'm going with this?

That is a serious horror flick.

The separation of church and state ensures our right to openly practice whatever spiritual beliefs we choose. The fact that the current administration is supported by the Christian Right is, clearly, a threat to that freedom and it scares me. A LOT.

The idea that one very vehement, very judgemental group has such influence on government is simply terrifying. The Spanish Inquisition as just one example of what has happened in the past.

The idea that we are truly free to practice the religions or spiritual beliefs of our choice in this country is still really just an ideal when there are groups who are actively fighting to 'take control for Jesus'. I'd be less afraid to sit alone in a dark room watching a triple feature of Evil Dead, The Exorcist and The Ring than I was watching this documentary in the daylight... with a big dog next to me.

The fact is that though we may want to dismiss the fear of a 'religious take-over' as something that could never happen here it could.

A tiny (and I do mean TINY) but still shudder-worthy example of what can happen when your beliefs are in the minority happened to me in college. Wanna hear? Okay.

I transferred into a women's college catholic college in my Junior year (please, long story - I wanted to make women friends). Actually they had become a non-ecumenical college by the time I was attending - so you did not have to be a Catholic to attend. Which was good as I had dropped Catholicism more than a decade before. Of course it was still predominately Christian, Catholic in particular - c'mon, we had nuns there! The point is that religion was supposedly no an issue any longer - it helped with their funding. In fact it was in the process of admitting men (only to the weekend commuter college though!) as well so it was certainly 'keeping up with the times'. Uh-huh.

Well. As I mentioned above: I enjoy Astrology. More so when I was younger than now, but still. When I packed off to school I took every single book I owned. Yes, I really did. Every single one. And the ones that were of particular interest to my friends were the books on astrology. "Can you tell if he likes me - should I date a Libra?" You know shit like that. So we had fun with the books.

I had been randomly assigned a roommate that first year. I had vivid fantasies of my new roommate and I becoming the best of friends - oh yeah that was so not going to happen. See, this woman was as opposite me as is possible. And she was a Born-Again Christian. She'd masturbate loudly in the closet (no lie) and then come out and read the bible for hours sitting at her desk. No comment.

Any way... here's silly me thinking 'religious freedom' 'freedom of speech' etc. My friends would come over, we'd look up info on their signs, and then off to lunch. You know, no big. While the roommate would ignore us (sweet) and continue reading the bible.

I never pulled out the Tarot in front of her, I thought it might offend her for sure and I was being respectful. Well, she gave me no such respect in return. In fact she went to the R.A. of our dorm and reported me for - get this now: BEING A WITCH. She didn't say Wiccan, nor Pagan: WITCH. Old-school, heretic to be burned at the stake-style witch.

Yeah. Because of Astrology. Because of BOOKS.

Welcome to religious freedom.

And guess which one of us got a stern talking to? Uh-huh. Good guess.

Of course I ignored it as TOTAL bullshit. And believe me, roomie and I never spoke again. Good thing I had a lifetime of practice living with people who believed in the silent treatment.

BUT not long after this a group of us began fooling around with a Ouija board. C'mon, college girls, please, of course we did! I'll tell you right now - if you have one of those things around DUMP IT, it's bad mojo and I advise against messing with 'em - another long story. Guess what happened because of THAT? Oh no, no 'talking to' for that. For the use of the Ouija board - in my own room, in private, when roomie was out (maybe masturbating in someone else's closet) the entire SCHOOL got a talking to.

Swear to GOD. (oops sorry)

Somehow 'rumors' of people using ouija boards had gotten to the administration. Oh HELLFIRE! So they got a priest in to give an attendance-mandatory lecture on demon possession, mind control, and the dangers of witchcraft - 'cause it's all anti-christian after all.
(fyi: the primary, and most important tenet of Wicca goes like this:
"Do as ye will, and harm ye none.".... sounds suspiciously like
"do unto others as you would have them do unto you" doesn't it. OOO- evil!)

For this I was killing myself working at Taco Bell to pay tuition? Well... I was young and stupid after all.

So all I'm saying is, you may think you have certain unalienable freedoms but there will always be someone just dying for the chance to persecute you for it. Someone who knows 'THE TRUTH' - you know, what's 'best for you.'

It's bad enough it happened to me in college; imagine if it happened to an entire country? You can get an idea of what would happen: read Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. Scary, scary stuff.

As for me, I like my horoscope today and I'm going with that. So there. Just call me a Witch.

1 comment:

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

I've thought about renting Jesus Camp but I know it would bother me too much to watch it.

I went to a fundamentalist Baptist school during my middle school years. I had to wear dresses that came down to at or below the knees. The girls had seperate gym from the boys and even then we were not allowed to wear pants or shorts, we had to wear culottes (I kid you not). Oh and we had chapel every Wednesday.

The Handmaid's Tale is a great book!