Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Pagan Invocation

In the Town of Greece vs. Galloway decision, the Supreme Court allowed religious invocations at the start of government meetings, but only so long as the content of those invocations did not discriminate against minority religions. Recently a Florida Pagan named David Suhor was selected to give the invocation at the Board of County Commissioners for Escambia County, and he chose to perform what may be the best Calling of the Quarters that I've ever heard, shown in the video above.

Here’s the first stanza of his lovely song (the rest of the lyrics are in the YouTube video description):

     Hail, Guardians of the Watchtowers of the East,
     Powers of Air! We invoke. and call you
     Golden Eagle of the Dawn, Star-seeker, Whirlwind
     Rising Sun! Come!
     By the air that is Her breath,
     Send forth your light, Be here now!

Oh my god, I love it. This is what the Supreme Court decision has wrought.

But as the Patheos article goes on to report, not everyone was pleased with Suhar's beautiful invocation.

One of the commissioners wasn’t happy about it at all.

Wilson Robertson, a Christian, walked out before Suhor even began, telling a reporter, “I’m just not going to have a pagan or satanic minister pray for me.”

Welcome to our world, Robertson!

Suhor’s reason for delivering that particular invocation was brilliant:

“In a way I would like for other people to experience what it’s like when I go to a meeting and am asked to pray against my conscience.”

Suhar went on to explain that he actually does not support religious invocations to open meetings, and would instead prefer a nonsectarian moment of silence. But I disagree. I don't think that religious expressions need to be driven from the public square, and furthermore allowing those of all traditions to deliver invocations like this helps to remind everyone that we live in a pluralistic society that includes many different faiths - so long as it can be handled in a non-discriminatory way.

There are always going to be a few stick-in-the-mud jerks like Robertson, but I also can't help wondering if at least a few the folks present might have thought, "Hey, that was pretty cool. Maybe these Pagans aren't so sinister after all." And I have to say, I would love to go up there as a Thelemite and open one of these with an impassioned reading of Liber Israfel.

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Imago said...

My Word is accomplished every day!
And the desire of my heart realises itself, as that of Ptah when He createth!

Scott Stenwick said...

Yeah! Wouldn't that be awesome?