The Polytheist City Hall Candidate in Minnesota

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  August 7, 2014 — 6 Comments

Cara Schulz is a resident of Burnsville, Minnesota, and has decided to run for one of the two open seats on the Burnsville City Council. Like many small city councils across America, the election is non-partisan, meaning the primaries coming up later this month will simply winnow the field down to four candidates from the current seven, regardless of each candidate’s personal party affiliation. The public will then vote two candidates into office this November.

Oh, and did we mention that Cara Schulz is also a Hellenic Polytheist?

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Longtime readers of The Wild Hunt won’t be surprised at this news, after all, Cara is a staff reporter here now, and has been an active part of the larger Pagan community for several years. Here’s a brief excerpt from a piece she wrote about her faith for Patheos.com back in 2011.

“I ‘toss the barley’ and am humbly grateful to do so. I pour wine as a libation, the same as my ancestors did. I feel sacred Hestia in the flame that burns in my hearth and in my heart and I reap the benefits of my careful tending to the flame. I pray before my home altar, make offerings to the Agathos Diamons, and ask Hermes to guard me as I venture out of the protections of my home. There is a spiritual rhythm to my life that gives me great personal strength. My household worship practices, such as cleaning out the entire house and getting rid of all broken or wanted things each month on the Deipnon, improve the quality of life for all my family members. These ancient rituals have profound meaning that I would have missed if I had dismissed them as old and pointless.”

Schulz has also been active in politics for a long time, most notably, she was an active volunteer for Libertarian Presidential candidate Gov. Gary Johnson in 2012. Like Gov. Johnson, Schulz is liberal on social issues, and conservative on fiscal policy, or as she puts it “Socially Accepting and Fiscally Responsible.”

“Although Cara wants citizens more involved in local government, she feels government has become too involved in peoples’ personal lives and businesses. Her general rule is, ‘If you aren’t hurting or cheating anyone, and you’re doing it on your property, it’s none of the government’s business.'”

In a local paper’s candidate questionnaire, Schulz expanded on her political philosophy, and how it would affect locals in Burnsville.

“The townhome I live in had a pool rule of No Food Allowed, which residents ignored. There are two possible approaches. What city councils normally do — assume the problem lays with you and force compliance. Or what our association did — realize there’s no damage or injury so the problem was with the rule and eliminate it. I’ll bring the second, common-sense approach to the City Council because residents aren’t the problem, but the solution.”

Not backed by the Democratic or Republican parties in this race, Schulz faces an uphill battle to get her message out to voters, though she has received an endorsement from the Liberty Minnesota PAC, a libertarian-minded group that hopes to steer the Republican party toward their ideals.

“Cara is a dedicated liberty activist involved with a variety of causes in and around her city. Cara is an Air Force veteran who does a wonderful job covering a variety of policy topics on Youtube videos […] According to Cara’s responses on Liberty Minnesota’s candidate questionnaire, Cara is focused on removing or replacing: Building codes, nuisance laws and blue laws in Burnsville.”

As their endorsement points out, Schulz has been posting videos to Youtube where she discusses various issues as they relate to her political philosophy.

The primary election will be held on August 12th, and if she makes it to the final four, no doubt more endorsements, money, and scrutiny, will flow towards her campaign (such is the way with elections). We will keep you posted as things develop.

[Editorial note: The Wild Hunt is dedicated to documenting instances of Pagans, Polytheists, and other members of our broad religious movement engaging themselves in the political process. Coverage of a candidate should not be confused with endorsement, and The Wild Hunt will not make official endorsements in any political race. Here are some instances of us covering Pagan political candidates: Rev. Kathryn Jones, Lonnie MurrayDeirdre Wadding, Erin Lale, and Jessica Orsini, among others.]

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Jason Pitzl-Waters

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  • TPW

    I ran unsuccessfully for county legislature in 2011; it WAS a partisan election and I am not a member of the majority party. I’m watching this race with great interest and hope.

  • Crystal Hope Kendrick

    Interesting. Much luck, Cara, in the race.

  • Andi Houston

    THIS IS AWESOME. I was on livejournal with her back in the day, when it seemed like there were like five pagan libertarians in the country. Good luck Cara!!

  • James Bulls

    I used to vote Libertarian in North Carolina, but since then I’ve realized that if the government doesn’t ensure certain safety nets, they simply don’t get provided. Libertarian candidates make a lot of talk about how the private sector and volunteers are ready and willing to pick up all of a person’s needs, but as history has proven the private sector and volunteers in fact either do not provide these things, or else it all comes with a price that often results in staggering inequality.

    Ron Paul, for example, is probably the USA’s most (in)famous pro-Libertarian politician. Anybody remember Ken Snyder, his brilliant fundraiser who raised bajillions of dollars for his boss’s campaign? Well, he got sick with viral pneumonia and died. Ron Paul could have helped, and not even all on his own. He could have fundraised for his friend and asked any of an untold number of people to help. But he didn’t, and Ken Snyder died because nobody could be bothered to help him.

    Granted, I don’t know what the prognosis is for viral pneumonia, but it’s a powerful tell about the reality of Libertarian candidates that Ron Paul – who insists that volunteers can and will pick up where the private sector doesn’t (and who in turn will pick up where the government doesn’t) – did nothing for a man who practically made his campaign.

    I live in Ontario, Canada now, and I can’t adequately describe the relief I get from my socialized health care. Or the so called “baby bonus” for parents that they deposit every month. Or the paid maternity leave my wife took after she gave birth to my daughter. Or any of a number of other things that employers don’t want to pay. Yes, our taxes are higher in Canada than they are in the USA, but I think it’s a a better system. Cara seems like a great person, but if I lived in her district I don’t think I could vote for her.

    • Diomedes

      I do find myself wondering about how compatible Hellenismos is with modern libertarian philosophy. The concept of “the government should stay out of my everyday life” would have seemed fairly odd to the Ancient Hellenes, for whom the business of the polis and it’s government were a constant part of everyday life- even religious rites.

  • Willa Grant

    Please don’t use irregardless, it’s as bad a nuculer.