“Bless us with compassion and generosity – remembering that every religion’s God judges us by the way we care for the most vulnerable in the human community, whether across town or across the world.” – The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire, from his opening inaugural prayer.
Today America gets a new president. While a large number of modern Pagans voted for the man taking office, this blog does try to avoid taking partisan stances (like Obama, I don’t believe in a “conservative Paganism”, “liberal Paganism”, or even an “anarchist Paganism”, I just believe in a modern Paganism), so we’ll steer clear of anything that smacks of endorsement and instead concentrate on what an Obama administration could mean for us collectively.
Thinking about the next four years, I think of the iconic photo of Obama’s “lucky charms”. Sacred and secular items, military and civillian, Christian and non-Christian, monotheistic and non-monotheistic, all have a place, and all will affect his “luck” in the years to come. We must remember that the promise of America is a promise of equal opportunity and equal treatment, no matter what our religion, gender, race, orientation, or philosophy.
How will Obama treat modern Pagans and other minority faiths? While Pagans haven’t been thrilled with all of his initial decisions (and I haven’t been too thrilled with some of his pandering to conservative Christians), I do think that a man who grew up in a multicultural Hawaii, who was adopted into the Crow Nation, and who included a Hindu in the National Prayer Service may give us a reason to be hopeful about the future. We hope for an America that is truly inclusive for all Americans (or one, at the very least, not predisposed to work against us) no matter what their faith. This won’t come from Obama alone, but from all of us demanding real equality and working towards that goal together. I wish Obama and his new administration well, and look forward to the next four years of agreement, disagreement, coalition building, and spirited debate.