As has recently come to light, the New Apostolic Reformation movement, ringleaders of the extremist DC40 event, have sent an open letter to the pagan community. Text can be found here.
Now I admit that my first thought, reading it, was, “What a load of crap!” But upon reading it the rest of the way through, I realized that there are some deeply wrongheaded ideas in the letter that need to be addressed.
First, the Pagan community is NOT trying to curse the NAR. To the best of my knowledge, even those who are directly involved against the DC40 event are only trying to counter what they see as an attack on this country by religious extremists. This isn’t about bringing “light to the darkness.” This is an attack on all ideologies but their own, because they believe that there should BE no other religions. We don’t have the right to exist, apparently. But here’s the thing: we do. That’s the thing about the Constitution (rather than the Bible) as the supreme law of the United States–no matter how many fundamentalist nutjobs manage to worm their way into government, said government still has no legal standing to dictate personal religious beliefs.
Because we are not Christians, we do not view the Bible as authoritative, but rather as another religious text from a religion we don’t follow, just like the Torah, the Qur’an, and whatever other sacred text one might name. So we’re not going to “remember” any particular biblical concept that one points out to us; the reference is meaningless, as is the phrase quoted. The light of every man? What does that even mean? Some dead Jewish guy wants all the dudes to himself? Do the guys not get any choice in the matter? And what about the women, he doesn’t want us? (That’s OK with me–I don’t want any more to do with NAR’s radical Christianity than I do with the 9/11 attackers’ radical brand of Islam.)
“We call you to your right mind through the finished work of the cross.” I call the authors of this letter to their right minds through the power of psychotherapy and basic fifth-grade civics. If there were any real evidence to suggest that they were on to something, I’d certainly consider it. But the thing is, the Bible has nothing to do with the basis of the American government; in fact, the intent of the framers of the Constitution can be clearly seen both in the First Amendment’s religion clause and in Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli, which was ratified unanimously by the Senate (at a time when many of the members of the Senate were also men who had been part of the Constitutional Convention) and signed by President John Adams in 1797. Remember that? No? “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen,—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.” (The bolding is mine; the wording, very much that of the founding fathers.)
“We release the power of blood-covered light over you.” Again, what does that even mean? Basic physics. Light is energy, not matter. Thus it has no physical substance TO cover in blood. Can’t be done. I’m reminded of newbie Wiccans who don’t have a clue what they’re doing, who think that bad poetry is all that’s required for a spell.