Faith and action in troubled times

The Christian Bible has an interesting verse in Second James 2:26 —  For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. And with the current political climate in the United States, the verse is also applicable to those of us who follow the various polytheistic religions.

Earlier this week, I went to my local blood bank to donate either plasma or platelets by apheresis (the reason that it was either/or was that I was going to let the blood bank decide what they had a greater need for at the time I went). Despite that when I went, my arm vein refused to co-operate with the procedure, I consider the ACT to be an offering to the Gods because Hellenic Polytheism is ideally an orthopraxic faith. Tomorrow, I am planning to attend a rally in my city supporting Muslim communities in the United States who are in turmoil and in a state of panic due to Executive Orders that have been interpreted to exclude even permanent LEGAL residents from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US.

Why am I doing this? Why am I bringing my daughter to it? Because I believe that the VALUES enshrined in the US Constitution are important, and that targeting one minority religion endangers the freedom of other minority religions to safely practice our faiths.

This event is specifically for showing support to our Muslim neighbors. Let’s come together and find ways to support our neighboring Muslim organizations and families alike. Let’s learn about their culture and plan how we can best protect them in the years to come.

**We WILL accommodate an Asr prayer during our event led be a local Imam.** For those of you who lack knowledge about the Muslim community and culture, this will be a learning experience and we will gently guide you through what to do if you encounter Muslims praying in public. Our job is to offer protection and respect, just as you would to anyone praying. This rally will be educational, so don’t fret that you don’t know what to do as of yet.

Make your boldest signs, prepare your loudest voices, and bring your warmest hugs. Our neighbors are in danger and we need to show solidarity in support. As always, this will be a peaceful, family-friendly event.

I know that many people are upset and angry about the actions being taken from the Right-Wing people in the current administration. Our best responses are to organize peacefully, in peaceful marches, phone banking to our representatives, and to VOTE in all of the elections we are eligible for. Violent protests only serve to undermine our group efforts. On the individual level, we can volunteer our time. I donate blood, and plan to volunteer either with my local food bank or with Planned Parenthood.

Offerings of items without the offering of “ritual” time — in my opinion — does not serve the Gods we honor.

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