Heyo! I’m not dead! Or fallen into an internetless black hole. Sayeth what!
But for those who have fallen into an internetless black hole, Indiana passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Now, I am not a lawyer; I’ll stick to my science thank you very much, but I am engaged to one. And a lawyers favorite pastime is to debate the law with other lawyers. Between Teddy and his friends and the news, I think I have a pretty decent idea of what is going on.
The Indiana RFRA says that it there is a legal exemption to an anti-discrimination law if you have sufficient religious reason to discriminate. The thing is, no such anti-discrimination law exists in Indiana. It’s putting a solution out there for a problem that doesn’t exist, and it’s that kind of thing that sketches a lot of people out. It sketches me out, if I’m being completely honest.
Now why, out of all the cool topics I could talk about, am I focusing on this one? Because of this guy, Dusty Dionne. He was interviewed by the Raw Story, and some of his stuff kind of stuck in my craw a little bit. So let’s make a list.
First things first, Dionne is clergy at the Aquarian Tabernacle Church. Which is in the Pacific Northwest, not Indiana. It’s a relatively safe bet that Dionne is still living in that area, and also none of those states has a RFRA. So him making a commentary on it kind gets me grumpy. It’s like, what does he know about this really? I live in a state with an RFRA, if someone came in and told me how it was or how it was going to be I would get a bet grumpy.
Secondly, hoooooo boy. Do I really hope that he got a bitchy journalist because, well I’ll let the quote speak for itself. “For example, he explained, many Wiccans believe “that love is the law,” so while polygamous marriages are not a tenet of Wiccan theology, “whatever we want to do with marriage we can do. Carte blanche. If I want to marry a horse, I can marry a horse.'” This is wrong on 3 fronts.
- The first is, “Love is the law” comes from Crowley, and is a Thelemic concept Wiccans nabbed. This Love, isn’t about marriage. Love is the union between yourself and the Divine, and the Universal Will of the Divine is Love. This Love does not involve a horse.
- Marriages are contracts. Legally, marriages are entirely the realm of the government; and that isn’t going to change soon. He’ll just have to do what every other polycule has done, which is to find an arrangement that works for them and the government–whether it be one legally married pair, with several handfasted pairs around them or some other arrangement.
- Horses cannot give consent. And by throwing that comment into a roiling debate about religious rights and LGBT rights, he just did something incredibly stupid. He gave the decline-of-marriage pearl clutchers something to hold on to. Way to go him.
Thirdly and finally, he’s putting Pagans in a bad light. I get it. I really do, sometimes it’s frustrating as fuck to not be listened to, to be written off because of your religion, to be ignored. But you can’t rise to the bait and go Pagan Postal. You can’t dance nude on the Capitol steps. You can’t marry a horse. You can’t demand that you be something special with your rights regarding marriage. That’s not how it works. We must play the long game–patiently demonstrating that we are not something to fear or to demonize. That we are really perfectly normal people who pay their taxes and walk their dogs, and sometimes dance with flowers underneath a silver moon.