Voting to Make A Difference

Get America Back on Track!

Magick is probability enhancement; and voting is shifting the probabilities in your favor.

2020 is also a Presidential election year, and the stakes have never been higher! So a concrete project for the inauguration of this Vision is a major drive to get all Pagans registered to vote. We need to have voter registration tables at all Pagan gatherings, conventions, festivals, Pagan Pride events, etc.—as well as encourage all Pagan churches, covens, groves, nests, hearths, circles, trads, schools, clans and kindreds to get all their people registered. We have absolutely no intention of telling anyone who to vote for (we trust you to figure that out for yourself!). We just want all our people to vote!

2020 Pagan Festivals having voter registration tables:

Starwood 40 (Wisteria, OH, 7/7-13) http://www.rosencomet.com/starwood/ Thank you for the voter registration information. I am going to bring it to our meeting Sunday so we can get a plan going on how to make it happen at Starwood XL. -Nancy Mitchell, A.C.E. Programming Coordinator 

Pagan Pride Day (Dayton, OH, 9/19) http://ppd.daytonpagancoalition.org/ We will be sure to have an area for registering voters. I’m hoping we can go all out and have a volunteer or city assistance with a voter drive. -Luna Eclypse, PPD Program Director

Pagan Numbers

So how many of us are there? Recent surveys have found that the number of people identifying as “Pagan” is about the same as those identifying as “Wiccan:”

“The United States Census Bureau’s American Community Survey … found 342,000 Wiccans and 340,000 Pagans in the United States in 2008.” (American Religious Identification Survey, Trinity College, 2013 https://commons.trincoll.edu/)

Based on this and subsequent surveys, Religioustolerance.org provides a more current estimate. Oddly, however, they conflate all modern Pagans under the generic category of “Wicca” rather than “Paganism,” as should be the case:

  • We conclude that the best estimate we can make, based on inadequate hard data, is that the number of Wiccan [i.e. Pagan] adults in the U.S. had increased from 602,000 in 2008 to two million by the end of 2015. If one were to include teens, which religious surveys generally don’t, we estimate over three million [Pagan] practitioners were active in the U.S. by mid-2018!
  • This number is believed to be significantly lower than the actual value because many [Pagans] would probably be among the 5.4% of respondents who refused to reveal their religion in the 2008 ARIS study. Also, as noted elsewhere, many [Pagans] probably do respond to a polling question but give a wrong answer.
  • (http://www.religioustolerance.org/estimated-number-of-wiccans-in-the-united-states-7.htm)

So, with three million practitioners as of 2018, modern Paganism (including Wicca) is now the second-largest religion in the United States after Christianity (70.6 million in 2014, dropping by one percentage point per year), and the fastest growing in terms of percentage! (In 2014, there were 1.9 million Jews, 0.9 million Muslims, 0.7 million Buddhists, and 0.4 million Hindus in the US.) This is a significant constituency; we need to inform political candidates that there are a lot of us—and we vote! Put this on all your posts: #iampaganandivote

They win when we think we are alone. But we’re not alone; we are many!

Star Wars episode 9: “The Last Jedi”

It should also be noted that in 2014 there were 15.8 million “NOTAs” (no particular religious affiliation). This number is increasing almost one percentage point a year. That same year, Agnostics were numbered at 4.0 million, and Atheists at 3.1 million. Many of these people could potentially identify as “Pagan” if they were presented with the option.

2020 Politics

We might consider inviting candidates for public office to make appearances next year at Pagan gatherings, conventions, rallies, Pagan Pride events, etc. to answer our questions and convince us we should vote for them. When they realize just how many of us there are, they will have to consider our concerns.

Along those lines, this would be a good time to canvass our Pagan community to develop and circulate a unified “Platform” of our collective political agenda. Various Pagan organizations, Projects and Alliances have in fact done just that over the past half-century, especially in conjunction with the Parliament of the World’s Religions. We can compare these and come up with an agreeable synthesis over the coming months.

This is a unique opportunity for Pagan conferences and festivals—such as Pantheacon, Paganacon, Starwood, PSG, etc. to adopt this common rallying theme for next year: “The 2020 Vision: Awakening a New Cycle.” As we did with the Harmonic Convergence in 1987, we will need to create powerful rituals and Events around the world for this… “The Awakening!”

Anthems can be Isaac Bonewits’ defiant song, “We Just Say ‘no!’” with its ardent refrain, “Never again The Burning!” Also his stirring “Avalon is Rising!” And of course, Gwydion Pendderwen’s classic: “We Won’t Wait Any Longer!”

8 Reasons Why Pagans Should Vote

October 20, 2016 Sam Shryock (Original Post)

  1. Because Voting is Very Pagan! Voting is an ancient Pagan tradition. Apathy, on the other hand, is a modern invention – it suits those in power very well indeed, but it dis-empowers you!

2. Because Many Do Not Believe your Religion Counts. A Public Policy Polling (PPP) national survey conducted between February 20th and February 22nd 2016 of Republican voters, found that an astonishing 57 percent of Republicans want to dismantle the Constitution, and establish Christianity as the official national religion. Only 30 percent oppose making Christianity the national religion. (https://goo.gl/B7txIS) If you don’t vote, other people are going to make the decisions for you. There are people out there who hate us, and who want to take away our rights and freedoms. They are organized, they are active, and they vote. What about you?

3. Because Voting Honor Our Ancestors. Citizens may take their right to vote for granted, but it wasn’t truly that long ago when entire swaths of the population ― like women ― were denied that right. Women gained suffrage in 1919, meaning the grandmothers of many not-voting millennials were alive during a time when they were prohibited from casting a ballot. Since the era of women’s suffrage, African-Americans, Asians, Latinos and Native Americans have all faced obstacles to voting at various times (and plenty of the issues are still ongoing). Accessibility issues continue to disenfranchise citizens with disabilities of every age and race.

4. Because Pagans Are Encouraged to Have Strong Opinions. If nothing else, voting is a license to justifiably complain about your elected officials. Your grievances will carry more weight if you speak out as a voter trying to hold your candidates accountable for promises they made. “Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the people and burn their behinds, then they will have to sit on their blisters.” – Abraham Lincoln

5. Because Lighting a Candle Isn’t Enough. Voting is where the magical meets the mundane, where we take our intentions and put them into action. Ever wonder why nearly three-quarters of the American public supports raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, but Congress refuses to act? There are many reasons, of course, but at least part of the answer lies in the fact that many Americans who support those policies do not bother voting. Nearly 80 percent of people with yearly incomes of $75,000 or higher voted in the 2012 election, compared to just 60 percent of those earning less than $50,000 a year. By age, voter participation of older Americans eclipses that of those under 30.

6. Because the Personal is Political. The Federal and State government decides who gets to benefit from the tax dollars we all pay. Politicians control these purse strings, and they hand down money from above for things like collage loans, animal shelters, libraries, breast cancer research, and more. Make sure that the causes and services you care about get funded. Referenda on the ballot can also make a major difference where citizens decide on the issues that can most directly affect you including public school control, marijuana legalization, gun control, and discrimination laws.

7. Because “As Above, So Below” is also true in politics. It’s not just the President on the ballot. How much the next president can do depends on whether his or her party controls either the Senate or the House. The consequences of ignoring congressional races can reverberate for years through the appointments of Supreme Court judges or the gerrymandering of congressional districts in order to maintain control. Then there are the other important state and local officeholders on the ballot.

8. Because We Want “No Taxation Without (Equal) Representation.” Although the 114th Congress is hailed as the most diverse Congress in history with more women and minorities than ever before, it still does not very representative. Our current Congress is 80% white (US population is 12 percent African Americans, 9 percent Hispanics, and 3 percent Asian/Pacific Islanders and other groups), 80% male (US population is 51% female), and 92% Christian (Pew research found 71% of American identified as Christian in 2014). This is further skewed because the Republicans control both houses of Congress, but the majority of the non-white and women lawmakers are Democrats. Then you can find further lack of diversity in income, occupations, education and other demographics. If you want a representative government, then you need to vote one in.