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The Political and Religious Views of a Not Quite Normal Citizen of the Greatest Country in the World

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

My World View – Concentric Circles

For the new year I thought that I’d share my religious world view with all of you.  I’m going to start with the importance I place on people/needs/etc.  The basic idea behind this is that those that are closer to me are more important that those I don’t know, or don’t know very well.  Think of this as a series of concentric circles (hence the title) radiating outward.  The further from the center, the less importance I place on it.  Here’s my breakdown:

1.       Kith & Kin – These are my family (Kin), regardless of what number/removed they are from me.  Be they blood relations or married relations, these are my family and the most important people in my life.  Also on this level are my Kith, those friends of mine that are as close as if they were my family.

2.       Tribe/Kindred – People here are tied to me through Oaths and share a common connection to the Gods and wights.  Currently I am not part of any group like this, but I was and I hope to be again in the future.

3.       Friends – People who I know and trust, but are not as close as Kith.  Most people here I have known for years, but some can get here pretty quick.

4.       Community – People that work and live in my town.  Neighbors are very important to me, since we have to live near one another, so I make it a point to help out when I can.

Now we’re getting into bigger geographical subsets, and I’m going to be specific to New Jersey, since that’s where I live and it’s what I know.  I’m sure there are breakdowns like this where you live.

5.       County – The needs of the people in my county are definitely more important to me that those of another county, and that’s because it affects my family and community more.

6.       State – The great state of New Jersey, for all its flaws, is where I choose to live and it’s more important to me than the other states in the Union.

7.       Region – The North East isn’t just a collection of states, it’s also intertwined via roads, power grids, economy, etc, and I’m a part of that.

8.       Country – As it says on the sub-title to this page, I believe that the United States is the greatest country in the world, and it definitely has my loyalty over any other.

9.       Continent – North America is my home, and the fate of Canada, Mexico and all the rest will eventually trickle down to the US.

10.   Planet – Do I really need to say more?

Since we don’t have any proof of anything beyond out little ball of blue and green, I’m going to stop here.  Needless to say, Earth trumps Mars when we finally get to colonization.

If you look at this list, it probably makes sense to you, but then it might not.  I know that my wife has a bit of a hard time with it, since she keeps trying to tell me which celebrity is getting divorces or having a baby or whatever.  Sorry, but that’s down at #8 (if it makes the list at all), which means I have much more important things to worry about.  This is also why I shoveled a parking spot for my neighbors after the most recent snow storm.  They weren’t home and were going to need a place to park when they did get home.  I didn’t do it for any reward or even a thank you, it’s that they’re part of my community (and elderly) and I was out there anyway.

Next time I’ll go into my views on the interactions between mortals and the rest of the universe.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

I'm Doing It Wrong

Not something you hear too often is it?  Someone telling you that they are knowingly doing something incorrectly.  Still, I am practicing being a Heathen the wrong way.  At least, wrong in how I believe it should be practiced.  You see, I am a solitary Heathen.  True my wife and daughter are there for the rites, but my wife is a Protestant and my daughter is too young to know what she wants to be, so I am, technically, the only Heathen in my household.  While that's not unusual, I do think that it is the wrong way to do it.

The Heathen religion, in my opinion, is meant to be practiced as part of a group.  The main reason that I feel this way is the way I was brought into the religion, which is through a Theod, or Tribe, where the Gods are approached as a group, while the Wights and Ancestors are approached on a family basis.  That just makes sense to me.  The Gods are a bit on the busy side, what with trying to forestall Ragnarok and all, and they really don't have time to deal with individuals.

"So why don't you just join a group?" you ask.  Well, that's complex.  You see, the group I was a part of dissolved and the main person that got me into it is in another group.  However, that group is located a bit far out of my comfort zone as far as travel goes.  I my view, any group that I am a part of would be convenient for my family, and not require special preparations for average get togethers.  As far as a new group goes, I haven't been out to discover is there are any Theods in my area, and if there are then there's the whole joining process that I would have to go through again.  Nothing bad, mind you, but I'm getting close to 40 and I don't know if I want to do that at this point in my life.

So, until something happens to make it change, I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing, even if it's wrong, because it's better than not doing anything.