Don't get me wrong, it's been a great experience, but we're just now getting down to the big stuff and it's starting to wear on me. Probably due in part that I'm really much closer to being a Pagan than a Christian (certainly by the Bible-belt standards surrounding me I am). But thankfully I've managed to find myself in a group of free-thinking, inclusive, mostly-liberal, wacko Episcopalians who think that church isn't for sitting and watching, its for going and doing. And by going and doing I don't mean converting and condemning. I mean feeding and clothing and that kind of thing. "Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable" as one of our associate priests says. And I like that. And so for a NearPagan I spend a lot of my time at church and have recently spent a tremendous amount of time looking for a new priest.
I had an epiphany not too long ago that the person I want to be my priest needs to have the same basic qualities that I want in my president. A big revelation for the person who throws herself to the floor in a fit at the slightest violation of church and state separation.
When it comes down to it, what I want is a person
- who is of any gender, ethnicity, age, culture, etc., etc., etc.
- who is patriotic and faithful but doesn't use the flag or religious text as a weapon or a license for exclusion and oppression.
- who doesn't have to be the smartest person in the room, but does need to be a critical thinker, an articulate speaker, and get competent people to help and advise.
- who doesn't need to solve all of my problems or the world's problems, but needs to work hard for justice and peace however and whenever possible.
- who doesn't need to agree with me about everything, but does need to be compassionate, a consensus-builder, and respect my rights and beliefs.
- who makes me proud of my country / my religion.
In both instances, I know who I think that person should be. It's just the getting everyone else to agree part that I have to do now. I've done all I can do on the presidential end for the time being and for now I'm concentrating on the priest part.