Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pagans Respond to Japan's Plight

People often ask me, how can I, as a Pagan, help in the case of catastrophes like earthquakes, in a way that shows we also share concern for the commonweal? We normally join with mainstream relief organizations and support them with our dollars. This is great. But it doesn't show us in a more distinct and identifiable way as Pagans. That shouldn't matter, but the fact that we are often misunderstood and outright discriminated against gives such a public stance importance.

Further, in my interfaith work I encounter groups that have very strong presence in specific areas of service. For instance, my friends the Dominican Sisters have a Social Justice Committee that does such things as antiwar activism and protesting state executions. We Pagans are not mature enough as a movement to have created much in the way of such institutions. I don't mean that as a criticism, but as a fact; we simply have not been around that long nor have we created much in the way of lasting institutions. For that matter, many Pagans do not see this (creating institutions) as important or valuable. That's a discussion for another time.

In the wake of the devastation that Japan has suffered and continues to suffer, my friend Peter Dybing, who as a first responder himself knows a thing or ten about disaster relief, has initiated Pagan Japan Relief project to raise funds for Doctors Without Borders. We Pagans -- you and me and our friends and colleagues -- can make a statement while making a difference. Please contribute what you can at Pagan Community FirstGiving.

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