Do Unto Others...

...or, um, don't?

by Flicker

Self-sacrifice: Is this not the very foundation of the Christian religion? I find it sadly disturbing that those who would have me conform to their righteous ways would so flippantly overlook the essence of the institution that shelters them.

For quite some time now, I have watche a dear friend of mine struggle to develop his ideals beyond the cookie-cutter truths of his mother's faith. He will soon be eighteen, and (if only legally) "free at last". Unfortunately, there is no magic number which entitles him to respect.

An example: I recently traveled to the graduation ceremony of another close friend. My car has been permanently classified as a roadside sculpture, so I rode with an acquaintance who happened to be going to the same place. My friend was only an hour-and-a-half away from the town that weekend, so he offered to give me a ride home ... even though his car had recently been in the shop. The water pump had been replaced, but he was told that the car should run reliably.

It was a few minutes past ten in the morning when the police car pulled into the driveway. My friend's vehicle had broken down a little over halfway through the trip. A state trooper gave him $20 and a ride the rest of the way. Another kind soul gave us both a ride home. We were blessed with warm, sunny weather ... and our safety. The trouble? According to his mother, the car breaking down was clearly some sort of "punishment" for being disobedient unto the "Lord God's Will". How, you ask?

1.My friend should have known that his mother would not have approved of him driving the car anyplace "unnecessary" when it might still have problems.

2.(The real reason) Because of what she perceives to be my beliefs, she has declared me an "enemy of her God". Thus, any attempt her son makes to associate with me must clearly be in direct conflict with "her God's Will". She has specifically stated that she will not support any relationship between her son and myself, and that as long as he chooses to keep me as a part of his life, she will not support him. (Ouch.)

Again I ask: Is not self-sacrifice the essence of the Christian religion? Do the scriptures not encourage their followers to help their brothers and sisters in need, regardless of personal cost? Why would my friend be "punished" for this? We need to look no further than Jesus of Nazareth, who gave his life and love unquestioningly, even as he hung dying amidst his persecutors. Or, look to the night of his birth: Do we glorify the innkeepers who turned away Mary and Joseph? Of course not.

It saddens my heart to see a culture so intent on intolerance and judgement. These are not the qualities I want branded into the minds of my children. As long as our society focuses on the narcissism, exclusion, and degradation rather than simple acceptance and love, we will continue to self-destruct. Therein lies your Satan, Mrs._________" not our beliefs, but your hatred of them.

*Intro from the Senior Editor: Starlight Voices is proud to add the "The Green Life" column to the newsletter. It's focus is on our environment. This subject covers things from environmental protection to nature's remedies. So with that we'll turn this section over to the column's editor, Dragonraven.

Back in the times when pagan religions dominated the globe, there was a lot of stress, a lot of sickness, a lot of headaches, and sad to say, not a lot of preprocessed geltabs to cure these problems. The people centuries ago had to use leaves, roots and flowers as-is, and that was that. While some may say "I'd DIE without aspirin!" there may be the occasional event where you've left it at home, you've got a splitting headache, no one else has any, it's right before a big test, you're starting to see your own blood in the backs of your this a problem?
Because you realized that you just happened to have a small collection of assorted leaves and roots in your backpack (well, it COULD happen). And if you don't have them this time, you will next time cause I'm going to tell you what you can carry around with you. Hey, if nothing else...theses things wont violate the "no drug" policies at school. (Cause nothing is more annoying than getting saturday school for carrying a bottle of unauthorized Aleeve).

*Stressed out over a test or over friendship problems or over a ritual that you're afraid wont go right? Chamomile tea will help a LOT (believe me on this one. I've tried it.)

*If you get a splinter from your broom or other wooden object, comfrey leaf and calendula flowers will be like Neosporin. They can heal the cut quickly and relieve pain. (This will not work if you rub them on your temples for a headache. Nice try.)

*If you're sick all the time due to a weak or slow immune system, or if you're just recovering from something, use astragalus. It can strengthen the immune system (which, for those of you who don't know, is the system that your body uses to fight disease).

*If you've got a cold that you want out and out NOW, echinacea root will shorten the virus's life span.

*And finally...if you have a headache (because of that big test) feverfew and meadowsweet herbs will take care of that for you.


P O L L ~ R E S U L T S

Poll commentary can be found on page 7 of thise issue. What do you think of the 'Media Witch'?

25% A. Hey they're the reason I began with Paganism
12% B. They disgust me. We need more of 'the truth' spread.
63% C. They're only meant to entertain, and so shouldn't effect our way of life.
0% D. Don't care either way
0% E. Other (please specify)

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