Recently, a small, family-owned restaurant here in central North Carolina was intimidated into canceling a special event they had planned. Based on their experiences at similar offerings in New York, they had planned to offer a special dinner and Tarot reading night.
But some local fundamentalists got wind of these plans, and immediately sent a committee-appointed spokesperson who utterly blasted them for even considering such an event. She threatened them, promising, “We will ruin you!” With, what the owner described as a chilling smirk on her face, she also warned that they would have their children spread the word in school that the restaurateurs were, “serving the work of Satan.”
Dealing with people so sure of their moral superiority, yet so lacking in love, tolerance, or compassion is very difficult. Not to mention simply having their facts straight! It is almost impossible to reason with people who take this kind of position, because the foundation of their belief is deliberately not reasonable or educated. They relish themselves as soldiers and martyrs for their beliefs. They are at war with everyone who does not agree with them.
Why are they so afraid?
We might ask, why not? Fear is the hottest commodity on the market today, and its bitter fruit is hopelessness. Like the apathetic couple in The Devil card, the constant barrage of fear eventually numbs us, and becomes so all-pervasive, we can barely discern it.
So who is The Devil? Who is the Beast who enslaves us, who breaks our will to the point that, like in this card, we’ve surrendered our very power to change? What do we believe about intentional evil at work in the world?
As we begin the first week of Summer, when there is the least darkness on the land, we have an important reminder to pay attention to Shadow. This week, we have an opportunity to examine how our fears drive us, hurt others, sabotage our dreams, and silence us into despair.
This week, we can be equally as ignorant, intolerant and self-righteous as fundamentalists of every stripe. Or we can choose awareness, even though it might sometimes be uncomfortable. Like the couple in the Devil card, our chains are loose, and we only need wake up, and act on our own behalf, in order to be free once more.