Vanquishing debt

I promised a Facebook friend I would write a post about debt elimination, but the more I know, the harder it is to write just little bits about this topic, especially when it comes to writing about debt for Pagans, a group that tends to have strong feelings about money in general.

f72ae-fishing_for_moneyInstead, I think I need to against attempt to organize my thoughts into a cohesive series about debt.  Otherwise, I’m going to end up trying to mash bookkeeping, discipline, philosophy, morality, and economic theory into one long, rambling, hot mess.  Nobody wants that.

Here are the topics I intend on covering in this series.  I will shamelessly edit this post to reorder this list, eliminating and adding items wantonly, and even correcting the inevitable spelling misteak.

  1. TPW’s debt story
  2. Budgeting
  3. Animism
  4. Acting in accordance
  5. Consequences of debt
  6. Voluntary vs involuntary debt
  7. Debt and the money shrine
  8. Debt and discipline

This is a series I’d wanted to write for Witches and Pagans, but never got around to starting.  Please join me if you’re interested in applying your own will and other tools to relieving some or all of your own debt burden.

An evangelical argument for polytheism

This story about Larycia Hawkins, the political science professor placed on administrative leave from Wheaton College after deciding to wear hijab during Advent, has lots of layers and nuance to it.  The part that caught my attention is the tacit acknowledgement of polytheism that’s embedded in the justification for that leave.


When I write that Hawkins was placed on leave after deciding to express solidarity with Muslims by means of her style of dress, it’s a mindful choice of words.  Whether or not anyone believes it to be so, the official reason given for putting the professor on the sidelines was theological, rather than being tied to what she was wearing.


I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book. And as Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God.

That assertion — the they worship the same god — “appear to be in conflict with the College’s Statement of Faith,” according to the continually-editing press release on the incident.  While there are followers of all the Abrahamic faiths who agree with this concept, it’s apparently not entirely in keeping with the college’s official statement of faith, which is based upon the concept of “one sovereign God, eternally existing in three persons,” which description Allah does not appear to fit.

What the statement lacks — and several of the evangelical ministers and scholars I’ve heard comment also skirt this issue — is a reminder that, under a monotheistic worldview, any being who is worshiped but is not the designated one true god is instead a false god.  That’s probably a good move, as such a proclamation is bound to stir up a lot more stuff than anyone at Wheaton cares to taste.  On the other hand, it presents an interesting pickle:  if Allah is not the same deity as the tripartite god of the evangelicals, and Allah is also not a false god, the only other alternative is a polytheistic one.

Avowed monotheists, desperately trying to back away from the political and cultural implications of identifying with the terrifying other that is Islam, finding themselves caught between starting a religious war and ignoring one of the fundamental tenets of their own faith.  That’s pretty interesting, if you ask me.

I can’t wait to see what the next chapter in this sage brings.  I feel I may be smelling what those Minute Men must have smelled when the first shot was fired near North Bridge.

The gift

Stranger at my door
knocking softly in the night
and no bearing of the boor
for in this, he sees no slight.

What for you break my sleep
and security of home?
When close my eyes I must,
must I not in slumber roam?

In the chillest, darkest hour,
to throw the bolt is folly.
May I summon for you aid?
And for what do you sound jolly?

If a gift you truly bear,
then leave it on the stoop.
I’ll not have you pushing in
and provide the local scoop!

Yet, your voice puts me at ease —
all while my hackles rise.
My home is fortress for my loves,
not made to shelter fools and wise!

A longing stirs down deep
memories glimpsed from afar . . .
no way to treat a traveller
nor the human spirit mar.

Come in, and take your shelter
come inside, with gift so bright;
I’ll stir the embers in the hearth
and we’ll be warm against the night.