“You Can’t Be Poor If You Can Afford . . .”

. . . books, pets, a haircut, cosmetics, a hamburger, Chinese food, a DVD, clothes from a dollar store or thrift store, a gift on a holiday.

On this Easter Sunday morning, a lot of self-satisfied, false Christians, American evangelicals, are sitting in church preening. They’ll either go home to huge dinners or go out to eat. They’ll tithe in church, of course, because passing the collection plate is a huge see-me thing (my grandfather used to give me and my two sisters 50 cents each) but will they be charitable on Monday? Or Tuesday? Or next weekend?

Not a chance.

I have a big problem with American evangelicals, personally and generally. I live surrounded by them. I’ve tried to keep up superficial friendships with them just to get by, but I’ve had my life upended by one too many and now I’m done with them. They lie, dishonesty is second nature, they steal from the government (audit one at random) and they beat down the poor, relentlessly. They never made it out of the Old Testament. Where in the Bible did Jesus Christ say, “Pull yourself up by your bootstraps?” He didn’t even say, “God helps those who help themselves.” That phrase didn’t originate with Benjamin Franklin, either. Variations of it are found in ancient Greek writings and in the Quran.

American evangelicals voted for trump. American evangelicals have always looked down on the poor. Evangelicalism is heresy according to the Bible. But the sickness has spread from the U.S. South and Midwest to New England and the Northwest. It’s a virus. It spreads like measles from a child whose parents were to ignorant to vaccinate him or her.

This isn’t a happy Easter post. It’s not even a “Happy Holidays to everyone” post from a pagan. It’s a damned pissed off post from an American pagan who can barely look at her beloved patron saint, Mary Magdalene, on Easter, because of the bastardization of what it is to be poor in the U.S. The blasphemy committed by U.S. evangelicals.

I don’t “celebrate” Easter. My enduring fascination with Mary Magdalene brings me back to my Catholic childhood every Easter. I try to make a special dinner for my mom on Christian holidays. I bought an Easter gift for my mom. She didn’t know. She bought me Easter gifts. I didn’t know. But we’re because we’re poor we can’t exchange gifts . . . except that we refuse to bow to evangelicals and we’ll have gifts on every holiday, because we refuse to be trampled underfoot by bloated bleating trash.

My mom has been having a very rough time mentally, spiritually, and physically for the last three years. I’ve been sick with shingles for almost two months. I went on Etsy and bought a folk charm for my mom, a bundle of rowan sticks tied up with red cord. My mom knew I had been longing after two Barbies at Family Dollar for months, but I didn’t buy them because they were $10 each. On Saturday, she saw them on sale for half price. We spent almost the exact same amount on gifts for each other.

But we shouldn’t have. Because we’re poor and we should have spent that money on–

Get over it.

The working/fixed income poor in the U.S. have very little bright spots in our lives. The government is actively and gleefully dismantling all our social safety nets: food, healthcare, housing. We can’t seem to fight back. We really don’t expect to live out normal lifespans anymore. Really. After I got shingles, I looked into the price of the shingles vaccine for my mom. It’s $150, and on back order.

So we exchange gifts that the bloated wealthy evangelicals think we shouldn’t have because We’re Poor and I remain resolutely pagan, except for Mary Magdalene, who I consider a teacher at the very least and really, a goddess, lied about, spat upon, defamed, dehumanized by the church. Later I will sit with oracle cards in hand and see if she has anything to say to me.

Right now, I’m boiling more eggs for the potato salad.