30-Day Devotional for Loki: Day 13

Question: What modern cultural issues are closest to Loki’s heart? 

This is a difficult question for me, as I personally think that the gods are busy in their own world, dealing with the problems that arise there. The cultural issues that we have facing us in our own societies are human-crafted and, therefore, need human solutions. I try not to mix my religion with my politics, although others may feel differently.

That said, I think that if Loki were to tackle any of the cultural issues here in America, he might start with the issue of trans erasure. The attempts to remove the right of transgendered individuals to serve in the military, to keep them from having families, to even have the right to feel safe simply because they do not conform to society’s standards of gender. These are things that I think Loki would view as worth changing, and it is, then, no wonder that so many nonbinary and trans individuals end up honoring Loki, as he is the Norse god that best embodies individuality and the right to exist as you are.

I also think that he would help put an end to the detention centers on the U.S.-Mexico border that have become little more than modern-day concentration camps for children. The rampant abuse enacted there is terrible and rage-inducing, and with the love that  Loki has for children, I cannot imagine him condoning what is happening on our borders.

That being said, I think that Loki is already present in the U.S. in a large way – I think that he is the one that has helped bring all the issues to light. There is a huge amount of turmoil across the U.S. as the illusions of safety and care that we once held about our government have been casually stripped away. The U.S. is supposed to be a country run by its people, but it has become a company run by the wealthy, with the people forgotten or left on the wayside to contend with meager handouts.

The U.S. may be a first-world country, but that is only true for the elite citizens in this particular eon. The middle class has dwindled down to near non-existence, and there is more poverty in this country than those outside it will ever know. I live in a town where the income gap between the richest and the poorest is over a 75% margin, where the average yearly income of a local resident rests between $8,000 and $12,000 (well below the poverty line) while the richest people here make well over six figures a year. The local income is so low that most residents cannot even afford housing, so they are forced to pool incomes and live in houses sometimes shared with two or three other families.

Because of having grown up in this area and having witnessed this kind of poverty so close by, it has shaped some of my own views on who we need to help as a country. The U.S. is often lauded as the country for other countries to turn to due to the financial excess the state holds – but that financial excess is doing nothing for its citizens. So, when other people around me say that we need to be helping starving children in other countries, I tell them that needs to come after we help the starving children in our own. There is a hunger epidemic in the U.S. that is rarely discussed or just brushed off, as if the country cannot afford to admit that its children are starving. The worst part about it? There’s no reason for it – the U.S. produces so much excess food every year it could feed the world without much effort, and yet so much of that excess food gets thrown away or tossed out – for no real reason. 

So, which issues do I think are culturally closest to Loki’s heart? The ones that involve children suffering, whether it is because they do not have food, they are abused in detention centers (and foster homes, let’s not forget that), or they are trans and do not have the right to feel safe simply existing in this world.

There are a lot of problems in this country, and all of them are reflected in the way we treat our children and our youth.

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