There is a tendency to pooh-pooh Ancient Rome as an example of a society wild with slaves, drunken orgies, betrayal and backstabbing. In egregious cases such as Julius Caesar, it even involved front stabbing.
Just because the Romans made a few mistakes, we shouldn’t close our minds to everything Roman. For example, the Romans had household gods. We should adopt that approach. This is nothing against the God of Christianity, Judaism or Islam. Any god can use some help with the small stuff.
Consider — if we all cooperated and ran our government like reasonable adults, crime and poverty would go down while education and good hair would rise. That would give God time to deal with unexpected natural disasters like tsunamis, earthquakes and high Nielsen ratings for the Kardashians. In this scenario, God would be rested at night and ready to hear a few evening prayers.
But everything on Earth is a mess. The economy is tanking for the bottom 99 percent of us, cable news is on a religious vendetta to brainwash the citizenry and third-graders run the country.
If you add the messes humans create to natural disasters, how can one reasonably expect divine intervention for a teenage girl praying a pimple will disappear by Saturday night or her life will be ruined?
While important to us, God’s full capability is not required to resolve our petty problems. There are other solutions. I SAY we legalize pantheism and create a cadre of household gods. Here are some suggested candidates, starting with real Roman gods and goddesses.
Abeona is a protector of children. No need to pay a babysitter when Abeona’s on the job.
Adeona, sister of Abeona, is the goddess who guides children back home. An excellent escort for Halloween trick-or-treaters.
Fabulinus, is the god who teaches children to speak and is most often hired to withhold this gift as long as possible.
Juventas is the goddess of youth — a regular fixture on Marin mantles.
Muta is the goddess of silence. I include her for completeness though married men have lobbied for centuries to include this goddess in their household pantheon and are always outvoted.
Potine is the goddess of children’s drinks and the least expensive of all the goddesses as the Coca Cola company heavily subsidizes her.
To modernize your personal pantheon, I recommend you add the following:
Beepius is the god of traffic. He can do mischievous things to that slowpoke in front of you on the freeway. His son, Fixitus, handles parking tickets.
Timewastas is the goddess of lines. She has a number of spells to make lines move faster, some secret and not to be tried by mere mortals. For example, her Last Man Standing spell causes everyone in the line to faint away except you. This spell is only for dire emergencies such as when the toy store has only one Tickle Me Elmo left.
Mathematicus is the god of accounts. Conduct the proper monthly rituals and your checkbook will always balance.
Vitaminia is the goddess of nutrition. Healthy nutrition is within her province though most use one of her lesser-known skills: cutting calories in half after ingestion.
Negatorius is also known as the Junkyard God. When appeased properly, he will protect your property from the devil Repo Man.
NOTE: It is recommended you limit your household pantheon to 10 gods and goddesses unless you have domestic help. Dust on a god’s altar will backfire on you faster than a banker adding new account fees.
If we had government-approved household gods, a whole divine industry would spring up to supply the populace with good luck gold medals, icons and statuary of all shapes and sizes for home, car and office. It would also offer information courses such as “Who’s Who in the Pantheon and How to Get Their Attention.”
I don’t think I need to point out that this divine stimulus alone would give our economy exactly the kick in the patootie it needs. Have Mathematicus do the numbers.
This Week's Ponder: What do you say to God when He sneezes?