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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Sep. 8, 2002   This Page Viewed: 9,224,770  

Vox Q Stats

Times Viewed: 32,767

Reponses: 129

Lurker/Post Ratio: 254 to 1

Question of the Week: 109 - 5/7/2003

The Broom Closet Revisited: What’s Your Current Occupancy Rate?

Are you living more or less in the broom closet since last year? Does the current political climate make you more or less open about your beliefs with strangers or casual acquaintances than you used to be?

Are you worried or have you ever seriously considered that a modern day ‘witch hunt’ might target Pagans in the next few months/years?

Have you taken extra precautions to protect your private information or Pagan identity on the internet? At work? In your neighborhood?

Are you more or less inclined to speak up and/or identify yourself as a Pagan when discussing or writing about political, religious or social issues these days?

 Reponses:   There are 129 responses posted to this question. Reverse Sort 


Don't Ask, Don't Tell May 12th. at 2:51:58 pm UTC

Tina Horn (Washington, DC/Columbia, MD) Age: 35 - Email


I'm "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" at work, but then it's not really professional to flaunt religion at work no matter what flavor you are. It doesn't come up... and I'm ok with that.

Friends and family know my religious practice. How do you think I got this way?


Neither In Nor Out, Just Both May 12th. at 4:14:45 pm UTC

Lauren Wednesday (Long Island, NY) Age: 33 - Email


My biggest concern was my mother (she did go into a bit of a tizzy) but she's going her best. Other than that I work with my in-laws in a family business. So there's really nothing to "come out" to. If people are that interested and ask, I'll tell. If they don't like the answer- Bugger them.
At the same time I dont walk around in robes looking like a character out of Harry Potter. I is, what I is, they am what they am, and hopefully the twain shall meet. ;^)

Lauren


In Between May 12th. at 5:07:43 pm UTC

Talenyn (Pensacola, Florida) Age: 15 - Email


I do tend to be nervous when telling others that i'm Pagan. Its difficult being in high school alone, and i've heard how people talk about those who are 'out of the closet.' It's not pretty. I tend to keep it to myself, but if someone asks me, i'll tell them the truth. I have had bad experiences with people who have really disapproved of me practicing Paganism, and I very nearly lost my long time best friend over it. But am i worried there will be another witch hunt in the near future? WHat really worries me is that i'm unsure. I'd like to have faith in people and say no, but with todays civilization, i'm not so sure. But for now, i'm happy. I have some Pagan, Catholic, Christian, and even Jewish friends. I stand up for them, so if my day ever comes, i can only hope they do the same for me.


In Between May 12th. at 5:13:56 pm UTC

Talenyn (Pensacola, Florida) Age: 15 - Email


I do tend to be nervous when telling others that i'm Pagan. Its difficult being in high school alone, and i've heard how people talk about those who are 'out of the closet.' It's not pretty. I tend to keep it to myself, but if someone asks me, i'll tell them the truth. I have had bad experiences with people who have really disapproved of me practicing Paganism, and I very nearly lost my long time best friend over it. But am i worried there will be another witch hunt in the near future? WHat really worries me is that i'm unsure. I'd like to have faith in people and say no, but with todays civilization, i'm not so sure. But for now, i'm happy. I have some Pagan, Catholic, Christian, and even Jewish friends. I stand up for them, so if my day ever comes, i can only hope they do the same for me.


I Come Out When It Feels Right May 12th. at 6:13:44 pm UTC

Mark Pemburn (Glen Arm, MD) Age: 51 - Email


I find that I've actually come out *more* within the last year. This is due in part to the fact that I'm self-employed and hence have not fear of an employer looking askance at me for not fitting the 'norm'. The other factor is my spouse and my recent association with a coven and tradition that is more active in the mundane world the we had been encouraged to be in our former coven.

As for the possibility of a witch hunt: I don't consider it outside the realm of possibility but they would probably be restricted to "Bible Belt" areas and would doubtless invite the censure of the rest of the country. I think the poor Muslims have a lot more to worry about, unfortunately.

Private information: No extra precautions but then, the only things I do in this regard are to browse pagan or Qabala related websites and communicate with people via email or lists.

I seldom express my political opinions because they are too progressive for most forums and quickly invite flames. I have come out as a pagan on hobby and other special interest site and invites little comment.


I'm Not Exactly ... May 12th. at 6:37:26 pm UTC

Leafy (Albuquerque, NM) Age: 63 - Email


... a Pagan by some definitions, but by others (religions that existed before Christianity) , I might qualify. To answer the question - I don't feel as comfortable telling people "I'm a Buddhist, " as I used to. People seem more inclined to criticise and get belligerent about it these days. It hasn't been long since I was treated by a very unfriendly speech from a neighbor who went on and on, rather angrily, about my "dead" religion. I finally told her Amida Buddha was as real to me as Jesus was to her, except that I knew Amida was a myth. I told her (very politely) that it is everyone's privilege to believe in myths if they choose to. She hasn't bothered me since. She is typical of how people react nowdays. It used to be that I'd say I was a Buddhist, and people would ask me questions about it. Very interesting and informative exchanges. I think the religious climate is becoming intolerant. To many Christians, anybody who isn't "us" is "them, " and therefore evil.

So yes, I am careful. May I join you in the broom closet if I bring my own broom?


To Be Perfectly Honest... May 12th. at 6:49:08 pm UTC

Josh Welch (Sartell, MN) Age: 18 - Email


I don't care about anyone's opinion of me...George W can go screw himself, and I feel the same about the rest of the closed-minded bigots of the world. I'm just as open as I've ever been, and people that confront me on it are normally stunned because of the fact that I fight right back, and prove my point. I HAVE looked into Christianity, along with several other "religions, " and I have found the path I'm on to work for me, so I'm going to stick to my guns no matter what anyone says. The only opinion that matters to me is mine.


Depends May 12th. at 7:51:03 pm UTC

Mica (NE FL) Age: 33 - Email


My immediate family (siblings, parents) and closest friends know about my religion and have little or no problem with it. I tell others on a case-by-case basis. My neighbors don't know. At my current job, I am more tight-lipped than ever before, even though the company touts diversity. I live in a more conservative area of the south than I did before. My boss is a hard-core Christian. I think it's unprofessional to flaunt one's religion (even if it's the accepted one) at work. In the past, though, I have felt able to quietly tell a few trusted people at work about it, but only if things they say or do indicate they will be okay with it. I will drop hints with those who are kindred spirits, even if they are not outright pagans (mention horoscopes/astrology, discuss basic mythology, etc.) and if they're even a little knowledgeable about paganism, they will guess. So, if someone picks up the vibes and guesses, great! If not, that's okay, too.


Why Hide The Truth? May 12th. at 8:56:27 pm UTC

Jay (tampa bay, FL) Age: 27 - Email


I wear a pentagram ring and necklace. My wife's car and mine each has a bumber sticker that says "Pagan and Proud". I don't run aroud and tell everyone what I am but it is not difficult to see what I believe. My wife feals that in my job position being so open might hurt my career. I would rather be hurt by the truth though then protected by a lie. The funny thing is that my father and stepfather are each being ordained as ministers. My father feals my wife corupted me and stole me from Jesus (what he doesn't seam to get is that we met in a chat room "ASK A WITCH" I was already there on my own.) My step father listens to what I have to say and even told his church during a sermon that Christmas was just superemposed over the winter solstace to take it from the prexisting pagan holiday. So one is open while the other is closed. Oh well thay are still my fathers and I love them both.


It's Funny, But. . . May 12th. at 11:41:46 pm UTC

Erin (Searcy, AR) Age: 22 - Email


I've been studying Wicca since about the age of 13. I was always afraid to admit it, since I live in a VERY small, back-woods redneck community that lives by the creed ' if it ain't baptist, it ain't christian, and if it ain't christian, it just ain't right' but I finally worked up the spine (not what I want to say, but keeping it 'family-friendly = ) ) and came out of the 'broom closet' a year ago, and it isn't anywhere NEAR as bad as I expected! The only thing--it's not even really a 'problem'--is that people see my pentacle: all they see is star, think star of david, and they think I'm jewish! The only problem i've ever had was explaining to people that 'no, I'm not jewish, this is not the star of david, it's a pentacle' anything they ask after that is purely out of curiousity, and I'm more than happy to oblige! = )


Witch Hunts Will Return.... May 13th. at 12:06:07 am UTC

lynda (california) Age: 31 - Email


I am very open about my religion and my sexual orientation, I speak out when others are misinformed about wicca and I try to dispel rumors. I also know for a fact that the witch hunts will return soon because I can feel it in my soul...If you look out at the world today we as humans are still afraid of our own shadows...It's in use to destroy what we fear....even with all the technology...cell phones, t.v.s, lights in ever corner of our homes...we still fear the night and what it entails. I know that one day I will have to make a choice between what I believe in and possible death....What will I choose...I don't know...I know that we will all come to that cross-road some day..I hope you all out there will make the right choice also. Some will say that I don't know what I'm talking about others will agree...if your open to the truth and see whats REALLY going on in the world and in our government...you too will see it....its waiting in the shadows and it will come...I pray to the Goddess that it won't so lets hope for the best....thank you.

Blessed be!!


Oh Yeah, Got Reminded May 13th. at 6:27:56 am UTC

Starlight Bunnybutt (FL, USA) Age: 26 - Email


Someone else mentioned this. When you're out of the broom closet, there are a lot of folks who aren't intolerant, just very curious. You become like a little zoo display and they poke at you and ask ALL kinds of questions. Sometimes it's easy to take "So, do you believe in God?", and some times I just get plain fed up "Can you give me a spell to make Johnny love me?" and the worst one "If you don't cast spells, doesn't that mean you're not a real witch?". I don't think I have to explain to most of ya'll.

Mostly thats why I keep things low key, not so I don't have to deal with screaming fundies (bring it on man) , but so I don't flip my lid around people who don't mean any harm.

Oh, and I didn't mention before, but I'm not out to my family. Hard to explain to your Catholic mother "Hey, I'm a born again Goddess worshipper, and oh by the way, I'm bi!" Right, no thanks. Mom does her thing, I do mine, peace rules supreme in the fambly.

(And here's a spell to tell them when they want to "make Johnny love me". Try talking to the guy and feeding him. Usually works wonders.)


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