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Pagan Perspectives

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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: 24,664,834  

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 

Out Of The "Closet" And Proud May 13th. at 4:30:55 pm EDT

Lady Venus (Oregon) Age: 30 - Email

I live in a growing community in Eastern Oregon that unfortunately doesn't have an open pagan community. But in these last few months, I have found that there are alot more of us in this area. I have become more open with what I am, as well as more open about telling my friends and family.
I don't fear a modern day "witch hunt", I don't fear that my beliefs are going to get me fired from a job, or that my children are going to be taken away because I am not a "good Christian mother". I simply remind the people around me that it isn't what you are or what you believe, it's WHO you are. This simple phrase defuses just about any argument.
As far as identifying myself as a Wiccan, I wear my pentacle with pride. If asked what my beliefs are, I answer honestly that I am a Wiccan. I have answered my door to many people wanting to preach to me about their beliefs, but when told of mine, they run for their car as fast as they can. While this does tend to bring a few chuckles out of me, it also saddens me that these people can't let themselves listen to anyone who isn't of their religion.

I Am . . . May 13th. at 5:45:05 pm EDT

Wyldcard (Toronto) Age: 28 - Email

I am half-way out the broom closet.

My roomate and my friends all know my religion and I've found acceptance, even though only portion of my friends are pagan. My home is littered with books, herbs, rocks, and oils.

At work, I take Beltaine, Samhain, Winter Solstice, and Summer Solstice off as vacation days -- no hassles. I work in technical support, so this is a big deal. In return, I am willing and I have worked Christmas, Easter, and New Years. No other discussion about religion has come up during business hours.

With family, I have not discussed my religion. I'm 28, unmarried and without children. If my family found out I was Pagan as well, I'm not sure they could handle it.

Slowly Creeping Out....... May 13th. at 5:56:14 pm EDT

Summer (Ponca City, Oklahoma) Age: 22 - Email

I know that I am more out than I was last year. I am begining to be more open at work and around friends. I'm actually looking at this site at work during my slow time, where any one walking by my desk can see. I'm still a little nervous arround my older family members and people that I don't know. It will come with time though, soon I know that I can be me all the time.

Out And About May 13th. at 7:11:55 pm EDT

Hugh Scharland (Chicago) Age: 29 - Email

I made a personal decision to come out of the broom closet last autumn (2002) and the reactions have been surprising. Many of my friends saw it coming anyway. My family was shocked but took it well, all things considered. Although now they want less to do with me. Only a couple of people in my life outside of relations put distance between us.
At work, a Christian attempted to argue his case against Paganism, but his info was very biased...and the discussion broke down into his hystrionics. Another Christian seems to insist on praying to his God when sitting next to me, rather than doing his work. There was a bible left at my work station once. Now all of this doesn't bother me enough yet, but I can see it getting on my nerves very soon. I don't leave copies of my spells or my personal prayers around on other people's desks. I don't try to argue with the Christians about their beliefs' validity. And that work situation will be over in two weeks due to layoffs. I will endeavor to find a more Pagan friendly environment to work in.

As an act of coming out and staying out, I now wear my pentacle over my shirt. Out and proud. Why should I hide it?
This has led to some tense situations but it has also led me into a wonderful friendship with another Witch who refuses to hide her pentacle also. That's how we met. Sometimes I get worried but I have committed my self to this small act of being open and out. I want other Witches to know they are not alone. And I want everyone else to become more comfortable with who I am.

Last night, I was treatly very coldly in a normally warm hearted bar when I went for a drink. (I like beer sometimes.) I would like to say that it was because times had changed and the bar was no longer warm. But many people stared at my pentacle as if it made me dangerous. So I can't say it was just due to the times changing. I still want to see the good in the folks who may judge me without knowing me. But I don't have to go where they go.

In summary, coming out of the broom closet has made me feel more at ease and happy with myself. I'd encourage it for others to do, but I understand the pressures for hiding. May We realize We can Weave together a World where We can all Live with one another in Perfect Love and Trust. So mote it be.

Bless you all.

No Thanks - I Prefer A Table Outside The 'broom Closet' May 13th. at 11:42:35 pm EDT

Jahna Alvarado (San Diego California) Age: 38 - Email

A great question! I imagine that there are many people of a variety of faiths that are less comfortable about overtly identifying their faith given the events of the last several years. Prejudice and ingnorance being VERY effective tools against those perceived to be outside the 'norm'.

Here's my personal experience (really only of value for me - but here goes) . I am fortunate. I live in a fairly progressive and tolerant area. I am no more or less in the broom closet. Perhaps less so as I study more and become more convinced/secure? in my faith. What's kind of interesting is that I tend to be more 'in someone's face' if I feel there is a lack of tolerance. Go figure.

Yes, I am concerned that intolerance is on the rise and not only for Pagans. I think that concern drives me to be more open on my own beliefs. I hope that is so.

My silver sixpence....

Eh...Well... May 14th. at 12:00:58 am EDT

Vaia Nyera (Rochester Minnesota ^_^) Age: 18 - Email

I've been "comming out" quite a bit in the past year or so. Mostly everyone in my school knows I'm Bi and Wiccan, mother and father know I'm wiccan, mother knows I'm Bi as does my sister, but it's not too accepted. My father used to tell me that I was going to hell a lot, and my mother (when told that I was Bi) responded "Heh, thats what she THINKS" (She's a hedge witch, too) .
I've been critisized at school and such, but I really don't care. I have a sharp tongue so I can back myself up, but it wasn't always like that. Back when I first came out, a friend of mine (Celeste from MN) came out with me, and I appreciated it greatly. We've lost touch since then, but I still appreciate what we did together.
I still get critisized at times, but my boyfriend is very supportive and sweet about it, he's my rock ^_^.
Until I get out of this Bible belt, Lindner Voting, Intollerant place, I'll deal with it. But like they say, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

TEOTWAWKI May 14th. at 12:22:01 am EDT

sage-mama (Kansas) Age: 39 - Email

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

Please forgive my big sigh...For years, as a Christian fundamentalist; I chased one conspiracy theory after the next. Refurbished Japanese POW camps? Black helicoptors? Mark of the Beast? sorry...I'm not turning a blind eye to the reality of Big-Brother like tactics for gathering and using information to control, and an overly invasive government with a very serious messiah complex. But I refuse to live in fear anymore. On one hand, the dominant state religious systems have always used various forms of harrassment and persecution in attempts to silence dissidents. the concept of owning your own spirituality, as common to those of pagan faiths, could be seen as a real threat to religions that seek to control. On the other hand...with the right persons on the forefront, paganism could take her place of dignity within world religions as the Earth based message is so sorely needed these days, now more than ever as our Mother is sick, toxic, and so in need of her children to rise up and speak out for her!
P.S. Empty P.O.W. camps a bit N of here in Concordia, Kansas. If anyone is interested i can find out if there is any truth to this rumor !?!

Walking My Path With Pride May 14th. at 3:55:55 am EDT

Paige (Surrey, BC, Canada) Age: 39 - Email - Web

When I discoverd that this Earth Spiritualy, Wicca, was for me, I felt like I'd come home. I'd done a lot of searching and no other religion felt right. Nothing against them, I feel that whatever works for you, power to you. That's what I love about this religion, Wicca; we don't believe in judging other's religious choices. I didn't hesitate to tell those closest to me as soon as I knew this was the path I wanted to follow. I use common sense when deciding to tell someone new. I don't like it when someone 'preaches' to me about their religion, and I don't 'preach' mine. If someone is interested in knowing, I'll tell them. My experiences have all been positive ones, most people's interests are peaked a little and they want to know a bit about Wicca. I explain that we honor the feminine and masculine, Goddess & God or Lord & Lady. That we honor Mother Earth, nature and all her creatures. That any spells or magick we do is for good, never evil. We don't manipulate anyone, but always strive to improve our own lives by the power given us as a birth rite by the Goddess.
I just choose not too feel like an outsider, it is my religion and I have a right to practice it. We may have some way to go concerning society's acceptance and to remove the media's portrayal of Withcraft but we have come a long way.

Blessed Be;

Pagan And Proud May 14th. at 4:05:44 am EDT

Colleen (Palm Bay, Florida) Age: 38 - Email

I have no problem expressing who I am as of 7 years. My family and I have been out since then and it feels quite good! Of course you get that occasional one that is very ignorant on the subject but thats how you have to look at it because ignorance is bliss.

Blessed Be

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