The opinions posted on the Pagan Perspective pages are those of individuals and are not neccessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
Posted: Sep. 8, 2002
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Question of the Week: 78 - 9/22/2002
Would You Take Part in a Public Event or Protest AS a Pagan?
Many Pagans or Heathens have always been a little leery about taking part in public events, protests or in signing their real names to letters or petitions. Given the current climate in the United States and across the world since 9/11, are you more or less inclined to be open about your spiritual beliefs or religion than you once were? Are you more fearful of reprisals or discrimination? Do you think that you would be placed on a surveillance list if you participated in public events or signed petitions with your legal name? Are you more cautious than you may have been before? Or have the events emboldened you to take a more public stance?
What’s the current status of YOUR broom closet?
| Reponses: There are 268 responses posted to this question.
|| Reverse Sort
| YES! ||Sep 26th. at 1:10:55 am EDT|
|Amy Farnsworth (Glouster, Ohio) ||Age: 36 - Email |
I have been openly Pagan everywhere from Beaufort, S.C. to Asheville, N.C. to my current location in a small(pop.1500) town in S.E. Ohio.I have taken part in public rituals in courthouse square, and volunteered for public service as part of an openly Pagan group. In all of these things, I have seen the best and worst in people. I loved doing these things because not only did they need done( ie public service) , but they also let a lot of people see who and what we really are and are not. Much of the persecution that we are subject to is caused by ignorance. If people see that we dont sacrifice children or whatever they have been told we do)some of them will begin to accept us as people just like anyone else. But as long as we act as though we have something to hide then there will always be misconceptions about what we are hiding. I grant that there are some things in any tradition that should not be publicly displayed, but hiding is something which is often misunderstood. A devotion to Deity is something which should not be hidden but should be a source of pride. In all of the events in which I have participated, there have been those whom nothing would convince that we are anything other than satan spawn , but there have also been those who asked intelligent, sensitive questions and began to reach some basic understanding of us. To all of those who are hesitant to come out publicly, I ask you to try it once. Please dont get into yelling matches, dont presume to know everything or to speak for every Pagan. Be calm and mature in answering questions and realize that nothing will change some minds but how you present yourself reflects (for good or ill) on all of us. Thank You and Blessed Be.
| Sick Of Haters.. ||Sep 26th. at 7:37:03 am EDT|
|Akira Tenshi (England) ||Age: 13 - Email |
Im sick of people dissing me. My face my hair, my music prefereces, and most sadly, my religion. I have lost count of the number of times my (well-meaning) Christian friend has tried to convert me, and the number of times my *very* strictly Catholic enemy has made high brow comments about my so-called low-brow religion.
Now, im not anti Christian, Muslim, or in fact any other religion on the whole damn planet; however, im growing heartily sick of people going on, and on, and on some more about
"Magick doesnt exist, ha, so stupid, worship rocks do you, oh go on, dance naked for us"etc..
BO-RING. Im only 13 and already, iv encountered pretty bad prejudice over my religion. I am going to stay Wiccan, though, because it is what i believe, whole-heartedly, that the Goddess take care of me and loves me and that i have a power over the world around me.
Im coming up to my first Wiccan birthday..
So, after that totally off the point reparte, Yes, i would. Just to kick some Catholic ass.
| I Would ||Sep 26th. at 7:41:48 am EDT|
|Galatea Whitewolf (Tunbridge Wells, England) ||Age: 13 - Email |
I would Take part in any pagan protest...as long as i agreed with what they were protesting about. My parents know, and so does my year , so i'd protest.
| Status Of My Broom Closet? ||Sep 26th. at 8:03:55 am EDT|
|Annastasia PenDragon (Beth Preston) (Mount Joy, Pa.) ||Age: 45 - Email |
Not, only would I attend, I do. I live in an mainly Amish county, so one would believe there is little tolerance of other religions. That is not true. When an local official wanted to refuse renting a local park for the Paga Pride Day, it was the people of the county that not only defended our rights as citizens, but openlying read this official the riot act for his witch burning views. The status of my broom closet is: My Broom hangs with pride beside my American Flag. Doesn't everyone's?
| Twice A Week ||Sep 26th. at 10:55:20 am EDT|
|Quill Enparchment (Citrus Heights, CA) ||Age: 32 - Email |
If I were to sign a petition, I would use my mundane name because the Secretary of State needs it in order to make sure it's legitimate.
On the other hand, I am the Lifestyles Editor for a very conservative newspaper in a small suburb of Sacramento. I am but a feather of a left wing on that otherwise right-wing paper.
We publish twice a week, with my column printed on Fridays. I write under a pen name because I hope to publish novels someday and want to establish that as my name.
Despite being a conservative Christian, my publisher is very open minded and has allowed me to print articles on the Sacramento Pagan Pride Harvest Festival, environmental issues, even atheist views.
In my column, I have yet to actually say "Hey everybody, I'm a Pagan," but readers who can connect the dots can figure it out. I've written about my participation in a Beltaine campout, my birthday being on Imbolc and sharing a Lughnassadh harvest.
I attended the Sacramento Pagan Pride Harvest Festival both days and had a wonderful time. I'm not sure if any other members of the press were there to cover the event but the Elk Grove Citizen will have a 26" story and three photos in Friday's paper.
There will always be conspiracy theories about black lists and witch trials, but if no one speaks out, the igorance will never go away. Imagine if Rosa Parks never sat in the front of the bus. Blacks would still be using separate drinking fountains.
| Get Out & Carry A Sign! ||Sep 26th. at 11:21:21 am EDT|
|operanut (Austin Texas) ||Age: 70 - Email - Web|
I am a Pagan-friendly Unitarian and I'll go right out there for Wiccan/ Pagan civil rights and "they" can put me on whatever list they want. Rights of conscience, association & assembly for one are rights for all.
| Public Events, Protests,signing Names Is Your Right ||Sep 26th. at 11:30:40 am EDT|
|gina summers (florida) ||Age: 33 - Email |
my thoughts are simple and direct if it is for the good of any person or persons then i will
gladly go to an event,a protest, or sign my name. proudly too!!!! do for others as you would have them do for you.i believe in the saying what comes around goes around in sooooo many levels.
| Out Of The Broom Closet And Into The Light ||Sep 26th. at 11:48:42 am EDT|
|Echo Clay (Bloomington, MN) ||Age: 20 - Email |
I think that it is our right to be out in the open and to celebrate our beliefs, just like many others do.
| Protest Allways ||Sep 26th. at 12:36:10 pm EDT|
|Andrew (Kentwood, MI 49508) ||Age: 19 - Email |
I would protest should i be needed and if it were for a good thing nothing stupid
| Before 9/11 No, After 9/11 Absolutely! ||Sep 26th. at 12:55:43 pm EDT|
|Ted Peter Smith (Stillwater) ||Age: 48 - Email - Web|
“I am what I am” as Popeye was known to say. Since 9/11 I have examined myself and my life, and I have sadly concluded that I am a coward. I am not ashamed of my chosen Path and will no longer hide who I am, what I do or fail before the gods by faltering in the strengths of my convictions. I suspect that I sound a bit dramatic but, coming out, so to speak, is a fairly large even in my life.
| Out Of The Broom Closet ||Sep 26th. at 1:08:36 pm EDT|
|Carmen Pagan (grand rapids michigan) ||Age: 37 - Email |
I would take part in as many events as I could. I firmly believe that freedom of religion means every religion. Some of us need to be visible. People fear the unknown .I know people who had never met a witch til they met me. Their vision of a witch was the Disney version. Now they know we are just like everybody else. I even got them to stop using the word witch when they meant bitch, since they know it offends me. Iknow there are places where you cant be out without putting your life in danger then its best not to.We have to be understanding about this. Thereas no need to prove anything. there are too many narrow minded people who would not hesitate to get rid of us in anyway possible and therefore secure a place in heaven.
| Freedom And Rights Come ONLY With Visibility!!! ||Sep 26th. at 1:25:57 pm EDT|
|Geoffrey D. Stewart / Pax (Anchorage Alaska USA) ||Age: 30 - Email |
As both a Pagan and a Gay man I have had plenty of opportunities to compare and contrast the Comming Out issues in both communities. I am here to tell you that the only way to gain your rights is to stand up for them. The people who would demonize Pagans and Paganism rely on two facts the first is that there are NOT a lot of out Pagans, the second is that because in many cases Pagans are a silent minority that those who would demonize us (or worse turn us into carnival attractions and T.V. ratings boosters) are the people who shape the public discourse and portrayal of Pagans and Paganism.
Yes I would gladly stand up in a protest or public event/circle as a Pagan. I have hosted merry meets and even been on local radio as a member of my local Pagan community.
One last point about being out. By being out, and even a little active in your Pagan community and the greater community around you, you encourage those people who are working as Priests/esses and Activists in your local Pagan Community.
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