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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: 19,165,502  

Vox Q Stats

Times Viewed: 32,767

Reponses: 181

Lurker/Post Ratio: 181 to 1

Question of the Week: 4 - 8/27/2000

The Broomcloset-In or Out?... What's YOUR View?

Some Pagans feel that it might be better if everyone Pagan was just open about their beliefs. Some, on the other hand, are sick of 'in your face' Pagans or groups. Others feel that in some areas of the country being "in" is almost a necessity. But we've also heard some background grumbling that expresses rather resentfully that those who remain hidden are simply reaping the benefits earned-while experiencing none of the backlash-by those who are openly fighting for pagan rights.

The apprehension of what the impact of openly declaring a pagan belief might be on a family or work relationship is as much a concern in the decision-making process as what the reaction of a neighborhood or community might be in other cases. So, are YOU in or out? How far out is 'too far' out? What are the pitfalls or the rewards? Why should everyone be out, in, or just make his or her own decision about the broomcloset occupancy rate.

 Reponses:   There are 181 responses posted to this question. Reverse Sort 

I Believe That As A Person You Have Your Own Descisions To... Sep 3rd. at 1:27:46 pm EDT

Kryzde (South Euclid, Ohio US) Age: 14 - Email

I believe that as a person you have your own descisions to make and noone should try to change the way you feel or tell you that you are wrong or right. There is no correct way to do things. you do what you feel you must do. Others can coment on your approaches to certain things but they should notjudge you and tell you what to do with your life. We should all respect and help each other out. If we think someone is putting themselves in danger or that someone should express themselves more freely we can kindly give them our suggestions but please do not tell someone that they are going about their lives the wrong way. Noone knows another persons reasons for being the way they are. And we dont know each others lives like we know our own. Some people may have more trouble being "out" than others because of their situation , and we all should respect each others wishes. Life is not easy so why should we make it harder for ourselves and others with disrespect and fights. We should all stand together to protect ourselves as a whole.
this is only my opinion. I am not saying that you are right or wrong in your ways. If you disagree I do not mind just please dont judge me.
"together we stand , divided we fall"

Hello, My Name Is Amanda. I Am A Twenty Year Old Witch... Sep 3rd. at 2:44:45 pm EDT

Amanda Mellon (Baylis, Illinois US) Age: 20 - Email

Hello, My name is Amanda. I am a twenty year old witch in Central Illinois. I have been studying the craft for about five years, practicing for one year, and have been out the entire time. When I was sixteen, my biggest fear was telling my mother because she is Mormon. So when I told my mother what I was doing, she got very angry and began telling me that I wasn't welcome in her home. After that fight, we didn't speak about it for almost three years. By then, I was ninteen and a little wiser and my mother and I were able to talk to each other about it rationally. She and I have had the most intelligent conversations and my religion.

Now that I am a little older, I have some concerns about being "out of the broom closet", both personally and professionally. Professionally, being out in the open, you can lose your job, insurance, and other things needed to survive. Personally, you can lose your home, car, and even your children. For me, I am finding it very hard to date people because I am afraid of how they will act when they find out about my religion. People are afraid of what they don't understand. However, despite my fears, I will continue to be "out of the closet" because my religion is a part of how I am and I will not hide it. For others, I feel that they can chosse whether to be "in or out of the closet" because we all have the right to choose how we live our lives.

Brightest Blessings,

Right Now I Live In Seattle, Which Is A Very Tolerant And... Sep 3rd. at 2:45:51 pm EDT

Lynn (Seattle/ soon to be Huntsville , Alabama US) Age: 35 - Email

Right now I live in Seattle, which is a very tolerant and diverse city. I don't often discuss my religious beliefs, but am not In the Closet here. However, I am getting ready to move to Alabama to be near my family. I was raised there, in the southern baptist church and understand fully what the reaction of my family would be if I were to come Out. While I will be able to discuss some of my views, and will hopefully help educate my family in the truth of the Pagan beliefs, I will not come Out to them. Not yet.

To come Out to the strict southern baptists in my family would cause Them extreme distress. They have been taught extreme beliefs based on fear and lies, and their beliefs cannot be changed overnight. As with all changes in a culture, it will take time to overcome the teachings of the extreme religious right. Look at the changes in ethnic tolerance that have happened in our lifetime. Much has changed, but much still needs to change, and it's been decades in the making.

We have several things on our side though, the internet has been a wonderful tool for education and for support. As our numbers grow, and as those who do speak out are heard, we will make headway. Some of us will be able to fight the public fight, but the private fight, the fight in our homes will be just as important. The publicity will help those of us who are In the Broomcloset educate others and will also help fight the fears. We all have to follow our own hearts, isn't that one of the best things about being Pagan?

All Of My Life I Have Been Told That Being Who I... Sep 19th. at 10:32:16 pm EDT

Kate (Indianpolis, Indiana US) Age: 29 - Email

All of my life I have been told that being who I am is wrong. I was always too smart, too ugly, too tall, too skinny, too pretty(how odd when that changed), too stubborn, too strong-willed, too expressive....
So, I don't care what anyone thinks about me, when it comes down to it. I speak honestly and directly-- which in many minds, makes me a bitch.
Fine. Think what you want to think-- I don't control that!
So, most people don't get to know me well enough to know that I am a witch. The ones that do know me, know me very well. Some have left when they found out what my spiritual belief system is. Their loss.
I only want people in my life who are about unconditional love.
I will speak my truth until my dying day.
I do not provoke or look for enemies. If someone looks at me with a closed heart and mind, they may choose to hate me. I do not control that, either.
I have survived much abuse and pain and I know what it is like to live in fear. I fought long and hard to live MY life.

Greetings, I Believe That The Only Way To Dis-spell Fear Is To... Nov 24th. at 10:53:32 am EST

Rebecca Luis (Dover, Delaware US) Age: 39 - Email

I believe that the only way to dis-spell fear is to walk your path in the open. Goddess has lead me to people and places that have needed to see me as a witch.
At my last job I was not going to say anything about my beliefs, soon I began hearing stories about how the last person left the position and how she had "cast spells" on everyone before she left. Unfortunately, I knew the person and was aware that she had performed bainful magic regularly. I beleive in up holding the rede, "do as tho wilt, harm none". The Goddess lead me to open up to these people one day at a group lunch. I just could not bear hearing them talk so negatively about Wiccans. So I expressed to them that just as christians do not walk in "forgiveness and love" some pagans don't either. But that if I could be a positive example of the magickal community I would welcome their questions and give open answers where ever I could. They were all very curious and actually asked thoughtful, intellegent questions. I was treated with respect and that surprised me. I continued my working relationship with all of these people, and even though some showed fear, I think (and hope) that eventually they all saw me in a positive light.

Perfect love and perfect trust must apply to how we walk our paths, not to how others react. I urge all to use their intuition when opening the closet door, to be open as much as they feel that they can be. We must deal with our own fear in this, how will we be accepted or not accepted. Do not underestimate those walking on other paths, there will always be those who will not try to understand. But there will be those that will. I thank the Lady and the Lord every time I am able, by my own example, to show a positive side to our beliefs.
And I also am thankful whenever I see positive from the other paths.

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