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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: 17,811,436  

Vox Q Stats

Times Viewed: 32,767

Reponses: 289

Lurker/Post Ratio: 113 to 1

Question of the Week: 60 - 10/1/2001

What About Those Pagan Leaders Again?

As we mentioned in our homepage introduction, the question of who our 'Pagan Leaders' might be has again been raised. And perhaps that is a good thing as the world situation has changed and perhaps the views of Pagans on the topic have changed as well. We would request that those who continue to support the decades old view that Pagans do not need national leaders also then address the question of what should we do to comfort/represent our own at a national level in times of crisis seeing as most folks in the Pagan community are still solitaries.

We request that those who take the position that national leaders are (or may) be needed to represent the Pagan communities in times such as this also address the question of how these 'leaders' would be supported financially in order that they might afford to work full-time for the communities and/or take emergency/diplomatic trips to seats of political power to represent you.

And finally, just where would the national election for 'Pagan Leaders' be held? Without such an election, any national 'Pagan Leader' would by necessity have to be an 'appointed' one, wouldn't he/she? (Just who does the appointing has always been interesting.) This question is one of a 'national' Pagan leadership and the benefits and/or drawbacks of such. Local and community Pagan leaders/advocates/facilitators are already in place and generally do a wonderful job where they are.

 Reponses:   There are 289 responses posted to this question. Reverse Sort 

I Think That Its High Time Pagans Were Represented On A National... Sep 28th. at 7:33:45 am UTC

Sebria (Oxford,England, England UK) Age: 18 - Email

I think that its high time Pagans were represented on a national and international level as are other religions... we should come out of the broom cupboard as hiding away etc has done us no good and only added to the 'warts and frogs' images of witches... we should be loud proud and pagan.... come on guys.. we are part of the world and have nothing to hide.. time to take away the prejudice and preconceptions and show the world just how many of us there are!!

I Have Posted Previously, But After Reading Through Many Of The Replies... Sep 28th. at 8:58:38 am UTC

Rev. Phoenix Solariswind (South Charleston, West Virginia US) Age: 26 - Email

I have posted previously, but after reading through many of the replies since I posted, I feel I again need to make a point.

The point being of course, that we are making this more difficult than it really is. Typical human nature, perhaps, but one thing we all learn as Pagans is to not overcomplicate things. This is one of the things being overcomplicated.

There is no need for a "leader". No self-respecting Pagan would agree to follow a national leader. A spokesperson/representative, or a group of spokespeople/representatives would suffice. Until that occurs, however, we individually as Pagans need to make something happen. Write letters, organize prayer times, etc. You all have that capability, and I would advise you start using it, as opposed to just complaining about the lack thereof. Sitting there on the computer, simply reading and posting replies, is not all that could be done about this. Again I say, as I did in my previous post, just get off your butt and DO SOMETHING. As for my titles, I left them out previously, thinking perhaps flashing them about wouldn't make a difference. Perhaps people will listen more if they know I'm "accredited" and an Elder and all that (which I personally think is silly, but hey, it's the world we live in).

Rev. Phoenix Solariswind, Elder
President, Sunhaven Temple, Inc.

Pagan Leader's? Not A Good Idea. Think Of The Other Relgious Leaders... Sep 28th. at 9:38:09 am UTC

MerRua (Ireland, Ireland) Age: 19

Pagan leader's? Not a good idea. Think of the other relgious leaders. The danger of electing a leader is that you have to listen to them. They make decisions for you and who really wants that in a religion?
A cuple of pagan national spokesperson's maybe, might be better.

I Think The Idea Of An Elected Pagan Office Is Very Misleading... Sep 28th. at 10:07:01 am UTC

Vince Conaway (Cincinnati, Ohio US) Age: 24 - Email

I think the idea of an elected pagan office is very misleading. Other religions and groups (except for the Episcopalian Christian traditions, of course) don't hold such elections, yet there are few who have not heard the views of Jesse Jackson or Jerry Falwell. These people represent their groups (African-Americans and Fundamentalist Christians, respectively) because they stepped into a void.

Perhaps we should take a page from the feminist movement on this one. Set up a national pagan influence group (along the lines of NOW), set a membership fee, and have this group serve as our political wing. It can act as a lobbying group in Washington, with elected officers bearing the spotlight.

The problem, of course, is that pagans are impossibly incoherent as a movement, and would probably schism into six different groups within the first five years. But I don't see any other way to do it, and I think that such an organization would be beneficial to have (unless, of course, they say that this country's Christian heritage is responsible for terrorist attacks...).

As Mentioned Before In A Few Postings, I Feel We Could Use... Sep 28th. at 10:35:24 am UTC

Nicole Clemen (Lansing, Michigan US) Age: 22 - Email

As mentioned before in a few postings, I feel we could use a few representatives of the pagan community... not a leader so to speak. I think it would be a good idea to have a few representatives in each capital (trying not to exclude other countries here). Our community is rarely seen by the eyes of many as real or valid. Our practices are seen broadly as evil and wrong. How else can we set about changing our image? What exactly should we represent. Obviously there are a quite a few pagan beliefs. My point is we need to be heard. Why do we feel that since we are not a main stream religion that we need to hide it from the world? I hope that someday we, pagans, can be ourselves in our respective communities without the fear of being persecuted.

Blessed Be. I Agree With Vince's Suggestion That We Could Use An... Sep 28th. at 11:51:22 am UTC

Lee Stone (Bastrop, Texas US) Age: 51

Blessed be. I agree with Vince's suggestion that we could use an outreach group to serve as contact points for the media and to distributing basic information about Wicca to the media -- including how diverse we are : )

Perhaps Wiccans who do meet in groups could agree upon spokespeople at the regional or state level to fulfill these duties. Obviously groups which meet in areas where large media organizations (NY, Los Angeles) are headquartered would have the most critical contact responsibilities.

I would hope that folks who have written books would be interested in serving since they have already gone out on a limb publically and because they have an ease in expressing themselves. They would not speak for "me." They would speak about basic Wicca tenants and they would represent only themselves and the group selecting them as a spokesperson. These spokespeople from across the country should themselves meet, to invoke guidance and to plan how best to accomplish their assigned purposes.

I Do Believe That It Is Time For A National Pagan Leader... Sep 28th. at 12:04:57 pm UTC

Lisa Lam (Union City, New Jersey US) Age: 30 - Email

I do believe that it is time for a national Pagan leader, someone who has been recognized by others as a great leader. Someone who can speak to the Pagan community as a whole not just Wiccan, Witches, and other different patheons but as a whole. I was saddened to see the memorial services at Yankee Stadium and have to ask myself, "Where is our spiritual leader?" There were leaders of every other faith but mine and this upsetted me. I thought that even though our lives are cyclic and our loved ones and friends that were victims of this heinous crime are already in Summerland it would have been nice for someone to be there and speak for them at this beautiful ceremony. I believe that the election for said Pagan Leader be held here on this site.

This is in my humble opinion, one voice is strong but it needs others to carry it upon the wind.

Merry Part

America Was Founded On Freedom Of Relilgion And As Such There Are... Sep 28th. at 12:10:11 pm UTC

mmatraus (Tullahoma, Tennessee US) Age: 63 - Email

America was founded on freedom of relilgion and as such there are many different religions represented in the United States. Most of these religions are organized for better or worse, and many of the larger organizations are powerful enough to have governmental influence. Only because they are organized with knowledgable leadership again for better or worse. The country has taken notice of the Pagan movement but not in to favorable a way. There deeds go unnoticed for the most part and when noticed a stigma is attached because it is Pagan. An organization for the most part can overcome much of this if it is organized correctly and with the best interest of Paganism as the driving force. As in any organization somewhere down the road problems arise and must be handled and the way they are handled is usually the key to favorable/unfavorable notice. Good leadership should be chosen so all is favorable in conclusion. The larger job would be to locate and inform/seek the opinions/ideas of the many individual/covens thoughout the country and have them register yeh/ney to the idea and from there search for leadership and organize offices to handle the various deeds involved in a Pagan religion. The organization I see in Witchvox would be a great beginning.

I Vote Yes: It Is Time For Pagans To Seriously Consider Establishing... Sep 28th. at 12:53:58 pm UTC

Belle (Austin, Texas US) Age: 30 - Email

I vote yes: It is time for Pagans to seriously consider establishing National Leaders. I feel this way mainly because having national leaders could help create more understanding of Pagan beliefs and values, as well as, provide comfort to all Pagans, both covenists and solitaries, during times of need. Finally, it is important to me that my "voice" be represented up on the hill too. Having a national leader in place could help to make sure our desires and needs as a community are addressed and considered when the folks on the hill start talking about Faith Based issues.

How would thes leaders be supported financially? Donations and contributions to the cause come to mind. Sure, at first their may be some out of pocket expense for the elected leader. Anyone who would want to *run* for leadership should be willing to make some personal monitary donations. Additionally, Pagan Art & Craft shows and charity events could be established to help develop some of the necessary funds. Finally, we must believe in the power that our spell work and rituals will fruitfull.

Elections/Appointment, is definitely a hard issue to solve. Polls in local and national news papers / Pagan magazines (Green Egg - etc...) could be a start. Bookstores/stores that sell Pagan literature and tools could be a good spot for polling. As in: Pick a storefront in as many large cities (i.e. NYC, Los Angeles, Ausin), espcially those with large known Pagan communites for polling might be a plan to investigate. A secured web-site is another idea. The link to vote could be provided to as many pagan web-rings one could find on the Internet.

Thanks for taking the time to read my opinion.

Blessed Be,

Due To The Circumstances That This Country Has Gotten It's Self Into... Sep 28th. at 1:41:17 pm UTC

Heavens (Springfield, Ohio US) Age: 26 - Email

Due to the circumstances that this country has gotten it's self into lately it would be a wise idea to share our prespective with other nations as well as this one...If everyone believed in harming none then this whole war thing wouldn't be happening...I understand the need for repentience on our part but not understanding the full conseqeunces of there actions in this matter is only going to make there retaliation even worse and start a major political and religious war...which this country has had already....If more ppl would listen to reason instead of emotions then maybe we could recover what has been lost by all the hate and anger in this country.

You Don't "pick" Pagan Leaders. They Are Simply Pagans Who Have The... Sep 28th. at 1:44:31 pm UTC

Michael Karkainan (Canton, Ohio US) Age: 32

You don't "Pick" Pagan Leaders. They are simply Pagans who have the skills and dedication to lead. They know who they are, so do we.

I Think It Would Be A Great Idea To Have Pagan "leaders... Sep 28th. at 2:05:07 pm UTC

Saoirse (New Milton, West Virginia US) Age: 45 - Email

I think it would be a great idea to have Pagan "leaders" on a national level. I would certainly be willing to donate a little $ for the cause. We need representation in the public eye. Even though we are a varied group with many different "takes" on our spirituality, I think we all agree on some basic things. We all want peace and freedom. We all care about the environment. I'm sure there are many other issues that Pagans collectively agree on. As far as how to "elect" such leaders, that would be a feat for the organizationally talented indeed. I'm sure it could be done though and I would do anything I could do to help the cause. I'm tired of hiding! Blessed Be!

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