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
| What?! ||Sep 27th. at 2:21:10 pm EDT|
|Amanda (Houston,TX) ||Age: 17 - Email |
I certaintly would take part in protests, public events, and sign my legal name to a petition. I am
more open about my beleifs now than ever. Uninformed people are ignorant people, and ignorant
people are dangerous. Status of MY broom closet: I am OUT! :) Blessed Be to you all!
| What's To Hide? ||Sep 27th. at 2:23:21 pm EDT|
|Craig Stehr (Berkeley, CA) ||Age: 52 - Email - Web|
I present myself in public exactly the way I am. There is a large number of "earth spiritual" practitioners in the San Francisco bay area, and nobody's hiding. Local revolutionary ecology and peace & justice groups are filled with neo-pagans, witches, druids, shamans, eclectics, etc. Nobody here cares about what our confused critics think. We rock!!
| Of Course! ||Sep 27th. at 3:06:00 pm EDT|
|Hope Tway (Tuscaloosa, Alabama) ||Age: 18 - Email |
Well, I have been known to foolishly get myself into bad situations (I'm an aries- 'nough said), but there was only a very small length of time when I was afriad to be public about my beliefs and stand up for them. Now, as the founder and unofficial leader of the campus Pagan group here in the Druid City, and having my name published in the local paper as a Pagan, even if I wanted to, I can hardly back out now! I don't run around, screaming my name and beliefs from the rooftops, but I make no effort to hide them, and when they are challenged, I will stand my ground and not back down. I have just as much right as anyone else to hold my beliefs, and live my life according to them. Also, I will fight for anyone else's right to believe what they wish to (not just Pagans, but in the context of my group, that is my current stance, I guess). Can anyone tell that I want to go into law after undergrad? ;-} Ok, I'm done now. *steps off soapbox*
| Closets Are For Coats ||Sep 27th. at 3:54:03 pm EDT|
|Amber Heathen (Cornelius Oregon) ||Age: 22 - Email |
I've never seen the point in "hiding". I don't go around introducing myself as "Hi, I'm Amber, I'm a witch!" but yes, people know. If they ask what I believe I tell them. I wear a pentacle at work and only one person out of hundreds has had a problem with it.
Would I go to Pagan gatherings and festivals? Actually, no. I don't like crowds and most gatherings seem to be primarily aimed at Wiccans and I have absolutely no interest in Wicca. I'm an eclectic panenthiestic dark pagan witchy something or other, if we have to label ourselves :) The "dark pagan" part seems to irritate a lot of white-lighters anyway, as a lot of them still associate "dark" with "evil"...carry-overs from a Judeo-Christian upbringing I suppose.
There's only one protest I would have participated in if I could have. When Bush came to Portland I *so* wanted to go to that protest, but I was sick that day. And even if I weren't sick I would have had to go to work anyways. Gotta keep a roof over my head and food on the table. Other than that I'm not very interested in protests. There are always some there who ruin the "peaceful" part of it all. There are people who protest for a living and their "job" is to cause as much trouble as possible to get media attention. They think it will draw even more attention to their "cause" although it really doesn't. All it does is annoy the hell out of people. A while back a group called Earth First! protested at an office building right next door to the one I work in and made a lot of noise. *No one* cared what they were protesting. Everyone just wanted them to shut up and go away so we could get back to work. (The joke around here was that they were actually protesting bathing, some of those people STUNK horribly). When people block others from going to work and doing their job and cause destruction of property (I was told some of the fire alarms were broken during the "protest"), no one cares what the people are protesting. They just see a bunch of rowdy, stinky, jobless wannabe-hippies making jackasses out of themselves.
I'm not trying to be mean or heartless, but thats how I feel.
| Pagan Proud ||Sep 27th. at 4:43:03 pm EDT|
|Patricia Jones (Iowa) ||Age: 0 - Email - Web|
I am a Pagan and a solitary practitioner and I will never deny my faith or my true path. I will be dragged kicking and screaming(in ancient latin)back to hide in a closet of fear or shame.That will be the only way I will be stopped from voiceing my opinions and beliefs.Havent we had enough of the hate and fear mongers? My broom is hanging over my front door with a pentagram and a sign that says "blessed be"...i dont think you could hide less than that. Merry Part and Merry Meet again. Pat Jones (real name),a.k.a...coldNovemberRain and d.j.
| Proud To Be A Pagan! ||Sep 27th. at 7:44:25 pm EDT|
|Hazel Sackville-Bagg (NY) ||Age: 15 - Email |
Of course I would voice my opinions, the reason people are frightened of us is because they are uneducated. If we could spread the word about Paganism, people wouldn't hate us! A few years ago in Global History, we covered the beliefs of Islam, Judaism, and a bunch of other religions. (I go to a public school) This has prevented much of my generation from hating Muslims now because we better understand them and that not all of them are extremists. If we added Paganism to the list of religions that kids learn about, then they would understand us more and not be so horrible. As for those who still oppress us, (which by the way, I have noticed anyone who is not Christian is a lot of the time hated and said to be led by the devil which is totally ridiculous) we should protest against them and be proud of our religion. Here in the U.S., we have religious freedom, so why shouldn't it feel that way? Let the people be educated!!!
| Do What Feels Right For You. ||Sep 27th. at 7:47:45 pm EDT|
|Aurora (Beaufort, SC) ||Age: 22 - Email |
I for one have no problem being public about what I believe. I don't shout it from the roof tops but I wear my pentacle with pride. I also participate in local pagan celebrations and goings on. I like to feel as though I am involed and make a difference. However I understand the feelings of those who don't want to be public. I live in a very religious town in South Carolina but so far have had no problems. I know of others who have and are having problems though. I suppose it helps that I live on a military base and there fore have some extra protection. I do get a lot of questions from people here though and I answer them the best that I can and try to clear up the misconceptions. As far a how I have done things since 9/11, if anything I have become more open and more willing to be public. It is more important than ever to set the record straight. Yes I suppose I am a little more worried about hostile people but that is all the more reason to be out there telling the truth about what I believe. I know that those who are not out have their own good reasons for it and I wish them the best of luck and hope that they will someday be able to come out and feel safe about it. Blessed Be.
Love and Light.
| Why Not? ||Sep 27th. at 8:15:52 pm EDT|
|Kalista (Virginia) ||Age: 16 - Email |
A simple enough question. Yes or no.... or is there something more to it? Maybe i'm just too young and opinionative for my own good. ::shrug:: i, for one, am proud of who and what i am, and have a great time dispelling all those little rumours about witches that float around my school. The pentacle i wear, to those who know me or ask about it, is almost like any christian wearing a cross (and we all see that often enough.) yet, i find that the first question on my peers lips as they marvel at the silver star is "what- are you satanist or something?" and then i'm asked where i got the ring, and complimented before being given a chance to answer. Come on, now! really! maybe i'm wrong to take it so much to- i almost want to say offence- and it is, but i find that it mingles with an odd sort of, well, near pity for the ones who see a 5 pointed star and immediately assume their devil has his hands in it. Then there are still others, who call themselves Wiccan, but speak nothing of the Goddess, or of balance- only of spells and 'black magic' and (go figure) the devil. Morons.
In short- ignorance is fought with knowledge- and how are people to come even close to understanding the real truths (not the assumed ones) without seeing us interacting in everyday life? the only way to dispel such rumours is to help others realized just what wicca isn't, and they cannot do this without seeing, and speaking to, and asking questions of those who practice it.
| Would You Take Part In A Public Event Or Protest AS A Pagan? ||Sep 27th. at 9:17:03 pm EDT|
|snowraven (Florida & West Virginia) ||Age: 41 - Email |
Yes I would take part if it was a well organized and thought out plan. Public Event yes....protest depends on what it is about.
I am not in the closet but I am careful in this day and age of close minded people.
Freedom of Religion would be a reason to come and be with like minds. I think many people
think Witches and other Pagans are "weird" because many want people to see themselves as "very different".Myself I dress no different and my hair is not dyed an odd color, or do I have different markings from anyone else. Yet I will speak freely to anyone that asks about my beliefs. I display my religious symbols freely and my home is full of my craft. Being educated and informed would change the "weirdo" stigma. I am proud to be a witch and would gladly share that with the world.
| Be Proud Of What You Do. ||Sep 27th. at 10:30:44 pm EDT|
|John Sneed (Indiana) ||Age: 28 - Email |
This question is a just a question of faith in the God and Goddess. Do you think witches of the BURNING TIMES just brushed off thier religion? No , and neither would my family or coven. Be stong ,be proud if you are a witch stand up for your rights ,stand up for your Gods. I don't mean street preaching leave the to the "other" religions but don't be walked on either . My answer is yes with no compromise.
| WHY BE AFRAID OF WHO OR WHAT YOU ARE? ||Sep 27th. at 10:38:11 pm EDT|
|Marie Sonnemann (Atlanta) ||Age: 17 - Email |
Of course I would take part in a public evant about free religion, or Paganism. Every person has aright to be what ever religion is what feels right to them. In my opinion, the concept of "god" is a very personal thing and you cannot go on what you have been rold to believe, you must truly believe it yourself. Like myself, I used to be Roman Catholic, and I would not be afraid in the slihtest to be in a public event or put my name on paper because I have no reason to be ashamed of who or what I am or what I believe. I hope you (reader)do not have a reason to be ashamed either.
Blessings of the Goddesss and God be upon you.
| Of Course! ||Sep 27th. at 10:53:46 pm EDT|
|Delilah Penn (Kentucky) ||Age: 30 - Email |
Would I? Plan on attending a Pagan Pride celebration at a city park tomorrow, as a matter of fact. I wear my pentacle every day without worries & it has been rare that I have had a problem. Looking back & seeing all the freedoms that have been fought for, I won't budge much on this basic freedom.
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