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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
| We Have To Fight ||Sep 23rd. at 11:46:50 am EDT|
|Gary Wiseman (Sarasota, Fl) ||Age: 32 - Email |
I am a wiccan,and I would gladly stand with any members of the pagan community and fight for our rights.
| As If There Is Any Question. ||Sep 23rd. at 12:40:12 pm EDT|
|Aravan Windwalker (Saco Maine) ||Age: 37 - Email |
Of course I would. I know, that sounds like an easy answer. I am not concerned about being "out"
as a pagan, I get questioned all the time about the licence plate on my vehicle, "ruleof3".
If there were something that needed to be brought to community attention, and it involved pagan faith,
then you can count me in.
| Pagan And Proud! ||Sep 23rd. at 12:49:57 pm EDT|
|Erin Cutlip (camp lejeune) ||Age: 22 - Email |
For so long I was afraid to come out and say "here I am! I'm pagan and i'm proud! proud of my gods, proud of my goddesses , and proud of the rich and divers culture that comes with that" I was afraid because I knew very few pagans and felt alone. well because people decided to stand up and show that they were proud (Triangle pagan Pride day,crystal coast). I now know im not alone. I think it is important that pagans step out of the closet not only for themselves but for those who need to see they are not alone. also because a big part of prejudices toward pagans come from people not knowing what we are, what we worship, and stand for. the only way that we can overcome that is to go public with it and educate as we go.
Erin Grey Wolf.
| Knowledge Is Power ||Sep 23rd. at 12:59:56 pm EDT|
|David Jones (North Carolina) ||Age: 44 - Email |
I sincerely believe the only way to reduce the fear/distrust of pagans/Wiccans is by being open about who we are, by INVITING questions and being prepared to answer them rationally (even if the questioner is IRrational!). Our beliefs are (or at least should be) based on openness; can we do any less than live our beliefs, and still say we hold them?
| ABSOLUTELY!! ||Sep 23rd. at 1:13:12 pm EDT|
|Moonfire (Montague, Massachusetts) ||Age: 40 - Email - Web|
In this day and age when personal freedom is in serious question and the Constitution is little better than a tourist attraction, we need to do something to make our selves be seen and heard, and if protests (peaceful ones) and petition signing is the only way to do that—then count me in. I have been out of the "broom closet" since the mid-80's, I am proud to be a witch. I love my religion and I would have no problem signing my name to anything or take part in a "peaceful rally" to preserve my Gods given right to practice my beliefs.
Remember: Freedom of Religion means ALL Religions
| Broom Closet? Isn't That For Brooms? ||Sep 23rd. at 1:15:31 pm EDT|
|Randy Weiser (Ypsilanti, MI) ||Age: 45 - Email |
I've been a Witch for almost 30 years now, and during that time, have only had to be in the closet a little bit. I'm intensely proud of our religion, and have always tried to show people who are not of the Craft that find out I'm a Witch that I'm also a relatively normal person...or at least not a threat!
If I'm at an event that protests something I believe is wrong, and it's an opportunity to educate the public, why not wear my pentagram proudly? After all, Christians wear THEIR symbols of their religion - why not us?
| What Closet!?!? ||Sep 23rd. at 1:19:18 pm EDT|
|Dy (St Paul) ||Age: 33 - Email |
I am out of the closet (happily lesbian) and out of the broom closet! I have been respected and loved by the people in my life that are important to me both before and after they knew I was gay and/or pagan. I've shared some of my beliefs with folks who have asked, and it's been a positive experience for them and me. I have not faced much criticism for either path, but even if attacked (verbally or otherwise) I would not hide. That's what some folks want and I'm not stepping away from the light. Now don't get me wrong - I don't have woman-loving-goddess-worshipper tattooed to my forehead; I am in a professional IT environment and behave appropriately, I'm just not a shrinking violet on most topics.
A previous poster was correct - as long as you are a good person (to yourself and others), the little details like religion or ethnicity or who you love shouldn't matter.
I hope that those who haven't opened the closet door yet find the strength within and without to do so.
Thanks for the space to editorialize!
| YES! Absolutely!!! ||Sep 23rd. at 1:19:43 pm EDT|
|Willa (Huntington Beach, Ca) ||Age: 21 - Email |
It seems to me as a pagan parent that if not for myself then for my son, the need to stand up and be active in displays and gatherings in the public is needed. Christians have no real fear of going to church and they have the right without the amount of persecution we would have. I would like to see the day when these things are not needed and a pagan family such as mine can practice as we choose without the fear that sometimes goes with it. The only way to insure this is by being active and not being openly afraid.
Now, living in southern California does make this easier for me, sure. But by being involved it seems to me that it teaches my son that this is normal. This is our faith, our religion. This is what his family believes in and there is nothing wrong with it. There is no reason to hide... but also that there is a need to be proactive. That everyone has a right to their belief, and no one should be able to take it away.
| I Can Tell You How My Heart Feels... (slightly Ot) ||Sep 23rd. at 1:36:27 pm EDT|
|Urytevaera (Canada) ||Age: 21 - Email |
I have always tried following my heart....
I have been many things on my path...but found that truth has no 'set-title'
I am Wiccan, mabey it will change, but my love for the earth, the energies,
and especially truth will never change.
My first ritual that was not solitary was yesterday.
The energies in the circle, and the feelings that were moved around
were inspirational, strengthening, loving,...
I knew that I had the strengh in my heart to guide the circle and the
words that I had written before about Mabon (for the ritual) were
alive in the circle.
They really hit me when I spoke them. The words that came to my heart
showed me that I need a balance.
Of being hidden and open at the same time.
So about protesting...
If pagans/wiccans were protesting, for a good cause
(otherwise I would assume they weren't pagans/wiccans),
even though there probably would not be a lot of pagans/wiccans...
which is the case in such a small city as mine.
My answer would have to be 'YES, When can I join?' I may be in the
broom closet right now, but my door is open. Anyone asks, I will tell them
who and what I am.
I believe because of Mabon, I feel that I need that balance of staying
hidden and opening my arms to those that need it.
I know it is hard to explain in words how I feel but I know that
some of you know what I mean.
Blessed Be Mabon.
And thanks to those that opened their arms up to me when I needed it :)
| Yes I Would Take Part In A Protest As A Pagan ||Sep 23rd. at 2:07:13 pm EDT|
|Amy Licht (Litchfield, Michigan) ||Age: 14 - Email |
i have alot of pagan pride, and i feel that all pagans should be proud of it. together, with the goddess's strength we can do anything. BLESSED BE
| Count Me In ||Sep 23rd. at 2:29:15 pm EDT|
|Skye (Massachusetts) ||Age: 34 - Email |
Yes if I had the chance to be part of a protest I would gladly tell everyone I am a witch. No questions asked.
| Of Course!!!! @-%-- ||Sep 23rd. at 2:39:54 pm EDT|
|Talon Morgain (Iowa) ||Age: 17 - Email |
Personally I think that it would be a great idea to do that. People need to stop being so close-minded and more open minded to different religions. They need to stop being scared.
-Dragon A.K.A:(Talon Morgain)
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