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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
| My Response To Question 78 ||Sep 23rd. at 2:57:11 pm EDT|
|Tracey (New Jersey) ||Age: 35 - Email |
The recent and disturbing events of the world seems to have loosened my restraints on my beliefs. I have signed petitions, sent letters to government officials and started to participate in more local community interests. I do this now under my own name and without trying to hide my pagan beliefs. I want my kids to know that if you have beliefs, you should be proud of them and not afraid of what the neighbors think.
As for being under surveillance for participating in public events, I find my feelings about my government and it's policies are stronger now as an adult and if being vocal about my beliefs and disagreement of policy takes me to that level of visibility, i'll deal with it then.
I've never hidden my spirituality but then again I've never advertised it before either. If people ask, I tell them. If people don't ask, it's none of their business. The world and it's population remain a wondrous diverse garden of individuality. I want to see that remain and for more acceptance to grow in the world for beliefs and opinions. You can't make a difference if you sit back and watch. As my children get older, I want them to know they have to be involved in their world, locally or globally, dependinig on what they feel strongly about. I can't teach it if I don't practice it.
Blessed Be and thanks.
| Broom Handle Stuck ||Sep 23rd. at 3:42:24 pm EDT|
|Heaven Walker (Monmouth IL) ||Age: 21 - Email |
I am almost completely "out", but not 100%. I am out to my friends and peers. However, I am not out to my family (all conservative Christians). My mother, who is a fundamentalist, is the worst. Humorously enough, it was easier to tell her that I am a lesbian (which was terrible) than to tell her that I am Wiccan. However, I am plaaning to apply to a seminary for graduate school. I would like to gain a masters in the study of religious arts. It is a progressive Christian seminary, but still Christian. I plan on being completely honest about my faith. If they don't want me because of it than so be it. I may tell my mother one day. It just needs to be the right timing (i.e. I am not financially dependant on her anymore. I don't think that I will tell my family, because we really aren't that close. I chose not to tlell them that I was a lesbian either. My girlfriend knows, and is interested in learning about the religion. So......I am mostly out of the broom closet, but my broom handle seems to be stuck.
| Absolutely. ||Sep 23rd. at 3:44:11 pm EDT|
|Ali (Palm Harbor, FL) ||Age: 17 - Email - Web|
If there were a Pagan protest of some kind, I would most definitely take part. I am out of the broom closet with everyone, and I've nothing to hide. I walk the Pagan path with pride in my every day life. If people of all faiths could adhere to their beliefs, speak out, and be willing to listen and understand each other, maybe the problems of today could become the problems of yesterday.
| Out Where In Matters. ||Sep 23rd. at 3:53:59 pm EDT|
|Tamo (CA) ||Age: 33 - Email |
I write my representatives a lot, and I use my full name and address. This proves I'm part of their constituency. In this context, if I don't represent myself, how could I expect my elected officials to represent me?
When I debate with fundies and other intolerant types online, I use a nom-de-plume. In this context, it's the exchange of ideas that matters more than identity.
With friends and family, they already know my name. I never deny my Paganism, but I don't flaunt it either. If they're interested, they'll ask.
At public Pagan events, I use my real name. The non-Pagan community would benefit from knowing how normal and everyday we Pagans can be. Plus, if I'm ever quoted in the paper, or photographed by the government, I have nothing to hide.
| To Take Part As A Pagan, For The Rights We Have Fought For.. ||Sep 23rd. at 4:16:01 pm EDT|
|Larry E. "Dutch" Lyle (Cleveland, Ohio) ||Age: 55 - Email |
Yes. I would appear as a Pagan, and proudly. Either the First Amendment to the Constitution
MEANS freedom of religion or it doesn't. As it does, I have that right, by LAW. I will do
ANYTHING necessary, to keep that right. I will do ANYTHING necessary to protect me and mine from those who would attempt to abrogate that right. I am a Pagan, and a proud one. Nobody makes this person hide from "authority" or anyone else for that matter. Big Brother needs to learn that some of us bite.
| What I Believe Is Sacred ||Sep 23rd. at 4:16:31 pm EDT|
|Twylah (Fl) ||Age: 42 - Email |
I think that what I believe is like my sex life or anyother personal thing, but if it were a protest I would have to stand for I believe. I guess what I am saying is that I feel no need to flaunt my Wiccan ways, but if asked I will not deny them.
| The World Is My Broom Closet ||Sep 23rd. at 4:37:07 pm EDT|
|Joshua Yazell (Orlando, FL) ||Age: 24 - Email |
I have and will increasingly become more active in the Pagan Community. This is our time to shine or I feel the world of humans will suffer greater perils. The world is once again falling under the control of unscrupulous religious control by involving religion in our governments ... the Arab world is a prime example of this and let us not forget the dark ages! The christans since the fifties have infiltrated our government to the tome of billions of dollars a year being filtered into christian organizations... perpetuating there horrors on mankind. If we do not take action there will be another burning times. It's not as far fetched as one would imagine. A little critical thinking denotes a huge possibility ... there is far reaching power in government. It is imperative that we do not hide on the sidelines while they ruin it for those of us that would live peacefully. We have to continue to push out of the boundaries set to keep us down. There are millions of us in this country alone ... we can effect great change! I say get involved in government we need Pagan Politicians and active Pagan participents. So I say to thee consider the world your broom closet and its inhabitants your fellow travelers some of them misguided and some of them evilly lurking in the shadows waiting for the moment to pounce and once again ruin all that we have done and all the we will become.
| ? ||Sep 23rd. at 4:53:07 pm EDT|
|Nola Peters (Crockett, CA) ||Age: 46 - Email |
Don't feel a need to publicly protest as am concentrating on small and personal change.
| YES, DEFINITELY! ||Sep 23rd. at 5:07:48 pm EDT|
|(Rev) Norm Vogel (New Jersey) ||Age: 50 - Email |
Since I've been totally public for the past 18 years, i would have absolutely NO PROBLEM doing this!
I have done TV/newspaper/radio work and have given lectures at colleges, so this wouldn't bother me in the LEAST!
| You Bet ||Sep 23rd. at 5:28:36 pm EDT|
|Ashe Winterwolf (Irving, Texas) ||Age: 38 - Email |
When I first became involved in Wicca, I was very closed-mouthed about my religion of choice. In the last several years, I'm slowly coming out of the broom closet. I've pretty much taken the stance that if I'm asked what religion I practice I will tell them, but I don't make a point to bring up the topic. I haven't really felt any need, since 9/11, to change my behavior and would have no problem protesting something I felt was wrong, as a Wiccan/Pagan. I think the events of the last year have caused me to pay greater attention to what is happening in my society and speaking up as a member of this society.
| Would You Take Part In A Public Event Or Protest AS A Pagan? ||Sep 23rd. at 5:30:04 pm EDT|
|Graywolf (Canada, Ontario) ||Age: 49 - Email |
Yes, always have been "out" and open about my chosen path.
I've worn a sterling pentacle pendant for decades and it occasionally brought some interested comments but no bad effects. Except once from a used car dealer, go figure.
I guess I've been lucky, the companies I work(ed) for have been on the large side and all have had a "we value diversity" ethic. I was most pleased when I found Wicca listed in their lists of acknowledged faiths.
We have come a long way in the decades since Gerald Gardner and Alex Sanders, it would be terrible if things were to slide backwards again to the days when the legal books had anti-Witchcraft laws.
In the crazy state the world is in now, you just might loose your rights to the faith of your choice if you are not willing to stand up for it.
| Would I Take Part In A Public Event As A Pagan ||Sep 23rd. at 5:47:49 pm EDT|
|tiffany (seattle) ||Age: 18 - Email |
yes i would be in a public event as a pagan and i am not inclined any more or less about my beliefs than i was before 9/11 i have always been discriminated against so its nothing new i would not think i would be placed under surveillance if i signed my legal name or participated in apublic event i am pretty much the same after the events currently my broom closet status is most of my friends, my dad, sisters, brother, one aunt and two cousins know my mom has a problem so the rest of the family doesnt know
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