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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
| ? ||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
| Absolutely! ||Sep 23rd. at 6:25:33 pm EDT|
|Zafirah_Donn (Fairfax, VA) ||Age: 32 - Email |
I would, and I have on several occasions. I go to PPD events, and I participated in the Rally for America last year (that would be the counter protest to the DC anti-war protests) with a "Goddess Bless America" sign. I think I confused the heck out of several of my fellow conservatives, but overall the response was positive. :)
| March In Like A Lamb..... ||Sep 23rd. at 7:13:43 pm EDT|
|Contessa Lillianna (New Haven Illinios) ||Age: 38 - Email - Email |
When I first became a witch I was parranoid that people would find out, my job and most importantly family could be on the line. After a while and much reading it dawned upon me that unless people were perpared to face the world and say "I'm a witch" the world would remain forever afraid of us. Luckily opportunities came my way, (usually during the dark moon, when I'm spoiling for a fight), that allowed me to replace fear with outrage. With that energy I started to do the right thing. I now make a point of always giving my opion to people in power, (government, television, xtain groups), who have offended me or wrong the craft. And I always sign my letters, Michael Buckley, A Witch.
If people dont stand up for what is right, or expect others to do the dirty work for them, I dont see how they can sleep at night. It is a democrcy, by the people, witches are people, therefore stand up be proud and tell whomever what it is that you want them to do.
Attitudes toward the craft wont change by people hidding in the shadows, and pretending we dont exist.
| Blast The Broom Closet! ||Sep 23rd. at 8:09:30 pm EDT|
|Shae O'Herne (Phoenix, Arizona, USA) ||Age: 44 - Email - Web|
I have attended many public gatherings of Wiccans and Pagans, and will continue to do so. Better yet, I recently became involved in the local Pagan Pride Day festival, and opened my broom closet door at my workplace and in my new neighborhood. I have spent 27 years stepping in and out of the threshold of that Closet, being completely Out among friends, straddling it with family, and mostly in at work and to most neighbors. What a relief to let go of my fears and jump fully Out of that Closet! How refreshing and liberating! I expect a bump here and there, but my energy is extended to positively encompass all who chose to approach me with questions. Letting my Light shine just might open a mind or two...who knows?
| Would You Take Part In A Public Event Or Protest AS A Pagan? ||Sep 23rd. at 8:33:14 pm EDT|
|Tori (Pennsylvania) ||Age: 21 - Email |
When I first started coming out as a Pagan, I expected my xtian friends and family to scream with disgust and start looking for firewood. Seriously. But I soon found that most people were hesitant to accept the new me because they were confused about what I believe. Because so many Pagans in this area remain in the broom closet, they've only heard the xtian side of it. Once I explained to them that we don't worship Satan and are completely against human or animal sacrifice, they calmed down a bit. Now, because I was open with what I believe and who I am, many more people have opened their eyes a little more to diversity.
I know it's hard from some Pagans to come out. It was hard for me. But I feel that the more who get involved in their community and their country, all while being open about their faith, the more acceptance we will gain as a valid and non-threatening religion.
| Yes, I Would Stand Against Discrimination. ||Sep 23rd. at 8:34:57 pm EDT|
|Aaron (South Carolina) ||Age: 13 - Email |
I would definately do so. I think we should stand against people repressing religions.
| Hell Yes! ||Sep 23rd. at 8:44:45 pm EDT|
|Ian Mc Closky (Toronto, ON Canada) ||Age: 23 - Email |
Yes! Yes! Yes! It is time for us to raise some hell before we go off the deep end in a war that the West might not win! For the past one thousand plus years, almost all of the wars in the world have been fought because of religion. I personally don't want to see North America destroyed because of Chretien trying to be a hero to the anti-American lobby, nor do I want to hear that Bush is trying to start the next Crusade (which, unfortunately it looks like he is about to do).
For the first time in CENTURIES people, Pagans/Witches/Heathens/Wiccans/Goddess Worshipers et al finally have the freedom to be OPEN and HONEST about our beliefs. I am not sure if any of you feel this strongly, but I am willing to FIGHT for our right to EXIST. I am sick and tired of seeing the Abrahamic Religions messing things up and it is high time that we told them that, "Enough is Enough!" and that they need to RESPECT other opinions.
Let's be honest, people. We have had these rights for only fifty plus years (in some areas, even less. After all, it wasn't until 1980 that the U.S. Supreme Court recognised Wicca as a religion and with Bush in the White House, that could very well change and 1954 for England). Our faiths, though based on something older and, let's be honest in some cases this IS true, better faiths than most of the mainstream humans practise. But we still have alot to work towards. Remember, we have not yet WON the war, just some pretty impressive battles.
Coming out of the closet is a personal choice and should be. However, not coming out says that our numbers are few and that we are weak, and if we keep on projecting that image, who cares about some troublemaking witches?
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