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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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
| Stand Up For Your Beliefs ||Sep 23rd. at 8:56:26 pm EDT|
|Pete Ralls (England) ||Age: 19 - Email |
I think that us Pagans should stand up for our believes and take part in public protests and events. The times in which we were burned at the stake have long passed and we no longer have anything to be afraid of, except other people's opinions and in the end, other people's opinions are just that. They have no consequence on our lives unless we let them get to us. Be proud! Be Free!
| Absolutely ||Sep 23rd. at 9:17:14 pm EDT|
|cetacia (idaho) ||Age: 41 - Email |
I guess I am a bit mystified by all the people saying they are in the broom closet. I have never felt that I should have to hide my beliefs from anyone. I have always worn a conservative gold pentacle not any bigger that most christian crosses. I work with the public on a daily basis and the only comment I have ever gotten was from another pagan stating she was surprised they let me wear my pentalce out. Please. How could they stop me? If I don't act like a freak and I do my job, what do they care? I would have no problem signing my name to anything I believe in, and likewise any function. I am no more afraid than I was before Sept. 11th, and I am I glad that I am pagan and not buying into all the Christian hysteria over the end of the world.
| In The Broom Closet, But With The Door Unlocked ||Sep 23rd. at 9:49:06 pm EDT|
|Brian Garrett (Mission Viejo, CA) ||Age: 42 - Email |
I've thought about going to public Pagan events, and I may do so, but having been Pagan for only two years as a solitary, I'm not sure I'm ready for the Pagan community--or them for me. I don't really fit into anybody's expectations, and if there's anything Organized Religion(tm) has, it's expectations--"you must do this, and believe this, in order to be one of us". Granted, Paganism in general is pretty open and liberal, but to belong to a Coven or Grove ot whatever, you have to play by *their* rules, and I had quite enough of that during my born-again Christian days.
As for whether to stay in the broom closet or not--I've told a couple of people about my Pagan beliefs, and they seemed OK with it, but there are still a lot of people (including my mother, a die-hard atheist, and my boss, an evangelical Christian), whom I could never tell. I certainly have to be discreet at the Christian institution I work for. Sure, I *could* tell them. Could I sue for discrimination if I got fired? Certainly. Would I win? Possibly. Do I have time for the pain? NO.
I applaud all the Pagans who have gone public, but that doesn't yet mean it's safe for everybody.
Just because we no longer get burned at the stake doesn't mean we're not still subject (figuratively) to the death of a thousand cuts. To those who have come out, I say bravo and congratulations. As for me, I'll come out when I'm damn good and ready.
| Never Again The Burnings! We Must Hold Fast! ||Sep 23rd. at 9:58:06 pm EDT|
|Hadriel Stoneroot (USA) ||Age: 15 - Email |
If we don't want to have another holocaust, except in the place of Jews we replace pagans, we must hold protests against repression... we must combat hatred... so if you still haven't figured out where I stand, the answer is YES. protests are one of the few ways we can combat hatred. the type of hatred i'm talkin about is www.demonbuster.com... go there, and i think you'll see my point.
Link to More info related to this post -- HERE
| End The Hate ||Sep 23rd. at 10:08:26 pm EDT|
|Rene L Treglia (Syracuse, New York) ||Age: 29 - Email |
I think that now, more than ever, we need to stand up and be counted or the hate will never end. We've made some great strides in the past few years and we can't just let that fall apart. When the rest of the world understands who we are and what we are that is when we will have acceptance. We owe it to our children to stand strong and show the world the truth about pagans so that they may be able to live in a world one day without fear. If we don't continue to move forward our children will fall into the spiral of hate. I've spoken to many young pagans who show signs of hate themselves because of the fear they have of the religious establishment. Changes can not happen without the courage to stand.
| Broom Closet? A Bit Cramped In There, If You Ask Me. ||Sep 23rd. at 10:21:20 pm EDT|
|Dark Moon Panther (Glen Gardner, NJ) ||Age: 39 - Email |
I've been openly pagan for about 22 of the 26 years I've been on a pagan path. Before that, it was pretty well known that my family contained granny women and water witches, so maybe that primed me for openness. Anyway, as soon as I felt secure enough in my knowledge base to step out of the broom closet, I did it. I have been to various public events as myself, given "this is paganism" speeches every now and then, and generally refused to knuckle under when pressed. On the other hand, I don't feel the need to go around trumpeting my beliefs either. If people ask, I tell them. If they make uninformed statements, I correct them. I have had a few acquaintances dump me after finding out what my religion is, but I guess that's their loss -- I don't need that kind of psychic pain anyway. I think it is best for people to do what they are comfortable with, but every sane pagan, witch, heathen, etc. out there who steps out of the broom closet makes it just a little harder for the Fundamentalists to be believed when they preach that we are EVIL.
| Yes. ||Sep 23rd. at 10:33:31 pm EDT|
|Diama White (Wayne, MI USA) ||Age: 46 - Email |
Of course I would.
Long live the Goddess. )O(
| Do We Really Have A Choice? ||Sep 23rd. at 10:57:52 pm EDT|
|Jeva Singh-Anand (Sioux City, Iowa) ||Age: 36 - Email - Web|
If we want to occupy our rightful place in society, we must fight for it. We must also earn it. Most Halloween-Wicca articles and letters to the editor say something like, "Hi, I'm a witch and I don't torture little children. So stop oppressing me already." It's an old tradition that goes all the way to Gardner's _Witchcraft Today_. I don't know of any other religion whose followers talk about what atrocities they DON'T commit.
A lot of Pagans complained about blaming fingers being pointed at them when a "cult group" that was possibly involved in "animal mutilations" started a major wildfire in California, despite the fact that the local media were trying very hard not to single out any particular group. What if the Pagan community had pooled its resources to help these people? What if the local Pagans had gone out of their way to establish a positive presence in that area -- PRIOR to that terrible disaster.
We, of the Siouxland First Wiccan Congregation in Sioux City, Iowa, decided to do that about half a year ago, building relationships with our community, one neighbor at a time. We painted the nursery of the local UU church, and we leave the church basement we rent from them always a little nicer than we found it. Our financial commitment to them has made us one of their stronger supporters. The result? The church loves its "basement witches" -- not because the UU charter says the have to, but because we are good to them.
The local state park in which we hold our public rituals is always glad to see us, because we are among the few tenants who actually clean up after ourselves. Saturday, we gathered food donations for the local food bank during our Mabon circle.
Do I fear being put under surveillance by the authorities? In fact, I would welcome it. When I go to bed at night, I have a clean conscience.
| If At All Possible ||Sep 23rd. at 11:29:55 pm EDT|
|Kristin Lyttle (Florence, SC) ||Age: 17 - Email |
For three years I've been taking all the jokes and insults from my classmates about my religion and working my butt off trying to get things to change. I've worked to get the school administration to offer an all religions discussion club for kids who are confused religiously and only have the FCA to turn to and question. I've always tried to promote a good image for the Pagan community and for teenagers. If at all possible I would go to a protest or sign something that would help the Pagan community. Without hesitation.
| Pagen And Proud ||Sep 23rd. at 11:38:41 pm EDT|
|sandi (sarasota florida) ||Age: 33 - Email |
I have been an active pagen for 2 years now, and to think it only took me 30 years to find my real self. I am showing my pagen pride in less than six months with my outside handfasting ceremony in a public park. My fiance and I are so excited to have the oppurtunity to share our beliefs with all of our pagen friends and family as well as the ones that have never experienced what a wonderful and beautiful ceremony this is.
Blessings to all!!!!
| It Is Our Duty To Stand Up And Be Heard. ||Sep 23rd. at 11:39:54 pm EDT|
|Rowan Phoenixheart (Sacramento, CA) ||Age: 28 - Email |
I would participate in order to help create a better world for future generations. The society that our children and grandchildren will live in will be created by what we do today. If we hide in our closets today, so will our children tommorrow.
| The Broom Closet Has No Door ||Sep 24th. at 12:01:27 am EDT|
|Kayla WhiteFeather (Cleveland, OH) ||Age: 35 - Email |
I've been Pagan for about 6 years now, and have always attended or participated in public rituals when I could find them. I've also been to several festivals, and when friends, co-workers, or family members ask me questions, I try to explain things to them. It's time for all spiritual people to be proud of who they are REGARDLESS of what forms they practice!!! And I'm PROUD to be PAGAN!!!
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