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
| 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!!!
| Visibility Is Powerful ||Sep 24th. at 1:35:45 am EDT|
|Sparrow (Colorado) ||Age: 32 - Email |
I would definitely stand up as a Pagan. I certainly don't feel compelled to tell everyone I know what my religious beliefs are, but I don't really think that's necessary for anyone of any religion. Most of my friends, my family, my neighbors, and the co-workers that I am closest to know. Almost everyone has had at least one bizarre question to ask me about it. These are usually about satan or sacrificing various animals. This shows me that there is a lack of knowledge about us and our beliefs. Remaining silent and invisible will only perpetuate this ignorance. One way to change this is for people to find out that their perfectly normal friend, family member, co-worker or neighbor is Pagan. Being seen, as Pagans, protesting for a good cause will point out that we are not only here, but we are trying to make the world a better place for us all to live in.
| As A Solitary Student Of The Craft..... ||Sep 24th. at 2:19:32 am EDT|
|Allen Williamson (Graysville TN) ||Age: 34 - Email |
My Name is Allen Williamson (a.k.a. MoonWolfe)
There is to much hatred towards people of the Craft. As I have grown into the realm of understanding My believes , I have found it to be as violent and ridiculed as it has always been in the past. The events on 9/11 have not influenced my thoughts at all . I still have the concerns that I had before 9/11 and have grown to know when and where to let my true idenity be known . I do however, think that the attention has shifted off of the persecution of pagans to the religions of the middle east . Which is not a good thing but, at the same time is some what a relief? I am a Pagan in the "Bible" Belt so it is a bit of relief but, not a cure for the hatred that is predominently still in the people of the other religions. So as I stated before I will continue to learn when , where , and how to persent myself and name in a public that, as advanced as they are can seem never to allow pagan's their gaian given rights. I dream of a day when the human race is one with all of it's surroundings until that time i remain in cloak and remain strong through all that I mustt bare witness too? THE DAY OF THE ANIMAL IS NEAR ,ARE YOU READY?
| A Real Response To This Question ||Sep 24th. at 2:38:19 am EDT|
|wa2wiccan (walla walla wa) ||Age: 39 - Email |
yes i would openly participate. now more than ever
| Yes I Would! ||Sep 24th. at 3:10:32 am EDT|
|Kaley Rain (Tracy, CA) ||Age: 17 - Email |
Yes, I would openly participate, although I wouldn't make a point to shove a Pentacle in anyone's face or anything. I agree with something I saw in a personal, "Be religious, no obnoxious."
| I Would Go Public! ||Sep 24th. at 3:36:53 am EDT|
|Erin (Simi Valley, CA) ||Age: 18 - Email - Web|
I would participate in public events and use my real name. The past current events have brought me out of the "broom closet." I feel that my beliefs might help since they are non-aggressive.
| I'm Really Looking Forward To Coming Out ||Sep 24th. at 4:19:42 am EDT|
|Arinna (North Carolina) ||Age: 34 - Email |
As with most other things in life having kids changes all the rules. My daughter is 15 and I have been worried about putting her in situations that she is unprepared for or that might be unsafe for her. Since I live in the bible belt where even opening a shop selling stones and crystals(a simple lapidary shop nothing really mystical) is provocation enough to have your locks glued shut everyday until they drive you out of business and where someone set the local Catholic Church on fire for their supposed idolatry, I have remained in the broom closet. I will probably continue to remain there as far as my local community is concerned but I just recently attended a Pagan Pride Day celebration in another town 6 hours away. I can't tell you how wonderful it was to just be out in the open in a friendly environment. Now I'm hooked. I have to thank the wonderful people here at Witchvox for it too because this is where I found out about the event. And of course I have to thank the Crystal Coast Pagans as well for making me feel so welcome when I got there. I may not feel comfortable coming out at home but at least I know that when we gather together I will always have a home away from home where it's not only ok but it's fun to be a proud pagan. Where do I sign up for the next event?!?!?!
| Proud To Be Part Of The Public Events And Protests ||Sep 24th. at 5:45:42 am EDT|
|Angel (Huddersfield, UK) ||Age: 24 - Email |
I would most definitely take part in Public Events and Protests, I work as a aolitary and sometimes it is difficult to make my voice heard. I understand the need for communities, healing and strength... blessed be xx
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