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: Nov. 17, 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
| YES! ||Sep 25th. at 1:47:11 pm EDT|
|~Coventina~ (Boynton Beach, FL) ||Age: 36 - Email |
I would certainly protest as a Pagan. We cannot be afraid of our others as the blacks and gays also once were. We owe it to our children and our future.
| I Wish... ||Sep 25th. at 1:23:30 pm EDT|
|Hazel Casper (Regina SK) ||Age: 27 - Email |
I live in a very small city compared to most on this continent. We are a government town being the capitol of Saskatchewan. According to one of the few pagan gathering places (a wonderful shop on 13th Avenue which specialises in any kind of spiritualality) there are no covens or open groups in the entire southern half of our province. I have never heard of any public festivals or protests going on in the eleven years that I have been a practising witch.
Perhaps I am not as tuned in to the scene as some are, but I do know a few other pagans and they all agree. Any covens that do exist are private affairs and that's fine by me. My daughter and I very comfortable developing our family tradition. However, it would be nice to talk to other pagans in person and discuss the state of the world's affairs with others who have a similar outlook. Not necessarily that we would agree on everything, it would just be nice to know how the other pagans in my area view the world.
I would happily attend any pagan social gathering, festival or even a protest (so long as understood exactly what was being protested.) I have a very strong belief in community and I bemoan the coccooning of our society both in Canada and in the United States. In light of the recent events on the world scene, it is even more important for us all to unite in a common goal of peace, tolerance and understanding of all religions and cultures while still fighting for human rights.
I have never hidden my beliefs. I admit that for a long time I stopped talking about them simply because of the negativity I received, but my views have shifted and I am more confident in myself. I know that I need to present a good role model for my daughter and if I were to hide our beliefs, she would learn to doubt herself. She faces a lot of pressure from trusted relatives to attend church and be a christian and I need to show that our path is just as valid. If there were more public and social events, we could become part of a greater community together and she could see that it isn't us against the world, it is us with the world.
| Proud To Be A Pagan... ||Sep 25th. at 1:17:06 pm EDT|
|Kimberleigh (Michigan, USA) ||Age: 16 - Email |
I would not take part in the social protests because I am aware people are
uncomfortable with what we beleive. I would say H3ll with it, it's my life
and I am not going to protest about my religion. But i overhear some
christians saying that the Celtic religion caused this along time ago and i
was furious when i heard that.
I would sign anything depending on how far it went, im not for the pldge of
allegience but who cares. Since 9/11 i think the people who are outside of our
religion have just basically ignored it like it's not going to happen again.
Sometimes i think it will and i have probelms copeing with people who are
just going to sit back and ignore it. Some times i dont see how they can sleep
at night. i know it's been a year but its still no reason to ignore it.
Im bolder but i wouldnt take public stances because i was just get shot down
and maybe they would hang me for it just like they did back then during
the salem witch trials..
To the Goddess
| Show Up-speek Up ||Sep 25th. at 12:49:28 pm EDT|
|Debbi (Memphis, Tn) ||Age: 34 - Email |
I was out of the broom closet long before 9/11. Since 9/11 I've been even more open about my beliefs. The Christian right took advantage of 9/11 even suggesting that Goddess relegions got us into trouble to begin with.
It's time that we all leap out of our broom closets and be who we are. Thousands of American's have died for our religious freedom. If we only persue our religious freedom in hiding, then they've died in vain.
I don't suggest we wear our beliefs like badges, but we can quit hiding our books when people come over. We can announce that we're Pagan when asked; instead of using a clever out. We can show the world that our religion is valuable and deserves respect.
The Christian right depends on us being ashamed and keeping quiet. I'm not going to play on their team. Are you?
| Proud ||Sep 25th. at 12:45:38 pm EDT|
|Mothrae (Pennsy USA) ||Age: 37 - Email |
I've been "out" for almost 20 years. My family, my friends, and my town know what I am. My oldest brother is the one who gave me my first book on Wicca. He's among the Phamily too. And we're all proud of what we are.
I have participated in many festivals and events and wish I could attend more. I have never been involved in a protest. My feelings on that are simple: No one takes protests seriously (except those who are protesting, of course). The media has a ball with this, no matter who is marching and carrying signs. When Rev Al Sharpton leads a parade he is seen as a joke, no matter how serious the issue he's protesting for or against. Union strikers are seen as troublemakers rather than trying to insure their own jobs and survival. The list goes on...
I've never been worried about my jobs. The Blessed Be stickers are proudly displayed. I work in TV and movie production and we have a few people that aren't exactly mainstream.
I don't push what I am but am always ready to talk if someone asks. And if you give me trouble, expect problems from an Irish Celtic Witch with a short temper. I will fight for who and what I am and we are, but I don't think I'll carry a sign in a protest march.
| Depends.... ||Sep 25th. at 12:00:49 pm EDT|
|Ross Mullins (St. Petersburg, Fl) ||Age: 28 - Email |
I would never take part of something that has the potential to get out of control... So protests I dont think I would openly get involved. I might boycott a business or something.
As far as events... Yes... In Phoenix, on occassion they hold public rituals for the festivals. It is Usually supported by a certain coven who oversees it and makes sure all permits and such is in order for a large gathering... While I have not had the opportunity to go to one yet I would be more than willing...
| We Have Never Needed To Voice Our Opinion As We Do Now. ||Sep 25th. at 11:48:46 am EDT|
|Obsidian (Hagerstown MD USA) ||Age: 19 - Email |
This is a touchy subject, because of the fear of oppression. Not to attack, but we have an administration in which any dissenting opinion, or even a "funny" name, is grounds to be held on suspicion of "terrorism". Now more than ever, mainline Christianity and the media are leading the offensive - mostly on Muslims, but since Samhain is coming up, I smell an increase in antipagan sentiment on the rise. I had a Christian boss at my previous job who fired me for a "plethora of computer mistakes" (which I found strange since I've built computers as a hobby...hmm) after discovering my "Blessed Be" bumpersticker on my car. Now, this probably happens to pagans all over the place, but I have to wonder if it's happening more. My manager at my new job, Jaffar, is of Pakistani origin (Urdu is even his native tongue!) and I know that Corporate is scrutinizing him severely.
Being that I am a Sag, it's likely I'll charge from the forest screaming naked like a Celtic warrior on cocaïne, and while I'm more vocal than most of my pagan (and even my nonpagan) friends, I know that most of my pagan comrades (including my fiancée) share my passion. If we don't speak out and protest as a unified force, it's likely that we'll silence ourselves simply from the fear of being silenced from the forces around us. If a pagan demonstration is happening anywhere nearby and I catch word of it (and, of course, if I agree with the cause), I'll be there. I hope you will too.
| -Out And About- ||Sep 25th. at 11:47:22 am EDT|
|Rhiannon (Dallas, Tx) ||Age: 21 - Email - Web|
After years of living in the Rev. Falwell's backyard I learned to keep my path quiet, but have never backed away from my beliefs. I pick my battles, though most of the time, I agree to disagree with those I do not see eye to eye with. My friends all know I am a witch, and as I come from a family tradition, I do not have to worry of what being out of the broom closet will do to my family relationships. Should the need arise, I would have no problem publicly voicing my paganism.
I have in the past petitioned and used my legal name to protest. I am actively pro-choice and have marched, called, wrote letters and worked at various womens clinics as security. While I cannot claim that I do not have a few more fears in this post 9/11 world, but the climate is actually making me more likely to voice my opinions and stances. I will pick my battles as I stated above, but I will not be walked upon.
| My Opinion ||Sep 25th. at 11:28:27 am EDT|
|margaret ludens (brookings south dakota) ||Age: 31 - Email |
i would and do personally let my beliefs known. I also do participate in many aspects. I am not afraid of what others think of me, but that goes back to the way i was raised. As for protesting i personally do not thing that it in anyform can be good. However if it cam down to the government or such forcing my children or i into believing in the christian path they would have a fight on there hands. thank you marge
| Hmmm... ||Sep 25th. at 11:21:15 am EDT|
|Tevor Antczak (New Orleans, LA) ||Age: 28 - Email |
I personally am out. Or more to the point, I don't really worry about it. I don't carry around signs saying "Wiccan and Proud", or wear three inch diameter pentacles, but if asked, I wll tell you what my religion is, and I wear a small pentacle inside or outside my shirt as the mood strikes me. My fellow officers in my National Guard unit know (mostly because I bitched up a storm the last time they had a "leaders confrence" on Samhain night... I wan't the only one, a lot of people wanted to be out with their kids, but I was the only one claiming religious reasons). I can certainly undestand people who choose not to make their beliefs public. I know at least oe person who wasn't real public about her path while working at a Christian TV station . On the other hand, activily lying about your religion seems wrong to me somehow... To pretend to practice a religion you don't believe in seems very wrong.
Would I paricipate in a protest or event as a pagan? Depends... if I agreed with the purpose of the event, then sure. Am I going to run out an look for protest and events that I can join just to show how willing I am to "out myself", umm no. I see no point in hiding my religion, but no point in being so "out" as to be annoying either. Most people do not care what your personal beliefs are, and wearing them like a badge just annoys.
| Teenage Witch ||Sep 25th. at 11:19:22 am EDT|
|troy parkhurst (omemee ontario) ||Age: 14 - Email |
being wiccan or pagan is a privalige not a curse we should be proud of our
beliefs and not be secretive or scared to tell people about them.
if you loose a job because your boss finds out your a witch well then you don't need him/her
move on find another job and meet other people.
no iam not secretive about my beliefs because iam proud but i don't go and tell people either
only if they ask will i tell them.
now i know iam only 14 and you probably think i don't know anything but that is agism i know more
than some 30 year old people i know.:)
but i would go to a pagan/wiccan public festival or protest but thats only if i could get a ride lol :)
| Out And Active In More Ways Then One.... ||Sep 25th. at 10:55:23 am EDT|
|Ka'aper Abydos (Long Beach, CA) ||Age: 45 - Email - Web|
When I finally came out of the closet as a gay man about 2 years ago, I realized that all the religions I had tried simply would never accept me as such. Then the Lady and Lord found me (or were there all the time, waiting) and I found acceptance I had never dreamed of.
Would I stand up and be counted as a Pagan? Absolutely! I read recently that the pagan paths are the only ones that make us take total accountability for our actions (as opposed to being manipulated by some devil or another) and I want to shout to the oppressed of all religions that there is a path that will accept you as you are.
"Spirituality is like an island in the middle of a huge lake with many bridges leading to it. You get to choose which bridge to cross to get to the same island." - Ka'aper Abydos
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