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Pagan Perspectives

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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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Responses: [2,666]

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 Author:    Posted: Nov. 17, 2002   This Page Viewed: 17,005,200  

Vox Q Stats

Times Viewed: 32,767

Reponses: 268

Lurker/Post Ratio: 122 to 1

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 

Would I Take Part? Sep 29th. at 11:36:05 am EDT

Angelika (Ontario Canada) Age: 45 - Email

There is safety in numbers, so if a lot of pagans were to march, or protest peacefully
as one, then I would do so also. It would shock my famly and friends and anyone else that
knows me, but yes I would.

To Each Their Own Sep 29th. at 11:21:33 am EDT

Jeanne Lisbet (Victoria,BC) Age: 22 - Email

We all have our own levels of security, as our own situations dictate. No one should feel bad for not being able to be "out" in public, whether in a workplace or in a marching crowd in the streets. We all know who we are in ourselves, and that should be enough for anyone, no one should have to feel as though they have anything to prove. There are times however, when many voices are needed to give strength to the whole, and it is in picking our battles wisely that we will win a war, against our oppression, our fears, or those of others. For we must take care of each other, as none of us are free until we all are, we all know what is dearest to our hearts that is worth fighting for, and we will know the time when it comes.
May Peace be with us all.

Well, Yes...but.... Sep 29th. at 9:35:10 am EDT

columbine (NY) Age: 37 - Email - Web

I have no problem being who I am...and have even attending Pagan events and signed my real name. I don't know what the heck you mean by being "Out". If it means screaming from the rooftops..."Oh, lookee, I'm a pagan! Seeseesee!" Then maybe I'm in the closet and have been for about 20 years. I see absolutely NO REASON to do this. To me, it's an embarrassment -- whether you're pagan, Christian, gay, straight, whatever! and, no, I don't dress the sterotypic part of what a witch is supposed to be either and there are quite a few. Do I wear a pentacle? No. do I have other "pagan" jewelry. Well, yeah -- lots. and I get tons of compliments on it from all walks of life. Do I jump up and say "Oh, seeseesee! You just complimented me on a pagan symbol! Nanny nanny nanny!"? No.

But, as I read some of the comments here (I only went back about 5 pages or so), I am reaffirmed that there are some definite reasons why I don't associate with much of the pagan populace. Now, maybe it's because these people are still young and foolish and not very adept at handling themselves, but to say things like "go kick some Catholic ass" -- or whatever it is your saying -- is insulting to me as a witch, a human, and as someone who has MANY MANY MANY Catholic and Christian friends.

**WHEW** Enough of my rant.

Now back to the question at hand. No, I am not ashamed of who I am. I just don't see what the need is to jump out and shout it from the rooftops. I'd feel that way no matter WHAT my belief system.

Half In, Half Out Sep 29th. at 8:54:08 am EDT

Cherie (Sacramento, CA) Age: 46 - Email

As the headline suggests, it depends on the situation. I yearly attend the local Pagan Pride Harvest Festival using my actual name, not my magickical name. I have also signed a petition using my real name.

On the other hand, I am more cautious in when and where I disclose my religion to others since the 9/11 attack.

May Our Vocies Be Herd! Sep 29th. at 6:49:09 am EDT

Sanna hendriksson (Sweden, Haparanda.) Age: 14 - Email

I think it's time for us to create understanding for our religion.
And that's what we are doing, the most of us.
People need to understand that we DO NOT worshipp (our how ever you spell it) the devil. When you heare the word "devil" you think of darkness and monustreus beeings. It is my thought they aren't. The "Devils" are things that human don't want to accept in her/himself. There's allways someone believeing in that. And I have respect for other religions, as long as they don't try to push their thought's at me.
I am a Wiccan sens four years (yes, I started out very young, but dos that mean enything, at the end?) and before that I have been studying herbs and indians. My mother's trying to push cristianity ("jesus loves you", kind of stuff) and as I can se she fails. She forced me to pick away my altar (which took me about an houer) and I wept. She forced me to wear "normal" clotes and I wept again. She tried to pick of me my pentagram, but I stad up and said: "I am a Wiccan, a Witch, mother, and I am proud of that. You can force me to hide my religion, but you can't force me to take of the jwelry I prefere to wear". I am wearing my pentagram still today. =)

So to all of you:
The world is a tough palce to live on, and today we are even more concentrated at religions after the 11th of September 2001 (my blessings to all the victimes and to them who survived), here in Sweden, and specially in a small town like Haparanda that's so close to Finland, every one knows every thing. We don't think so much at The Crasch, but every year, I may allmost promise, I will wear a symbol for sorrow on the 10th, 11th and 12th of Septambre.
Anyway, I'd not keep up to much to that, I wish to see a world were religion dosen't matter. But to see that world we must keep on fighting.

Good luck with YOUR fight, and may the God and Godess be by your side.
Blessed Be You, Child of Earth!

Ps. Do forgive my spelling. English is my 3rd toungue. Ds.

Wawoodyinnc Sep 29th. at 5:33:03 am EDT

william woody (greensboro,nc) Age: 26 - Email

i would love love to participate in any open forum for the help and portection of the craft. Let's take thw word out and tell others as it should be.

I Have Absolutely No Problem With This Sep 29th. at 12:25:12 am EDT

Becca Rockafellow (Leslie, Michigan) Age: 35 - Email

I have no problem being wiccan openly! I would protest openly and without fear! To show this I have the Triple Goddess tattooed above my forehead! I do understand others hesitation and fear! I respect this and totally understand it! Most people outside of the wiccan/pagan community give me a wide berth so I really have no fear! It helps of course that I have no children so I have no ones safety to be afraid of! Peace, love and respect my brothers and sisters!

Depends........ Sep 29th. at 12:08:36 am EDT

Katherine (Tampa) Age: 23 - Email

If the protest or petition was something that I felt was worth fighting for then yes, I would be proud to be a part of it. Unfortunatly, some things are just better not to be a part of.

I Prbably Wouldn't At This Time. Sep 28th. at 11:33:43 pm EDT

elifia (Cape May, N.J.) Age: 53 - Email

I work in a hospital and just got placed in a new job position. Maybe I'd openly protest in a year from now.
Elifia Link to More info related to this post -- HERE

Sponsor Witchvox... Sep 28th. at 11:12:55 pm EDT

Lunae (rural STL region) Age: 30 - Email - Web

I take part of letter writing campaigns, attend Pagan festivals once or twice/yr and do what I can. I'm a fam trad.

A case was brought against me in the late 1980's and I was acquitted. They said I was endangering minors (I was 17 & by MO state law then I had the majority). I was just going about my business being me. Since I wasn't outspoken about my beliefs then it was funny that they in fact brought attention to something I had been taught to hide.

From that they generated a lot of interest. I bet with a high school of 3,400 kids and who knows how many of their family members, at least a hundred people were interested enough to learn what Paganism is really about. Through the oppressors' hate, they probably lost supporters and created more tolerance.

After the beatings stopped I figured what else could I lose? I'm much more open and free now. At work I refer to myself as "Pre-Christian"-they can call me whatever they like and it's known I attend cross-Tradition religious ceremonies. I've been told I'm going to Hell but then I've heard *that* since I refused to say "under God" in grade school. I've paid the dues already. No fear here.

Absolutley! Sep 28th. at 11:09:34 pm EDT

Angela (Zoe) (Arkansas) Age: 15 - Email

I would definately sign my name to a petition and use my real name in
anything involving circles/events. To me it doesn't matter what people
think about me.
I'm very comfortable with who and what I am and if people don't like
it then forget them. People who discriminate against
people who aren't like them aren't worth my time and energy. I am very
open with my beliefs and I don't care who knows it. If people hate me
for it then that's just fine with me because at least I don't carry around
all that hate with me. I just wish people would stop sticking their noses
in the air at witches and accept them for the wonderful people that we are!

Much love and luck,


I Do Take Part... Sep 28th. at 10:54:58 pm EDT

Damiana (NJ) Age: 39 - Email

in public events...supporting Pagan Pride Day in the area is one way...and, I use my real name. It's still a bit tricky, knowing who would be 'accomodating' and who definitely won't be. It's a balancing act for me, which is fine for the moment. The more time goes by though the less I'm interested in feeling as if I 'can't' share that part of who I am. If asked, I'm likely to give the whole truth. If not, I'm likely to leave it alone. Definitely still a balancing act!

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