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
| 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
| `an Nothing Really Matters' ||Sep 25th. at 10:50:04 am EDT|
|Jenny (England) ||Age: 24 - Email |
The question really is, when standing up for a cause what ever it may be, does the fact that you are a pagan really matter? From a personal view being a pagan isn't what controls my ethics and actions, merely my ethics and actions fit in with others who are pagan. Surely what your actions achieve is the main point. The `I am christian and hence I will be seen to be doing good;even though I don't really want to and its an impostion', is sadly something that often poisions christianity, and I hope isn't somthing that will drift over into paganism. I slowly drifted into paganism in part to get away from it. If someone challanges me about my beliefs I will tend to explain what they are rather than give them a label, which the other person may well misunderstand. We are a reactionary race, as September the 11th proved once again and life is generally much nicer if you don't give people the chance to become so.
| Out And Soon To Be Active ||Sep 25th. at 10:45:00 am EDT|
|Starling (Karine Brosseau) (Montreal, Canada) ||Age: 24 - Email |
I'm Canadian, French-speaking, Pagan, Female, and proud of all of the above. I am out of the broom closet at work, as well as in my private and public lives. I am a Level 1 student at Crescent Moon School and not quite as active in my community as I wish I could be. I would volunteer at the Montreal's Pagan Ressource Center, but I don't have the time required to do so. But where I was heading is the fact that the MPRC was thinking of arranging a group to go to different events, such as the Farha walk, which is to raise funds for AIDS research, and other such charity events, and I, for one, would love to participate to those events as a Pagan. I mean, why not?
I am not really the activist/protest kind of person, however. I would rather just write a protest letter (yes, with my legal name) to the people concerned, or to newspapers, than go out and get violent about a cause. Unless the protest would be a sit-in or a peaceful walk.
| I Have A Closet? ||Sep 25th. at 10:26:01 am EDT|
|Uruloki (Bozeman,MT) ||Age: 20 - Email |
admittedly, when I was younger it was much harder to admit to others what I was, I Already was not the most popular person in school. but as I got older I got more comfortable with it and decided that anyone who had problem with what I believed in could f#*k off. Once I graduated high school I came to college with a vague hope that I might find others, however, it's been two years and have met only 1 or 2. If people ask I tell them that I am a wiccan, but it's not something that I force on them.
And in the event of a suitable protest in bozeman,I may be the only one out there, but hell yeah I'll stand up for myself.
| In The Closet And Need To Stay That Way ||Sep 25th. at 7:29:17 am EDT|
|Clio (York PA) ||Age: 29 - Email |
I am proud to be a Pagan and happy that the Way found me and drew me in. However I am closeted to all but friends and four family members. My extended family is extremely conservative and Christian and I think that, if they ever found out, the fallout would be too much for me to handle. Plus the Pagan community in my area isn't well-organized as far as I can see.
| An' It Harm None ||Sep 25th. at 5:20:34 am EDT|
|SkyWalker (Jupiter, Florida) ||Age: 44 - Email |
You would think at my age (44)I wouldn't have a problem being seen in public supporting my beliefs and convictions. But sometimes one must take other people into consideration. My mother and one sister know about me, but my other two siblings are too narrow minded and would keep me from my niece and nephews. Then there is my 84 yr old father who is a Born-Again Christian and would have a stroke. The Law is "An' it harm none...". This I believe above all else, so I choose my battles carefully. Sometimes one can do quite alot while being inconspicuous. Behind the scenes can be just as supportive as out in the open.
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