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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.
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| `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.
| The Door To My Broom Closet Is Open! ||Sep 25th. at 5:06:27 am EDT|
|Lady Morgaine (meriden connecticut) ||Age: 22 - Email |
Yes I would take part in a protest as an active pagan in my comminity. I have always been open about my religious beliefs and will continue to be so. I was raised to let people express their own opinions, what ever they may be, and to respect them, though I may not always agree with them. If there is a problem that arises locally from my openness then I will handle it, more power to the ones not afraid to express themselves!
| Out And Proud, ||Sep 25th. at 4:50:58 am EDT|
|Araelus Stormwolf (England) ||Age: 32 - Email |
As a practising solitary Witch for many years, I'd have no problems standing with my Craft brothers and sisters, it's my right, and if a little civil disobedience changes the world for the better, Then Blessed be. I believe that knowledge is the sword that should be used to strike down ingnorance. Let's show these Cowens that, we just want to be left alone to practise our faith, without predjudice. And as for caution, I cast it off. They cant burn you anymore.
| I Have And Would Again! ||Sep 25th. at 2:21:36 am EDT|
I have protested openly as a Witch, have marched in parades commemorating the Women's vote under my coven's banner, wearing pentagram shirts, and protested in writing using my real name many times. I am aware that it could come back to haunt me by having someone show up at my door to haul me off to a Pagan internment camp- but ya know, I already have decided that if it comes to that, I owuld rather be on the INSIDE where it is most likely that all the best people will be, anyway. Not to make light of that notion, but if it truly comes down to having all of us who speak up when we see injustice, locked up- why would I want to be on the outside with the ones who are the jailers?
It is vital to speak up, to be seen and to be a voice for those who are not able to speak for themselves, for whatever reason. I am a Mom, a wife and a magickal activist, doing what I can here on my rock in the ocean. I think another aspect of protesting openly is for people to see that Witches and Pagans are PEOPLE, too! The world is not a safe place, but I hope that in being an activist in my small way, that I can help to somehow make it a little safer for us all.
| Yes I Would Publicly Protest As A Heathen ||Sep 25th. at 2:19:37 am EDT|
|TSTipton "awwen" (Utah.USA) ||Age: 34 - Email - Web|
Yes, I do believe the possiblity of government surveilance is much higher under the current "Homeland Defense" legislation. And I believe history shows that sacrificing liberty for safety is always a bad choice.
But I'm inspired by Albert Einstein. Upon becoming an american citizen, Hoover's FBI easedropped every phone call, read every piece of mail in and out of Einstein's household for over 30years (recently became public record). Why? Because he lent his name to over a hundred human rights activist groups, such as the american anti-lynching campaign (Pres.Truman told him 'Americans are not ready to abandon lynching as a form of Death penalty'). 30 years of censorship, and being deprived of personal privacy and liberty. He knew they where watching and listening yet he did not stop standing up, speaking out, and publicly discussing the legitimacy of human rights, free worship, and right to education. Yes, like Einstein I believe it is only fitting to speak out publicly, be proud, be strong, stand up for the weak and fearful, Do what is right and don't coward away because YOUR government is watching and taking note. Let em' take note of how many of THE PEOPLE, care and are ready to speak out for what is right! Take note America, take note, add it up and be aware we are many.
Link to More info related to this post -- HERE
| Yes I Would Protest As A Pagan. ||Sep 25th. at 1:42:49 am EDT|
|Sati Caldwell (Maryland) ||Age: 24 - Email |
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?
I will continue to be outspoken about my beliefs despite the politcal climate. IMO, if we hide and don't get our true numbers out there we are setting ourselves up for more descrimination, for harsher laws and we are short changing the nation of diversity that has made it strong.
Are you more fearful of reprisals or discrimination?
Yes, but it doesn't matter. I don't want to have to worry about today's pagan kids fighting these battles 30 years from now. We owe it to ourselves and to our kids to accomplish as much as we can in our lifetimes.
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?
Maybe, but I really dislike our government. We're only a few steps away from wearing stars on our clothes. That's an extremist opinion, but the politics don't favor us. I'd rather be paranoid now than regretful later. I'd still participate and I'd still sign my name, but I'd be waiting... and waiting.. for something to happen.
Are you more cautious than you may have been before? Or have the events emboldened you to take a more public stance?
Neither really. I'm no more or less outspoken or cautious. I'm completely disgusted by the fact that we're being encouraged to spy on our neighbors, but my neighbors all know about me. (The nation's crisis level thing... you can find it on redcross.org)
What’s the current status of YOUR broom closet?
| But Of Course!!! ||Sep 25th. at 1:25:08 am EDT|
|MegLyn (Kansas) ||Age: 50 - Email |
i did... i do... i will.... we were doing 'open-air', public witchery events 30 yrs ago when i was but a lass.... even managed to get the cops called a couple of times for cooking chili in the cauldron ;-)
| A Pagan Through And Through ||Sep 25th. at 12:42:59 am EDT|
|Brandy Williamson (Tuscaloosa, AL) ||Age: 21 - Email |
I have been witness to a few Pagan events in my nine years as a witch, and I would definitely take part in a protest or an event expressing my views as a Pagan. I believe I was very blessed to grow up with open parents who allowed me to be who I am and who loved me no matter what. They have given me the confidence I need to own my identity as a Pagan and to love every minute of it, even though others might not have been that open. I have no fear of my beliefs and my name being known to others. Through me, it might be possible to enlighten others with my knowledge of the craft. That is a wonderful thought.
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