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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: 11,351,775  

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 

All But A Foot Outta The Closet... Sep 24th. at 11:55:21 pm UTC

Manda (Memphis, TN) Age: 22 - Email

I do take part in as many events as I can here in Memphis (not that there are that many), and would gladly take part in any protest/awareness/pride events, were they to happen here. I'd get up on TV or on the radio and talk at length about whatever they asked me to. I answer questions honestly, and I'll tell anyone who is brave enough to ask that, yes, I really am a Witch.

But. I can't say that I'm completely out of the closet. My family and my husband's family either don't know or pretend to be ignorant. Either way, it's not worth the damage it might do to the familial structure for me to go around screaming "I'm Pagan!"

So, if they happen to wander by Overton Park on Earth Day and find me dancing the maypole with a bunch of people wearing pentacles, I guess they'll know. Otherwise, I'll let them live in the current blissfully ignorant state.

Out Of The Broom Closet And In The Public Eye Sep 24th. at 11:40:03 pm UTC

Jeff Loudermilk (Duluth, MN) Age: 35 - Email

In the past few years, I've been fortunate that the Gods have granted me the courage to come forth to show my pride and happiness in choosing to become a witch. It began with "coming out" with my parents... I think that was tougher than anything. Since I moved to Duluth, I founded the Duluth Pagan Alliance (my apologies at our lack of a current listing here at Witchvox, we will have a new listing once a few details are worked out)... the purpose was originally to simply allow Pagans to get together, meet one another and discuss issues that are important to the Pagan/Wiccan/Heathen community. Since then, we have taken on some community issues... several of us came before the Duluth City Council to speak against the development of a golf course on land sacred to the local Ojibwe. I personally introduced myself as the founder of my organization at one council meeting, and at the other, I was taped for a local news broadcast as I said my piece against the development.

My personal feeling is that hiding does nothing to contribute to our acceptance... we must speak, because we give up so much in silence. Tyranny is only held in check when people of good conscience stand proudly with the knowledge that what they do is right. Whether others agree with our view of deity is one thing, but we must at least stay true to the fact that our religious choice was the right call for each of us as individuals. We know that the paths we follow are not for all, but to simply shrink away from speaking with joy at finding our ideal path is self-denial. Silence in the face of uninformed criticism allows ignorance to win out over truth... the Burning Times proved how disastrous that can be. I ask that those who read this consider choosing pride over fear... the Gods offer love and protection to each of us, and each person gains great strength in taking the courageous step forward when they say "I am a Witch (Pagan, Heathen, etc.) and happy with MY choice!"

Express Yourself! Sep 24th. at 11:31:59 pm UTC

Joseph Beltran (Ohio) Age: 31 - Email

I live in Mid-Ohio and have always been rather open about my beliefs. Finding that few were even phazed by the disclosures. It has even been a point for sparking inteligent conversations. So I would have no problem, at least in my area, in taking part in a Public Even, protest, etc. as a Pegan, or Wiccan.

My Thoughts Sep 24th. at 11:26:02 pm UTC

Thunder Mouse (Saint Joseph Missouri) Age: 21 - Email

I currently am a bit in the broom closet so to speek when it comes to my religious belifs. I fear for somehow loosing my job and more importantly, loosing my family. They are conservative christian for the most part and the others im not shure about. Im not too thrilled with the idea of a large croud eather.......but if I felt strong enough about an issue, Yes. I would go to a protest or sighn a patittion openly as a pagan. I go with my feelings. Thats how Iv always lived my life. By following my feelings and my heart. If the protest is a peacefull protest, and its a cause that I felt was worth the risk to myself and possibly others, (say anyone I would be living with at the time of the protest)Yes. It took me a while to think up an answer to this question. It is my honest answer.

Half In Half Out Sep 24th. at 10:32:29 pm UTC

medusa (seattle, wa) Age: 54 - Email

My children and their friends know that I am pagan and a few of them are too. which was a surprise. But I do not dare tell many of the people of my own age. I don't have a lot of friends and relatives and don't want to lose the ones I have. They are all right wing republican.
I would like to see more pagan gatherings rather than protests. If we had regular gatherings, peaceful and friendly, to raise money for a good cause, it would help people to be aware of us and our values.

Wisdom, Life, Honor Sep 24th. at 10:13:24 pm UTC

Phil Brucato (Atlanta, GA) Age: 37 - Email

I can and do stand up as a Pagan - even more so since 9/11. Before that, I never wore a pentacle - too much of a fashion statement for my tastes. When everyone else hauled out their crosses, crucifixes and David stars, however, I felt it was not only my duty but my pleasure to show that we "alternative spirituality" types have pride and presence, too.

We are here, we are Americans, and our beliefs are as legitimate, as protected, and as significant as those of other "mainstream" religions. And, given the track records and body counts the "big three" have racked up as of late, I'm proud to say that my spirtual path does not hold the rest of the world hostage to its beliefs. Sad that so many other people of faith insist that the path to Divinity is littered with the corpses of unbelievers. May we never be so deluded.

Wisdom, life and honor to you all, and gods help the world. Given the behavior of some of their followers, the world *needs* that help!

- Phil Brucato

Now Is The Time When Voices Like Ours Are Needed The Most Sep 24th. at 9:57:45 pm UTC

Feline (Virginia) Age: 21 - Email

I live in the bowles of the Bible belt and after 9-11 things did go from bad to worse, but I have never hid my religion and don't intend to do so now. I believe that now is the time we must be the most adamant in our demand for equal rights and not just for ourselves. Our government is exploiting the fears of the people to erode our civil rights. I believe it is my duty, not just as a witch, but as a person to protest these unconstitutional actions and stand up for my fellow creatures.

I am no more fearful of discrimination or reprisals than I already have been (and I have had some altercations before). As far as survaillence lists go, I'd be suprised if I wasn't on one already. Though I cherish my civil rights I have always been wary of "Big Brother". I am not afraid to use my real name. I will not compromise the honor I have given myself by giving in to fear.

Blessed Be:)


Dragon Lady (AZ) Age: 0 - Email - Web

I've always expressed my opinions, not caring what others thought. After all, they don't pay my they have no right to dictate what I believe in! Back in 1970, I joined the anti-war movement and joined several orderly, organized protests. I'm proud that my name even ended up in the FBI's "Red Squad Files"! In the late 80's, I joined several Greenpeace "Save the Whales" protests. During the 90's, I openly campaigned for Dr Kevorkian's "Physician Assisted Suicide" amendant. Am I afraid of using my birth name? When signing petitions in person, I always use my "real" name; however, on the 'Net, I don't feel safe using it. Too much spam & hate mil going around. And that's my story, and I'm stickin' to it! Link to More info related to this post -- HERE

Forgot To Answer The Most Important Part Of The Question Sep 24th. at 9:18:58 pm UTC

Rinoa (MD, USA) Age: 22 - Email

Yes, I will sign my Real name to any petition, and protest at the top of my lungs when applicable. I cannot vote, but If I could I would and make it known on any government document. I have been a pagan for 9 yrs. Witchcraft is my love and a true passion, I love who I am and want to be all that I can be. The Best that I can be. Regardless, of persecution and discrimination. I dare them to tell me that I cannot. Brightest Blessings to All my Heathen Brothers and Sisters!!!!Hee hee hee!!!

It's About Time We Showed Ourselves Sep 24th. at 9:11:01 pm UTC

Rinoa (MD, USA) Age: 22 - Email

I don't have a problem coming out and being who I am, regardless of the consequences. But is the world ready for us??? I don't think so, but we are stronger in number and unity. I don't believe that the world has changed much in their way of thinking. I do believe that their are more of us now than ever and standing up and screaming " I am a pagan deal with it " could make a difference. But what will it bring? That is the question of the hour. It is a possibility that history might repeat itself. I seriously doubt that they will open their minds and accept us as we are. I have dreamed of this for a long time, but I don't know, personally, what I can do to make it so. I don't believe in hiding who and what I am. I also, do not want to be the victim of hate crimes. I currently live in Baltimore. Though, I am moving back to GA. The center of the "bible belt". It is harder to be yourself and have a decent job in a town that is overrun with xtrian hypocrits and ignorant individuals. Who, of which, wouldn't know evil if it bit them on the ars.

I Am Not Afraid Sep 24th. at 8:48:56 pm UTC

Sara Lasure (bc, canada) Age: 28 - Email

I think that now more than ever we need to stand up and show who we are. Bieng afraid meens that they (thoes who apose us) heve won. Stand proud brothers and sistes for when when we are united noting can come betewwn us.
I am not Afraid of reprisals or discrimination.I am not afraid to use me real name
on petitions.As of today i have steped out closed my broom closet behind me.
I am pagan. I am proud.

My Broom Closet Is Open . . . Sep 24th. at 8:01:59 pm UTC

Mellisa Mongar (NE Ohio) Age: 24 - Email

if you ask. I do not shout my religion from the street corner, so to speak, but I also do not lie about it. My chalices and some other objects are displayed prominently in my china cabinet (so they aren't broken or lost :) and my coffee tables and other horizontal surfaces abound with books like 'The Spiral Dance' and 'Living Wicca'. I also welcome any serious questions about what I believe. There are some people I haven't 'told' because the conversation has not come up and I believe that my religion is my business and for me is very private.

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