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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Nov. 17, 2002   This Page Viewed: 20,387,454  

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 

Yes I Would Sep 24th. at 10:31:00 am UTC

Asheba (Colorado) Age: 50 - Email

When I had a high powered job I was very sensitive about keeping my spiritual beliefs cloaked. Now that I have quit my job and rejoined the ranks of civilization I wouldn't care who knows!
I believe we need to come out of the closet more.


Response To Questions Sep 24th. at 10:30:02 am UTC

Allison (Florida USA) Age: 40 - Email

"Would You Take Part in a Public Event or Protest AS a Pagan?"

No I would NOT. And for good reason too. I really believe that there are people who thrive on things like this and will create something to protest over and that is why I would never get out in public and protest at a rally UNLESS it is to do with animals. I think people just need to handle themselves differently and then will find that Christians have no problem with us really. We CAN co-exist in this world quite peacefully. It's Pagans who have the problem with an ego. And I have seen that time and time again. In 24 years of life as a Pagan I can count on one hand the number of times it has caused a wave with someone and 3 of those are family members. It's all in how one handles oneself.
I don't think the way to bring Paganism to the attention of others in a POSITIVE light is by public protests. People then look at us as just a bunch of nutters. And nothing comes of it anyway, a few people stnding outside a government building - it's more a nuisance than anything. And I think it degrades Pagans everywhere.

"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?"

9/11 did not make the slightest bit of difference to me with regards to my religious beliefs. I am just as open and secure about them now as I was before. One thing that 9/11 did bring to my attention was just how ignorant and intolerant USA is as a nation about religions and cultures outside of the mainstream. For me, that is the saddest thing of all.

"Are you more fearful of reprisals or discrimination?"

Certainly not and I never have been. I live in the thick of the evangelist bible belt for 12 years now and get along just fine with the Christians. I find that more so than looking at me as something evil, many are intrigued by my belief system and are very surprised to find that we DO believe in the God - AND Goddess. They know me as a person and they don't judge me by my religion.

"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?"

LOL!!! As IF!

"Are you more cautious than you may have been before? Or have the events emboldened you to take a more public stance?"

I have no reason to be. I've nothing to hide.

"What’s the current status of YOUR broom closet?"

Fine - I haven't been in it in many many years. ;)

Public But Cautious Sep 24th. at 8:43:22 am UTC

Winterhawk (Tabernacle, New Jersey) Age: 44 - Email

My friends, family and most of my clients know I am a pagan, and I do participate in public events but I am careful. I have two early teen age children and I worry that they will be teased, harmed or removed from my home because of my beliefs. I don't like secrecy, I think it fosters fear and hatred but it would be irresponsible to possibly expose them to harm. When they are older, look out. I'll be everywhere, it is after all - America land of the free, it just takes a little work to keep it that way.

Pagan Pride And Protest Events Are What We Need. Sep 24th. at 7:59:44 am UTC

Brighid (Florida) Age: 46 - Email

I would most definitely participate in public events. The only thing that has stopped me is time conflict and work schedules. I am selectively out of the broom closet with co workers, and open with my family. We need to be seen and heard, so much of the misunderstanding and sterotypes are corrected.We don't need to be "In your face" about it, but we can be heard without being overbearing and pushing our own beliefs as so many of our christian acquaintances do.

You Have To Stand Up To Be Seen... Sep 24th. at 6:45:37 am UTC

Mark S. Schlachter (Cincinnati, Ohio) Age: 55 - Email

I have no choice but to join public demonstrations. One can not be seen without standing, nor can one be heard without speaking. Outcry in our own community, press and web pages only serves to annoy those who already think as we. To effect change we must confront those who march to the beat of the other drummer.

Proud To Be Part Of The Public Events And Protests Sep 24th. at 5:45:42 am UTC

Angel (Huddersfield, UK) Age: 24 - Email

I would most definitely take part in Public Events and Protests, I work as a aolitary and sometimes it is difficult to make my voice heard. I understand the need for communities, healing and strength... blessed be xx

I'm Really Looking Forward To Coming Out Sep 24th. at 4:19:42 am UTC

Arinna (North Carolina) Age: 34 - Email

As with most other things in life having kids changes all the rules. My daughter is 15 and I have been worried about putting her in situations that she is unprepared for or that might be unsafe for her. Since I live in the bible belt where even opening a shop selling stones and crystals(a simple lapidary shop nothing really mystical) is provocation enough to have your locks glued shut everyday until they drive you out of business and where someone set the local Catholic Church on fire for their supposed idolatry, I have remained in the broom closet. I will probably continue to remain there as far as my local community is concerned but I just recently attended a Pagan Pride Day celebration in another town 6 hours away. I can't tell you how wonderful it was to just be out in the open in a friendly environment. Now I'm hooked. I have to thank the wonderful people here at Witchvox for it too because this is where I found out about the event. And of course I have to thank the Crystal Coast Pagans as well for making me feel so welcome when I got there. I may not feel comfortable coming out at home but at least I know that when we gather together I will always have a home away from home where it's not only ok but it's fun to be a proud pagan. Where do I sign up for the next event?!?!?!

Blessed Be,

I Would Go Public! Sep 24th. at 3:36:53 am UTC

Erin (Simi Valley, CA) Age: 18 - Email - Web

I would participate in public events and use my real name. The past current events have brought me out of the "broom closet." I feel that my beliefs might help since they are non-aggressive.

Yes I Would! Sep 24th. at 3:10:32 am UTC

Kaley Rain (Tracy, CA) Age: 17 - Email

Yes, I would openly participate, although I wouldn't make a point to shove a Pentacle in anyone's face or anything. I agree with something I saw in a personal, "Be religious, no obnoxious."

A Real Response To This Question Sep 24th. at 2:38:19 am UTC

wa2wiccan (walla walla wa) Age: 39 - Email

yes i would openly participate. now more than ever

As A Solitary Student Of The Craft..... Sep 24th. at 2:19:32 am UTC

Allen Williamson (Graysville TN) Age: 34 - Email

My Name is Allen Williamson (a.k.a. MoonWolfe)

There is to much hatred towards people of the Craft. As I have grown into the realm of understanding My believes , I have found it to be as violent and ridiculed as it has always been in the past. The events on 9/11 have not influenced my thoughts at all . I still have the concerns that I had before 9/11 and have grown to know when and where to let my true idenity be known . I do however, think that the attention has shifted off of the persecution of pagans to the religions of the middle east . Which is not a good thing but, at the same time is some what a relief? I am a Pagan in the "Bible" Belt so it is a bit of relief but, not a cure for the hatred that is predominently still in the people of the other religions. So as I stated before I will continue to learn when , where , and how to persent myself and name in a public that, as advanced as they are can seem never to allow pagan's their gaian given rights. I dream of a day when the human race is one with all of it's surroundings until that time i remain in cloak and remain strong through all that I mustt bare witness too? THE DAY OF THE ANIMAL IS NEAR ,ARE YOU READY?

Visibility Is Powerful Sep 24th. at 1:35:45 am UTC

Sparrow (Colorado) Age: 32 - Email

I would definitely stand up as a Pagan. I certainly don't feel compelled to tell everyone I know what my religious beliefs are, but I don't really think that's necessary for anyone of any religion. Most of my friends, my family, my neighbors, and the co-workers that I am closest to know. Almost everyone has had at least one bizarre question to ask me about it. These are usually about satan or sacrificing various animals. This shows me that there is a lack of knowledge about us and our beliefs. Remaining silent and invisible will only perpetuate this ignorance. One way to change this is for people to find out that their perfectly normal friend, family member, co-worker or neighbor is Pagan. Being seen, as Pagans, protesting for a good cause will point out that we are not only here, but we are trying to make the world a better place for us all to live in.

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