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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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 Author:    Posted: Nov. 17, 2002   This Page Viewed: 16,476,818  

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 

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!

Yes... But Sep 28th. at 9:15:58 pm EDT

Yellowwolf: T. B. (Wayne MI) Age: 40 - Email

Not until I get Tenure through the school I work at. Right now I am at will, and the school board would drop me like a hot potato for any reason if they saw that.... Tenure affords me the strength of the union as well as hearings if they decide to get rid of me.

Yup! Sep 28th. at 8:21:48 pm EDT

Samhain Eve (Bible Belt SE alabama) Age: 17 - Email - Web

I'm Wiccan, and am proud. Altho I don't exactly share it with anyone, if they
ask, I see no harm in not hiding myself. I hate not knowing what lie I told this or that person, ya know?

911 Or Social Climate Sep 28th. at 7:21:31 pm EDT

Brian Wright (eastern connecticut) Age: 26 - Email

I would have to say since 911, that i have been much more open about my religous choice, I have been practicing Wicca for 7 years now, and for most of it i have been very closed about my choice till about 2 years ago and even then it was only revealed in certain company of religously tolerant persons, but now i dont hide it if i am asked by anyone I tell them proudly that I am Wiccan, I have yet to get any real retalation or anything from anyone, I have several close friends of christian based religions who know that I am a "witch" and they kinda think its cool. Yet you can't help but also admit that in the last few years the social climate has changed alot and become more open, so yes 911 is a major point in a timeline but is it the nucleaus for those of us that are out of the closet since then or is the social climate that brought us out, I think it is more social climate then it is anything else, devastating and alarming 911 was but should it be a major contributing factor in "coming out of the broom closet" I think not, but after all it is not my place to tell anyone how to worship or practice... Bright blessings to all!

Make Love Not War! Sep 28th. at 7:06:04 pm EDT

Luna (Long Island) Age: 42 - Email

I believe that no matter who you are or what you believe in should not be surpressesd. Every one has a mind and should use it. Especially when you feel you are the only one but know you are not.

Just Wrote A Book About Doing This... Sep 28th. at 6:56:22 pm EDT

Stacey Michael (New Orleans) Age: 34 - Email - Web

In a word, Yes!

It's nice to see that so many people would stand up for their beliefs in the face of so much adversity by the general population as well as by the George “can I start the apocalypse” Bush administration. Since the publication of my book “Religious Conceit” (ISBN: 1-4033-2004-7) in July of 2002, we have finally begun to make some inroads with the media allowing for a real debate on the issues, even if they are somewhat watered down as to not offend the delicate ego of our homegrown fanatics and megalomaniacs. Being an election year also helps, but I am encouraged to see so many people who are willing to stand up for the American ideals, born not of Christendom as the zealots would claim, but of ancient Pagan Greece, Rome, and Egypt. From Plato comes our democracy; from Socrates comes our western thought.

Unfortunately, people are very confused as to the actual history of America. What the founding fathers actually believed, where the origins of their philosophies come from, and what it means to hold those beliefs. Today our leaders will act like Hitler while claiming to be a Churchill, a gross error that elevates one and disgraces the other. The first followed the Christian philosopher, Machiavelli; while the latter was inspired by the pagan philosopher and last great Emperor, Marcus Aurelius by carrying the “meditations” everywhere Churchill went.

If we were to stand up and talk of real virtue, the moral crusaders would expose their impotence, because we can prove that being a patriot is not to be confused with being narcissistic. One is the protector of an ideal; while the other is so self-absorbed thinking nobody else but themselves is capable of using their brain.

We are a knowledge based religion! Why is everyone so hung-up on being hung-up on something which can never be proven? In government they call that pork; in religion they call that faith Link to More info related to this post -- HERE

Every Day Sep 28th. at 2:17:29 pm EDT

Keirayn (Demorest, GA) Age: 21 - Email

I stand up every day...for myself and for those who feel they can't. Even as a fairly lonely pagan living in the heart of some of the most virulently fundamentalist area in the nation, I didnt hesitate to initiate a civil lawsuit to get the Ten Commandments removed from local government buildings, nor did i waver when virtually every co-worker of mine told me the best way to lose your head is to stick your neck out. Does Ashcroft's bullying make me more cautious about what i say or do? If it did, i would feel as if i was betraying who i am and everything that i stand for.

"those who give up freedom for security deserve neither." - B. Franklin.

Stand Up Sep 28th. at 1:53:40 pm EDT

Candie Arnold (Sand Springs, OK) Age: 49 - Email

I know how much problem it can be, especially in the "Bible Belt", to stand up and be counted, but I believe it is as necessary as it was for Rosa Parks to take her stand. If we are not counted, and ready to speak up for our Constitutional rights, we allow others to take them away and keep us in hiding.

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