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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: 17,005,192  

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. Sep 23rd. at 10:33:31 pm EDT

Diama White (Wayne, MI USA) Age: 46 - Email

Of course I would.
Long live the Goddess. )O(

Broom Closet? A Bit Cramped In There, If You Ask Me. Sep 23rd. at 10:21:20 pm EDT

Dark Moon Panther (Glen Gardner, NJ) Age: 39 - Email

I've been openly pagan for about 22 of the 26 years I've been on a pagan path. Before that, it was pretty well known that my family contained granny women and water witches, so maybe that primed me for openness. Anyway, as soon as I felt secure enough in my knowledge base to step out of the broom closet, I did it. I have been to various public events as myself, given "this is paganism" speeches every now and then, and generally refused to knuckle under when pressed. On the other hand, I don't feel the need to go around trumpeting my beliefs either. If people ask, I tell them. If they make uninformed statements, I correct them. I have had a few acquaintances dump me after finding out what my religion is, but I guess that's their loss -- I don't need that kind of psychic pain anyway. I think it is best for people to do what they are comfortable with, but every sane pagan, witch, heathen, etc. out there who steps out of the broom closet makes it just a little harder for the Fundamentalists to be believed when they preach that we are EVIL.

End The Hate Sep 23rd. at 10:08:26 pm EDT

Rene L Treglia (Syracuse, New York) Age: 29 - Email

I think that now, more than ever, we need to stand up and be counted or the hate will never end. We've made some great strides in the past few years and we can't just let that fall apart. When the rest of the world understands who we are and what we are that is when we will have acceptance. We owe it to our children to stand strong and show the world the truth about pagans so that they may be able to live in a world one day without fear. If we don't continue to move forward our children will fall into the spiral of hate. I've spoken to many young pagans who show signs of hate themselves because of the fear they have of the religious establishment. Changes can not happen without the courage to stand.

Never Again The Burnings! We Must Hold Fast! Sep 23rd. at 9:58:06 pm EDT

Hadriel Stoneroot (USA) Age: 15 - Email

If we don't want to have another holocaust, except in the place of Jews we replace pagans, we must hold protests against repression... we must combat hatred... so if you still haven't figured out where I stand, the answer is YES. protests are one of the few ways we can combat hatred. the type of hatred i'm talkin about is go there, and i think you'll see my point. Link to More info related to this post -- HERE

In The Broom Closet, But With The Door Unlocked Sep 23rd. at 9:49:06 pm EDT

Brian Garrett (Mission Viejo, CA) Age: 42 - Email

I've thought about going to public Pagan events, and I may do so, but having been Pagan for only two years as a solitary, I'm not sure I'm ready for the Pagan community--or them for me. I don't really fit into anybody's expectations, and if there's anything Organized Religion(tm) has, it's expectations--"you must do this, and believe this, in order to be one of us". Granted, Paganism in general is pretty open and liberal, but to belong to a Coven or Grove ot whatever, you have to play by *their* rules, and I had quite enough of that during my born-again Christian days.

As for whether to stay in the broom closet or not--I've told a couple of people about my Pagan beliefs, and they seemed OK with it, but there are still a lot of people (including my mother, a die-hard atheist, and my boss, an evangelical Christian), whom I could never tell. I certainly have to be discreet at the Christian institution I work for. Sure, I *could* tell them. Could I sue for discrimination if I got fired? Certainly. Would I win? Possibly. Do I have time for the pain? NO.

I applaud all the Pagans who have gone public, but that doesn't yet mean it's safe for everybody.
Just because we no longer get burned at the stake doesn't mean we're not still subject (figuratively) to the death of a thousand cuts. To those who have come out, I say bravo and congratulations. As for me, I'll come out when I'm damn good and ready.

Absolutely Sep 23rd. at 9:17:14 pm EDT

cetacia (idaho) Age: 41 - Email

I guess I am a bit mystified by all the people saying they are in the broom closet. I have never felt that I should have to hide my beliefs from anyone. I have always worn a conservative gold pentacle not any bigger that most christian crosses. I work with the public on a daily basis and the only comment I have ever gotten was from another pagan stating she was surprised they let me wear my pentalce out. Please. How could they stop me? If I don't act like a freak and I do my job, what do they care? I would have no problem signing my name to anything I believe in, and likewise any function. I am no more afraid than I was before Sept. 11th, and I am I glad that I am pagan and not buying into all the Christian hysteria over the end of the world.

Stand Up For Your Beliefs Sep 23rd. at 8:56:26 pm EDT

Pete Ralls (England) Age: 19 - Email

I think that us Pagans should stand up for our believes and take part in public protests and events. The times in which we were burned at the stake have long passed and we no longer have anything to be afraid of, except other people's opinions and in the end, other people's opinions are just that. They have no consequence on our lives unless we let them get to us. Be proud! Be Free!

Hell Yes! Sep 23rd. at 8:44:45 pm EDT

Ian Mc Closky (Toronto, ON Canada) Age: 23 - Email

Yes! Yes! Yes! It is time for us to raise some hell before we go off the deep end in a war that the West might not win! For the past one thousand plus years, almost all of the wars in the world have been fought because of religion. I personally don't want to see North America destroyed because of Chretien trying to be a hero to the anti-American lobby, nor do I want to hear that Bush is trying to start the next Crusade (which, unfortunately it looks like he is about to do).

For the first time in CENTURIES people, Pagans/Witches/Heathens/Wiccans/Goddess Worshipers et al finally have the freedom to be OPEN and HONEST about our beliefs. I am not sure if any of you feel this strongly, but I am willing to FIGHT for our right to EXIST. I am sick and tired of seeing the Abrahamic Religions messing things up and it is high time that we told them that, "Enough is Enough!" and that they need to RESPECT other opinions.

Let's be honest, people. We have had these rights for only fifty plus years (in some areas, even less. After all, it wasn't until 1980 that the U.S. Supreme Court recognised Wicca as a religion and with Bush in the White House, that could very well change and 1954 for England). Our faiths, though based on something older and, let's be honest in some cases this IS true, better faiths than most of the mainstream humans practise. But we still have alot to work towards. Remember, we have not yet WON the war, just some pretty impressive battles.

Coming out of the closet is a personal choice and should be. However, not coming out says that our numbers are few and that we are weak, and if we keep on projecting that image, who cares about some troublemaking witches?

Yes, I Would Stand Against Discrimination. Sep 23rd. at 8:34:57 pm EDT

Aaron (South Carolina) Age: 13 - Email

I would definately do so. I think we should stand against people repressing religions.

Would You Take Part In A Public Event Or Protest AS A Pagan? Sep 23rd. at 8:33:14 pm EDT

Tori (Pennsylvania) Age: 21 - Email

When I first started coming out as a Pagan, I expected my xtian friends and family to scream with disgust and start looking for firewood. Seriously. But I soon found that most people were hesitant to accept the new me because they were confused about what I believe. Because so many Pagans in this area remain in the broom closet, they've only heard the xtian side of it. Once I explained to them that we don't worship Satan and are completely against human or animal sacrifice, they calmed down a bit. Now, because I was open with what I believe and who I am, many more people have opened their eyes a little more to diversity.

I know it's hard from some Pagans to come out. It was hard for me. But I feel that the more who get involved in their community and their country, all while being open about their faith, the more acceptance we will gain as a valid and non-threatening religion.

Blast The Broom Closet! Sep 23rd. at 8:09:30 pm EDT

Shae O'Herne (Phoenix, Arizona, USA) Age: 44 - Email - Web

I have attended many public gatherings of Wiccans and Pagans, and will continue to do so. Better yet, I recently became involved in the local Pagan Pride Day festival, and opened my broom closet door at my workplace and in my new neighborhood. I have spent 27 years stepping in and out of the threshold of that Closet, being completely Out among friends, straddling it with family, and mostly in at work and to most neighbors. What a relief to let go of my fears and jump fully Out of that Closet! How refreshing and liberating! I expect a bump here and there, but my energy is extended to positively encompass all who chose to approach me with questions. Letting my Light shine just might open a mind or two...who knows?

Blessed Be!

If Not Me Then Who? Sep 23rd. at 7:48:09 pm EDT

Michael Buckley (Hamilton; New Zealand) Age: 31 - Email

When I first became a witch I was parranoid that people would find out, my job and most importantly family could be on the line. After a while and much reading it dawned upon me that unless people were perpared to face the world and say "I'm a witch" the world would remain forever afraid of us. Luckily opportunities came my way, (usually during the dark moon, when I'm spoiling for a fight), that allowed me to replace fear with outrage. With that energy I started to do the right thing. I now make a point of always giving my opion to people in power, (government, television, xtain groups), who have offended me or wrong the craft. And I always sign my letters, Michael Buckley, A Witch.
If people dont stand up for what is right, or expect others to do the dirty work for them, I dont see how they can sleep at night. It is a democrcy, by the people, witches are people, therefore stand up be proud and tell whomever what it is that you want them to do.
Attitudes toward the craft wont change by people hidding in the shadows, and pretending we dont exist.

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