The opinions posted on the Pagan Perspective pages are those of individuals and are not neccessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
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.
|| Reverse Sort
| The World Is My Broom Closet ||Sep 23rd. at 4:37:07 pm EDT|
|Joshua Yazell (Orlando, FL) ||Age: 24 - Email |
I have and will increasingly become more active in the Pagan Community. This is our time to shine or I feel the world of humans will suffer greater perils. The world is once again falling under the control of unscrupulous religious control by involving religion in our governments ... the Arab world is a prime example of this and let us not forget the dark ages! The christans since the fifties have infiltrated our government to the tome of billions of dollars a year being filtered into christian organizations... perpetuating there horrors on mankind. If we do not take action there will be another burning times. It's not as far fetched as one would imagine. A little critical thinking denotes a huge possibility ... there is far reaching power in government. It is imperative that we do not hide on the sidelines while they ruin it for those of us that would live peacefully. We have to continue to push out of the boundaries set to keep us down. There are millions of us in this country alone ... we can effect great change! I say get involved in government we need Pagan Politicians and active Pagan participents. So I say to thee consider the world your broom closet and its inhabitants your fellow travelers some of them misguided and some of them evilly lurking in the shadows waiting for the moment to pounce and once again ruin all that we have done and all the we will become.
| What I Believe Is Sacred ||Sep 23rd. at 4:16:31 pm EDT|
|Twylah (Fl) ||Age: 42 - Email |
I think that what I believe is like my sex life or anyother personal thing, but if it were a protest I would have to stand for I believe. I guess what I am saying is that I feel no need to flaunt my Wiccan ways, but if asked I will not deny them.
| To Take Part As A Pagan, For The Rights We Have Fought For.. ||Sep 23rd. at 4:16:01 pm EDT|
|Larry E. "Dutch" Lyle (Cleveland, Ohio) ||Age: 55 - Email |
Yes. I would appear as a Pagan, and proudly. Either the First Amendment to the Constitution
MEANS freedom of religion or it doesn't. As it does, I have that right, by LAW. I will do
ANYTHING necessary, to keep that right. I will do ANYTHING necessary to protect me and mine from those who would attempt to abrogate that right. I am a Pagan, and a proud one. Nobody makes this person hide from "authority" or anyone else for that matter. Big Brother needs to learn that some of us bite.
| Out Where In Matters. ||Sep 23rd. at 3:53:59 pm EDT|
|Tamo (CA) ||Age: 33 - Email |
I write my representatives a lot, and I use my full name and address. This proves I'm part of their constituency. In this context, if I don't represent myself, how could I expect my elected officials to represent me?
When I debate with fundies and other intolerant types online, I use a nom-de-plume. In this context, it's the exchange of ideas that matters more than identity.
With friends and family, they already know my name. I never deny my Paganism, but I don't flaunt it either. If they're interested, they'll ask.
At public Pagan events, I use my real name. The non-Pagan community would benefit from knowing how normal and everyday we Pagans can be. Plus, if I'm ever quoted in the paper, or photographed by the government, I have nothing to hide.
| Absolutely. ||Sep 23rd. at 3:44:11 pm EDT|
|Ali (Palm Harbor, FL) ||Age: 17 - Email - Web|
If there were a Pagan protest of some kind, I would most definitely take part. I am out of the broom closet with everyone, and I've nothing to hide. I walk the Pagan path with pride in my every day life. If people of all faiths could adhere to their beliefs, speak out, and be willing to listen and understand each other, maybe the problems of today could become the problems of yesterday.
| Broom Handle Stuck ||Sep 23rd. at 3:42:24 pm EDT|
|Heaven Walker (Monmouth IL) ||Age: 21 - Email |
I am almost completely "out", but not 100%. I am out to my friends and peers. However, I am not out to my family (all conservative Christians). My mother, who is a fundamentalist, is the worst. Humorously enough, it was easier to tell her that I am a lesbian (which was terrible) than to tell her that I am Wiccan. However, I am plaaning to apply to a seminary for graduate school. I would like to gain a masters in the study of religious arts. It is a progressive Christian seminary, but still Christian. I plan on being completely honest about my faith. If they don't want me because of it than so be it. I may tell my mother one day. It just needs to be the right timing (i.e. I am not financially dependant on her anymore. I don't think that I will tell my family, because we really aren't that close. I chose not to tlell them that I was a lesbian either. My girlfriend knows, and is interested in learning about the religion. So......I am mostly out of the broom closet, but my broom handle seems to be stuck.
| My Response To Question 78 ||Sep 23rd. at 2:57:11 pm EDT|
|Tracey (New Jersey) ||Age: 35 - Email |
The recent and disturbing events of the world seems to have loosened my restraints on my beliefs. I have signed petitions, sent letters to government officials and started to participate in more local community interests. I do this now under my own name and without trying to hide my pagan beliefs. I want my kids to know that if you have beliefs, you should be proud of them and not afraid of what the neighbors think.
As for being under surveillance for participating in public events, I find my feelings about my government and it's policies are stronger now as an adult and if being vocal about my beliefs and disagreement of policy takes me to that level of visibility, i'll deal with it then.
I've never hidden my spirituality but then again I've never advertised it before either. If people ask, I tell them. If people don't ask, it's none of their business. The world and it's population remain a wondrous diverse garden of individuality. I want to see that remain and for more acceptance to grow in the world for beliefs and opinions. You can't make a difference if you sit back and watch. As my children get older, I want them to know they have to be involved in their world, locally or globally, dependinig on what they feel strongly about. I can't teach it if I don't practice it.
Blessed Be and thanks.
| Of Course!!!! @-%-- ||Sep 23rd. at 2:39:54 pm EDT|
|Talon Morgain (Iowa) ||Age: 17 - Email |
Personally I think that it would be a great idea to do that. People need to stop being so close-minded and more open minded to different religions. They need to stop being scared.
-Dragon A.K.A:(Talon Morgain)
| Count Me In ||Sep 23rd. at 2:29:15 pm EDT|
|Skye (Massachusetts) ||Age: 34 - Email |
Yes if I had the chance to be part of a protest I would gladly tell everyone I am a witch. No questions asked.
| Yes I Would Take Part In A Protest As A Pagan ||Sep 23rd. at 2:07:13 pm EDT|
|Amy Licht (Litchfield, Michigan) ||Age: 14 - Email |
i have alot of pagan pride, and i feel that all pagans should be proud of it. together, with the goddess's strength we can do anything. BLESSED BE
| I Can Tell You How My Heart Feels... (slightly Ot) ||Sep 23rd. at 1:36:27 pm EDT|
|Urytevaera (Canada) ||Age: 21 - Email |
I have always tried following my heart....
I have been many things on my path...but found that truth has no 'set-title'
I am Wiccan, mabey it will change, but my love for the earth, the energies,
and especially truth will never change.
My first ritual that was not solitary was yesterday.
The energies in the circle, and the feelings that were moved around
were inspirational, strengthening, loving,...
I knew that I had the strengh in my heart to guide the circle and the
words that I had written before about Mabon (for the ritual) were
alive in the circle.
They really hit me when I spoke them. The words that came to my heart
showed me that I need a balance.
Of being hidden and open at the same time.
So about protesting...
If pagans/wiccans were protesting, for a good cause
(otherwise I would assume they weren't pagans/wiccans),
even though there probably would not be a lot of pagans/wiccans...
which is the case in such a small city as mine.
My answer would have to be 'YES, When can I join?' I may be in the
broom closet right now, but my door is open. Anyone asks, I will tell them
who and what I am.
I believe because of Mabon, I feel that I need that balance of staying
hidden and opening my arms to those that need it.
I know it is hard to explain in words how I feel but I know that
some of you know what I mean.
Blessed Be Mabon.
And thanks to those that opened their arms up to me when I needed it :)
| YES! Absolutely!!! ||Sep 23rd. at 1:19:43 pm EDT|
|Willa (Huntington Beach, Ca) ||Age: 21 - Email |
It seems to me as a pagan parent that if not for myself then for my son, the need to stand up and be active in displays and gatherings in the public is needed. Christians have no real fear of going to church and they have the right without the amount of persecution we would have. I would like to see the day when these things are not needed and a pagan family such as mine can practice as we choose without the fear that sometimes goes with it. The only way to insure this is by being active and not being openly afraid.
Now, living in southern California does make this easier for me, sure. But by being involved it seems to me that it teaches my son that this is normal. This is our faith, our religion. This is what his family believes in and there is nothing wrong with it. There is no reason to hide... but also that there is a need to be proactive. That everyone has a right to their belief, and no one should be able to take it away.
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