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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
| 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.
| What Closet!?!? ||Sep 23rd. at 1:19:18 pm EDT|
|Dy (St Paul) ||Age: 33 - Email |
I am out of the closet (happily lesbian) and out of the broom closet! I have been respected and loved by the people in my life that are important to me both before and after they knew I was gay and/or pagan. I've shared some of my beliefs with folks who have asked, and it's been a positive experience for them and me. I have not faced much criticism for either path, but even if attacked (verbally or otherwise) I would not hide. That's what some folks want and I'm not stepping away from the light. Now don't get me wrong - I don't have woman-loving-goddess-worshipper tattooed to my forehead; I am in a professional IT environment and behave appropriately, I'm just not a shrinking violet on most topics.
A previous poster was correct - as long as you are a good person (to yourself and others), the little details like religion or ethnicity or who you love shouldn't matter.
I hope that those who haven't opened the closet door yet find the strength within and without to do so.
Thanks for the space to editorialize!
| Broom Closet? Isn't That For Brooms? ||Sep 23rd. at 1:15:31 pm EDT|
|Randy Weiser (Ypsilanti, MI) ||Age: 45 - Email |
I've been a Witch for almost 30 years now, and during that time, have only had to be in the closet a little bit. I'm intensely proud of our religion, and have always tried to show people who are not of the Craft that find out I'm a Witch that I'm also a relatively normal person...or at least not a threat!
If I'm at an event that protests something I believe is wrong, and it's an opportunity to educate the public, why not wear my pentagram proudly? After all, Christians wear THEIR symbols of their religion - why not us?
| ABSOLUTELY!! ||Sep 23rd. at 1:13:12 pm EDT|
|Moonfire (Montague, Massachusetts) ||Age: 40 - Email - Web|
In this day and age when personal freedom is in serious question and the Constitution is little better than a tourist attraction, we need to do something to make our selves be seen and heard, and if protests (peaceful ones) and petition signing is the only way to do that—then count me in. I have been out of the "broom closet" since the mid-80's, I am proud to be a witch. I love my religion and I would have no problem signing my name to anything or take part in a "peaceful rally" to preserve my Gods given right to practice my beliefs.
Remember: Freedom of Religion means ALL Religions
| Knowledge Is Power ||Sep 23rd. at 12:59:56 pm EDT|
|David Jones (North Carolina) ||Age: 44 - Email |
I sincerely believe the only way to reduce the fear/distrust of pagans/Wiccans is by being open about who we are, by INVITING questions and being prepared to answer them rationally (even if the questioner is IRrational!). Our beliefs are (or at least should be) based on openness; can we do any less than live our beliefs, and still say we hold them?
| Pagan And Proud! ||Sep 23rd. at 12:49:57 pm EDT|
|Erin Cutlip (camp lejeune) ||Age: 22 - Email |
For so long I was afraid to come out and say "here I am! I'm pagan and i'm proud! proud of my gods, proud of my goddesses , and proud of the rich and divers culture that comes with that" I was afraid because I knew very few pagans and felt alone. well because people decided to stand up and show that they were proud (Triangle pagan Pride day,crystal coast). I now know im not alone. I think it is important that pagans step out of the closet not only for themselves but for those who need to see they are not alone. also because a big part of prejudices toward pagans come from people not knowing what we are, what we worship, and stand for. the only way that we can overcome that is to go public with it and educate as we go.
Erin Grey Wolf.
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