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
| Sometimes The Choice Is Hard ||Sep 23rd. at 1:06:01 am EDT|
|Alea (Salt Lake City, Utah) ||Age: 32 - Email |
When I was younger, I was much more open about my beliefs. However, as I grow older I find myself more careful and selective about who I reveal this information to. I have had people react badly, some not really care, and others make-fun of me. I have and will participate in public gatherings and would use my real name on petitions. However, the majority of the people that know me and work with me, do not know my religious beliefs. Its a subject that I breach carefully. In the aftermath of 9/11, I have been ever more cautious. People are scared of what they don't understand. Someday we may live in a more open world, hopefuly I'll live to see that day.
| Yes, I Would. ||Sep 23rd. at 12:43:47 am EDT|
|zzfox (South Carolina) ||Age: 45 - Email |
Yes..I'm way out of the clost.
| If You Dont Speak Out, You Lose Your Rights ||Sep 23rd. at 12:29:47 am EDT|
|jimi s[ann (lubbock texas) ||Age: 30 - Email |
of course i would. i do everyday when i walk outside. my life is a public display of paganism in a christian town.
| Pagans Need To Take A Stand!!! ||Sep 23rd. at 12:18:40 am EDT|
|Brandi (Prescott, AZ) ||Age: 22 - Email |
I was just at a very public pagan pride festival this past Saturday, and everything was wonderful. To be able to be our in public without worrying about other people was fantastic. The only problem we had was one lady yelling at a good friend of mine about us being in a public place with children around. (it was held in a park) She happened to be pagan herself. I say it's time we stopped being chastized for having a religiong that was turned around by the other "good decent religions". I was very happy to attend this outing, and would gladly do it again.
| Building Up The Numbers ||Sep 23rd. at 12:12:51 am EDT|
|Elena Loveard (Sydney, Australia) ||Age: 20 - Email - Web|
I live in Australia so the mood post-9/11 is a little different. I'm very happy to sign my real name to petitions and so on. There is safety in numbers. If more people are standing up and showing their pride in their religion the governments are less likely to try putting the same people under scrutiny. I am very proud of who I am and I love the fact that Australia is so full of differing opinions and religions.
As long as we stand by our beliefs and promote our peaceful lifestyles/religions they have no reason to hurt us.
| Participation Amd Protest ||Sep 22nd. at 11:40:10 pm EDT|
|Nateseia (Winnipeg, Manitoba) ||Age: 39 - Email |
I've been a part of both activities over the years, and have no regrets....
however, I do understand in many cases, especially concerning regional/family/occupation aspects, why some may want to avoid
any type of publicity. As for the goverment getting involved....they do.......I have experienced this.
How far they go to watch you, though is unknown to me, and frankly, I really don't care.
What concerns me more, are those who keep to themselves due to retribution and scorn from family. Something that should be
a safe place to go, and a resource of support, is not often available.
I believe that many who walk whatever path of the Craft that they choose, do the best they can in
their surrounding circumstances. I believe that every effort should be made to seekout their voices
in places that they feel they can speak safely.
It is usually when I am attending a public circle, that I often think about those I know, and how Iwish they were beside me.
On the other hand, I can wait. Their path is their own. When we do get to gether for a giggle, the sharing of information
form both sides is something we can take back to our respective lives, whether it be private or public.
| Yes, I Would Take Part. ||Sep 22nd. at 11:34:24 pm EDT|
|junior curran (federal way, wa 98023) ||Age: 27 - Email |
If for no reason other then to get pagans out of the closet if there was ever a time to be proud of who we are it is now, so what if my name goes on a list I'm sure it's already there for some other reason.
| Now More Than Ever ||Sep 22nd. at 11:32:16 pm EDT|
|RoseArien (Schoharie, NY) ||Age: 48 - Email |
Now more than ever, I feel it important for folks like me to be "public" pagans. By "folks like me" I mean regular, everyday people who live next door, vote, buy groceries, stop at the same place for coffee in the morning. In the small town I live in, people know me. They have never seen me dressed in robes - or not dressed, for that matter.
I am a secretary, and I dress like one. In my off time, I am a jeans and t-shirt type. I obey the law, including the speed limit, and I stop at stop signs. I lead a quiet, private life.
Be Quietly and Proudly Pagan. When missionaries call at the door, I tell them that I follow a different Path and wish them success on their quest. At a community gathering in a public park on September 11, 2001, one of the officiating clergy proclaimed "We are all Christians here." After a short interval, with the wife of the Baptist minister cheering me on, I got the unattended microphone and said something like "We may not all be Christians here, I am not, but that's not important. We ARE all neighbors and Americans - and that is important." Then I led the singing
of God Bless America - Proudly Pagan. (The use of the designation God in that wonderful song doesn't bother me. I know what that word means TO ME when I say it.)
The mayor knows me, the DA knows me. I have mailed postcards to all my government representatives and have signed my name. We must continue to let government officials and the media know that we are evolving into a force to be reckoned with.
Blessings to all at this magical time!
| Way In The Closet ||Sep 22nd. at 11:21:35 pm EDT|
I'm so far back in the broom closet, I'm in another room of the house entirely. IRL only my husband and best friend know my spiritual status. I think I would be a part of a protest with other Pagans, however, I would, if confronted probably identify myself as a supporter of religious tolerance and not necessarily as a Pagan. Unfortunately my family is VERY fundamentalist Christian and I have 2 family members who are preachers...in addition the town I live in is in the buckle of the bible belt. It just wouldn't be worth hurting my family and causing them to worry about the salvation of my soul. They would worry and pray all the time for me...and it's just not worth doing that much emotional damage to that many people just so I can be "out."
| I Will Not Deny Myself Of The Truth. ||Sep 22nd. at 11:11:31 pm EDT|
|Natalie (Minnesota) ||Age: 18 - Email |
I would present myself as a Wiccan anytime anywhere. I will not deny myself of what I am.
So Mote It Be.
| No Point In Lying Or Hiding! ||Sep 22nd. at 10:40:11 pm EDT|
|Silverwolf (Bangor, Maine) ||Age: 23 - Email |
I've participated in pagan rights rallies and talks, I have never been afraid to tell people I am Wiccan. I am very proud of who I am and Wicca is part of who I am.
It took me a little while to warm up to telling the future in-laws but after a meditation or two, I was perfectly comfortable with discussing it with them.
Blessings and Light
| Six Of One... ||Sep 22nd. at 10:40:04 pm EDT|
|Destiny Rain (Lisbon, Ohio, USA) ||Age: 25 - Email - Web|
I would not be telling the complete truth if I said that I have absolutely no reservations about being totally public with my beliefs. But even with those reservations, I would rather participate in public events, and use my real name, than hide and lend credence to the idea that there is something shameful or bad about being Pagan.
As co-chair of my university's Pagan student group, I've worried about how this could affect my career (I am also employed at the college paper). But my rights as a person do not end where my professional life begins. My rights, and the first amendment rights of students that may come after me, are important enough to "risk it."
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