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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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
| Hiding Accomplishes Nothing ||Sep 22nd. at 9:52:41 pm EDT|
|Anotnio Galiagante (Mobile, Alabama) ||Age: 33 - Email - Web|
I never saw the point in hiding. I've always been very open about my views, opinions and preferences--including those of a religious nature. I've caught more than my fair share of trouble for my refusal to hide in the shadows, but to living in fear isn't actually living at all, is it? Many who have, in the past, sought to infringe upon my rights have wound up in a courtroom to explain themselves to a judge (much to the consternation of more than one right-wing religious group who simply expected my to run away and hide).
I have no problem with criticism, but those who criticize must realize it's a two-way street, and that like any other street, there are certain lines that are unwise to cross. It seems to me that it's hard to enjoy life from a broom closet, and fighting for your rights (and the rights of others) is a most noble cause. Besides, anything worth having involves risk. Aren't your own rights and sense of self-esteem worth it? Mine are...
| NO PROBLEM HERE ||Sep 22nd. at 8:49:20 pm EDT|
|Kålímã¤§†ár¤ƒíré¤§Ôtw (Eustis, Florida) ||Age: 46 - Email - Web|
I would have no problem with being involved in anything public involving Wicca, Pagan or anything else that would be for a positive cause. I grew tired of hiding in the closet a long time ago. I live in the middle of the Baptist Belt around here and would find a pleasure in representing my faith and beliefs in an honest, open, dignified manner. It was said in a previous reply and I agree that the time has come that we exercise our American Right to openly represent our Religion and we must do so to show the masses that we are unified and our numbers are far greater than ever imagined.
| Public Paganism ||Sep 22nd. at 8:43:31 pm EDT|
|Stephanie (Chula Vista, CA) ||Age: 35 - Email |
I have attended pagan events in the past, and have no fear of doing so again. I don't think the federal government is all that concerned with the activities of pagans in general, but I could be naive on that topic. I'm relatively open about my beliefs, but the fact that I'm pagan is not necessarily the first thing I share with new people, simply because most people's exposure to it is limited, and I want them to get to know me as a person first, so that they're more likely to be open to the idea of me being a pagan. Also, I manage a sandwich shop, and I'm more circumspect about mentioning my beliefs to my staff, in case they might be uneasy about the issue...although, it might be useful if they think I'll turn them into a toad if they're late for work ;-) (I'm soooo kidding, please do not send me any poison-keyboard e-mails!)
| I Might Come Out ||Sep 22nd. at 8:40:37 pm EDT|
|Derrick McKee (Rocky River, OH) ||Age: 16 - Email |
I think that I would come out as a Pagan, but only under certain circumstances. Being a teenager in a Brothers of the Holy Cross(Catholic) high school, I have to be careful to whom I tell. I have told my closest friends and stuff, but some of my other friends are very Christian and I think that they would deem me 'Satanic,' or something. But for religious rituals where all of the people are Pagan, I would go, if I could make some excuse to my parents for my absence. See they are also very Christian and I feel that they would not accept my religious practices. So only in certain circumstances would I go to public rituals.
| My Broom Closet ||Sep 22nd. at 8:19:46 pm EDT|
|Storm's Feather (Russellville, Arkansas) ||Age: 16 - Email |
As a teenager in a predominately Christian high school, coming from a family of everything from Atheists to Jehovah Witnesses, and being the only Reconstructionalist Druid, to my knowledge, in the entire school, but not the only Pagan, I feel like my Broom Closet is half-way open. I'm not afraid of possible questions that could be asked about my religion, and I’m not afraid of threatening people who are unstable in their own faith (of course, being the daughter of a local Taekwondo instructor, and friends with just about every group of people heightens my sense of security..), but I don't go around yelling to everyone that I’m a Druid. I would be proud to stand up for my beliefs, whether or not I was discriminated, and even more so after 9-11. Because I’m a teenager, I doubt I would be placed on a surveillance list if I stood up for a public event with my legal name.
For the past year I’ve studied more religions, I’m more aware of other's beliefs, and that makes me cautious; I don't want to offend anyone.
Next Saturday will be my public stance on my religion, at the Paris Tournament for Debate and Drama. I plan to give an oratory speech on the Education Reform: Reform Religious Holidays, so I ask for everyone's "good luck" to me; it'll be my first time.
| Yes, I Would Go Public... ||Sep 22nd. at 8:18:02 pm EDT|
|Bran Ravensong (Coombs, British Columbia, Canada) ||Age: 31 - Email |
Yes, I would come out to participate as a pagan. If we don't come forward and be a group then we can be persecuted as we once were. Unite and be strong, and show a loving and kindness that isn't shown out there as much as it should.
| Yes Most Likely.... ||Sep 22nd. at 8:04:02 pm EDT|
|alphachild (central texas) ||Age: 47 - Email |
I really don't care what neighbors and friends say, however, I work for a large Catholic hospital, and while it is illegal to discriminate against someone because of their religion, I sure would hate to have them come up with some bs excuse to fire me. No problem against showing my face public with a connection to Wicca or Pagan, or even signing my name. Just can't "come out" at work.
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