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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: 17,005,174  

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 

Oh, Yeah Sep 26th. at 7:56:58 pm EDT

Denise (Cordova,Ak) Age: 46 - Email

In a heart beat. I've protested Vietnam, been a part in sit-ins and when I young and stupid protested against homosexauls(sp?) Yes, sometimes its hard to speak out, but more than ever do we need to stand up for each other and ourselves. I'm not afaid to speak out when needed and when I'm wrong, that's okay,too. This is how we learn. Being afraid holds us back. Hey, the founding fathers and mothers went forward with their beliefs, can we do less? Blessed Be

Absolutely! Sep 26th. at 7:07:36 pm EDT

Wendy- HPs Forest House Coven (Simi Valley, California) Age: 41 - Email - Web

Absolutely!! I take part in public pagan events on a regular basis. While I realize that there are many important reasons why pagans of all paths may have to keep their views hidden, I feel that if at all possible, pagans should be out of the "broom closet" If we remain hidden, then we can not promote education and tolerance of pagan practices.
As a Priestess, I feel that it is part of my responsibility to try and provide informtion and educate non pagans as often as I can. Since I am very visable as a witch, I have many opportunities to answer questions from the curious. I am well known in my city as a witch and as a result am often contacted, especially around Samhain, by the local papers as a source for their seasonal stories. In this way at least I can be reasonably sure that correct information is getting to the public. One local high school English teacher uses an interview that I did for the local paper a few years back,every year as part of her class instruction about "The Crucible".

Blow The Doors Off Sep 26th. at 6:59:35 pm EDT

Rev. Michael W. DeMeritt (Houston, Texas. U.S.A.) Age: 31 - Email - Web

To all Concerned,

I just compleated my stint as the Volunteer Coordinator for Houston Pagan Pride Day. We have one of the largest public events in the country. I wouldn't have thought twice about using my real name in conection with that, or any other, event.
I came out as pagan to my family about 14 years ago, and haven't been very closeted about it to anyone else ever since. If it doesn't come up I don't make it an issue but I don't hide it. I don't hide the fact that I'm gay either(alot of people can't tell) but I don't make it an issue until people try to tread on my freedom to choose. I have no use for closets except to hang clothes. So step back... were blowin' the doors off.

Love and Blessed Be,
Michael W. DeMeritt(Guardian SeaMystMoon Tradition)

With A Caveat Sep 26th. at 6:06:05 pm EDT

lilith (los angeles) Age: 33 - Email

since i go to protests i am attending protests as a witch. i have yet to be involved in a protest where being "out" as a witch is even a necessity. generally i am reticent to discuss my stance with people outside the craft because i dont feel i should do things to either thrill or frighten the ignorant and the childish. i have no problem with keeping certain aspects of the craft secret. i dont believe, for myself, that there is any reason to be out, since i have no intention of proselytizing anyone, and i largely dont care to discuss my private practices with others. i have nothing against people who are open about their personal beliefs and lifestyles, as long as everyone understands that those people are only representing themselves, not me.

however, i have been in a situation where someone was being attacked by, in this case, a right wing fanatical christian, and aforementioned christian was snarling about this person being a witch, and they were speaking TO ME, and of course i said hey, you say witch like its a bad thing. and if there was a situation where someone was arrested solely for practicing witchcraft or whose children were taken away because they were not in the religious mainstream or if something came up wherein my existance as a witch were to become relevant, then yes, without hesitation, i would have no problem being out.

in the main, i believe now and have always believed, and 9/11 has nothing to do with this belief, that people choose their own path, and since i dont really like people walking around flaunting their christianity in my face i choose to do unto others as i would have them do unto me. if im pushed its one thing, but im fortunate in that i rarely get pushed. fear has nothing to do with why i proceed as i do. i genuinely have no desire to discuss the craft with outsiders, and frankly i dont even discuss it with witches all that often either.

Loud And Proud! Sep 26th. at 5:33:16 pm EDT

Terri McLaughlin (Stratford, Canada) Age: 15 - Email

I would definetly be proud to act in a protest or public event as a pagan. I mean why not? Christians display their belief proudly. So do Hinduists and Catholics and every other religious group so why not pagans? I would like to close by saying if you believe in something don't be ashamed of it. How true are you if ou aren't willing to stand up for what you believe in?

An Offer I Couldn't Refuse Sep 26th. at 5:28:01 pm EDT

Mo Shamseddin (London UK) Age: 44 - Email

Allen Ginsberg came up with the slogan "candour ends paranoia", and it remains a good one as far as I'm concerned. So certainly, I'd take part in an event or protest as a pagan, just as I would as a gay man. We have a long way to go in transforming our human world, but the smallest thing can count as significant. So many things flow from integrity shared. For some people such acts of communal magic are too hazardous to them or their loved ones, thus impossible in practical terms. All the more important for those of us who can, to do.

Love, peace and blessings


Follow The Path Sep 26th. at 5:22:16 pm EDT

GwyllionMoon (south florida) Age: 53 - Email - Web

It would seem to me that if we individually and/or collectively accept any number of paths that Earth based spirituality offers, it would be and should be our honor to stand up to those who would see us silenced......for silence never opened any door or any mind.

Now More Than Ever Sep 26th. at 5:04:04 pm EDT

Autumn Blaze (Scotland) Age: 46 - Email

I do feel now more than ever that I would stand up and be public about my beliefs.
Respect for nature and life, freedom and openmindedness. Yes! I believe in the power of goodness and people - the magik of life.

I wear my pentagram proudly.

Autumn Blaze

I Have The Right To Sep 26th. at 3:14:34 pm EDT

Nickay (Maine) Age: 18 - Email - Web

I would absoloutly take part in a protest or anykind of event that I represented the wiccnan religon.The first amendment says freedom of speech. press and a person living in the USA which has been a free country for 226 years, I have the right as a citizen to be who I want to be. I or anybody else should be in hiding of who we are because we fought to have such freedom and should use it.

I Am Very Open So This Is The Way I Beleive. Sep 26th. at 3:13:48 pm EDT

Freda Johnson (Floyd Co. Kentucky) Age: 31 - Email

I hope very everyone would'nt be so afraid. Because We have our freedoms too.
put my legal name on what ever I was protesting for. I would stand up for what I
believed in.

It Doesn't Just Concern Me . . . Sep 26th. at 3:05:45 pm EDT

Celticmoon (Oklahoma) Age: 53 - Email

Merry Meet to All,

I still have a 13-year-old son at home who has not decided what path he will take. I have always participated in school activities. I have been head room mother, filled in for the school secretary, PTO officer, and substitute teacher. I would not have been able to do any of this if I were openly Pagan. I live in an extremely Christian right-wing area. My son has already suffered cruel taunts from Christian children because he has politely refused to attend church with them. Can you imagine what he would have to endure if it was know his mother was a witch? People can be very cruel.

This puts me in an uncomfortable place. In the past I have always stood up for what I believed in. I have never worried about what other people thought. As a young teenager, I took part in the civil rights movement in MS, GA, and LA. Later I protested for Gay and Lesbian rights, and I have always been politically active. I am also a card-carrying member of the ACLU. BUT during those times, I only had myself to worry about. At this time, I will not let my child suffer for my actions and beliefs. If it was just about me, then YES . . . I would be very open and public about my Paganism. I am proud of what I am, and feel lucky to have found my spiritual path. However, while my son is still at home, I will stay in the broom closet.

Blessed Be,

Absolutely Sep 26th. at 2:55:35 pm EDT

Rev. Mia Reeves nee Lady Starfyre Nemorensis (Adelphi, MD) Age: 28 - Email

I think it important that we stand up and be counted. Until we all take the responsibility and risk that public appearances entail, we will never move forward in our campaign to be accepted as a viable and legitimate religion.

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