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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
| 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.
| I Have The Right To ||Sep 26th. at 3:14:34 pm EDT|
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 RELIGON...as 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
| 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.
| 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.
| Hell Yeah ! ||Sep 26th. at 1:39:49 pm EDT|
|Lilith (Covington) ||Age: 18 - Email |
| In Less Than A Heartbeat ||Sep 26th. at 1:27:50 pm EDT|
|Ashley (Durham, North Carolina) ||Age: 28 - Email |
Heck yes!!! I try to explain what I can to those that have questions. I was a little leary when I started my new job. But, the bumper stickers on my car just put it out there. I am new to this path, but I am learning everyday. And I am willing to share my knowledge. Then you get people who don't want to hear the truth. They know what they know and that is all. People who just won't let you in. But, I am here to say I won't go away or change. I will speak this at the top of my lungs. That is what is wonderful about our country. Freedom of religion!!
| Freedom And Rights Come ONLY With Visibility!!! ||Sep 26th. at 1:25:57 pm EDT|
|Geoffrey D. Stewart / Pax (Anchorage Alaska USA) ||Age: 30 - Email |
As both a Pagan and a Gay man I have had plenty of opportunities to compare and contrast the Comming Out issues in both communities. I am here to tell you that the only way to gain your rights is to stand up for them. The people who would demonize Pagans and Paganism rely on two facts the first is that there are NOT a lot of out Pagans, the second is that because in many cases Pagans are a silent minority that those who would demonize us (or worse turn us into carnival attractions and T.V. ratings boosters) are the people who shape the public discourse and portrayal of Pagans and Paganism.
Yes I would gladly stand up in a protest or public event/circle as a Pagan. I have hosted merry meets and even been on local radio as a member of my local Pagan community.
One last point about being out. By being out, and even a little active in your Pagan community and the greater community around you, you encourage those people who are working as Priests/esses and Activists in your local Pagan Community.
| Out Of The Broom Closet ||Sep 26th. at 1:08:36 pm EDT|
|Carmen Pagan (grand rapids michigan) ||Age: 37 - Email |
I would take part in as many events as I could. I firmly believe that freedom of religion means every religion. Some of us need to be visible. People fear the unknown .I know people who had never met a witch til they met me. Their vision of a witch was the Disney version. Now they know we are just like everybody else. I even got them to stop using the word witch when they meant bitch, since they know it offends me. Iknow there are places where you cant be out without putting your life in danger then its best not to.We have to be understanding about this. Thereas no need to prove anything. there are too many narrow minded people who would not hesitate to get rid of us in anyway possible and therefore secure a place in heaven.
| Before 9/11 No, After 9/11 Absolutely! ||Sep 26th. at 12:55:43 pm EDT|
|Ted Peter Smith (Stillwater) ||Age: 48 - Email - Web|
“I am what I am” as Popeye was known to say. Since 9/11 I have examined myself and my life, and I have sadly concluded that I am a coward. I am not ashamed of my chosen Path and will no longer hide who I am, what I do or fail before the gods by faltering in the strengths of my convictions. I suspect that I sound a bit dramatic but, coming out, so to speak, is a fairly large even in my life.
| Protest Allways ||Sep 26th. at 12:36:10 pm EDT|
|Andrew (Kentwood, MI 49508) ||Age: 19 - Email |
I would protest should i be needed and if it were for a good thing nothing stupid
| Out Of The Broom Closet And Into The Light ||Sep 26th. at 11:48:42 am EDT|
|Echo Clay (Bloomington, MN) ||Age: 20 - Email |
I think that it is our right to be out in the open and to celebrate our beliefs, just like many others do.
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