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Article Specs

Article ID: 10697

VoxAcct: 176137

Section: words

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 2,860

Times Read: 3,748

RSS Views: 79,034
Let's Stop This Type of Discrimination

Author: Gypsy SilentRain
Posted: June 25th. 2006
Times Viewed: 3,748

"Okay, I've all but been told that [our town's] residents are good Christian folk and don't need a bunch of weirdos desecrating their park. At this point I usually get out my big funnel, and, with my best PR smile, I force feed them. But given the situation and the fact that we've changed everything else, I'm making the motion that we move to a different city and park. [Our southern town] has the [park name] on [name of street], and since it is owned by the university they aren't as particular what kind of “weirdos” they let use it. I know it’s not expensive, there is electricity, water, a permanent canopy area with fire place, picnic tables, etc. The SCA uses it for fighter practice, we use it to hold our Sabbats and Gay Pride uses it for their events. I'm trying to contact the person in charge now to find out the costs and availability. If there are no objections, I'll go ahead and reserve and pay for it so we actually have a place to hold our PPD! May the light of the Goddess shine brightly on your path.

This was the email (its author's name is left out to protect privacy) I found today in my mail box when I woke this morning. It may just be my personal opinion here, but aren't Pagan Pride Days supposed to be about teaching tolerance?

If we tolerate a City deciding that we are all "weirdos" and will "desecrate" their parks, then who are we helping? Certainly not ourselves or anyone else. The park in question is a public city park and I'm sorry I wasn't aware that only certain types of people were allowed to use it. I thought that public parks were open to everyone?! Am I mistaken?

Our town is home to the largest retailer in the world, Wal-Mart. And it boasts of the beautiful Ozarks and a quiet small town lifestyle. The population is expanding so rapidly that small town lifestyle has flown out the window, but the small town thinking hasn't changed in well over fifty years. This is a community where people still don't lock their doors at night and you can usually still go to your neighbor's house for a cup of sugar. We are a big-minded community, but apparently there are still thosewho haven't adapted to the new "melting pot' type of community it has become.

If we all "moved" to other cities where we can be tolerated, then who learns we are not just some people to be tolerated, but humans making our choice to practice religion freely in America? This type of thinking makes me sick. I have been in a military family that has fought and died for us to have these freedoms; it makes me sick to think that a parks and recreation board can decide that we don't deserve the same as"Christians." Who are these people? They are not government or the President, but they seem to think they have the same ability to strip us of these rights. If any one of you uses a public park or takes your kids to one, think about what this email implies because of your faith. Apparently we need "Pagan only" parks so that these "Christian Parks" aren't contaminated by our faith. That is what this email implies to me; it brings back thought of "whites only" signs in windows of local shops. We are not that type of people any more; we have moved up in evolution and made everyone equal. Or have we? Did we only make the Christian organizations equal, with the rest of us below them?

I'm pretty sure the Declaration of Independence reads "ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL" and I'm going to stand by that thought and freedom until I die. If that means I have to stand up a little bit more for my faith, then Goddess bless me. The parks-and-recreations way of thinking is un-American and always will be unacceptable.
Some have said that we should just move and go with the path of least resistance, but that is not how things change. The changes we have seen by people like Dr. Martin Luther King and others did not take that path, and this is why African Americans have more equal rights today. What if he had said, "Let's just go somewhere they will treat us like humans"? Come on.

The fact is that Pagan religions are becoming legally recognized in this country while many people still refuse to accept it. We didn't accept racial discrimination: why would we tolerate this? Some say that the Burning Times are over and this is a new century; they are right on one point, it is a new century, but the fear is still there. This is just one state in which we fight a daily battle to hold meetings and assemble peacefully. Please tell me that allPagan factions find this unacceptable.

Unity isn't talked about very much in the Pagan religions, but perhaps on this one concept it should be. Because it's going to take all of us standing up to make a difference in our community. We have to show that our religion isn't hate-based, nor is it evil or Satanic. We live a peaceful religion that honors nature and those in it, even when they don't think or believe the way we do. We live in harmony with one another and live positive lifestyles that promote growth and understanding. We aren't here to cause problems for anyone, but we shouldn't allow anyone to cause problems for us either, whether it be in our style of worship or just a simple gathering.

I've spent my life working around problems and letting them move me to where they want me to be, but now I'm thinking it's time the Pagans move events for a change and show people who we are. Not some back yard, Satanic, animal-killing religion, but a loving, caring religion which holds nature and the cycle of life dear and near, choosing a different lifestyle and following a different religion that reflects our spirit through our actions. Isn't it about time? I think it's past time. Pagan organizations support so many things; breast cancer research, animal rights groups, community services are just a few of them. We are the ones out there picking up trash on the highways because we WANT to, not because of court orders or the fact that we want to look good to the community. We go to places like hurricane sites and tornado destructions to help restore communities and those in them. We are in the medical professions helping people heal and working as doctors and nurses, and we also work in social needs organizations helping tutor children and teach people to read. We are called to helping professions not self serving ones, because that's what is in our hearts and what our religions show us. We don't have a preacher telling us what to read or to do, we do it because it's in our hearts.

So once again I'll ask you, who exactly are these people that think they have a right to tell us where we can gather? The more I think about it the more I realize they are nobodies who think they can tell us where to be and how to worship and gather. We can't let those nobodyies dictate our faith or our practices. I sure can't. Hopefully some of us will make calls and write letters and tell them so, but I also hope others will actually join us for our PPD and show them they can't run us off or move us to their convenience.




Footnotes:
You can contact me privately for reference information.


Copyright: 2006 Gypsy Silentrain



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