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Article Specs

Article ID: 12685

VoxAcct: 239209

Section: words

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 2,224

Times Read: 12,267

RSS Views: 32,510
Thank You, Kathy Lee Gifford

Author: Sandy Lareau [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: June 29th. 2008
Times Viewed: 12,267

On Wednesday, 25 June 2008, Kathy Lee Gifford expressed her opinion about pagans. It wasn't very good. In fact, she called us nasty, bad pagans. At approximately minute 4:40 in the segment, you can hear her reading options off a card and she stated, “Pagans … the nasty, bad pagans believed it was bad luck to carry metal on your right side.”

She called us nasty, bad pagans on the Today show, a nationally broadcast program. I was actually shocked.

(You can view it here. http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/25368216#25368216)

I was so shocked that I wrote an email to the Today staff. I kept it respectful but strong. In my email, I asked that they have Ms. Gifford issue an apology. In another part of my email, I asked what they thought would happen if Ms. Gifford had said, "Jews … the nasty, bad Jews believed it was bad luck to carry metal…” She'd probably be slapped with a lawsuit so hard that her ancestors would say, "ouch!"

I'm worried that the Today show will do nothing.

I'm worried that they will do nothing because we don't have a public voice. I'm worried that she will issue some lame statement saying that she was referring to some obscure ancient sect or some other nonapology-apology. I'm afraid it will get buried on an obscure Today show Webpage. They can slander us nationally, but they tend to apologize quietly and without ceremony.

Look at what happened last year when the Lady Liberty League won Wiccan veterans the right to have pentacles on their headstones. Nothing that the Lady Liberty League does makes national news, but it should. That win was a huge, huge win for us!

So, how do we stand up to this most recent slander? It's difficult when so many of us are "in the broom closet." We're afraid to stand out and stand up and protest in public because we might lose our jobs. Our kids. Our good standing in the communities in which we live. We are not heard because not enough of us speak out publicly because we are afraid of retaliation and negative retribution. I'm just as guilty as the rest.

I think something is changing, though. I think I'm starting to get more pissed off than afraid. I'm starting to think that maybe being out wouldn't be so bad. People know me as a hard working, responsible citizen. Without shoving it down their throats, could I also be known as a pagan? Could I make a difference in their opinions of us? When I volunteer at the women's shelter, should I let my pentacle hang out of my shirt? What if we all did just a little bit?

I don't know, friends. I'm starting to believe that I've been hiding too long. I'm starting to think that we deserve to be out. We deserve to be open about our religions. We deserve to be apologized to when slandered on national television.

I'm starting to believe that it would be OK to lose my job for something I believe in so strongly. I don't want to lose my job. I can probably get another job. But, I'm really established in my job. Do you go around in circles like this, too?

I'm guilty of hiding. I'm guilty of being afraid.

I WANT to swear to you, that from this day forward, I will hide no longer. I'm afraid to swear it. I want to wear my most tasteful pentacle to work. I'm afraid to wear it. I want to talk openly and casually with my colleagues about everything, including religion. I'm afraid I won't get promoted when they find out that I am a Wiccan. And what will the customer think?

I've been keeping my religion hidden at work so that I do not offend anyone. Why am I doing that? Christians wear their crosses, Jewish men wear their Yamakas, and Shiite men wear turbans and the women veils. None of them worry about offending anyone. They are true to themselves. Why is it not ok for us to be true to ourselves?

I want to be out.

Goddess Mother, please help me find the strength to be out, to be respected for my differences as I respect others for theirs, and to be appreciated for my courage. I want to put my face out there for the whole world to see! Work is just going to have to deal with the fact that they have a witch on staff. That's it.

I'm going to put my face on my column in the next issue of the magazine. I'm going to wear my pentacle to work once in a while. I'm going to do it, yes, but I'm going to do it slowly. I don't want shock value, I want acceptance. I'm making a commitment to you, dear reader, and to myself. I'm coming out.

I'm going to get up really early and call the Today show on Monday (they're on the east coast, I'm on the west coast). I'm going to try to find out just exactly what they plan to do about this, and I'm going to try to get a telephone interview with Jim Bell, the Executive Producer. Why not? Why have a magazine if I'm not going to use it to help the community?

Thank you, Ms. Gifford, for helping me get off my tush and for motivating me to make a positive change, and to stand up to you and people like you. Thank you Lord and Lady for giving me the courage to try to create positive change for the pagan community!

What about you? Will you join me? Will you help me stand up to people like Kathy Lee Gifford? Will you try to be more "out?" Please let me know what you think and what you plan to do by sending me an email: editor@modernwitchmagazine.com.

Blessings and best regards,

Sandy Lareau






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