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Fighting Stereotypes within our own community - Non-Fluffy Pagan Parents
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Subject:Fighting Stereotypes within our own community
Time:02:03 pm
Current Mood:curiouscurious
I have recently been reading communities about pagan parenting and alternative parenting and find one commonality to be very disturbing.

As pagans, I would like to think that most of us are intelligent and have open minds. Am I being naive?

I have found that there are many people who accept stereotype as 'normal' or who dont even think twice about it. Is this because people dont look or is it because people are not trained to look for it? Is it laziness and apathy? Reading stories to children about Witches riding around on broomsticks, wearing pointed black hats and casting spells on evil-doers is promoting a stereotype image of a Witch that, personally, I do not want to encourage. If this were an image of a Native American wearing nothing but a deerskin tunic and a feather headdress, there would be outrage at the lack of cultural sensitivity and promotion of ethnic stereotype.

Based in the same concept, seems to be the opinion that we should expose our children to all religions, faiths and cultures...all except Christianity. Are we afraid, as pagans and witches, that our children will be 'turned'? Are we so intolerant that we would disallow our children to learn about Christianity because thats the 'bad' religion? Or is our own faith so slight that we cannot hold our own?

Maybe it is because I was never really 'in the broom closet' so I cant really relate to people's fear of being found out. I just wonder about the compromises we make and what they teach our kids. To me, it seems we are teaching them that it is something to be kept hidden, or to be ashamed of. It is beyond me how a family can claim to be pagan and still celebrate Christmas because they dont want their children to know they're pagan. Is it just me or does this not make sense??
Maybe I am completely wrong and have misinterpreted it, but it seems that we are not really teaching our kids anything when we hide, promote or encourage stereotypes, and live contrary to our beliefs. Its that whole "do what I say, not what I do" Makes me wonder if some people really believe, or is it just the cool thing to be...

or...maybe Im confused just cuz Im Canadian ;)

Sirene
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ravensword
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Time:2006-04-20 12:44 pm (UTC)
I have no problems reading (or letting the children read) classic stories that include the stereotypes. There are reasons for the stories, lessons to be learned. I do, however, challenge them to think past the labels of "good", "bad", "witch", "ugly", "pretty" etc., and really consider the behaviors of the people involved.

It isn't my job to teach them what religion is right for them. It's my job to teach them to think critically, to reason intuitively, and to know themselves so that when the time comes that they choose to explore spirituality, they are armed with the tools to not got burned (and yes, I had some trauma spiritually speaking).

As far as the whole closet thing...well...I'm so far out I can't even see the door anymore, and I know that while I was in it for comfort (my own) when I was, it rapidly got uncomfortable.
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Fighting Stereotypes within our own community - Non-Fluffy Pagan Parents
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