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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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swisscelt
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Time:2006-04-20 10:00 pm (UTC)
Actually, for me it muddles it further. You and I have somewhat similar approaches to public displays of our spiritualities. In essence, we don't put our religions on display unless there's a very good reason for doing so. Yet neither of us are actually in the broom closet: We think nothing of discussing our spiritualities in situations where there's a (somewhat) reasonable social expectation of privacy, e.g. at a table in a restaurant open to the public. Were we closeted, we'd think twice even before taking this relatively inaudacious move.

One can be out of the closet and still choose not to share one's faith with all comers.
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mzwyndi
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Time:2006-04-21 06:26 am (UTC)
Well, think on it. We may discuss the *fact* of my faith in public, but you don't hear the details. You never know exactly what, with whom, how often, or where. These things are private. You don't even know what gods I worship.

Nor, you may note, does it MATTER. You see who I am as a person. You see my faith makes me a happier, stronger, healthier person. You can see blessedness. And, for what it's worth, so can people of all faiths. It's not uncommon that people of faith I meet *assume* I am one of their own or very supportive of their religion. I "blend". And I manage to do it in a way that says, "I'm different, but not very," so that no one ever has to have a paradigm shift or feel betrayed.

It's not 'in the closet'. It's 'hiding in plain sight'. And, hey, it's an art form.
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