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Author Topic: Respectable Pagans?  (Read 12411 times)
Mandi
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« Reply #15: April 19, 2007, 08:49:04 am »


Oh gosh.  I'm so average it's pathetic.  Right down to the white picket fence, and my size medium everything.

I am one of those tattooed out rock and dirt worshipers, but aside from that, I'm a volunteer Spanish teacher, in school to finish my BA in early childhood education.  Unless you see me in my down time, you don't get to see my rocks.  Wink

I don't know you well enough to say you're not crazy, but I know me well enough to say I'm almost sane!
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I'm gonna tell my son to join a circus so that death is cheap
And games are just another way of life
And I'm gonna tell my son to be a prophet of mistakes
Because for every truth there are half a million lies
And I'm gonna lock my son up in a tower
Till he learns to let his hair down far enough to climb outside.
-LIz Pahir

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Purplewitch
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« Reply #16: April 19, 2007, 11:01:08 am »

Ohhhh nooooo!  It's an epidemic!
We always suspected it was contagious Wink
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Purplewitch
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« Reply #17: April 19, 2007, 11:24:54 am »

There are people of all popular religions who aren't fit to associate with ............ Most adult members of Pagan religions work, have families, or both.
Randall summed it up - comes back to the plain fact that people are people - some are fit to associate with and some aren't.
I'm a SAHM, with a tattoo and I have been known to tree hug but I'm also told I "scrub up pretty well" when need has it and most of the world probably consider me relatively respectable. I'm pagan and a witch (and called wiccan by my mother in law - who seems to have a habit of telling people that fact wherever she goes lol), he's not.

Himself has a good, trade job, works hard, gets his hands dirty every day, and we do all the things most other families do - shop, cook, clean, take occasional trips to visit family, etc.
To all intents and purposes, we're just another average, (relatively) respectable family.

You have to be smack bang in the middle of us to see the insanities or to see why he calls me a whack job (like he can talk?? lol) But... our insanities have very little to do with being pagan or not.

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Marilyn (ABSENTMINDED)
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« Reply #18: April 19, 2007, 01:26:38 pm »

Ohhhh nooooo!  It's an epidemic!

 Embarrassed

(The 'blushing' icon isn't as clear here as on Beehive, but that's what that is supposed to be.)

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« Reply #19: April 19, 2007, 02:30:31 pm »

I'm in the broom closet and am trying to figure out how to tell my parents about Wicca. They are average Christians and slightly conservative, and perfectly 'respectable' people. When I sounded my mother out about Wicca, she muttered something about rock and tree worshipping, crazy, tattooed hippies. I try to have an open mind and don't have anything against tattoos or hippies, but in general, do pagans tend to be what people like my close minded parents consider unrespectable and not fit to associate with, or is that just a stereotype almost as bad as the black-robed, warty which cackling over a cauldron?

Is what I'm trying to ask making sense, and do you see what I mean by asking?

Well, I am neither respectable nor a rock/tree worshipping crazy tattooed hippy.  I'm a broke unemployed college dropout with long hair.  Most pagans I know personally tend to be fairly eccentric but otherwise "respectable."
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« Reply #20: April 19, 2007, 03:00:25 pm »

Most pagans I know personally tend to be fairly eccentric but otherwise "respectable."

Perhaps the OP's issue at hand is that "respectable" is a matter of personal opinion and/or cultural norm.  What's respectable in one person's eyes isn't necessarily so in another's.

I just don't see a way to convince someone of a subculture's respectability when they've already formed a bias in their minds as to what qualifies as respectable.
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Kasmira
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« Reply #21: April 19, 2007, 03:21:12 pm »

I'm in the broom closet and am trying to figure out how to tell my parents about Wicca. They are average Christians and slightly conservative, and perfectly 'respectable' people. When I sounded my mother out about Wicca, she muttered something about rock and tree worshipping, crazy, tattooed hippies. I try to have an open mind and don't have anything against tattoos or hippies, but in general, do pagans tend to be what people like my close minded parents consider unrespectable and not fit to associate with, or is that just a stereotype almost as bad as the black-robed, warty which cackling over a cauldron?

Is what I'm trying to ask making sense, and do you see what I mean by asking?

Personally I just recomend showing by your own example. Start out by explaining that not all Pagans are med excentric hippies (I am  Wink ) and then live in such a way that proves it to them. That worked with my parents, but then they are pretty eccentric also (my Da plays poker as his job)

Good luck telling your folks.
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« Reply #22: April 19, 2007, 04:50:25 pm »

I just don't see a way to convince someone of a subculture's respectability when they've already formed a bias in their minds as to what qualifies as respectable.

*nods* I think you've hit it right there. Most Pagans I know are not button down shirt conformists, which I believe is what is commonly known as respectable (i.e. like everyone else). That they are delightful, good people doesn't really matter to someone who isn't open minded or intelligent enough to understand a person with a different viewpoint can be someone 'to associate with'.

As an artist, I am accepted in many circles without a problem because an artist has cultural permission to be 'odd'. It is almost expected of me. Physicists and suchlike have that social permission as well, they can look, act, and think differently without being outcasts. Narrow minded people will accept them because everyone else does, but tolerance generally ends there.

The OP does have her work cut out for her.
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« Reply #23: April 19, 2007, 05:42:53 pm »

Houses? Grown kids? Y'all are ooooooooooooooooold!  Wink

I can understand that you don't want to be lumped in with a bunch of freaks. Before I came back, I decided to give LJ coms another try and wow do I have stories!

The best way I can think of to prove to your parents that you're respectable is to simply be respectable. I'm assuming that they think so of you right now; simply point out that nothing has changed besides the fact that they now know the full(er) extent of your beliefs.
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Steve - ComW
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« Reply #24: April 19, 2007, 05:45:40 pm »

As an artist, I am accepted in many circles without a problem because an artist has cultural permission to be 'odd'. It is almost expected of me. Physicists and suchlike have that social permission as well, they can look, act, and think differently without being outcasts. Narrow minded people will accept them because everyone else does, but tolerance generally ends there.

The same applies for computer people. In fact with computer people you dont even need to be a PROFESSIONAL computer person - the simple fact that you can type in line commands and expect them to work seems to permeate your enviroment and your expected to be odd.

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Mandi
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« Reply #25: April 19, 2007, 11:35:55 pm »



As an artist, I am accepted in many circles without a problem because an artist has cultural permission to be 'odd'. It is almost expected of me.

I get that too.  People are not surprised by me not being of a mainstream belief system when they've already gotten to know me.

Oh well you're one of those artsy fartsy types anyways.

A certain brand of outcast is already accepted.  Unfortunately though I'm starting to see this as just as bad. 

It's like having people say, "yeah, don't worry about it.  We already wrote you off long ago."
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I'm gonna tell my son to join a circus so that death is cheap
And games are just another way of life
And I'm gonna tell my son to be a prophet of mistakes
Because for every truth there are half a million lies
And I'm gonna lock my son up in a tower
Till he learns to let his hair down far enough to climb outside.
-LIz Pahir
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« Reply #26: April 20, 2007, 01:39:08 am »

I'm in the broom closet and am trying to figure out how to tell my parents about Wicca. They are average Christians and slightly conservative, and perfectly 'respectable' people. When I sounded my mother out about Wicca, she muttered something about rock and tree worshipping, crazy, tattooed hippies. I try to have an open mind and don't have anything against tattoos or hippies, but in general, do pagans tend to be what people like my close minded parents consider unrespectable and not fit to associate with, or is that just a stereotype almost as bad as the black-robed, warty which cackling over a cauldron?

Is what I'm trying to ask making sense, and do you see what I mean by asking?

OK lets break this down. You describe your parents as being "average" Christians but what does that entail? Do they go to Church once a week? Twice a week? More? How long have they been attending Church regularly? What type of Christianity do they follow, Methodist, Weslian, Quaker, Mormon, Calvanist, Evangelist, Protestant, Catholic etc? Believe me, these things make a difference!

You also describe them as being "respectable" people and say your Mum referred to magick users as being crazy, tree hugging hippies. Don't you see the differences you yourself have pointed out in these comments? What your parents are in these respects and what they see magick users as are "worlds apart" and it might be the case that they completely detatch themselves in RL to what you aspire to be. Think twice before you go confessing your secret to your parents, it could have disastorous consequences!

There are many who hold their practicing of the Craft as secretive for their whole lives. Not only do they keep it secret from their families but they also keep it secret from their friends and work colleagues too. These people seek out like minded people and share their interests with those people and those people only, there is no shame in this. Whilst logging on to a website on the internet and reading information on magick or chatting with like minded people on forums such as this might seem all very open, it is not like that in RL. Don't feel you need to shout your beliefs from the rooftops, most people won't listen anyway and the ones who respond the loudest are likely to be those who oppose what you believe while the people you share the beliefs with just smile quietly to you. If you're looking for identity on a personal or religious level you won't find it in the minds of others and you won't understand yourself from others actions and reactions. Personal identity is a personal journey which only you need to share with yourself. There are loads of ways to stand out in the crowd and acting in ways opposed to others or upsetting others or living dangerously are not always the best ways of doing it no matter how much of a good idea it seems at the time. Think it and then rethink it before you take any action, that might save you and your parents a great deal of heartache.

Oh, and remember or look it up, Christians have been oppressing Witches for centuries and that attitude has not changed and is not likely to either. Pick up a Bible and look up "Exodus 22:18" you'll see why Christians have the attitude that they have toward those who use magick, and that is not the only reference in the Bible either.

Oh, and btw, there are many Covens who encourage the reading of the Bible so you wouldn't go wrong in reading it from cover to cover both the Old and New Testaments. And also, you might be better off in touching your parents conscience regarding magick by asking them about the Hebrews interest in magick. If you didn't know it, the Hebrews have complete magickal texts also! Try looking up the Quabalah Wink

BB

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MelanieS
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« Reply #27: April 20, 2007, 02:06:40 am »

I'm in the broom closet and am trying to figure out how to tell my parents about Wicca. They are average Christians and slightly conservative, and perfectly 'respectable' people. When I sounded my mother out about Wicca, she muttered something about rock and tree worshipping, crazy, tattooed hippies. I try to have an open mind and don't have anything against tattoos or hippies, but in general, do pagans tend to be what people like my close minded parents consider unrespectable and not fit to associate with, or is that just a stereotype almost as bad as the black-robed, warty which cackling over a cauldron?

Is what I'm trying to ask making sense, and do you see what I mean by asking?


It is a very normal thing for people to have misconceptions and even fears about what they are unfamiliar with. That doesn't make it alright for people to hold incorrect assumptions, but it is common. When I began dating my husband he told his parents I was Wiccan and they almost had heart attacks because they didn't have any experience with that.

I had to be the example and through knowing me they learned quickly that I was not all the things they feared. This is what you will have to do. You will have to be the example and show them that you are respectable.

What respectable meant to my husbands parents is probably different than what it means to yours. I earned my in-laws respect because I take good care of their son and he is happier person with me.

But to answer your question, I would probably pass the respectability test with your parents. I have no tattoos and am most definitely not a hippie (though my husband and I do go to a 3 day Dave Matthews Band concert every year and there are some hippies there) . I'm probably not the best person to judge if I'm fit to associate with, but our daughter is adopted and so numerous judges, social workers and other miscellaneous people have deemed us fit to raise a child. That surely counts for something. I know quite a few other Pagans that your parents would most likely think respectable.

But it really doesn't matter how many Pagans there are in the world that would pass muster with your folks. It's about you being the one to show them you are both Pagan and respectable.

Melanie
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catja6
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« Reply #28: April 20, 2007, 07:35:15 am »

I'm in the broom closet and am trying to figure out how to tell my parents about Wicca. They are average Christians and slightly conservative, and perfectly 'respectable' people. When I sounded my mother out about Wicca, she muttered something about rock and tree worshipping, crazy, tattooed hippies. I try to have an open mind and don't have anything against tattoos or hippies, but in general, do pagans tend to be what people like my close minded parents consider unrespectable and not fit to associate with, or is that just a stereotype almost as bad as the black-robed, warty which cackling over a cauldron?

Is what I'm trying to ask making sense, and do you see what I mean by asking?

I'm a PhD. candidate in English, specializing in folklore and children's lit.  Pagan leanings/sympathies are not especially uncommon among academics in the fields of folklore, anthropology, classics and religious studies -- my university has a well-known "Religion and Nature" graduate program that attracts a number of Pagan-y sorts.  Being a Pagan sympathizer was par for the course among 19th-century classicists, and isn't uncommon today.  Folklore, anthropology, and religious studies have all been making inroads into studying modern Paganisms -- in all those fields, being a member of the faith you're discussing is generally considered an advantage, so there are a number of "out" Pagan academics, such as Jenny Blain, Sabina Magliocco, Chas Clifton, and Graham Harvey.

Then again, there are plenty of petit-bourgeois Christian sorts who consider academics to be less than respectable.  All that dirty liberal edumacation, see. 
« Last Edit: April 20, 2007, 07:41:15 am by catja6 » Logged
Purplewitch
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« Reply #29: April 20, 2007, 12:11:34 pm »

Don't feel you need to shout your beliefs from the rooftops, most people won't listen anyway and the ones who respond the loudest are likely to be those who oppose what you believe while the people you share the beliefs with just smile quietly to you.

One thing, there is a world of difference between shouting your beliefs from the rooftops, and no longer hiding them. It's not an all or nothing situation Smiley
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