Red Hot Discussion Topic

Now here's something to get steamed up about.

Should the Pagan community start placing informational ads?

Yes
3
33%
No
5
56%
Undecided
1
11%
 
Total votes: 9

User avatar
Stormy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 733
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2004 6:11 pm
Location: Pittsburgh Area, PA
Contact:

Red Hot Discussion Topic

Post by Stormy » Thu Dec 02, 2004 8:24 am

OK, this is NOT meant to infuriate anyone, it's just something that I am curious as to how we all feel about it, especially in light of the many campaigns that are being waged by fundies to bring about banning and persecution of Pagan religions.

Do you think that the Pagan community needs to start taking out it's own ads or doing it's own mass mailings (like the fundie Christians are) as a counter measure to what the fundies are doing? I don't mean trying to recruit anyone into Paganism, no attempts at conversion here, but simply informational ads as a counter point to the insults and attacks being made by the fundies. Something simple that just says (in a clever, non-proselyting way) what a Pagan is and what a Pagan isn't in order to make the point that we are normal, loving, intelligent people who aren't killing babies or animals.

All opinions welcome, but let's try to keep it civil ;)

Stormy
Stormy ~~}~}-:>
Aut viam inveniam aut faciam

User avatar
marsalilass
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2004 3:38 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon
Contact:

Post by marsalilass » Thu Dec 02, 2004 4:15 pm

While, on the surface, I would say HECK YES, I wonder how it would be twisted by fundies. Once a mass Pagan mailing or commercial was launched you KNOW they would turn it around somehow as us being evil and trying to brainwash the masses with our drivel (while, in fact, that is exactly what THEY are doing). Now I think it would be different if we went door to door and actually talked to people or just plain talked to people at all. I know a lot of Pagans are still in the broom closet and I seriously think it would help things if we were alll just open and honest about it. Part of the reason we're attacked so often is simply because people believe they have never met a Pagan before (even though they probably have, but they don't know it) so they are ABLE to believe we are child killing, blood drinking freaks.

For example, if Suzie Christian is talking with her friend Pagan Pam (who is in the broom closet) and says, "Yeah, Pagans worship Satan and kill babies etc." Then Pagan Pam decides to come out to her friend and say, "hey, I'm Pagan and I don't do any of those things . . . . would you like to talk about what Paganism really means?" . . . Suzie Christian is more likely to hear what Pagan Pam has to say because they are already friends. Whereas if she gets a flyer in the mail she's likely to blow it off as Pagans trying to lie about what truely goes on . . . . she'll probably take it to her church where her pastor can put together an entire sermon together about how the Pagans lie and decieve because they are the spawn of Satan! lol

Okay, I realize I just rambled and probably didn't make any sense. Sorry :roll:
Marsali



"Reality is an illusion, albeit a persistant one"

User avatar
morgana
Level 22
Level 22
Posts: 650
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2003 7:42 am
Location: Florida
Contact:

Post by morgana » Thu Dec 02, 2004 5:09 pm

I think I have to agree with Marsali. Mass mailings, ads, these things really don't get anyone's attention, except those who would complain about it, and or twist it into something it's not meant to be. I mean when you think about it, if you get something in the mail that has absolutely no interest to you, you usually throw it out (except the bills, lol). To me it just brings to mind those mass mailings of "Jesus videos" they sent out a few years ago. They did little more than annoy me and make me walk a few extra feet to the garbage can to toss it. I also don't think we should go door to door however, cuz then we'd be like those annoying JW people. I just don't think it's right even if you're not trying to convert someone, to force information on people. Usually, if a person is open minded enough, they'll come to you with questions after they've heard the fundies spouting off about us evil baby-killing pagans, or they'll seek out the truth themselves. If they're dumb enough to buy into all that nonsense, there's probably not a whole lot to be done for them anyway, and they usually refuse to hear the other side of things.

On the other hand, people coming out of their secrecy and being willing to talk to those who have legitimate questions is a good thing, just so long as they don't try and talk them into converting. I don't actively discuss my beliefs with people unless they ask, and seem legitimately interested and not ready to get into a huge ugly religion war. That's just my take on things though. :-)
"Love like you've never been hurt."

User avatar
marsalilass
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2004 3:38 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon
Contact:

Post by marsalilass » Fri Dec 03, 2004 8:41 am

LOL . . . actually going door was kinda of a joke that I had meant to comment on then forgot . . :oops: Anway, I don't seek out people to come "out" to, but if they ask me blatantly I don't lie. Nor do I hide the fact that I celebrate differently than others around the holidays. I LOVE when people ask me questions and it does happen quite frequently. Luckily I've never really had anyone get nasty or upset with me (of course, I haven't had any discussions with my FAMILY either . . ;) ). Most people I've talked to are genuinely interested in what I have to say whether or not they agree with me is up to them. I've had some very interesting discussions with Christian friends that have been nothing but thought provoking and civil.

I know there are lots of people that can't come out of the broom closet for whatever reason. It is sad that, in a country that is suppose to be based on freedom of religion ('cause we were founded by religious outcasts in the first place) Pagans cannot feel safe to express their true feelings.
Marsali



"Reality is an illusion, albeit a persistant one"

User avatar
Lotus
Level 27
Level 27
Posts: 782
Joined: Thu May 06, 2004 9:47 am
Location: Somewhere over the rainbow
Zodiac: Aries
Contact:

Post by Lotus » Fri Dec 03, 2004 11:09 am

Although I feel that we should not be ushered into the closet, I think it is a bad idea to use similar tactics as the fundies.
The main problem with putting out the pagan word is that there is no pagan word...we do not agree on anything. There are no definitive thoughts, ideologies, nor practices among pagans as a whole. Like many Egyptian Recons that I know do not consider themselves "pagan".
The fundies can do this because there is a standard with their thoughts.

BB
Lotus
I have not been the same since that house fell on my sister.

User avatar
Aero2600
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2004 7:19 am
Location: Florida
Contact:

Post by Aero2600 » Fri Dec 03, 2004 12:32 pm

One of the great things about Wicca and Paganism is that we don't proselytize. Even if these mailers and ads we're only to inform people of what we're about, it would still be looked at as proselytizing. Not to mention, it would be largely ineffective. Close-minded people 'zone out' the things they don't want to hear. The open-minded, intelligent people out there will look for something new when they realize that their current religion doesn't fulfill them. All we can do is to be there to answers their questions when they do. Any actions to them before they reach that 'open-minded' state is going to be a waste, and likely viewed as proselytizing.

Just my two cents..

Aero
They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security. -- Benjamin Franklin
Please stop hurting America -- Jon Stewart

User avatar
Stormy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 733
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2004 6:11 pm
Location: Pittsburgh Area, PA
Contact:

Post by Stormy » Fri Dec 03, 2004 1:22 pm

All good points about how trying to let people know who and what we are would be taken wrong and/or twisted - no one has said anything that isn't a valid concern there.

I agree that we have no "one" doctrine or method of belief, but I think that it can be agreed that in general (excluding some of our more radical factions which even Pagans don't like) we do have some things in common which are the points I was looking at "clearing up" - specifically that we don't worship Satan, we don't believe in human sacrifice, or animal for that matter, that we believe in responsibility for ones' actions and that we are not simply hedonistic people without any concept of right and wrong.

But we are still left with the issue of what (if anything) should we do in response to the information that is printed, preached and even televised that promotes the close minded views and understandings?

Yes, it is good, if it is safe for one to do so, to be willing to explain your beliefs if asked, thereby dispelling myths and outright lies - but that doesn't really address the "big issue" so to speak. That big issue is the general climate of distrust, misunderstanding and even hate that is being constantly fed fuel for it's fire but which none of us seem to be willing to try to throw a bucket of water on.

I agree fully, that sending out flyers and putting out ads is going to be taken the wrong way and likely won't do a lot of good - I made those suggestions to get us talking ;) So what CAN we do?

Suggestions from me:
  • Make sure that more of the reporters who are writing articles about religion get it "right" and/or that they include a positive line or two about general pagan beliefs. In other words, I've seen news articles written this time of year about how "Christmas is a Christian holiday, yet even atheists celebrate it" - maybe we could promote, or even submit an article of our own that talks about the real origins of Christmas and what it means to some of those "non-Christians".

    If a network airs a program that spread lies and promotes discrimination, we should bombard that network with letters setting the record strait and asking them to do the same. Ditto for newspapers and magazines.

    What about volunteering to give a talk at a local college or volunteering to teach a class at a local metaphysical shop and advertising the class - I don't see that as the same as recruiting converts. The ad could just be a simple ad saying something about "classes open to everyone from practicing pagans to those with a friendly curiosity - classes are for learning, not imposing our beliefs or yours".


Those are just starters, I know you all can come up with better ideas than that :-D

Stormy
Stormy ~~}~}-:>
Aut viam inveniam aut faciam

User avatar
marsalilass
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2004 3:38 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon
Contact:

Post by marsalilass » Fri Dec 03, 2004 1:48 pm

I'm skeptical if it is even possible to change the "big picture" before planting small seeds. If the attitude of openness is not already there the bigger things will either go unnoticed or be shrugged off as lies. Of course I'm having a very anti-Christian day today (bad mood :-( ) . . .

I think your idea of wasking newspapers etc. to withdraw or clarify religious stories is great, but those things need to be followed up with phone calls or they tend to get overlooked. We could take it one step further and try to get Pagans to write stories/editorials and attempt to get them published in city newspapers etc. Same with the news . . . big Pagan event? Try to get it on public calendars or get a small POSITIVE news story . . . .

What about voters pamphlets? Could something be done there in the "arguments for/against" sections on specific bills? Just a thought . . . of course that is expensive! lol


All these things require someone to take the initiative. Someone not affraid of being "out" and not affraid of retaliation from closed minded freaks.
Marsali



"Reality is an illusion, albeit a persistant one"

User avatar
Stormy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 733
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2004 6:11 pm
Location: Pittsburgh Area, PA
Contact:

Post by Stormy » Fri Dec 03, 2004 2:36 pm

marsalilass wrote: All these things require someone to take the initiative. Someone not affraid of being "out" and not affraid of retaliation from closed minded freaks.
And there in lies the rub - for all my enthusiasm for this, even I have to be afraid that if my beliefs became public around here, we would have to sell the house and move - that is if they didn't burn it down first.

Stormy
Stormy ~~}~}-:>
Aut viam inveniam aut faciam

User avatar
marsalilass
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2004 3:38 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon
Contact:

Post by marsalilass » Fri Dec 03, 2004 5:03 pm

Nice "Catch 22" isn't it?! :lol: . . . I mean, in order for us to be accepted and understood we have to stand up for ourselves and speak out . . unfortunately speaking out could have terrible consequences . . especially depending on where you live and the general mindset. Now, I'm a little more comfortable where I live because there are a TON of Pagans in Portland (comparatively anyway), but I don't think I'd be willing to be out of the broom closet in say, most "red" states :smt074
Marsali



"Reality is an illusion, albeit a persistant one"

User avatar
Lotus
Level 27
Level 27
Posts: 782
Joined: Thu May 06, 2004 9:47 am
Location: Somewhere over the rainbow
Zodiac: Aries
Contact:

Post by Lotus » Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:34 pm

Stormy wrote:, that we believe in responsibility for ones' actions and that we are not simply hedonistic people without any concept of right and wrong.
Stormy
Umm, you sure about this one. The vast majority of pagans/wiccans have the problem of being hedonistic. In fact, many people use their paganism as an excuse to be so. Many pagans have the concept that they have to do what they need mentality.
It is the one of the biggest problems I have with the pagan community as a whole and why I dislike certain traditions like wicca. Wiccans seem to be the most hedonistic of them all trouting around spouting stuff about the great right and being a fertility religion. Its like a cheesy come on line: hey baby we worship a nature religion so let's beep!

If anyone on the board does not feel this way or was offended by this it is not a personal jab cause the people in my area who claim to be wiccan tend to be this way.

BB
Lotus
I have not been the same since that house fell on my sister.

User avatar
FyreGarnet
Level 17
Level 17
Posts: 500
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2003 5:37 pm
Zodiac: Aquarius
Contact:

Post by FyreGarnet » Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm

Well, lotus, you have found one wiccan who isn't as hedonistic. I'm still a virgin. ;)

FyreGarnet
The difference between cats and dogs is that dogs want to smell everyone's rear and cats want every one to smell THEIR rear - unknown

User avatar
socialgreen
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 124
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2003 8:34 pm
Location: Western New York
Contact:

Post by socialgreen » Sat Dec 04, 2004 4:49 am

I cast my vote no. I know the mindset of Fundies and they will twist it one way or another and do more damage to the pagan image. Basically, the best flyer a pagan can display is themselves. I am not saying to wear your practice on your sleeve as seeking converts but to conduct yourself in a modest fashion.

Now I have revealed myself to my family and a few other people as a Druid. I do not mention it at work or any other social function. I chose to hide my Wiccan side because it still has negative conotations in most peoples minds. I believe we all know why because most people associate Wicca with Satanism. Witchcraft is mentioned in the Bible as a something G.O.D. dislikes and Fundies believe they are doing a service for G.O.D. by acting against it. Wicca, like Satanism, is caught between a rock and a hard place. Paganism, in general, will be having a hard time as well. Biblically speaking, a person cannot serve other Gods or Goddesses and must serve G.O.D. This is one of the reasons Fundies have become political. It's been done before in Europe which resulted in the Dark Ages. In my opinion it may happen again except it will be here in America.

Now, in my opinion, pagans will have to get involved with the political process and not be apathetic. To counter the Far Right's agenda we must build coalitions to unite different Parties of the Left. There is talk of this happening now to have those Parties lay aside their idelogical beliefs and pool their resources to get individuals elected into office and to break the Dualopoly's (Rep and Dems) political stranglehold. This will offer people an alternative to the Two party system. However, this does depend on how successful the coalition building goes. Time will only tell.
social
If more of us valued food and cheer and song
above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- J. R. R. Tolkien

User avatar
Stormy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 733
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2004 6:11 pm
Location: Pittsburgh Area, PA
Contact:

Post by Stormy » Sat Dec 04, 2004 5:18 am

:oops: wow, Lotus, and I thought that the old pervert I worked with was bad LOL - fortunately, the majority of pagans, including Wiccans, that I have come to know in the local area thru the monthly meetings at Borders aren't at all like that. Perhaps it's an additude which once started in an area "catches" on? I mean, it would make sense, since pagans tend to only learn from other pagans about how to interact with each other, so if the "founding" father or mother of a particular group was a pervert, I can see that things could end up the way you say they are around your area.

Social, about the Bible saying that God hates witchcraft - something that very few know is that in the literal translation (yup, a LOT is lost in the translations of the Bible) a "witch" is actually a woman who uses curses to harm others, and, if I recall correctly (it's been a while since I've read the text which explained the many translation flub ups), uses poisons. And that is what "witchcraft" translates to as well - making poisons and cursing to harm others. So, as you can see, the fundies have it all wrong again - God "will not suffer a poisoner who curses others to live", he doesn't have any problem with witches ;)

Stormy
Stormy ~~}~}-:>
Aut viam inveniam aut faciam

User avatar
socialgreen
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 124
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2003 8:34 pm
Location: Western New York
Contact:

Post by socialgreen » Sat Dec 04, 2004 5:20 am

Lotus Wrote:
Umm, you sure about this one. The vast majority of pagans/wiccans have the problem of being hedonistic. In fact, many people use their paganism as an excuse to be so. Many pagans have the concept that they have to do what they need mentality.
It is the one of the biggest problems I have with the pagan community as a whole and why I dislike certain traditions like wicca. Wiccans seem to be the most hedonistic of them all trouting around spouting stuff about the great right and being a fertility religion. Its like a cheesy come on line: hey baby we worship a nature religion so let's beep!
I think that depends on where you live at. I have no clue as to why pagan personal conduct differs from region to region. I have not seen this behavior in my area. I am sorry about you having to experience those negative qualities. What you have seen and heard was "Fluff." Yes, Wicca is a fertility religion but the emphasis is on the God and Goddess who are nature and we, ourselves, are part of Them and nature. It is about celebrating life. It is also about death and rebirth. From my many posts you have seen I am not hedonistic. I cannot speak for Wiccans but I can say that the "Craft" itself is not as hedonistic as protrayed by your personal encounters. I have no Coven experience but from what I read it is a family relationship. It involves having close rapport with other people which developes over time. At the Grove we have a tribal relationship. The two are different yet similar.
social
If more of us valued food and cheer and song
above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- J. R. R. Tolkien

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest