Why should witches have to continue to hide? Why do we give the church the right to continue to hunt us and attack us? Why are we allowing ourselves to be forced into hiding still to this day? Why is it a church can legally go to a soldier's funeral to protest that person's life but a pagan soldier cannot have a symbol of their religion on their headstone? Why is it a church is allowed to make me feel uncomfortable in my own home by coming to my house and trying to force their religion on me but I am not allowed to publicly sell my homemade homeopathic goods in my own town?
The sad thing is 99% of my customers are Christians! My pagan friends already know how to make the things I provide! When will we stand up for ourselves and stop being a minority? I think we should be comfortable in who we are without worrying that we will offend anyone just for being ourselves. I just wonder if we are so beat down as a people and so afraid of persecution from the past that we now allow ourselves to be forced to hide out in our broom closets! Why is it as a religion that believes in peace and honor of all nature and life, we are still the bad guys? Our belief is that everyone has their own life path to follow and we don't actively try to force other's to believe what we believe. We don't go door to door making people feel uncomfortable about their beliefs. We never demand laws reflect our beliefs and throw tantrums when we don't get our way. So why is it we are seen as the bad guys? The Old Testament is full of animal sacrifice, but I have never seen a single pagan ritual requiring that the life of another living being be taken, so why is it we are accused of such evil? It's because we as a people are afraid to stand up and demand our own equality. In a country with the right to freedom of religion since 1780's, witchcraft was not legally recognized as an actual religion until the 1960's. We need to band together and demand our rights be respected and that we not be forced to accept laws based on someone else's religious beliefs. We need to demand that our beliefs be respected and that others who don't know us not be allowed to spout the same ignorance we've been labeled with for centuries. We should be allowed to publicly advertise ourselves for those seeking us to be able to find the knowledge they seek. Why should we be forced to be buried in christian grave yards or be burned, why can't we be allowed to open pagan cemeteries? Why should we only have the option of a court wedding or trying to find a special officiant in our area or who will come to our area? Why can't we be allowed to open venues that cater to pagans? It is my belief that if we stop hiding we can become more accepted among society. The individuals who aren't actual witches who give us bad media attention will be forced to be seen for the frauds they are.
After recently coming out openly as a witch I have had mixed reviews. But I have only done so because I got sick of having other people make assumptions about me. I've had a few of my pagan friends who have told me they still hide it because of fear of conflict from family and friends. It makes me wonder though what kind of friends could they be if that would change how they viewed you? I have lost a few acquaintances but to me those are the people who weren't ever really my friends. My family has been set to understand I don't expect them to accept my beliefs but I do expect them to respect me, my home, and my children and that I won't tolerate disrespect. You have to ask yourself how happy can you feel having to hide who you really are? I didn't just come out in a flaming show of flamboyance, I just simply stopped hiding things. I stopped dropping my pentacle down my shirt in public, I stopped hiding things around my home. When I saw a wonderful picture on Facebook supporting pagan pride I shared it! Why shouldn't I share it when my feed is filled daily with people confirming their devotion to Jesus? I have a cabinet in my home where I keep my altar tools and other things my kids find and bring to me, mostly bones and bugs and stuff like that! My friends are always looking at it. It's been labeled my Cabinet of Curiosities. I thought it was funny how those things have always sat in perfect view behind glass, but no one thought other wise about them until they knew my secret! Not only have I had the bad reviews of this but I have had friends I never knew were curious about witchcraft until I became open. I now have many pagan friends I never knew were pagan.
PS This has been brought to my attention! What wonderful news for pagan veterans! Now just to get the same freedom in all non-church cemeteries. Pentacles at Arlington and how the V.A. tried to block it. Thanks D.Brown for this information.