Friday, April 15, 2011

Damage Control for Intolerance

So, Harvard allows anti-witch rallies? Great. Well, here are some tips (if you happen to be a pagan, new ager, or open-minded human being) to combat ignorance from Courtney Weber (reposted with her permission):

Here are a few ideas you are free to ignore, but I encourage you to consider:

Don't point fingers, as in blaming the decent Christian guy next door who has always been nice to you for the crap pulled by these fuckers. Blame the action. Blame the mentality. Blame the individuals involved. Don't blame the religion and its affiliates.

be an out Pagan, if you are in a part of the country where it is safe to be one. Be a good neighbor, a good co-worker. Buy the Girlscout cookies and wear the Pentacle while you do it. Make a good impression on the person next to you, and maybe they'll take in of their own accord to educate their ignorant relatives at Thanksgiving about the Nice Pagan Lady at the office or on the block.

Don't be weird and secretive. Hiding your practices and acting shady when people ask you questions makes you think you have reason to hide what you do. Of course, keep personal matters of your group private, but be open to answering questions about your practices. Maybe they'll still think you're weird. But at least they won't think you drink blood of virgin kittens or some shit like that.

Do invite people of other faiths to your open gatherings. Help make them feel at home. Explain what's going on and do your best to show them a good time. There's a good chance they'll go back to their own communities or congregations and say, "Hey! Pagans are nice and throw a good party!"

Don't use social networking sites or blogs to announce your plans to curse the idiot who pissed you off in gym class. You sound like an idiot and you don't scare anyone. What you have succeeded in doing is in making the rest of us look bad.

Do use social networking and blogs to talk about your spiritual beliefs and your community building endeavors. Particularly if you are in an area where it isn't safe to be an open Pagan, this is a great way to help educate others in a safe format.

Don't alienate yourself either within your own Pagan community, or even just within your own self. Find friends and build bridges with other communities who share the same goals that you have.

Do be aware of religious persecution, but don't be paranoid. It ruins your own life. As my mom likes to say, "Don't give out free rent in your head."


A Girl Called Woo said...

Thanks for reposting. :) Hope people like it!

Fresh Garden said...

Absolutely fantastic! :D