Blast From the Past – Circa 2004 – The Pagan Persecution Complex

JW WaterhouseThis rant is inspired in part by the abundance of young Pagans littering various online forums with cries of “I can’t wear my pentacle at school”. Far too many of those making such complaints have not actually been told that they cannot wear a pentacle nor does anyone at their school or their home know of their interest in Paganism.

Here is a news flash for all of you who may not know it already – the simple fact that there is a large Christian population at your school does NOT mean that anyone is discriminating against you. You want your choice of faith to be recognized and accepted, but you don’t want your parents to find out? Guess what! You can’t have it both ways. The ACLU has better things to do with its time than force your classmates to stop wearing their crosses so that you will feel more comfortable.

Now, I am not saying that all authors of this claim should never be making it. There is a disturbing amount of prejudice in the world, but being one of countless other kids receiving a Christian fellowship flyer doesn’t count as religious intolerance. You want to be allowed to do your own thing … you HAVE to let them do their thing.

What ever happened to politely saying “No thanks, I am not looking to change my faith” or taking the pamphlet or flyer and dropping it in a recycling bin? If they pressure you or get nasty, then you may have a problem, but when did our first response become screaming discrimination and threatening to sue? Do you really think that that will make them any more accepting of you?

There are numerous ways of dealing with proselytizers that don’t involve flying off the handle. can be an invaluable resource when you are new. However, the very best defense for those creeping out of the broomcloset is to learn all you can. Learn enough about your faith so that you can speak about it intelligently and answer questions should anyone ask them. The threat of a lawsuit should only be used as a very last resort … only after all other options have been exhausted.

If your parents won’t stand behind you on this issue (ie they don’t want you to be Pagan), then you may just have to deal with it. Many organizations are a little gunshy when it comes to dealing with minors without parental consent.

Though, you may not realize it, when you make inflammatory and outlandish claims without cause, you take credence away from those who are really suffering and need help. Remember Tempest Smith? It’s rare, but it does happen and when it does do you really want people to write it off as yet another Pagan blowing things out of proportion?

There is no obligation to hate Christianity when you become Pagan. Be better than that. Pagan paths bring happiness and beauty to those who walk them. Don’t sully it by focusing on someone else. Walk your own path. You will soon find that you could care less what anyone thinks when they are shooting their mouths off about Satanism. You would be surprised at the power that living your path has.

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