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6 years ago  ::  Jul 16, 2008 - 1:43AM #31
Ursyl
Posts: 462
My son, 17, got quite the lesson in how to not treat others. My daughter, 9, was only 2 at the time, so no real affect on her.

Both have friends who know that they are not Christian, and are still friends. We've been blessed in that most we've met are of the "my beliefs are mine, and yours are cool for you too" variety.
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 16, 2008 - 10:39AM #32
Rayzorblade
Posts: 89
[QUOTE=Ursyl;628088]My son, 17, got quite the lesson in how to not treat others. My daughter, 9, was only 2 at the time, so no real affect on her.

Both have friends who know that they are not Christian, and are still friends. We've been blessed in that most we've met are of the "my beliefs are mine, and yours are cool for you too" variety.[/QUOTE]

you are quite lucky that the kids werent too bad off for it.

your kids are lucky with thier friends, they are keepers =)
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 18, 2008 - 4:30AM #33
BearHeart
Posts: 53
it comes up very rarely, but im usually open enough about being pagan...if im away from my family. Around them i just tell them i am UU, because i am. I just leave out the part about being a UU pagan.

my roommates are really relaxed about it, and sometimes just ask curious questions (like what holiday is coming up next, or what the significane of my different inceses/crystals/oils are). Im fortunate enough that, generally, the people i have classes with are very tolerant and open, as most are religious studies majors as well.
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 19, 2008 - 11:21PM #34
Rayzorblade
Posts: 89
[QUOTE=BearHeart;833919]it comes up very rarely, but im usually open enough about being pagan...if im away from my family. Around them i just tell them i am UU, because i am. I just leave out the part about being a UU pagan.

my roommates are really relaxed about it, and sometimes just ask curious questions (like what holiday is coming up next, or what the significane of my different inceses/crystals/oils are). Im fortunate enough that, generally, the people i have classes with are very tolerant and open, as most are religious studies majors as well.[/QUOTE]

Thats really cool, you are very lucky =) HAH! isn't that funny how we are so uncomfortable telling our families, but don't give a rats hindquarters what everyone else thinks?
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 20, 2008 - 11:40AM #35
tameless_heart
Posts: 2,084
It's because family opinion matters so greatly, I think. These are people you love adn who love you, and that's why their opinion matters so much.
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 21, 2008 - 2:30PM #36
BearHeart
Posts: 53
its mostly because my grandmother is very close minded, and id rather not rock the boat. I know its not safe to let them know about my being pagan, because she was convinced i had joined an evil cult when i told her i was UU.

if she cant handle THAT, then she is definitely not ready to hear that i dont believe in her understanding of god.

as far as everyone else, its really refreshing to be open about it. heck, the head of the religious studies department asked me to be her guest speaker for her new religions class about neo-paganism :D
im so stoked.
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 08, 2008 - 2:01PM #37
Skyshroud
Posts: 14
I know the feeling insofar as the family card is concerned... I think the area makes a huge difference as well.  I live in MD, in a weird little area where there is a meeting of the ways between the fairly rich (due to all the water-line proerty in the area) preppies, middle class, and still a goodly amount of of conservatives (a rarer thing in this state as a whole, but here they're still around in pockets),  several even to the point of being out- and-out redneck.

  So you can never really tell who or what you're going to get if you bring the subject up.  For all the Christian solidarity here, with a lot of Catholics and protestants (I was raised Lutheran myself, fortunately by an open family though, and most of the Lutheran branch I've seen, though evangellical, doesn't share they're excesses), it was obvious at my high school that we had a booming younger generation crop of pagans, we even have a pagan tatoo shop I didn't know about till recently, and a local metaphysical shop open since 88'. 

So with me it's often been Russian roulette considering talking to anyone about faith.

  For the record, I'm not pagan, but close, I'm heavily into the occult path, and I've done work with the pagan deities, but I'm still (now non-denominational) christian, so I  virtually ALWAYS have at least some risk involved when talking to people about what I am, no matter they're spiritual sympathies, I've only ever found one other my entire life who's what I am exactly, and haven't seen him in many years, and one other still close to me who defines herself as completely christian-pagan (a debate which I don't touch with a ten foot pole, but we have a lot in common).
 
  I end up describing myself as "chrsitian-occultist" for lack of a more ready pre-defined term, meaning I'm a christian who does metaphyiscal work, and believes in the existence of the pagan deities and even works with them, though I still see the christian God-head as slightly higher-up (much like Wiccans believe there are a God and Goddess as part of the overall balance of the unvierse, but believe in and work with specific deities as well), I've even until just recently headed my college's pagan student Organization, as it was open to bascally all magickal/occult faiths.
 
  I honestly think the best advice there is as to telling people, whatever the situation, is that once you've decided to, you need to be ready to be very patient with the person, have your theological facts and logical argumentation in order, and whatever you do, don't let them prod you into becoming aggressive unless it is absolutely necessary, as you'll only have ocasion to look like the bad guy if that happens. 

  Basically you're going to have to be knowlegedable enough about where your view differs from their's and why yours makes more sense to you than the "mainstream stuff" whether that be Christian or anything else where you are, not in a condemnating manner, but in a respectful and educating manner, and be ready to take all social hell breaking lose, while still hoping for the best.

  The family issue is sometimes a bit more complicated all together, my fiancee is pagan, and her family is part latino and part caucasion, and though her father's side was jewish, now that that side is astranged, they're pretty much all Catholic, her mother knows what she is and is unhappy with it but begrudgingly accepts it, but still has minor worries over exactly what any of our grandchildern will be.  Her grandmother is still intentionally kept in the dark by us all, as is my one remaining grandparent about both my and my fiancee's faith choices, her's is in her mid 80's mine is 92 so we figure it's better this way so as not to cause them psychological trauma and illness.

  So sometimes with family I do think you have to be careful with who you tell, there sometimes have to be layers of generational or just familial separation for everyone's good, mainly because you don't want to wreck the infastrucutre over just one of the members (at least that's how a lot of people feel about it).  Of course sometimes having some in on things and others not just isn't possible, especially in born-again and uber catholic (my mother's mother's family is catholic but she converted to Lutheran before she even met my father, so I kinda have a window to both) families.

  I've personally had very good luck over the years, mainly because I'm just good at blending in even if my views and spirit don't--I don't care about fashion very much, save for where ritual items and clothing/robes are concerned, so I never dressed in anything particularly different from others--and I choose my confidants wisely, my parents know about me and what the fiancee is, and they're cool with it, they really don't understand much about occult and pagan stuff, but they're fairly accepting, (even though my mother did at one point say she was fine with me marrying who I am but would have rather she not be pagan), oddly enough though my mother is, if anything, closer to what I was before I started working with the pagan deities directly (minus the magick stuff, I have gotten her hooked on the psychic and mediumship stuff though, lol).

  And hey, BareHeart, nice job swinging (even if unintentionally) the speaking opportunity for yourself, I'm a PHIL major and religious studies minor at my college, glad to hear you're stoked about it because they usually turn out to be fun, I have had to defend and explain paganism at college events many times by now and it usually ends up being pretty fun even if not everyone sees your side of it, hope it goes well.  If you're in doubt about anything and need someone to run it by before the actual talk, I'll be more than happy to help too.
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 08, 2008 - 4:10PM #38
mainecaptain
Posts: 21,779

Skyshroud wrote:



So with me it's often been Russian roulette considering talking to anyone about faith.

  For the record, I'm not pagan, but close, I'm heavily into the occult path, and I've done work with the pagan deities, but I'm still (now non-denominational) christian, so I  virtually ALWAYS have at least some risk involved when talking to people about what I am, no matter they're spiritual sympathies, I've only ever found one other my entire life who's what I am exactly, and haven't seen him in many years, and one other still close to me who defines herself as completely christian-pagan (a debate which I don't touch with a ten foot pole, but we have a lot in common).
 
  I end up describing myself as "chrsitian-occultist" for lack of a more ready pre-defined term, meaning I'm a christian who does metaphyiscal work, and believes in the existence of the pagan deities and even works with them, though I still see the christian God-head as slightly higher-up (much like Wiccans believe there are a God and Goddess as part of the overall balance of the unvierse, but believe in and work with specific deities as well), I've even until just recently headed my college's pagan student Organization, as it was open to bascally all magickal/occult faiths.
 
.

Welcome to the area.

I have a question. You do realize that Pagan is a umbrella term for many different religions?
Not a religion in and of itself? And it seems unless someone is of a specific path none of us have the same Deities.  Of course what ever you are doing is fine with me. Being A Christian and studying the metaphysical is a very enjoyable learning venture, and helps spiritual growth IMO.
  Good luck to you.

P.S. you are pretty safe talking about different faiths here on these different boards. We all have interesting tales to share:)

Please forgive me if any of this came out poorly, was not intended to. :o

A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side. Aristotle
Never discourage anyone...who continually makes progress, no matter how slow. Plato..
"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives" Jackie Robinson
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 12, 2008 - 4:41PM #39
Skyshroud
Posts: 14
[QUOTE=mainecaptain;943544]Welcome to the area.

P.S. you are pretty safe talking about different faiths here on these different boards. We all have interesting tales to share:)

Please forgive me if any of this came out poorly, was not intended to. :o[/QUOTE]

Nah, it came off as infoming not negative, and yes I realize many see paganism as an umbrella term anyway, and that's probably in social terms the more honest appelation, but since to many inside the pagan community it's often more of a "what pantheon/tradition are you, or which ones do you primarily work with?" for ease of identifying common ground, I wanted to be specific, plus it was kinda relevant to what was being discussed, as I've had both Chirstians and Pagans balk at me before (though not too many of either so far) over what I am.

And glad to hear things are pretty accepting here, I've been a guest on the site for awhile but I was still slightly unsure what the tone of the pagan forums might be in my case, figured they'd be fine though, if anything I'd be more worried about speaking up in reference to anything on the Christian sub-section here but time will tell...
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 19, 2008 - 8:05PM #40
SingerFae
Posts: 2
My coming out of the broom closet wasn't particularly difficult, compared to the clown shoe story, but it was quite a bit scary for me at the age of 12, a couple months before I was due to have my Bat Mitzvah (sort of the Jewish ceremony for becoming an adult). 

I admit, my mother's reaction was a bit funny.  Her main concern was not that being Pagan or Wiccan was bad--it was that she didn't think Wicca was a religion.  "No, listen to me, I messed around with that shit in college, and it's not a religion!  It's just messing around with insence!"

After I got her convinced, "Yes mom, it's a religion.  Seriously.  Here's a few books on it," she told my father and it was ok.  Now, the tricky bit was telling my grandmother, 'Bubbe.'  She was not happy.  Mostly because my children will probably not be Jewish.  And it took her ages to grasp the fact that I was Wiccan and NOT Jewish.  She called me her "Jewish Witch" for a long time -.-

Now, school was another story.  Remember, I was 12, and not the brightest of people at the time.  I can sum up the reaction with one quote..."Yo, you have to help me out!! Can you do a spell that makes Beyonce fall in love with me?"

I ended up telling everyone I wasn't into spells anymore, and gradually they went back to thinking of me as the Jew.  And I wasn't into spells anymore, I had one go very very wrong which discouraged spellwork for a bit.  So I was telling the truth, even though I admit I led people to believe otherwise. 

Anyways, it was mostly interesting.  I lost a few friends due to my Paganism, but not because they weren't understanding, but for other reasons.  I'm celebrating the Solstice with my family on Sunday =D
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