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Research Question 2 - This one is for Pagans, Witches and Wiccans

Again, this is for my blog, and it goes hand in hand with my other question about how Pagans are seen.

I would say we can all generally agree that in this country (and most others) that through media & general beliefs Pagans, Witches and the like are seen as "evil, green skinned, broom flying crazies" (as a friend of mine put it).

My question is, if you fall in to one of the categories do you try to confront that stereotype? What do you do as an individual or as a part of a group to affect the way others see your beliefs? And do you feel it's important to change these stereotypes in the first place?

Answer Question
 
SabrinaMBowen

Asked by SabrinaMBowen at 4:30 PM on Aug. 13, 2010 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 40 (122,988 Credits)
Answers (15)
  • (include my usual heathen vs pagan disclaimer here :p )
    I confront the stereotype in cases where doing has a chance of being productive. When it comes to the willfully ignorant, it's really not worth the time because they will reject it no matter how many tons of evidence are piled upon them(see all the rants against the Manhattan Muslim building near ground zero in P&CE for some good examples of that mentality). I answer questions, and explain things when I need to. While I would like to see the stereotype changed, it's not as simple as that stereotype - the prejudices against non-Abrahamic faiths goes far beyond just not liking paganism - it's an entire group hate think that extends to whichever of the other 2 Abrahamic faiths the hateful person doesn't observe. It's only a fraction of a larger xenophobia.
    NotPanicking

    Answer by NotPanicking at 4:37 PM on Aug. 13, 2010

  • As stated in the previous my bf is Pagan and I am not. But he called at the perfetc time so I asked him this question! lol

    "Yes I fit the Pagan sterotype and I think that it is important to set people striaght about the sterotypes and I think it's important to set those straight who created the sterotypes in the first place who are googly-eyed-christians. They are the ones who stated in the beginning that music and dance are art forms of the devil, yet now they play their own music and dance as well."
    Memigen

    Answer by Memigen at 4:41 PM on Aug. 13, 2010

  • Memigem - tell your BF I said thanks for his answer!
    SabrinaMBowen

    Comment by SabrinaMBowen (original poster) at 4:42 PM on Aug. 13, 2010

  • Dont feel its my place to change the stereotype. I dont think it would ever change even if the media and everyone under the sun figured out its not a horrid belief system. There will ALWAYS be someone or some group that will poopoo what they dont know, dont wanna know, or just simply cant understand.

    I have yet to be confronted in a negative way, only out of curiosity and when that has happened I explain what I believe and answer whatever specific questions are asked of me. I dont go overboard, I keep it simple and to the point and I dont try to defend myself. I grew up in a religion that is highly misunderstood so I got used to being judged simply on what religion I was vs who I was as an individual. I learned to bear my testimony and move on and not try and defend nor get snippy or anything else and I still live by that to a degree. Only instead of bearing my testimony I just state how I feel or answer questions and move on
    Amaranth361

    Answer by Amaranth361 at 5:11 PM on Aug. 13, 2010

  • I sometimes wish I were a green. broom flying crazy. Then I'd REALLY give them something to talk about.

    Seriously though, I just laugh at the stupidity of people who think like that. Sorry, but I can't help but to point and laugh at them.
    I know it's sad really. In this day and age, so many things are not only mistaken, but archaic still. I don't forcefully confront people
    who don't know what they're talking about; I just explain the truth to them. What they choose to do with it is their problem.
    NightPhoenix

    Answer by NightPhoenix at 6:13 PM on Aug. 13, 2010

  • Now my dh has pro-claimed that he intends to buy me a bigger/wider broom on those B/W-itch days...LOL...

    As for stero-type, no I personally do not fall into it tho at times I wish I could just to scar the beejeezus out of some of the
    less mind thinking ppl IRL...LOL...
    But if and when the topic comes up... I tend to ask if they have looked at their neighbor lately.... (wink, wink)
    gmasboy

    Answer by gmasboy at 7:11 PM on Aug. 13, 2010

  • Great question Sabrina! I love answering your's and reading answers to them lol. Ok, that being said...

    I DO think that it's important to change that stereotype. I wish I could fly around on my broomstick! That would be really cool lol. I think it's really sad that so many people still view Pagans as evil. The only thing that I really do is try to talk to people when they ask me questions or when they find out that I'm a witch. I try to explain things to them to stamp out the misconceptions they have, but I don't push the topic any further than they want it to go. I know, I'm lame and don't have a great story to tell lol, but that's the gist of what I do to help get rid of the stereotype, one person at a time, whether they believe me and accept it or not.
    Mrs.BAT

    Answer by Mrs.BAT at 7:53 PM on Aug. 13, 2010

  • If I'm confronted with the stereotype either online or in person I try to educate the person if they were willing to listen. That is a big IF and I don't waste my time when their not willing to learn. I don't find it my mission in life to do this. But I will when I run across the problem. What I do believe is mine (and all Pagans) duty is to be a good example of the faith I claim. That means living my life the Wiccan way. Being a good person and making sure I follow the Wiccan Rede.
    SalemWitchChild

    Answer by SalemWitchChild at 8:14 PM on Aug. 13, 2010

  • Honeslty, until today, I don't think alot of people who knew me actually KNEW I was Pagan (and the only reason it changed today is because I had my tattoo showing). While I someitmes wish I fit into the sterotypes (expecially the broom flying part, how environmetally friendly would that be?), I know I don't. I do, however, have one of my husbands relatives that I do constantly butt heads with only because he thinks since he is a male, I should (as a female) automatically listen to what he says. Of course, that is part of his beliefs, but not part of mine. So, I generally let him spew off, then ask him a question or two that he can't really answer because there is no answer to them.
    -Ashley
    spiritguide_23

    Answer by spiritguide_23 at 8:44 PM on Aug. 13, 2010

  • My question is, if you fall in to one of the categories do you try to confront that stereotype?

    Yes stereo types tend to get my goat to have to prove it wrong. As you know I stand for my beliefs and do it proudly.\

    What do you do as an individual or as a part of a group to affect the way others see your beliefs?

    Repetitivity repetitivity in showing where they are misconstrued horribly. It is like speaking to a child when going against the false teaching of society. How ever just like many injustices through out history the more it is stood up against the faster it will be changed.

    And do you feel it's important to change these stereotypes in the first place?

    Yes they are the things that cause fear, misconceptions, and mis understandings. It causes fights and arguments. The sooner it is commonly known as incorrect the sooner that will change/
    hot-mama86

    Answer by hot-mama86 at 9:55 PM on Aug. 13, 2010

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