We moved last weekend, and are making some headway on unpacking. My parents were, as usual, indispensable. No one else is as hard-working or as loyal as they are, I really don't know how we can ever repay them.
The neighbors stopped by, they are apparently Evangelicals and are just across the fence here. You might call me prejudiced but I am a little leery of some possible bad interactions with them. They are very friendly people, brought cookies and tools to help us fix the facet (apparently when you move it is the neighbor's job to come bring you food and introduce themselves etc. in big cities people often times won't do this.. Good thing my mom is here to tell me that stuff!). I grew up in a small town, and being a different religion was not received well. If we make enemies of our neighbors we could make things very difficult for ourselves for a very very long time, if not permanently. We now face the dilemma of whether or not to go underground or semi-underground.
To top it all off, getting a rep as a witch and thus part of Satan's Army would affect my business prospects as I try to open up a studio in the area (an up-hill battle here anyway, with yoga also having a reputation for being associated with Hinduism and thus, at odds with Christianity--which by the way, it is not--I can go into this more another time).
At best, I could say we are agnostic, but that may only get us proselytized to, which I will not tolerate. UU churches, which I will go to on occasion, are seen about as badly! I am amazed at the bad reputation they have among the general Christian population. I don't feel I can argue much with a church that is all-encompassing, accepting, supportive of their community, and believes that you should do good to your fellow man because they deserve it, and not because you will go to hell if you don't.
The only churches my son will go to would be Orthodox church with his Grandparents, or the UU church. And when he gets home from Orthodox church, there will be a big talk before and after. He will need to learn to take the teachings with a big grain of salt. While it is fine for him to learn about Jesus, I don't want him to think that he will go to hell if he also celebrates Samhain with us... you get the picture. Most witches I know believe that Jesus was probably a powerful Magus. He is definitely a deity in his own right, and we see nothing wrong with him in general. It is when Christians won't let us worship the divine in a way that is personally meaningful to us, that we find fault, not with Jesus, but with the way the faith is pushed upon it's "flock". If the leaders of the churches stopped the closed-minded preachings, their people would change too.
Back to the point: to underground or not to underground? It doesn't seem like a real choice at this point. Keep in mind, my decision would not just affect me, but my children and husband as well. But how underground? Perhaps just avoiding the topic will do it for us...
By the way, I feel I should amend an earlier post about Paganism and community. I was not saying that being out of the broom closet is for everyone and for all circumstances. I truly believe it is not. While it would be great if everyone could practice their own faith without persecution, it is not possible yet. If you live in a big city, you will be fine for the most part, but small towns or country, or even if you are a teen in your parents house (or many other circumstances) warrant caution even in this day and age. Not all of us wish to be pagan martyrs. I know some who have done this in smaller towns, and had windows smashed out, unable to get a bank account, or had their small business run out of town. Their kids also payed the price. I do not feel ready to have my family pay the consequences for my faith. Wicca was underground a long, long time, and it is not ready for mainstream in smaller communities just yet. Who knows, maybe in 20 years? I can hope!
I really believe that each of us worship a higher being that is more or less the same, but we are individuals and as individuals see that deity in different ways, whatever way is most beneficial to our soul and our spirituality. Call me a "soft polytheist" if you will, I think I'm actually more "moderate polytheist" to coin a term. If I were christian, I would venerate Saints extensively. To me, it makes more sense to approach the God*dess by her individual parts. If I am my father's daughter, I'll call him "Dad" not "John", which will "evoke" a different feeling and approach from him. When his friends call him "John" he probably feels more carefree, or if his hunting buddies call him "red" he might feel in the zone to hunt. It's probably much more complex than this in reality. I believe the individual personalities evoked are more individual than they are One, which is why I say I am a "moderate polytheist", not hard, not soft...
Okay, now that I've been rambling all over the place, my time is out! Until next time..