Being confronted publicly about being pagan?

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-18-2011
Being confronted publicly about being pagan?
6
Wed, 11-23-2011 - 12:57am

I am open about being Wiccan and I wear a pentagram all the time. I work in food service and because it is a religious thing I can wear it at work.

The other day I was at work and a priest (he was wearing a collar) refused to be served by me because I was wearing my pentagram. He said I was a Satanist and he wanted a different person to help him. He went on for quite awhile including trying to “save me”.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2001
Wed, 11-23-2011 - 1:37pm

Hugs to you and major KUDOS! to your GM for standing up for you! That is awesome! :) Even though I live in a liberal area of CA, I do not wear my Pentagram on a daily basis. I do have a necklace I wear daily, which is a spiral, to symbolize the Goddess. I save my Pentagram necklace for formal ritual and Magickal workings instead. I also am careful not to put any controversial bumper stickers on my car. There are jerks out there who would damage my car. So I don't use my car as a "soapbox" of my politics or other beliefs for that reason. I have not been hassled by anyone because they likely don't have a clue about my religion. I think it's great you can wear your religious necklace at work, even as a minority religion. I expect if I had worn something to express my Zen beliefs, this Christian priest would have harassed me as well. Or someone wearing a hijab and serving him or wearing something signifying being Muslim. This man is a bad example of bigotry and religious hatred and it's a travesty that he represents an often loving, compassionate and gentle religion, like Christianity can be and is for most people. For me, I would not have given him any personal history, such as how I was raised, etc. Just fuel and fodder to him. He can't hear you. Fanatics like him are blind, deaf and dumb to the concept of mutual respect and that our country stands for religious freedom, and is diverse in it's religions and cultures. These type people you just have to try to shrug off, shield yourself from them, and not get sucked into a discussion. I know you hoped to educate him, but he doesn't sound educable from your description. :( Like I said, someone who harasses you like that is not going to hear anything you have to say, is not interested in learning accurate information. His mind is clamped shut with his version of belief.

On the flip side, long ago I was still a practicing Christian. I wore a crucifix necklace. I was treated coldly because I wore it to work in an office whose president was Jewish. Many members were also Jewish, and some would come into the office. Some gave me rude behavior, but nothing verbal, just because I wore the crucifix to work. Not as any kind of statement, just because it was part of me, you know? For my own focus on my spirituality. I didn't have any of the attitudes or beliefs about other religions as your priest evidently had. I was given cold looks centered on my necklace when I showed up wearing it, making me feel very unwelcome and uncomfortable. I started wearing it under my blouse/shirt... :| In another instance, I was standing on the commute train platform, waiting for my train to go to work, and a couple of men made rude comments about whether I was "really" Christian or just wearing jewelry...and didn't really believe. They weren't speaking to me, but to each other, but *at* me. So, these kinds of bigoted people are everywhere, and can come from every culture or religion as well. Generally people to "act out" this way are not open to being educated. I just try to remain polite, handle the situation (like referring to your GM) and get away from them without getting into "words" or discussions or defensive behaviors. I try to defuse the situation by defusing them, and deflecting them away from me. I use Magick also now, for shielding and protection.

Again, I am very glad your GM stood up for you, and basically set him straight that harassing an employee about her beliefs was not o.k. and that being asked to leave was even mentioned. As it should be. The customer is *not* always right in their behaviors towards employees.


Blessings,

Gypsy

)O(



iVillage Member
Registered: 07-21-2006
Wed, 11-23-2011 - 2:45pm

Hi Mary!

I think you handled it just fine! But I am sorry you have had people give you a hard time about being Pagan. I live in the Bible Belt (SC) and wear my pentagram every day, including

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 11-24-2011 - 11:54am

I think you handled it very well and like everyone else, I am so pleased that your GM stood up for you. Religious tolerance needs to cover all religions.

When people are that narrowed minded and adamant there is probably not much you can do to change them, so its best to laugh it off and let it be 'their problem'.

I myself dont hide who I am in any way. I have a Triple Goddess Tattoo on the back of my neck and while I can hide it with clothes, I rarely do.

So far I have only had positive comments.

Peace,

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-18-2011
Thu, 11-24-2011 - 10:10pm

I do realize that try to reason with that people was a waste of my time and energy. And under normal circumstances I would never said a thing. I guess I sort of just snapped on the guy. People in Nebraska can get very pushy and during the holidays it can be worse than normal. You know what they say about the last straw in all. I have been trying to meditate on the whole thing.


It dose not help that my family gets worse about it also. My 2 sisters really are Very christen and are just sure that I am ruining my life and I am going to hell. My oldest sister (oh man) is so bad that I have basically cut her off from me. She is a Southern Baptist missionary, married to a Southern Baptist preacher and they own a

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-21-2008
Fri, 12-02-2011 - 9:50am

How awful, Mary!!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-16-2010
Mon, 12-19-2011 - 4:22pm
I know how you feel. I hate that Wicca is even listed as a pagan religion since most people jump to the conclusion that all pagans worship the devil. It is amazing how much ignorance there is about this religion. Unfortunately there are those few who claim to be a Wicca but do rituals that a true Wicca would never do. Those are the ones who give Wicca a bad name. We are a loving group our creed alone should tell people that. "First do no harm" Get a clue people!