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Author Topic: Closeted Pagan  (Read 729 times)

Naunau

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Re: Closeted Pagan
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2017, 07:35:55 am »
I've had clients walk out of my place of business and throw temper tantrums because of my non-Christian views.
O_o

I'm sure there has been something very much like this here, but it seems to be dereriorating fast.

Noctua

Re: Closeted Pagan
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2017, 10:32:21 am »
I am Christopagan. I worship Jesus and my Goddess. None of my  family or friends know I am pagan and they cannot know because I would be in trouble and loose people I love. Is anyone else a closeted pagan? How do you deal with this?

I'm still fairly deeply closeted, both due to the nature of where I'm working and the people I'm working with. My husband knows I'm pagan, because I don't hide anything from him. He gets snarky about it but it's usually more of a playful thing, where I'll be going to a meetup at a local coffee shop and he'll be like "so no nudity this time?" My oldest daughter knows I'm pagan, but still isn't entirely clear on what that means (we're basically raising our kids areligious, but if they ask me about it I'll tell them). My parents do not know, my inlaws ABSOLUTELY not (they're like, super Catholic and I don't want to open that can of worms- their ignorance is my bliss) but I can get away with that because they live on the opposite side of the country.

I go to school at a Catholic non-profit that's affiliated with a Catholic health system. I was raised Catholic myself, and don't hold any ill will towards the church, I just slowly grew to the realization that it clearly was not for me over my adult years. I put down Catholic as my religion on my admission forms, because at the time I applied I was still on the fence, and as I like to joke the Church still counts me as Catholic because they haven't kicked me out yet. Unfortunately it still bites me in the ass, because every year financial aid gives me a scholarship that's intended for "Upstanding Christian women". I never apply for this scholarship, but every year I go in and they tell me "oh, you forgot to apply so we submitted it for you". I've tried to tell them, jokingly, that I consider myself neither Christian nor Upstanding, but the responses I get always skeeve me out and make me reluctant to say more, so I've just let it go.

There's a LOT of people in both my school and the community I'm working with that I like to refer to as "hyper-Christians". There are the people who have been raised all their life to believe that witchcraft = devil worship, and I know that they'd make my studies and future job prospects extremely difficult if they knew my religious leanings. It's a lot easier for these types to believe I'm Catholic, because that at least is a sort of idolatrous heathenism they've come to tolerate (sure, Catholics may drink and gamble but at least they believe in the Right God). So if they ask (which invariably they do, because souls need a-savin') I tell them I was raised Catholic. Technically and factually true, just not the whole truth.

Someday I may be more open in my outside life about my religious leanings, but that day is not anywhere in the near future. I need more security in my job and my field before I'm ready to be open about my beliefs. I don't want people to see me as the pagan who's trying to be a nurse, I want to be considered a nurse who happens to be pagan.

EnderDragonFire

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Re: Closeted Pagan
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2017, 01:26:11 pm »
There's a LOT of people in both my school and the community I'm working with that I like to refer to as "hyper-Christians". There are the people who have been raised all their life to believe that witchcraft = devil worship, and I know that they'd make my studies and future job prospects extremely difficult if they knew my religious leanings. It's a lot easier for these types to believe I'm Catholic, because that at least is a sort of idolatrous heathenism they've come to tolerate (sure, Catholics may drink and gamble but at least they believe in the Right God). So if they ask (which invariably they do, because souls need a-savin') I tell them I was raised Catholic. Technically and factually true, just not the whole truth.

I won't name any names, for the sake of privacy, but I have a friend who was fired from his job for being Pagan. Yes, that's illegal, but they did it anyway, and created an excuse to put on the official records. He was a professor at the Cincinnati art Academy, which is a supposedly left-leaning, tolerant, Liberal institution. The person who fired him outright told him that he was being fired for performing consensual blood and sex rituals with his wife, at home, behind closed doors. Somebody had outed him to the community, and it cost him his job.

What's the point of this story? Never trust anyone in the Bible Belt to tolerate your non-Chrisitan religion, ever. You can live openly, but it will invite criticism and bigotry from certain segments of the population.

"The worshippers of the gods go to them; to the manes go the ancestor-worshippers; to the Deities who preside over the elements go their worshippers; My devotees come to Me." - Sri Krishna

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Re: Closeted Pagan
« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2017, 06:36:38 pm »
What's the point of this story? Never trust anyone in the Bible Belt to tolerate your non-Chrisitan religion, ever. You can live openly, but it will invite criticism and bigotry from certain segments of the population.

It's not as bible-thumpy around here, but I usually don't go farther than 'sarcastic confession' (eg: coworker:"why don't you ever have computer problems?" Me: "I'm a witch, didn't you know that?") Nobody thinks I'm serious.

Bluerose31

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Re: Closeted Pagan
« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2017, 04:04:56 pm »
Does a closeted Hindu count? In my family, only my brother knows about my real religious beliefs.

I get around by using vague, pantheistic, monotheistic sounding language in day to day life. Instead of talking about Kali, or Krishna, or Brahman, I simply say "God" or "Our Holy Mother." I don't talk about the afterlife except in vague ways. Most people think I am Christian, including some of my Atheistic, Christian, and even other non-Abrahamic acquaintances.

In a particularly funny and bizarre indecent, I informed one of my college professors of my religion (I needed food accommodations for an event, and I trusted the professor not to discriminate). I said "so, I'm actually Hindu," and he looked shocked; for a minute, I feared he would say some something rude, then he said "So am I!"

At this point, *I* was the one giving *him* the shocked expression. We both just sat there for a minute, and then he started laughing and broke the tension. We had BOTH been caught in our own biases and assumptions.

Anyway, the point is that I really don't express my religion in public, or even with my family. I express that I am religious, but I consciously (as well as unconsciously) avoid discussing the specifics of my beliefs. I "love God" I "fear God" I hope that "God is willing" and think that "God is great," but I don't actually mention who or what I think God actually IS. Since I live in Kentucky, and I am openly religious, and white, people just assume that I must be Christian without even asking about it.

Yes a closeted Hindu counts :) It was fascinating to read your response. You seem to do a good job of keeping your spirituality safe and only telling those who you can trust wont hurt you for it. That is an awesome story about your college professor being Hindu as well. That is good that you avoid discussing your religion in public, even with your family. I have to do the same. People think I am Christian as well. I do respect Christianity also and I have elements of my practice that are actually Christian but I also worship my Goddess and I love her very much. My family and friends would not understand my having a Goddess. It is hard to not be able to tell my family and friends but my Goddess soothes me that it is okay to be different.

Bluerose31

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Re: Closeted Pagan
« Reply #20 on: November 14, 2017, 04:07:52 pm »
I have much of the same tendencies.  I usually don't go out of my way to insult people or start fights (like so oft is possible when you're discussing religion).  I do live in the Bible belt of the US, and I can tell you nearly every single person I meet down here in public is in fact Christian and quite proud of it.  For most people down here, it's just automatically assumed that you are in fact Christian.  I don't walk into a room and announce to the World "HI EVERYBODY I'M PAGAN HOW Y'ALL DOING?" but at the same time, if someone asks me about, I don't lie about it either.  I've had clients walk out of my place of business and throw temper tantrums because of my non-Christian views.

Thats very sad that clients have walked out of your place of business and thrown temper tantrums because your pagan.

Bluerose31

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Re: Closeted Pagan
« Reply #21 on: November 14, 2017, 04:14:37 pm »
I'm still fairly deeply closeted, both due to the nature of where I'm working and the people I'm working with. My husband knows I'm pagan, because I don't hide anything from him. He gets snarky about it but it's usually more of a playful thing, where I'll be going to a meetup at a local coffee shop and he'll be like "so no nudity this time?" My oldest daughter knows I'm pagan, but still isn't entirely clear on what that means (we're basically raising our kids areligious, but if they ask me about it I'll tell them). My parents do not know, my inlaws ABSOLUTELY not (they're like, super Catholic and I don't want to open that can of worms- their ignorance is my bliss) but I can get away with that because they live on the opposite side of the country.

I go to school at a Catholic non-profit that's affiliated with a Catholic health system. I was raised Catholic myself, and don't hold any ill will towards the church, I just slowly grew to the realization that it clearly was not for me over my adult years. I put down Catholic as my religion on my admission forms, because at the time I applied I was still on the fence, and as I like to joke the Church still counts me as Catholic because they haven't kicked me out yet. Unfortunately it still bites me in the ass, because every year financial aid gives me a scholarship that's intended for "Upstanding Christian women". I never apply for this scholarship, but every year I go in and they tell me "oh, you forgot to apply so we submitted it for you". I've tried to tell them, jokingly, that I consider myself neither Christian nor Upstanding, but the responses I get always skeeve me out and make me reluctant to say more, so I've just let it go.

There's a LOT of people in both my school and the community I'm working with that I like to refer to as "hyper-Christians". There are the people who have been raised all their life to believe that witchcraft = devil worship, and I know that they'd make my studies and future job prospects extremely difficult if they knew my religious leanings. It's a lot easier for these types to believe I'm Catholic, because that at least is a sort of idolatrous heathenism they've come to tolerate (sure, Catholics may drink and gamble but at least they believe in the Right God). So if they ask (which invariably they do, because souls need a-savin') I tell them I was raised Catholic. Technically and factually true, just not the whole truth.

Someday I may be more open in my outside life about my religious leanings, but that day is not anywhere in the near future. I need more security in my job and my field before I'm ready to be open about my beliefs. I don't want people to see me as the pagan who's trying to be a nurse, I want to be considered a nurse who happens to be pagan.
I feel for you. It is very hard when you have to hide your faith. I can relate very much. I added some of Christianity and the worship of Jesus to my practice so that I could feel more at peace with my family and friends being Christian. They would not at all like the idea of my having a Goddess. I think it would be related to devil-worship in their minds. I think its beautiful to be pagan and I love it very much. My Goddess gives me peace about practicing in private.

Owl

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Re: Closeted Pagan
« Reply #22 on: November 14, 2017, 06:49:55 pm »
I feel for you. It is very hard when you have to hide your faith. I can relate very much. I added some of Christianity and the worship of Jesus to my practice so that I could feel more at peace with my family and friends being Christian. They would not at all like the idea of my having a Goddess. I think it would be related to devil-worship in their minds. I think its beautiful to be pagan and I love it very much. My Goddess gives me peace about practicing in private.
A bit of black humor in this vein. My mother and I were the 2 pagans in the family, and not out to the others. At the end of her life she chose to be buried in a catholic cemetery in a plot she inherited with a catholic service. And I am the one she wanted to handle everything-the only non-catholic in the bunch.  *face palm*


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Bluerose31

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Re: Closeted Pagan
« Reply #23 on: November 15, 2017, 11:44:49 am »
A bit of black humor in this vein. My mother and I were the 2 pagans in the family, and not out to the others. At the end of her life she chose to be buried in a catholic cemetery in a plot she inherited with a catholic service. And I am the one she wanted to handle everything-the only non-catholic in the bunch.  *face palm*


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She did what she had to do. It is completely understandable. I have to say that I am Christian even though I'm very pagan. Ive experienced alot of persecution for my being pagan. It is hard to get over. I know you did the best you could do with handling the catholic service. You did well, I am certain.

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Re: Closeted Pagan
« Reply #24 on: November 15, 2017, 12:19:51 pm »
She did what she had to do. It is completely understandable. I have to say that I am Christian even though I'm very pagan. Ive experienced alot of persecution for my being pagan. It is hard to get over. I know you did the best you could do with handling the catholic service. You did well, I am certain.
It’s a week from Friday - she was cremated so timing was flexible - my sister and I thought the long weekend would make travel somewhat easier (most are driving).  So giant Thanksgiving at my house (my sister can’t cook a decent turkey to save her life).


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Bluerose31

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Re: Closeted Pagan
« Reply #25 on: November 16, 2017, 09:00:31 pm »
It’s a week from Friday - she was cremated so timing was flexible - my sister and I thought the long weekend would make travel somewhat easier (most are driving).  So giant Thanksgiving at my house (my sister can’t cook a decent turkey to save her life).


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That is wonderful that you will be cooking a turkey. Thanksgiving is almost here. I am looking forward to it but also am looking forward to it being over because it is sometimes stressful.

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Re: Closeted Pagan
« Reply #26 on: November 17, 2017, 10:27:19 am »
That is wonderful that you will be cooking a turkey. Thanksgiving is almost here. I am looking forward to it but also am looking forward to it being over because it is sometimes stressful.
I have found that many people make holidays and other special days much harder than they need to. I refuse to build it up with expectations because they will probably not be met. I don’t assume that every family member h lives me or even likes me, but I am politely friendly to all. And when it’s at my house, everyone will behave because I will stand for nothing less. But i am also a few months from being 60. I gives a certain amount of perspective.


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Re: Closeted Pagan
« Reply #27 on: November 17, 2017, 11:07:40 am »
I have found that many people make holidays and other special days much harder than they need to. I refuse to build it up with expectations because they will probably not be met. I don’t assume that every family member h lives me or even likes me, but I am politely friendly to all. And when it’s at my house, everyone will behave because I will stand for nothing less. But i am also a few months from being 60. I gives a certain amount of perspective.


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That is beautiful that you are a few months from 60. Perspective is a very good thing. I have thanksgivings at my house with my family. I'm 30 but I still live at home due to disability. My mom cooks and does a wonderful job. I help out. I just want this thanksgiving to be a quiet one though because I had a very rough year. My mom agreed it will be a quiet thanksgiving.

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Re: Closeted Pagan
« Reply #28 on: November 17, 2017, 11:13:41 am »
That is beautiful that you are a few months from 60. Perspective is a very good thing. I have thanksgivings at my house with my family. I'm 30 but I still live at home due to disability. My mom cooks and does a wonderful job. I help out. I just want this thanksgiving to be a quiet one though because I had a very rough year. My mom agreed it will be a quiet thanksgiving.
Good


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Re: Closeted Pagan
« Reply #29 on: November 17, 2017, 06:21:25 pm »
I am Christopagan. I worship Jesus and my Goddess. None of my  family or friends know I am pagan and they cannot know because I would be in trouble and loose people I love. Is anyone else a closeted pagan? How do you deal with this?
I'm so very sorry to hear it. While as I'm not closeted now, it wasn't always this way. I remember how hard it was and the stress behind it. All I can say is, be true to yourself first. Be you, hold tightly to yourself because you will always be you and finding your way back to your path is way harder than never leaving it. Don't conform, no matter who asks you to.
"Live life to the fullest, because only surviving isn't living at all. "

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