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Author Topic: How do you describe your religious identity in public?  (Read 2004 times)

Mivi

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Re: How do you describe your religious identity in public?
« Reply #30 on: February 04, 2018, 05:02:15 pm »
A lot of us following pagan and otherwise non-mainstream paths find that we have to tread carefully around the topic outside of pagan spaces, or even outside of our own personal mystic spaces. How do you navigate that? What descriptors have you taken to using for your faith in various non-pagan circles?

As a bonus question: how are you able to interact with those of other faiths outside of pagan spaces using that presentation?
Honestly saying "shaman" has such ugh connotations now thanks to plastic shamans and core-shamanism in the west. So since Mugyo is fairly intertwined with Taoism and Buddhism, I opt for the brief explanation "something like a Korean tradition-specific monk".
Mivi | Mudang (Korean shaman-priest)

만신

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Re: How do you describe your religious identity in public?
« Reply #31 on: February 12, 2018, 01:00:57 am »
What descriptors have you taken to using for your faith in various non-pagan circles?
Religions rarely ever comes up in conversation, but when it does I either describe myself as "Pagan", if they have some knowledge of the broader Modern Pagan movement; or "polytheist" if not.
The specifics almost never come up except in an online setting. At which point I might use "Roman reconstructionist" or "syncretic Roman pagan". But that's usually followed by a better explanation of what I believe and what I do anyway.

JupiterSkies

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Re: How do you describe your religious identity in public?
« Reply #32 on: February 12, 2018, 11:23:50 pm »
A lot of us following pagan and otherwise non-mainstream paths find that we have to tread carefully around the topic outside of pagan spaces, or even outside of our own personal mystic spaces. How do you navigate that? What descriptors have you taken to using for your faith in various non-pagan circles?

As a bonus question: how are you able to interact with those of other faiths outside of pagan spaces using that presentation?

Most of the time, it doesn't come up. 

When it comes up while I'm talking with people who may become friends, it entirely depends on how I've read them. I don't like to hide the fact that I'm Pagan, and so most of the time I just say it like that.  Usually by this point, I get the nod of "Oh, duh, that makes sense," because when they think about what they already know about me, it just fits.  I'm very lucky to move in open-minded circles often.

At work, it's also depended on the person.  A few coworkers are incredibly open to the thought because of their personal experiences, so it's easy to be open about it if I think they'll keep it discreet (and they have).  Some coworkers, I've danced around it by saying it's spirituality or alternative religion.  I put my involvement with my college pagan group right on my resume and discussed it openly in my interview, so... I'd sum up by saying, I'm not obvious about it, but if someone asks, I don't mind the discussion.

Family has been shades of tough.  Dad's side, I have always been the slightly off-kilter cousin, so those that have asked, I've been straight with.  Some have understood, some have pretended to.  I don't make an issue of it, which is probably why they mostly shrug.  Mom's side... is very Christian and there's contentious threads of history involving witchcraft and a few family members.  I've done a lot of nodding and smiling here, because it's just easier to not drag demons out of the closet.

General public, I count myself fortunate to have not had a negative experience.  I know people who have received harassment for wearing a pentacle, gone so far as to have someone try to rip the pentacle off someone's neck.

The short answer: there is no stock answer, and it depends on the read of the situation in its entirety for levels of disclosure, if the subject is broached at all.
Eclectic witch - crystal, deity, animal focused work.
I write, mostly poetry.

Lykeios Lysios

Re: How do you describe your religious identity in public?
« Reply #33 on: May 04, 2018, 09:26:25 pm »
A lot of us following pagan and otherwise non-mainstream paths find that we have to tread carefully around the topic outside of pagan spaces, or even outside of our own personal mystic spaces. How do you navigate that? What descriptors have you taken to using for your faith in various non-pagan circles?

As a bonus question: how are you able to interact with those of other faiths outside of pagan spaces using that presentation?
I've actually never had a problem with this. If someone does ask (as Morbid mentioned, I try not to bring up religion in public as it's usually frowned upon) I just answer honestly. If they seem interested I give more info, but usually "Greek polytheist" works for me. I've never had a problem making people uncomfortable. If they're going to get offended by my beliefs that is their problem and not mine.
"Man fears the darkness, and so he scrapes away at the edges of it with fire." - Rei Ayanami
"Flow with whatever may happen and let your mind be free. Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate." - Zhuangzi

EnderDragonFire

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Re: How do you describe your religious identity in public?
« Reply #34 on: May 05, 2018, 02:25:26 am »
As a bonus question: how are you able to interact with those of other faiths outside of pagan spaces using that presentation?

If I'm asked directly what my religion is, I simply tell people that I'm Hindu. It gets... mixed responses, here in Kentucky, but I'm used to that. If they press me about how I became Hindu, I tell them that I was an atheist and was convinced to convert by Hare Krishna missionaries. Which is partially true, and tends to satisfy most people's curiosities. I've had a few real issues with harassment, which is why I don't go around telling people unless they ask me directly. I present myself in an unashamed and direct manner when people do ask, and if they try to cause trouble, I just walk away. If it's someone I can't walk away from easily, such as a co-worker, I just tell them to GTFO before I report them for harassment.

I generally get acceptance from most people. They might think I'm going to hell, but they keep quiet about it. Since Hinduism is a well known religion, and most people have positive (or at least don't have negative) associations with it, I don't usually get labeled as a devil worshiper. A hippie sometimes, which is rather ironic given that I have strict rules regarding drug abuse and sexuality, most of which are religiously mandated. The bible thumping types prefer to call me a idol worshiper; when I plead guilty to that charge, they usually just get flustered because "Yes, I do worship several Gods and venerate idols," isn't the response they expect to get.

Evangelicals, at least around here, are trained to scare atheists and lapsed Christians back into church. They aren't really ready for in-depth theological debate on the spot with a non-Abrahamic theist (who knows quite a bit about Abrahamic religious teaching). If I act like I am willing to talk about our religious differences without getting offended, it tends to scare them off or simply make them get angry and leave.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2018, 02:32:08 am by EnderDragonFire »
"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." ... "Whichever devotee desires to adore whatever such Deity with faith, in all such votaries I make that particular faith unshakable. Endowed with that faith, a votary performs the worship of that particular deity and obtains the fruits thereof, these being granted by Me alone." - Sri Krishna

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Re: How do you describe your religious identity in public?
« Reply #35 on: May 19, 2018, 01:32:56 am »
A lot of us following pagan and otherwise non-mainstream paths find that we have to tread carefully around the topic outside of pagan spaces, or even outside of our own personal mystic spaces. How do you navigate that? What descriptors have you taken to using for your faith in various non-pagan circles?

As a bonus question: how are you able to interact with those of other faiths outside of pagan spaces using that presentation?

I'm fortunate enough to live in a fairly liberal area - fortunate, at least, in the sense that I'm not in any immediate danger should people pick up on the fact that I'm not Christian. There really aren't many occasions where my beliefs come up, since I prefer not to shove them in strangers' faces.

The very rare occasion where my beliefs do come up is when I'm dealing with family. Most of my family doesn't know anything about my personal life, and the few that do know very little of it, and I like to keep it that way. If I get pressed for details about my faith, I generally tell people that I'm following my own path and learning about the world and spirituality in the ways that feel most natural to me. Yeah, that's incredibly vague, but it usually gets the job done.

Only a handful of people in my personal life even know that I worship Loki, and of them, only one person knows any actual details about it.

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