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Author Topic: Being A Hellenic In The Bible Belt  (Read 2590 times)

FollowerofOdin

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Being A Hellenic In The Bible Belt
« on: June 28, 2013, 05:20:45 pm »
I've never covered this, but I thought that this might be a good time to cover this. Being Hellenic in the Bible Belt. I live here in Louisville and all around me there are churches and people that come to your door, asking if you would like to come to church. Up in MA I almost never had this, and it's still taking time to get use to it.

Of course my mother is in seventh heaven, with all these churches to go to. She wants to go, but her body is in such bad shape that she can't go. As for me, I believe that everyone has the right to go to church and stuff, but I'm still not use to having someone coming and asking me if I want to go. Instead of arguing with them, I tell them that I can't because my mother is in bad shape. That's the truth, and they leave me alone.

Of course I've learned that the gods understand when your in an area that people might not be opened to who you are. When I go outside to burn some of the bread as an offering, I ask Artemis to protect me from anyone that might want to harm me because they see a pagan ritual going on. I burn them in a small cauldron that I bought two years ago. I'm planning on buying a stag necklace to represent Artemis this coming week and wear it out and proud.

I'm not really having too much problems being a Hellenist in the bible belt, but I know that I'm in a state that Paganism isn't really liked. This is my own experiences and my own views. Let me know if there's any other pagans out there that live in the Bible Belt, would love to hear from you.

randomheathen

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Re: Being A Hellenic In The Bible Belt
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2013, 03:48:15 pm »
Quote from: FollowerofOdin;114075

I'm not really having too much problems being a Hellenist in the bible belt, but I know that I'm in a state that Paganism isn't really liked. This is my own experiences and my own views. Let me know if there's any other pagans out there that live in the Bible Belt, would love to hear from you.


I'm not Hellenic, but I do live in Texas, the ultra-conservative state with the super-liberal capital city. I don't live in Austin, but I also don't get any trouble for being pagan. I'm pretty sure people around here would be more likely to think I'm a white supremacist than a devil-worshipper, given all the runes involved in my tattoos. But for the most part people around here have a live and let live attitude. As I've said before somewhere on the board, so long as you're not loudly worshipping purple crystals in a pink tutu in the town square, nobody cares.
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Re: Being A Hellenic In The Bible Belt
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2013, 07:06:39 pm »
Quote from: FollowerofOdin;114075
I'm not really having too much problems being a Hellenist in the bible belt, but I know that I'm in a state that Paganism isn't really liked. This is my own experiences and my own views. Let me know if there's any other pagans out there that live in the Bible Belt, would love to hear from you.


I'm in Greenville SC and it's the same here. I get folks coming to the door to invite me to their church or even when I'm walking the dogs. They'll come out on the porch and call me over to admire the dogs and then 'by the way...'

I don't have a problem with it. I say thank you I'll think about it and go on my merry way.

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Re: Being A Hellenic In The Bible Belt
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2013, 06:22:54 pm »
Quote from: FollowerofOdin;114075
I've never covered this, but I thought that this might be a good time to cover this. Being Hellenic in the Bible Belt. I live here in Louisville and all around me there are churches and people that come to your door, asking if you would like to come to church. Up in MA I almost never had this, and it's still taking time to get use to it.

Of course my mother is in seventh heaven, with all these churches to go to. She wants to go, but her body is in such bad shape that she can't go. As for me, I believe that everyone has the right to go to church and stuff, but I'm still not use to having someone coming and asking me if I want to go. Instead of arguing with them, I tell them that I can't because my mother is in bad shape. That's the truth, and they leave me alone.

Of course I've learned that the gods understand when your in an area that people might not be opened to who you are. When I go outside to burn some of the bread as an offering, I ask Artemis to protect me from anyone that might want to harm me because they see a pagan ritual going on. I burn them in a small cauldron that I bought two years ago. I'm planning on buying a stag necklace to represent Artemis this coming week and wear it out and proud.

I'm not really having too much problems being a Hellenist in the bible belt, but I know that I'm in a state that Paganism isn't really liked. This is my own experiences and my own views. Let me know if there's any other pagans out there that live in the Bible Belt, would love to hear from you.

 
I also live in the Bible belt in Texas (and I'm gay), so it's not too easy for me.  I'm a college student.  I am an Episcopalian, but the vast majority of churches in my town are Southern Baptist.  Sometimes fundies show up on my door step.  I usually get targeted by Mormons, but at least they're nice.

It's not easy to live here.  For one thing, the police force here is corrupt.  I'm hoping after college to get the hell out of here.
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mandrina

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Re: Being A Hellenic In The Bible Belt
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2013, 06:27:42 pm »
Quote from: EclecticWheel;117175
I also live in the Bible belt in Texas (and I'm gay), so it's not too easy for me.  I'm a college student.  I am an Episcopalian, but the vast majority of churches in my town are Southern Baptist.  Sometimes fundies show up on my door step.  I usually get targeted by Mormons, but at least they're nice.

It's not easy to live here.  For one thing, the police force here is corrupt.  I'm hoping after college to get the hell out of here.


There seems to be alot of us in texas.
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Re: Being A Hellenic In The Bible Belt
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2013, 06:37:41 pm »
Quote from: mandrina;117176
There seems to be alot of us in texas.

Texas has a lot of TC members. Unfortunately, it's a big state so many of us are a long ways away from each other.
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Re: Being A Hellenic In The Bible Belt
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2013, 02:38:47 pm »
Quote from: FollowerofOdin;114075
Let me know if there's any other pagans out there that live in the Bible Belt, would love to hear from you.

 
I'm not too far from you, I live in Glasgow, Kentucky (a couple hours outside of Louisville).  Ours is a fairly small town (though I lived in a much smaller one an hour or so from here before this).  We do get the door to door church invites, which normally don't even really press you for a response, ours seem to like to drop off pamphlets (mostly Mormons it seems), invite you to their church and then wish you a good day and off they go.  The only time it really bugs me is when they bring kids along and force the kids to do the inviting (because once it was a little boy who couldn't have been more than six, and he looked terrified to talk to some stranger).

I've been invited to churches while walking around the swap meet (they had a booth...go figure LOL), my son has gotten invites in his trick or treat bag (in with the candy), and pretty much everyone just talks as though you are Christian just like they are.  My mother in law I think assumes I am moderately Christian, she knows I do stuff like meditation (though she claims she does too), and that I know about things like faith healing (it came up when the chemo center she was going to offered her Reiki, and I explained what it was).  She is moderately Catholic (though I have never known her to go to a church), and actually just yesterday gave me blessed Miraculous Medals (for the Immaculate Virgin Mary...they came with instruction booklets) that her mother had sent down for my husband, son and I (none of whom are Christian..hubby and son are atheists).  

I don't stress about it too much.  I wear a pentacle ring pretty much everywhere.  I have Pagan necklaces I wear also.  And a few favorite shirts I bought around Halloween that are pretty witchy when worn during the rest of the year.  And never has anyone given me grief about any of that when I'm out and around town.  I've bought Pagan books from both the Goodwill and our local used book store, and no one has said anything.  It always surprises me when I find stuff like that though.
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EricLeif

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Being A Hellenic In The Bible Belt
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2013, 12:17:11 am »
Quote from: FollowerofOdin;114075
I'm not really having too much problems being a Hellenist in the bible belt, but I know that I'm in a state that Paganism isn't really liked. This is my own experiences and my own views. Let me know if there's any other pagans out there that live in the Bible Belt, would love to hear from you.

While not in the bible belt I do live in south Florida with a lot of older people who believe that every child (even at 22) should spend their Sundays at church and at the local soup kitchen, and while I don't mind the latter option I have personally had to spend many a Sunday faking the amens at church at the request of my grandmother while her friends sit there and say how I'm such a good Christian boy.  It if a bit rough but see all survive it.

Medulla

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Re: Being A Hellenic In The Bible Belt
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2013, 04:27:53 pm »
Quote from: FollowerofOdin;114075
I've never covered this, but I thought that this might be a good time to cover this. Being Hellenic in the Bible Belt. I live here in Louisville and all around me there are churches and people that come to your door, asking if you would like to come to church. Up in MA I almost never had this, and it's still taking time to get use to it.

Of course my mother is in seventh heaven, with all these churches to go to. She wants to go, but her body is in such bad shape that she can't go. As for me, I believe that everyone has the right to go to church and stuff, but I'm still not use to having someone coming and asking me if I want to go. Instead of arguing with them, I tell them that I can't because my mother is in bad shape. That's the truth, and they leave me alone.

Of course I've learned that the gods understand when your in an area that people might not be opened to who you are. When I go outside to burn some of the bread as an offering, I ask Artemis to protect me from anyone that might want to harm me because they see a pagan ritual going on. I burn them in a small cauldron that I bought two years ago. I'm planning on buying a stag necklace to represent Artemis this coming week and wear it out and proud.

I'm not really having too much problems being a Hellenist in the bible belt, but I know that I'm in a state that Paganism isn't really liked. This is my own experiences and my own views. Let me know if there's any other pagans out there that live in the Bible Belt, would love to hear from you.

 
I'm not in the Bible Belt or anywhere in the US for that matter, but have you considered doing rituals and such indoors? There's a lot of people who don't have an indoor space and even live in dorms, so you can find some articles online targeted for urban pagans and people who live in dorm rooms. I've seen a couple of Hellenic-specific ones, too. I think that way you'd be able to do your thing in peace and not have to worry about being seen or interrupted plus it seems safer to me.

I don't think many people will think there's anything weird about a stag necklace so it's probably fine. I've seen many non-Pagans wear necklaces and things with random animal designs so they'll probably just think you liked the design. As to not going to church, your excuse sounds pretty solid and assuming it's a sizeable town with several different Christian churches of different sects then nobody really needs to know you're not in fact attending church and if they do, they may just as well assume you're a non-practicing Christian.

It sounds like it would make it tough to meet other Pagans or people who share the same path so you have my sympathy.

Fireof9

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Re: Being A Hellenic In The Bible Belt
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2013, 10:38:27 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;117178
Texas has a lot of TC members. Unfortunately, it's a big state so many of us are a long ways away from each other.

 
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Re: Being A Hellenic In The Bible Belt
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2013, 10:44:53 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;117178
Texas has a lot of TC members. Unfortunately, it's a big state so many of us are a long ways away from each other.
There are a lot of us! But like Randall said we live very far apart from one another. I live in Central Texas, and so does Randall, but we are 2 hours a part! It is some what difficult to be a Pagan in a predominantly Baptist and Catholic State. I just had to search out people like myself and I was surprised to find many people with similar interest. I live near Austin now, and there tends to be a good dose of Pagans around here!
« Last Edit: October 29, 2013, 10:48:41 pm by Cabal »
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Re: Being A Hellenic In The Bible Belt
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2013, 02:20:26 pm »
Quote from: FollowerofOdin;114075
Let me know if there's any other pagans out there that live in the Bible Belt, would love to hear from you.

I don't really live in the "Bible Belt" per se. I am in Southern Florida. Both of my parent portions of my family are from Bible Belt areas though. (Mother's side - southern Alabama, Father's side - boothill of Missouri.) Also, my father is a Southern Baptist Preacher. So I can kinda relate in the situation. As I still am living with my parents due to their age, my practices are sorely limited. Luckily, being in a rural area where many of the local populace are "rednecks" and "hicks" I can get away with some of it. I usually have bonfires in my back yard for most major rituals and have managed to get away with it with very very little questioning from my neighbours/family because Everyone has bonfires out here.

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Re: Being A Hellenic In The Bible Belt
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2013, 01:23:24 pm »
Quote from: FollowerofOdin;114075
I'm not really having too much problems being a Hellenist in the bible belt, but I know that I'm in a state that Paganism isn't really liked.

I live in Louisville as well. There's tons of Pagans in Louisville; we have a regular Pagan Pride Festival in the autumn, and there's a few occult shops that cater to the Pagan community. There used to be a Pagan student group at U of L, and there's still tons of us on campus.
So, I've never really run into problems. But I guess it just depends on the exact section of people you interact with; certain age-groups are more friendly to the concept than others. In adolescent and young adult groups  I've seen the phenomenon where even though the number of Pagans in certain schools isn't huge, it's enough that their friends and groups of friends overlap. People become more tolerant and accepting when they know people that are involved in things they don't understand or do themselves.

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Re: Being A Hellenic In The Bible Belt
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2013, 09:24:41 am »
Quote from: FollowerofOdin;114075
 Let me know if there's any other pagans out there that live in the Bible Belt, would love to hear from you.

 
I'm right outside of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It's an odd state for Pagans. We have New Orleans of course, with it's rich history of everything from witchcraft to voodoo to those Vampire tales. And then we have the cities and towns that still have laws on the books (and enforce them...) about fortune telling and not even being able to buy beer on Sunday.

We still have some active KKK around as well, in case the run-of-the-mill scowls and stares and "hrrmphs" from the general church going crowd isn't enough to get under your skin.
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