Holiday Cheermysters!! Here we go…AGAIN!

Well our Holiday Cheermysters are at it again, have you seen the latest photo floating around Facebook?  Pretty huh?  And this lovely photo has sent our Kallan on a rant, again, in case no one else is counting that is two in two weeks…NOT GOOD!  http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fmypaganworld.blogspot.com%2F2011%2F12%2Frant-alert-merry-christmas-eviction.html&h=9AQGicEOHAQG9Rnnhx0peDXfMyEsEpjtlZevAfPJAylN1iA I stated last week how I felt about his whole “you can leave the country thing”.  Unlike Kallan, I was neither eloquent nor did I give you historical accuracies.  She also touches on a few other articles we have recently seen, which brings me to the point of this blog.

Now just this week, I read a wonderfully well written blog about how we should really just “let it go”, toughen up our skins as it were and let what other religions have to say about us roll off our backs.  It seems that we are no better than they are in some people’s eyes when it comes to standing up against this putting the “Christ in Christmas” crap.  First, let me say that one’s hide tends to get tougher after being whipped enough, and know what?  We have suffered centuries of letting it “just roll off”.  Ask yourself why we Pagans have no religious holidays put on the yearly calendar with everyone else’s or why we feel the need to hide who we are?  Even more WHY do we allow people to bully us into hiding?  Even more why do we allow people to bully us?  Sure, you can say what I’m doing now is trying to bully other people, but guess what if I don’t STAND UP for my rights and that of my child who else will?  Our fluffy bunny people in the Pagan community?  Not likely!  If you don’t protect your rights they will be taken from you, if you don’t defend yourself you will be walked upon.  Will you send me private messages and tell me the best way to protect my child is to hide his star and go along with the crowd?  That may have worked in the past for some, but hello people it’s 2011 and about to be 2012, strengthen your spines & STAND UP!!

I recently read a friends blog about our children being persecuted in PUBLIC SCHOOL because of their faith (read this: http://somethingoddly.blogspot.com/2011/12/bit-of-churchy-rant.html)  I have personally sent letters to my child’s school board members about this exact problem, guess what…haven’t heard ANYTHING.  As a parent of a child who had to fight through this discrimination last year perpetrated by his TEACHER in first grade, to the point this fall, my child was begging us not to send him to school he would “do anything” not to have to go back.  For a seven year old to feel that kind of fear and despair is unthinkable!  Last year he had students tell him he was going to hell because he wore the sign of the devil, my Aunt also told him this last Christmas, he informed her we don’t believe in her devil, and then explained what each point of his star means.  It was so bad last year; we removed him from the bus when the new driver decided the best gift to all of her riding children was a brand new Bible.  We returned it to her, and explained not all of the children follow her religious path, and we thought it an inappropriate gift.  This year has been better, but after a couple statements about the holidays, and a book coming home that started out about pumpkins, and ended with the “true meaning” of the horrors of Halloween we send an email with an essay we found called “You have a Pagan in your classroom:” An essay for school teachers about Paganism by Suzanne “Cecylyna” Egbert, 2000-NOV-2.

Before Thanksgiving I was sitting in the class his teacher read a school approved book about Thanksgiving, it mentions how every culture celebrates a religious form of Thanksgiving, except how the Pagans celebrate it.  I also visited the school library, now this is a library for elementary school children, and what did they have, well a section on religion, but there are no books in that section for my son on Paganism.  They are silently pushing their agenda on our children, and we are letting them.  Some of you even think we should “just take it”?!  Really, do you believe that if we don’t keep defending ourselves someone like Rick Perry is going to give up and leave us alone?  You know damn well he won’t by now most of you have seen the following video about Christmas and attacking gays as well, if not …here ya go take a minute.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PAJNntoRgA&feature=player_embedded

 

Think he’s joking?  Think he will go away? Pagans wake up and smell the fires the wackadoo’s of the world are stoking, they are picking on us because we are a WEAK group.  We spend so much time on “witch wars” instead of putting our best face forward we detract from OURSELVES!!  We have no recognized holidays, we can’t take off work for our holidays and they aren’t “Federal” holidays so our employers are open, unless you are out and most of us aren’t out because of all the crap that is going on now.  Let me see a show of hands, how many Pagans do we have in congress??

We have been being force fed others belifs for centuries, and we have taken it.  Time for us to put on our grown up pants, grab our brooms and DO something.  If that means sticking to it on the Yule came before Christmas battle I’m in!  Last summer we were attacked in earnest by the DC40 group, you see how well that worked when we combined our energies to protect ourselves and our Nation.  We may not have all been saying I’m in, count on me, but I bet you were doing something, from saying a prayer to lighting a candle guess what?  IT COUNTS!!

These groups are using US as a weapon against our President, why?  Because they are counting on the old fears and prejudices of us being evil.  We have faces, we pay taxes, and we are PEOPLE not caricatures!  When you realize they cannot come up with any other way to oust our President they have turned to religion to attack him.  A few of you now are shaking your head at me, and thinking “Judas you are just stirring things up it’s not that bad”.

My state has passed a resolution that says the tree in the governor’s mansion is to be called a Christmas tree, not a Holiday tree.  Don’t tell me it’s not that bad!  Our kids are singing religious carols in school, why? Because there are no Pagan carols on the top 40 radio stations.  Even the Pope is getting into the act calling Christians “the most persecuted people in the world” really?!?  You’re kidding right, because people do no longer believe what the church and other groups have been shoveling all these years to keep the money coming in?  Honestly try finding Pagan carols on the radio, not going to happen, how many department stores carry Yule cards along the Christmas and Hanukkah cards?  Or decorations with Pagan symbols?  The Pope is upset because crosses and crucifixes are no longer displayed in government buildings, they are being treated poorly.  When was the last time you were at an open government meeting and heard a member of the city council say “Let us pray to the Lord and Lady to guide our decisions?” anyone?  They don’t that’s right, but they do open with a prayer to their own god.

We have service men & women buried in Arlington, how many of you know this weekend is the weekend to lay wreaths on their graves? Go to the following link, the ceremony begins at noon on December 10th!   http://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/events/escort-to-arlington/

This is something we should be involved in!  Showing everyone we aren’t out there to hurt or harm, but to honor our fallen, as well we should!  As a community we should be INVOLVED we are not asking the world or the United States our own country to convert to our faith.  We don’t go door to door trying to save you or ask for money to support our interests.  We don’t put flyers on your car, or try to save you from the “wrong path” that you follow.  All we ask for is what we have always asked for, to be allowed to practice our beliefs openly and freely.  WE don’t stomp on your beliefs, but believe me WE WILL DEFEND OURS when you stoop to stomping on ours.  Yule is a time for family, community, and PEACE.  Stop taking the crap that is being shoveled on us.  We want our rights and freedoms but to keep them we have to get off our duffs and defend ourselves.  We have veterans that we do a great disservice to by allowing these people to talk down to us.  Our Veterans have fought for our right to Religious freedoms, how insulted are they when we roll over and “take it”?

I’m all for sharing December 25th, it’s been a celebrated day an awfully long time, and you can call it whatever you want as long as I can do the same.  I have Christian friends that I wish a Merry Christmas to from the heart, and they wish me a Happy Holiday or Yule…no one bursts into flames when it’s said.  My problem is with the group that is growing in numbers that want to outlaw even that kind of co-existence.  They seem to believe it’s all or nothing.  They like to give ultimatums.  If my parents were alive they would tell you I’ve never been good with ultimatums.  I know a lot of you out there thinking I don’t know what it’s like, your parents, siblings, co-workers treat your faith this way.  Guess what? Yes I do!  My father was an ex-Baptist and my mother Roman Catholic; it took them many years before they stopped having problems with my sexual orientation and religious beliefs.  By the time I reached my thirties, they realized as long as I was happy, it was ok.  Now my siblings are another story, I have to “extremely religious” older sisters who go to church once a year, you got it Christmas, but they preach to me all year long, my aunt doesn’t go, but it doesn’t keep her from preaching.  My youngest sibling has her own beliefs, and has explained to my nephew that our family are “good witches”; we aren’t like the “bad guys” on TV or cartoons.  My brother who is 11 months my junior is one of the wackadoo’s I am so fondly referring to, we cannot be left in the same room for long periods of time.  As you can see I seldom socialize with my blood family.  My beautiful wife has a whole cluster of religious preaching people on her side of the family as well.  We are well aware of all the pressures that can be applied to someone and how long low some will sink trying to get their own agenda across.

So in closing Pagans, are not GRINCH’S we don’t look for ways to keep your holiday from coming.  Nor am I like Scrooge, I do not believe that anyone who goes around with “Merry Christmas on their lip, should be boiled with their own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through their hearts.”  I feel that you keep Christmas in your way as long as you allow me and mine to celebrate Yule in our way.

 

See you around the cauldron…Judas

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Naomi Lazarus
    Dec 10, 2011 @ 06:22:28

    Ok, I’m not disagreeing with any particular point here… But I would like to point out that there aren’t a great number of Pagan children’s books out there. And, while I’m not a practicing Pagan, my mom was, when I was a kid, and I don’t remember learning any carols.

    So… maybe a pro-active step here would be to start cranking some materials out.

    We’re Secular Humanists (well, I think my husband refers to himself as a Skeptic), and there aren’t any children’s books on SH, except, perhaps, every single science book. But there aren’t any kids’ books specifically in defense of SH, or explaining it as a philosophy. And, that doesn’t bother me. But, if it did, the first thing I would do would be to write one. Get it published, and then donate a copy to my kid’s school library. Hell, you don’t even need to get it published. You can get a copy bound, one-off, for cheap these days. I would totally take a well-written children’s book on Paganism home to read to my kid, just as a cultural reference.

    Do it!

    You may also be dealing with an issue of demographic. If there are 500 kids in a school, 400 are Christians, 40 are Jews, 30 are Hindu, 25 are Muslim, 4 are Buddhist and only one of them is a Pagan, well, it’s not necessarily an attack on Paganism that your child’s faith isn’t being covered in the curriculum. I had a Social Studies teacher in the 5th grade, who would decorate her classroom for each and every holiday that was celebrated by any member of the class. And, since we were a very multi-cultural school, that meant pretty much all of them.
    (I don’t think we covered Pagan holidays, but we weren’t Pagan at the time, and I don’t think any of the other kids were.) And, on each holiday, she’d say, “Ok! Whose family celebrates Channukah/Rammadan/Easter/Ramanvani? And what do you do, at your house, to celebrate it?” which was a great way to learn about each other as well as each others’ faiths. So, maybe approaching his teachers about doing a presentation on your beliefs and holidays and traditions would be useful.

    I know you feel attacked and marginalized, but if you get defensive and angry about it (which I am totally sympathetic with) you’ll just end up pushing them away. Approach it like, “Hey! Here’s this cool thing we do at _our_ house, which we’d like to share with the class/library/teaching staff.” It sounds like your son is already responding to outside disapproval that way, with your aunt, which just proves you’re doing a great job with him. This is a little-known-about faith, and a little PR may go a long way.

    Reply

    • Stirring the cauldron with Judas
      Dec 10, 2011 @ 10:52:00

      Naomi, thank you for taking your time to read my blog first off. There are more pagan books available for children now than there were even 6 years ago, and my wife and I have discussed donating them to our son’s school for the library. My frustration comes from listening to people or reading what some have written saying “just be bigger”. We have been bigger, the problem, is in being bigger, we aren’t seen as people anymore. It is time for our community to stand up and be seen, I’ve been saying this for months. I am just hoping to get people thinking, and hopefully MOVING. Be blessed & hope to see you around the cauldron again.

      Reply

      • Naomi Lazarus
        Dec 10, 2011 @ 11:40:20

        Dear Judas,

        I sympathize a great deal with your frustration. I grew up with activist parents, and have recently become politically active, myself. It’s trailblazing. And it’s exhausting. Unfortunately, it falls on us to “be the change we want to see in the world” as Ghandi put it.

        And by us, I mean -everyone-. We are blessed that we live in countries where change is possible (I’m Canadian), but with that freedom comes responsibility. The Rick Perrys and Fred Phelps of the world are already out there, spreading their messages of intolerance and hatred. They -must- be stopped, and if you and I and people like us do not stand up for what we believe in, who will?

        I don’t mean to lecture or to preach. I devoutly wish that your community was already enlightened and informed about your faith. But, if you do no enlighten and inform them, who will? I’m delighted to hear there are books for kids on the subject, and I heartily encourage you and your wife to donate some to the school. You are (as you must know) a tiny minority, and easily ignored, unless you speak up for yourselves and your son.

        I don’t share your faith, but I respect its principles and admire the beauty of its imagery. And I would be delighted to see an increase of awareness of all the marginalized faiths. We are raising our daughter with compassionate Athiesm, but part of her education will be the religions of the world (yours included). She’s only 3, so it’s a little early to be exposing her to faiths we don’t adhere to. So, this is not my fight, directly. But I would encourage you not to lose heart. This is an important and worthwhile struggle. And while it is full of frustration and hard work, I think it will make your small corner of the world a better place.

        Good luck, whatever you decide to do, and Happy Solstice.

        N.

        Reply

        • Stirring the cauldron with Judas
          Dec 10, 2011 @ 21:42:24

          Thank you Naomi! We are fighting the fight. 🙂 It is nice to have your kind of support, please feel free to friend me on Facebook I would love to share and hear your ideas, not just on religion, but other topics as well. Our son is learning about other paths as well. When he is old enough he will be free to pick his own, for now, though we want him to follow and practice with us. As families have done for ages on end. There is no end to fighting for equality, I am not a woman who will bow to pressure from others. We can only be marginalized if we allow it…in my life I don’t. As I’m sure in your life you wouldn’t tolerate it either.

          I wish you a blessed Holiday, enjoy the peace and love of time with your family, and have a blessed New Year as well!

          Reply

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