Our response to "The Pagan Household’"

     Yesterday, Melanie and I responded to this post on “The Pagan Household”.  Our response did not show up on the blog.  If it was removed, we completely respect that decision.  However, we think this issue is very important, and so we have decided to post our response here on our blog. 
      Pagans are famous for their internet “flame wars”.  This is actually a product of monotheist thinking.  We can disagree with each other, we can debate ideas, we can criticize each other without becoming enemies.  It’s not an “all or nothing” dynamic.  Also, our polytheistic heritage teaches us that there are always more than one, or even two, ways of thinking about things.  With that in mind, please comment if you have any thoughts about this subject.  We have to start having these difficult conversations if we’re ever going to learn from each other!

     I’m am so sorry that your life situation is  difficult. However, I do
not agree with your advice. In fact I think it is bad advice.  Our
Goddess is not the same as the Christian god, and I think it is
important to teach our children that. Can you imagine a Mormon or a
Jew telling their children to keep their religion a secret? Is it
mentally healthy to lie to your children about God? And where does
that end? Heaven? Sin? Baptism? How do you answer important questions
like “Where do people go when they die?”
 If Pagans want to be treated like a “real religion”, they should
start acting like they practice a real religion. My children have
never come home professing to be Christians. I cannot even fathom it!
A child who comes home professing to be Christian has been given no
roots in Paganism. Paganism needs to be a culture that a family lives,
from the day the child is born. Celebrate the holidays, go to
festivals, find people of like mind.  Your child would never want to
be Christian if they enjoyed being Pagan!
    What would Paganism look like if it were completely unfettered by
society-at-large?  What if no one were afraid to call themselves
Pagan?  What would that look like? Only when we can hold that vision
clearly in our minds, will we have the courage to fight for it.

Author: thewitchmama

Melanie Elizabeth Hexen is a midwife, regionally famous bellydancer, homeschooling mother and matriarch of the Many Hands House. She has been a witch for 25 years, and her belief system is currently based on the writings of Terry Pratchett and the teachings of Steven Posch. With her coven, the Prärie Hexen, she is creating the Hexen Tradition of Witchcraft.

6 thoughts on “Our response to "The Pagan Household’"”

  1. I completely agree with your response and by happen stance read the “Pagan Households” original post before reading yours. Our children have and will continue to be raised unbiasedly as Pagans, we have always told, and explained things to them. We have covered Death, Reincarnation and the whole cycle of existence. We have in detail continued to teach them by word, example and practice. About Animism and Polytheism.

    I have even before had my oldest son, question things he has heard about Monotheistic Religions (most notably Christianity) wondering how it is possible to believe that their is no such things as spirits.

    I think we have a duty, espeially as Pagan Families. To teach and raise our children as Pagans, but also teach them about Diversity and the importance of deciding ones “Personal Truths” and that if we wanna be respected and grow in acceptance of Paganism. We have no other choice.

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  2. I love the way you raise your family and agree with you about living out loud, but I also believe one can be both Pagan and Christian, just as you can be Buddhist and basically any other faith. So maybe my idea of Paganism is completely different than yours. Maybe solely focused Buddhists feel the same way when they hear someone say they are Buddhist and Jewish and so forth. In any respect I will continue to worship the Goddess and her son and not hide either one.

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  3. Hey, Artist,

    My paganism is incompatible with Christianity in some very fundamental ways, and yours is compatible. Fair enough. The variety of our pagan ways is our strength!
    What we're talking about here is the “living out loud” part, as you mentioned. Melanie and I disagree with the strategy of concealing your religion, in any part, from your children.

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  4. I really enjoyed your post guys! I read it this morning with relish. 🙂

    Some things I've learned for my own life:
    I can be in “the broom closet” or out of it. There is no in between… no wishy washy witchy. The few times I've tried wishy washy have bit me in the arse. I have also decided to not be in the closet because I don't like the feeling of hiding who I am. So there you have it.

    But I am not an “out loud” person, you know me well enough to know that I'm sure. Or maybe I should say I am not the type to be an “in your face” pagan, if you know what I mean.

    BUT I definitely agree, about being up front, truthful, and NOT wishy washy pagan when teaching kids. Because no one ELSE is going to hold back. “They” are going to try to convert your kids by any means possible, including using fear (your parents are *witches*? they are going to burn in hell! Only Jesus can save you!). If our kids don't have a firm and deep foundation in our faith, they will be easy marks for all those fear, hate or “compassionate” attempts at conversion. The kids need to KNOW what we do/believe/feel and they need to experience our religion directly for themselves. They need to know what other people do/believe/feel so that when they are approached, they can speak their own minds with sincerity and conviction and not be swayed by peer pressure, fear or “compassionate” arguments.

    Thanks for speaking your mind! I love reading your blog!

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  5. Michele you are so right on. And I have always found you to be a classy and regal person.

    A few points I (Melanie) want to make.

    I am not always “in your face”. 🙂 My religion is not everyone's business. Coworkers, clients, etc., do not need to know I am Pagan any more than I need to know that they are Lutheran. But if you come to my house, I am not hiding my altar. And I am very active in the Pagan culture. I participate in celebrations eight times a year and attend rituals and festivals. And I cannot ask my children to keep that secret.

    Also, I find it deplorable that adults ask my children about their religion. I have had proselytizers speaking to my children in the yard, teachers asking inappropriate questions, and the parents of my children's friends being nosey. If you have a question about witchcraft, ask me. But I suppose it's less scary to ask a child.

    And personally, I struggle with children being labeled anything. But that is the atheist in me.

    Michele, you rock.

    <3

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  6. And I wanna be like you when I grow up. 🙂

    You are definitely right, it is deplorable when adults ask children about their religion. I just had a discussion tonight with a young lady about her experiences (I'd call it persecution actually) in school.

    And I never perceived you or Chris to be “in your face” either. I've known some who were. lol… but the “living out loud”… I like that phrase, and admire that in you guys. That's one reason why I like reading your blog! I may not consider myself “loud” but I am trying to “live OUT”! lol!

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