Wiccans Experiencing Persecution
I've been into magic and magik since I was 17 yrs old. I chose Wicca when I could find no other religious views that suited my ideals just right at the age of 23 yrs old. I'm a Universalist now, but then I had chosen Wicca which pathed the path that lead to my current ideals and beliefs. I still support Wicca, but my ideals don't just encompass Wicca any more. I have accepted all religions as having a certain amoutn of truth as well as having an equal amount wrong with them.
It was a hard time. My first husband and the father of my children at the time said he had no chosen faith. He also told me it would be OK to take up the faith I had chosen. Boy, was that I lie. Too this day though he has persecuted me for it. He wasn't even Christian himself until after our divorce. He is a primary and good example of someone using religion to his own accord and not for the spiritual pursuit of God/Goddess/Supreme Being.
Most of my family has honored my decision. My father even told me how proud he was of me just weeks before he died. My mom didn't though, but I won't talk about her.
However, we live in a backward world were things feel like (at least for me) that we still live in the 1400's, 1700's or still yet even though witch hunts were abolished in 1700 I feel as though Idaho never moved from that point in time and is still stationed between it and the 1920's in Idaho somehow. Wiccans are not accepted or wanted in these areas. You mention your religion to a lawyer in the Southern part of Idaho and people start to snarl.
If you live there, Social workers are usually called. You are falsly accused of using illegal drugs and such. Have coffee ready for the local police officers. I would get regular visits from them to investigate things that aren't even real. I easily let them in the house. I explain each little thing in the house what they represent. In a way, you could say I was teaching our town locals about our ideas and beliefs. The best idea is to take things with a grain of salt I have learned and to be patient. Trust that the spirits are guiding you in the directions needed.
I have total trust in the divine power that made us all to help me in the things that are ahead. This doesn't mean that I will get everything I want. It doesn't matter what religion you are with, you don't get everything you want just because you ask for it...the divine doesn't work that way. It gives you what it thinks you need to spiritually grow and deserve. Sometimes it seems like some people get more than what they deserve. I'm not one to judge what the divine does.
My children recently told me they wanted to live with their father for a while. Low and behold a child custody battle appears. I read my tarot cards, did the I-Ching and apparently it is suppose to be. I don't like it, but this is the preparations that they are being placed through. I didn't give up without a fight, but fighting doesn't get you everything you want, and sometimes it hurts more than those who are doing the fighting. One of us had to say enough is enough and stop fighting. After all, isn't that what you are supposedly doing when you divorce, trying to stop the fighting...yet people continue to fight afterwards...no one wants to be the bigger person.
My children were taken from me by the courts saying that I had missed my appointment which was just one huge lie. I never missed an appointment with my counselors. They tried to play it off as something else but through-out the whole report written by the child protection officer my religious views were printed all over through the pages. Things that were in the report were changed to make the ex look good and me bad. Not only was my religion a question but they seriously reamed my mental handicaps (ADHD, Very Mild Epilepsy, amp; Asperger's). Discrimination against mental or physically handicapped is something else that is suppose to be against the law, but they even went as far as to try and use that against me. As long as all my medical needs are met and in place, which they were..they weren't suppose to be able to take my kids from me I was told, but they did...despite the fact that they hadn't proven me to be a danger in any shape or form to myself, my children, or others they took them from me. Idaho is horrible discraceful place to be a handicapped, pagan of any sort, or even a handicapped Wiccan.
When the time comes my children can always ask the courts to be put back into my home later. I have faith despite the problems other people place in front of me. Adversity is a test placed in-front of us to test us for whatever reason only the God/Goddess knows. Education is the key.
We need more Wiccan or rather Pagan educators in these smaller communities, because just as Christians scare me and maybe others like me half to death, you must realize that our ideas are different from theirs too because of what we are taught and some of the ways we are taught. Different is scary I tell my kids, but you must learn about those differences so it doesn't scare you. I agree with most people from all religions, there are very bad and very sick people out there using good names to do bad things. You have to be careful. The KKK or Black Panthers (different races-same concept) both used the name of the Christian God to do many evils. Some Witches use our religion to do evil, calling themselves Wiccans, but I want to go record saying that they aren't even close. When we as people find out about these people, we need to warn others that this person is bad and that this other group is the good ones. Watch out for your fellow man, don't judge him for his un-witted persecution. For all I know there could be some good in the KKK or Black Panthers, but as for myself, I just can't see it. I believe the goddess would find more favor with us for trying to educate people into seeing the truth behind the masks, to help those in need, and help keep our neighbors safe from those who would hurt them as much as possible.