Being a part of a diverse religious community of passionate people with strongly held opinions can be challenging. Sometimes it is really easy to get caught up in debates and drama and forget how powerful and beautiful our community can be. As organizers begin working on their local Pagan Pride Days, I suggest reviewing HecateDemeter’s posts on framing (this one is a good one to start with) and creating your own quote about why you are proud to be Pagan. Here are some I found around the Internet:
“We are the intellectual heirs of the ancient Greek philosophers who invented democracy, poetry, philosophy, the Olympics, etc. We’re going to be holding a Pagan Pride event on Sept. 23rd to emphasize how local Pagans contribute to our local economy by farming, creating jobs in local businesses, supporting our local schools by donating books to school libraries and…
“Stop letting your opponents define your message.”
“[Pagans’] work may seem silly to outsiders, but they have taken on a huge task – to create anew what was lost, a vibrant culture, filled with songs, ceremonies, dances, lullabies, myths. To create such a culture – one that is rich yet at home with notions of individual freedom and modern life – what a Herculean task!
“But a possible one. And as the last flames flicker out and the last tone dissipates, each person returns to their ordinary life with some small remnant of the incredibly subversive notion that the world can be transformed and reborn, that ‘we are as gods and might as well get good at it’.”
– “Heretic’s Heart: A Journey Through Spirit and Revolution” by Margot Adler, quoting “Whole Earth Catalog” (Menlo Park, Calif.: Portola Institute, 1969) 367; I found it here.
“Paganisms are not proselytizing religions. We don’t have to proselytize. Our job is to provide for ourselves a vibrant, flexible, and ongoing sustained pagan culture that is so beautiful, so rich with, and so sexy and so desirable that people will want to come to us because they see us and they say, ‘I want what they have.'”
– Steven Posch, quoted in Five ritualists I’d like to invite to dinner, Part 2: Steven Posch.
“… comfort is not what I seek from religion. I want challenge. I want danger. I want to be shaken to my depths. I want to be scared shitless. A Dionysian religion breaks down social structures and breaks down the walls of the ego. As Harry Byngham (aka “Dion”), chief of the Order of Woodcraft Chivalry, wrote: “Our Dionysian morality is not ‘safety first’, but ‘vitality first’.” Neopagan religion is not a religion of good behavior, but a wild religion, a religion of “drums, moonlight, [feasting] rather, dancing, masks, flowers, divine possession” (Robert Graves). It makes me very uncomfortable — and it is what I need.”
“We are a religion of many sects, many cults, many expressions. From the “hard Gards” to the solitary eclectics weaving their own magic. We are each full of the same awe, wonder, mystery, and joy. We cast the circle, call the elements, honor the Gods, celebrate the Mystery and send our energy to make a positive change in the world. This happens in rituals containing hundreds of people. This happens silently in candlelit bedrooms of closeted solitaries. Our words may be different, our mythos vary and the details be different, but as Wiccans we are all calling forth the same Mystery.”
“There is nothing in our lives that is not sacred. … There is nothing in our lives that is not sacred because life itself is a holy and blessed thing. Every flower, animated. Every rock, an ancient pattern. Each song, an expression of humanity in relationship to all things.
“We are star stuff, it is said, and this is true. We are made of the same iron that gives off distant, dying light. We are made of the same iron that anchors us to this earth. Sometimes we remember. Sometimes we forget.”
And because I think Paganism could fill this need:
“A religion old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the universe as revealed by modern science, might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths. Sooner or later, such a religion will emerge.”
– Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space (1984), as quoted here.