I am a Pagan Evangelical. I know it may sound like a contradiction in terms, but it’s not. I was inspired to this point, in part, by the writings of Sara Sutterfield Winn. I first discovered Sara through her now dormant blog Pagan Godspell. (although I hope, I even pray, that she will feel the inspiration to continue that blog…)
“…Evangelism is zeal. Passion. To possess the wonderful infused light/darkness of Knowing the soul’s home and then embodying that in the world, through words, art, dance, prayer, the Good Work…just being. To be moved by one’s religiosity to help others, spread joy, give sanctuary, feed strangers. And to have the courage and skill to articulate these deep places when asked about them. I never proselytize, but I aspire to be evangelical….”
~from the essay Pagan Evangelism on Sara’s website
To which I say…
“Blessed Be, Sister!”
Many people have no idea who or what we Pagans really are. That is sad, not because I feel they need to join us, but when rumors are sown in the soil of ignorance then fear will grow. There is already more than enough fear and ignorance in the world!
We are people of faiths, people of integrity and honor and compassion. We are people who strive to live the ethics and values of our faiths as best we can. We are people who live, and laugh, and love; a people who sings songs of the ancient Gods and exult in Their beauty, and in the wonder of Their beauty in all of Creation, and even within our own selves.
Yet, all too often, we are content to let other peoples speak to the world of and about us. Instead of taking our place in the full light of society’s regard we are content to keep to the shadows of other people’s distorted images and understandings of who and what we Pagans are.
Not only is our community content to let others speak for them, but often times it seems like members of the Pagan community are afraid to speak up for themselves. This is more than just tragic, it is dangerous. We in the U.S. have Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion, but rights mean nothing until and unless we invoke them. Stand up and claim your rights, or you may lose them.
Then too, there are those on the Christian Right who seem to believe that Christianity has a monopoly on values or virtues. This is, of course, not true but we can only prove this by spreading the good news of Paganism.
As a Witch, I say this as any Witch might… We can do this! We can share the Good News of Witchcraft and Paganism by sharing our Strength and Beauty with those around us, by using our Power and living our Compassion, by acting on our Honor with Humility, and by always remembering Mirth and Reverence we can not only change ourselves for the better; We the People, can change the world!
This is why I am a strong supporter of the Pagan Pride Project. These are the folks who have spearheaded the annual Pagan Pride events. These events bring Pagans together to build community, to show the world who and what we really are, and to do some good in the world.
I support these goals and would encourage each of you to support them as well. Stand up and invoke your rights! Sing of the Beauty and Bounty of the Great Mother! Hold Fund-raising dinners and events for your local charities, especially the Pagan-run or Pagan-friendly ones! Dance at a Pagan Pride event this year! Live your life in Their Praise and Presence!
Pax / Geoffrey Stewart