I don’t talk about my faith much. It is a big part of my life but it is something that I keep quite separate from my professional life and even from parts of my personal life. As a Pagan or more specifically a Wiccan, I have faced discrimination in a variety of forms here in Whatcom County, both institutional and personal. As a political organizer, I want to make sure that my involvement does not negatively affect whatever candidate or cause I am working on. That is why I rarely bring it up, I don’t wear my pentacle when I am doorbelling. I try and make sure my car is out of sight at fundraisers because of the pagan bumper stickers. I am not ashamed of my faith, I just don’t want people’s misconceptions about my faith to taint whatever I’m working on.
That said, you can understand my paranoia when it comes to conservative Christian groups becoming heavily involved in politics. This news story at Alternet about Sarah Palin and religious organizing
Caught my eyes this morning. People who believe that others should convert to their faith by any means possible should not be responsible for the public trust. I have no problem with people of faith in office. Faith can be a great source of ethics, but it is far from the only source. My fears stem from the ideas that people in charge of the public trust would use their power to encourage others to join their faith. That worries me to no end.
It is difficult because the process of convincing someone of a political idea is shockingly similar to that used by religious groups. We overlap in methods. Anyways, I wanted to share that article and my own fears. Whatcom county for all of its tolerance still has a great deal of intolerance when it comes to religious differences. In Wicca, we have a term for hiding one’s faith. Being "In the Broom Closet". While I am officially out, I am still plenty timid about reprecussions. I hope some day, I won’t have to be.