It takes a culture or society an average of seventy years to accept a new idea. Wicca/Paganism has only been in the public's eye in my neck of the woods for about twenty years. There is still a lot of misconceptions about the religion and it's practices out there today. An example of this occurred just the other day. A young man brought one of his friends, (a Cowen) over to the Church to introduce us to him. As they approached the door, his friend stopped, and with definite concern, asked, "They aren't going to hurt me, are they?" He had a real fear because he only knew what he had heard about, "Witches." And this was a seventeen year old boy.
I have been dealing with this kind of "Bad PR" in our area, since I became a wiccan over twenty years ago. Oh, it's a lot better now than it was twenty years ago; but we still have a long way to go. We're going to get there; however the only way to accomplish it is for us to be "Public" I have been criticized, by some pagans, over the years for being TOO Public. It seems I have the reputation of "stirring up shit" LOL I have lost jobs, fought with DHS, public school officials, and even organized a protest March back in 93, because I was tired of hiding in the closet. I was in the closet back in 92, when my five year old daughter, Amberly, came up to me after Full Moon Ritual and said, "I can't wait to tell all the kids at school tomorrow about our ritual." I told her, she probably shouldn't do that. She look up at me with those innocence eyes and asked, "Why Daddy, is what we're doing wrong?" Well guess how that made me feel? I decided at that moment that I needed to something to promote Wicca as the beautiful life affirming religion it is. So I began my journey out of the closet.
Now I'm not saying, or expecting every Pagan to "Come out of the Closet." I realize because of personal views, situations, etc. they can't at this time; but wouldn't be wonderful if someday Wicca/Paganism was accepted and respected in equality a long with the other major Faiths of the world? Then no one would have to hide.
My point is this: There have been a lot of brave pagans and wiccans over the past 50 years who have had the same dream and risk their, livelihood, families, and even their lives for what they believe. It's disheartening sometimes for these people, who work so hard for the Faith, to not have the support of the the very ones their working to help. So if you can't be public about your Path at least support,(even behind the scenes) the people who are out on the front lines, taking the hits, and working for the betterment of Wicca and Paganism.