"For too long.... have Wiccans been in hiding!"
"For too long.... have our nature loving ways been shunned!"
"For too long.... have we trod in the shadows!"
I have personally experienced oppression because of my Faith. I have fought with city governments and school boards over separation of Church and State. I have seen children taken out of the home because of witchcraft and stood toe to toe with DHS. I have lost jobs and been kicked out of rental property because I'm Wiccan. At our Yule Celebration in 2001 we were even shot at! Through all of this in the past twenty years I have never given up or quit promoting the religion of Wicca as the life affirming, peaceful, loving, nature based spiritual path that it is. Now we are seeing a change of era in the Southeastern part of the U.S.
Today there are seven legally established Pagan Churches in our tri-State area. A lot of them have Tax-exempt status from the IRS. They are gaining respectability in the community because they are involving themselves in the community. Most of the press we are receiving is not about "Witches" but rather how much the Pagans are giving back to the community through their Out Reach programs and working within the community. Wow, just like all the other Faiths out there!
Here's another example of how Wicca is gaining popularity in our area. Our Church, Southern Delta Church of Wicca, is an affiliate congregation of the Aquarian Tabernacle Church in Index, WA. I am very proud to be apart of the ATC established in 1979 by Rev. Pete (Pathefinder) Davis. The ATC has opened many doors for us here in the Southeast. One of the most beneficial exponents is their founding of the Woolston Steen Theological Wiccan Seminary. An a credited Seminary where one can receive a Bachelors and Masters degree. Another aspect where the religion of Wicca is becoming more recognized in equality with the other major Faiths of the world.
So in summoning up, Yes I'm proud to be a Wiccan/Pagan in these modern times. I'm very please to see the grow of our Faith in the Bible Belt! And I for one will continue to work for the general acceptance of Wicca, and promote it's tenets to assist its evolutionary growth into main stream religious society.
"So Mote It Be!"