Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Incident

I’ve been debating about whether or not to write about this. It doesn’t specifically pertain to the main topics of this blog, but it is indirectly related. After much thought I decided to go ahead and write about it. An incident occurred yesterday that had left me much shaken and I am just now getting over it.

I have long postulated that as things got worse there would be an increase in the incidence of hate crimes, harassment, and other things relating to protected categories. Crime in general tends to go up during bad times. I have lived in the south all my life and have only experienced direct discrimination for being a lesbian once and until yesterday had never actually experienced a problem because of my religion. I’ve heard stories about both and know they happen, and I’ve also heard by word of mouth that the number of such incidents is on the rise.

I have been very open about my beliefs on this blog, but before I go any further I want to be sure it is made clear that I do not care what anyone else believes in. You can be a Christian, Buddhist, atheist, Jew, or a worshipper of a two-headed purple polka-dotted space alien named Zeus from the planet Nylon for all I care. I am cool with it as long as two stipulations are met: the first is that you don’t harm anyone (if you have a religion that promotes ritual human sacrifice, for instance, you and I are going to have a problem) and the second is that you respect my right to do the same. Don’t try to force me to convert, discriminate against me, start a holy war or otherwise try to impose your belief system and we are fine.

What happened was this: I wear my pentagram just about everywhere (save work). It is a large part of who I am, and that symbol means a lot to me, in the same way that a crucifix means a lot to Christians. I was walking my dog and this guy starts talking to me. He’s a little crazy anyway and he sees my pentagram and recognizes it. Now, nine out of ten people never notice it and the ones that do usually have no idea what it means. But then you get the nuts who thinks it’s a symbol of Satanism. This guy was one of these. So he starts shouting at me and ranting on about the devil and Satan and hell and all of this crap and he starts following me. He followed me halfway home. I nearly had to mace him. (Yes, I carry mace and I’m thinking of getting a gun and a permit –I have no problems with self-defense, and this being Alabama, its easy to do.)

The incident left me a bit shaken, and very, very angry. I do not care if this man believes in Christ, hell, the devil or the afore-mentioned Zeus, but I have the right to be left the fu*k alone to believe whatever I care to believe. I was telling someone about this today and she suggested I should stop wearing the pentagram because it is ‘not prudent’ and ‘might offend’ someone. I do not care whether or not it is prudent or if someone gets offended. If someone gets offended, that is their problem and not mine; they need to deal with their own insecurities. As far as prudence –I’ve spent too much of my life on my knees and crawling through muck to please others. I will not hide who and what I am. I am my own person and intend to remain that way. The most important thing in this world is freedom and I intend to keep mine. I’ll pay whatever price I have to, but I will do so. As Patrick Henry once said ‘give me liberty or give me death!’ And, to quote someone else I’ve read on the blogosphere ‘I’ll die on my feet before I live on my knees’.

7 Comments:

Blogger MeadowLark said...

I'm sorry that happened. Guy sounds like a whack-job.

I got one of those emails the other day from a friend talking about "this country was founded as Christian nation blah blah balh". Now, I'm a Christian, but I emailed him back and said "Um, I thought our country was founded on the FREEDOM of RELIGION. You know, the whole 'fleeing religious persecution' sorta thing? Free to worship as you please? Article 6, Section 3 - "...shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." I haven't heard back from the guy.

Don't stop wearing it. And get your carry permit now, before things change. ;)

11/19/2008 11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When people are in fear of thinking they are losing control over their cult like brainwashed belief system, they irrationally attack their insecurities that are reflected in the freedoms and progressive thinking and actions of others. Strange, but true.

Brain-washed people are and can be scary, because they have lost, and or given up the ability to reason.

Take care and be vigilant, RAS...

On the same vein, I have been seeing this phrase and image coming up a lot lately on the internet: "Lord, save us from your followers..."

11/19/2008 1:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too wear a pentagram around my neck because this is my choice & it never comes off. Tsk,tsk on the man who judged you by a trinket.

blessing to you

11/19/2008 6:29 PM  
Blogger Kati said...

Yeah, I'd keep wearing the pentacle if it's part of your norm. Don't let anybody push you to change who you are just to make THEM more comfortable. I wear a triple moon pendant at work, like many christians wear their crosses. I haven't yet found a pentacle that I liked. You wouldn't believe how many people (mainly women) comment on how beautiful my pendant is. *grin* Never once have I had somebody make a nasty comment.

As for the carrying permit, yeah, I'd get that now if you have a chance. I voted for Obama, and I think he's the best option going, but I DO worry about his stance on gun ownership. There really ISN'T any telling what he'll do with that once he's in office. (Personally, hoping he sticks to more relevant concerns.)

11/20/2008 7:31 PM  
Blogger risa said...

Agreed on the permit! "The women learned long ago that they, too, could die on the point of a sword."

If you're new to this, The Cornered Cat has excellent advice. I'm a member of a discussion group where the author of the Cornered Cat sometimes posts; it's a supportive environment and I've learned a lot there. Even though I'm from Georgia originally, and got my first squirrel there fifty years ago!

Be well.

11/26/2008 10:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you ready to shoot someone who is following you? Many guns get turned on the owner. Or leave you with a false sense of security.

Maybe its the place you live that is wrong. If I felt that insecure I'd leave in an instant.
TD

12/15/2008 11:09 PM  
Anonymous Grey said...

I was raised to believe the pentacle was a sign of witchcraft, paganism and Satan worshipping. Obviously I've moved beyond that - and I'm sorry the idiot who harassed you hasn't. I've a local fellow who went off about somebody I know because he's "a pagan --- a... a DEVIL worshipper... his wife left him because she wouldn't take part in his RITUALS..."
Sigh. Educate them all one at a time. Wonder what he'd think if I told him his Christmas tree was a pagan thing? And the hanging of boughs of holly? Oh, and that the Christ child was born in AUGUST but the Catholic church moved Xmas to coincide with the winter solstice to help appeal to the PAGANS... hmmmmmmm. Oh how terrifying. *laughs*

12/23/2008 7:04 PM  

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