The Sikh temple shooting and what it means to me

This is not an easy post to write as I live less than fifteen minutes drive away from another mass shooting that happened recently — the one in Aurora CO. What makes this one worse for me than the other is that it was not the work of some random madman. It was an attack on a minority faith group that was meeting together for worship. It has caused some uncomfortable conversation in some of the fora that I frequent online about what we would possibly run into if we were to create temples of our own someday.

Not all Pagan faiths are the type where outdoor rituals are the norm. In fact, I would tend to say that of the revivalist/reconstructionist faiths that there is a desire to eventually build temples to honor our Gods again. This is a chilling reminder of what one person’s hatred can do to a community who has worked hard to create space for communal worship.

This incident raises the question of whether it would be SAFE to create such a space for Pagan worship in the United States today. Would it be safer to just hide “in the broom closet” along with some of our Wiccan brothers and sisters? Would it be worth taking the risk because eventually someone has to? I think the time for hiding is past and we need to worship openly again — if only to know that at least some of us no longer need to live in fear.

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