The Political Pagan blogmeister returns to the blog this week quite amazed at the vociferous response to last week's posting "In Defense of Dan Halloran." While he appreciates the commitment to moral integrity on the part of those who disagreed with the author about excusing Mr. Halloran for trimming around the topic of his religious identity in a newspaper interview for the sake of a political campaign, the author remains convinced of the validity and practicality of his original point of view.
The author continues to believe that Pagans who operate in the public sphere should not be forced to sacrifice their chances for professional and personal fulfillment on the altar of public self-disclosure. The author wants to see more and more Pagans achieve great success in many professions and occupations, win the respect of their fellow citizens, and THEN "come out" with their Pagan identity at a time and place of their choosing if they judge that this will be a positive contribution to the overall cause of Paganism as well as their personal well-being. The author believes that in the long run, this approach will provide a solid foundation for the Pagans of the future to build upon. Premature self-disclosure in a hostile environment might only lead to self-destruction and public persecution.
Having struggled to build a career in the murky waters of higher education, the author is speaking from experience, and hopes that readers can respect that even if they disagree. Let those who are in a position to shout from the rooftops do so; not everyone is in such a situation. Some need to keep their religion private and out of public view, and they should not be looked down upon.
The ancient Norse text "Havamal" teaches the need to be careful and circumspect in potentially hostile situations, and not talk overmuch, because one never knows where enemies may be lurking. Until the day when Paganism is widely accepted in American or other societies, a bit of caution and restraint may be the path of greatest wisdom.
Of course, the person who loudly and proudly proclaims and defends his identity and dares anyone to oppose him, who is willing to fight to the death outnumbered by his enemies and eventually dies in a blaze of glory shouting "ODIN!!!" might make a better hero for a Hollywood action movie or Playstation video game, but to the author, this is just juvenile warrior-hero fantasy: great stuff for angry thirteen year-olds, but not real life and not real Paganism.