Monday, January 22, 2007

Embarrassed about Religion?

A few days ago an incident occured that startled me and I'd like to know if anyone else has had a similar experience or thoughts on the matter.

I was at Wal-mart picking up some altar cloth fabric for an Imbolc altar redecoration and I found a couple beautiful pieces that I wanted to get. I went up to the cloth cutting station. There was another woman there, a cheeful, polite, middle aged woman, and she was getting some fabric cut as well. She started talking to me, very nicely, and was obviously a chat-to-strangers sort of a woman. She asked me what I was making. I froze for a second and then said, "curtains." She smiled broadly and said, "I thought that was what you were making. It's beautiful fabric!" I said, "I know, when I saw it I knew I had to have it." And we chatted on.

Why did I say curtains? I don't know the woman, would never meet her again, didn't care what she thought of me, but instead of saying, "I'm getting some fabric to decorate my altar; I'm pagan," I said, "curtains," a blatant lie (I was getting half-yard cuts of wildly different fabrics). I'm not ashamed of my religious beliefs. Sometimes I am scared of peoples' reactions, since they haven't always been pleasant. I don't offer information, ever, but if someone asks an honest question, I give an honest answer. Why "curtains"? It's been bothering me ever since.

I have to wonder, if I had told the truth, would the woman have continued chatting with me about her sewing, her kids, and more? Or would the conversation uncomfortably stuttered to an end? If I'm not ashamed of my religion and she seemed nice (not likely to be verbally abusive or even rude about it) why did I say it?

Have others here hidden their religion or had an experience like that? What do you think? I doubt I'm alone in this and I'd like to know what others think.

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