Tempest Smith

On February 20, 2001, a young girl named Tempest Smith killed herself in Lincoln Park, Michigan, USA. Her suicide was directly caused by the taunting of other students at the Lincoln Park Middle School who mocked her because she was “different” and because she was Wiccan. This is a dramatic and extreme example of hundreds of everyday cases of prejudice based on religion. Even those who would never make a racial or gender-based slur may still discriminate based on religion, because many faiths teach that their religion is the only true religion. We know that change is made one person at a time. So in memory of Tempest Smith and millions of victims of religious discrimination worldwide, we at the Pagan Pride Project ask you to pledge the three things at the bottom of this page:

The Pledge

I remember Tempest Smith.
I remember that it’s never right to make fun of someone’s beliefs.
I remember that sticks and stones can break my bones, but names are words of power that can wound the soul.
I Remember that many mocked — and one died.

I remember Tempest Smith.
I remember that it takes all types to make a world.
I Remember that nature likes biodiversity. This is true of beliefs and ideas as well.
I remember that I make a better witness to my own beliefs by simply living them, not belittling others.

I remember Tempest Smith.
And I remember that another person’s belief (or non-belief) is just as sincerely held as my own.
I remember to have the courage to say, “Hey that’s not right”, when I see someone being ridiculed.
And the next time I am tempted to go along with the crowd and tease someone who is “different”, I will remember Tempest Smith, and I will remember my pledge.
Because what is remembered lives.

  • I pledge my word and my honor to accept that another’s belief, or non-belief, is just as sincerely as my own.
  • I pledge that when I see prejudice based on religion, be it taunting on a playground or whispered in a board meeting, I will stand and say, “No. This is wrong.”
  • I pledge that to the best of my ability, I will respect practitioners of other spiritual paths and treat them with kindness and courtesy.

All this said, is there anything you can do magickally to ease the situation? Absolutely, but never forget that your greatest ally in situations such as these is a loving parent or guardian.

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