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Behavior at Demos

     Greetings to everyone at the Merry Rose from Lady Deoca of Elvegast,
     My, this is a touchy subject, isn't it? I didn't much like what I read 
     from Master Thomas, I reacted pretty much the same way Melys did. That 
     was Friday afternoon via email. My Acorn was waiting in my mailbox 
     when I got home, so I sat down and read the entire article. Here are 
     my impressions, after spending some time thinking about it.
     I don't think that Master Thomas considered/realized how sensitive his 
     subject matter was. Else, I think he would have spent more time 
     phrasing what he said somewhat differently. I hope so anyway. However, 
     I have no way of knowing this, as I am not Master Thomas.
     There is a very real dilemma here, as I see it. Do we somewhat 
     misrepresent ourselves to the public in order to educate and recruit? 
     Or, do we behave exactly like we do when surrounded by ourselves, and 
     face the repercussions from the general public? I think that we have 
     to find a middle ground from which to do demos. I also think that this 
     is an individual decision, but one that must be made with the good of 
     the entire society in mind.
     I especially did not like Master Thomas's suggestion that we display 
     *no* religious symbols at demos. I wear a religious symbol around my 
     neck at all times, at work and at play. I most certainly am not going 
     to take it off for a demo. If someone notices it at a demo, I will 
     gladly explain both my personal beliefs and the history involved. I 
     was most offended by the statement that I should claim this symbol was 
     merely for recreational purposes and had nothing to do with my real 
     life belief system. That would be lying and would go directly against 
     my real life belief system! My symbol is small and discreet so it is 
     generally only recognized by people who know what it is. However, I do 
     not like being asked to not wear it or to lie about it.
     In closing, I think that Master Thomas was stating guidelines, not 
     "rules". I certainly hope so, anyway. I think he definitely could have 
     phrased them better. As I said earlier, the decisions about what to do 
     at a demo has to be a personal decision with the audience being 
     considered. I hope that we are all responsible and intelligent enough 
     to handle these things diplomatically. 
     In service to the Dream,
     Deoca of Elvegast
     ps: Lady Ayo, thank you for defending my intelligence. Hope you still 
     feel the same way after reading this! Rhiannon, thank you for the 
     apology. I did not take offense at your post, though it also could 
     have been worded better :-) I assumed that the nature of the subject 
     matter had caused an emotional response. Peace to all!