Tampa Bay, Florida resident Kyrja Withers, an out Pagan and author of the Pagan-themed children’s book “Rupert’s Tales: The Wheel of the Year Beltane, Litha, Lammas, and Mabon” announced that on Thursday her home was shot at, the most recent escalation in a string of seemingly religiously-motivated incidents.
“Someone shot at me tonight – and though they missed, The Glitter Dome is a bit more …. holey … tonight. We’ve had intermittent problems with someone honking their horn outside our house at very late hours and screaming obscenities Once, they threw a firecracker in our front house. Last night, they screamed “F’ing WITCH” – quite clearly. No mistake. Today, we received several telephone calls where the caller said something unintelligible and then hung up, as well as an inappropriate post on one of my Rupert videos. This is obviously personal. And now, they have crossed the line and have caused property damage. And yes – the first window they hit is where I sit. It is time to deal with this. And so we shall. We ask for your assistance in calling for swift justice.”
I contacted Kyrja personally for a follow-up statement where she said the police investigation is ongoing, and that she does not regret being an “out” Pagan despite the attack.
“The only statements I know to make at this point is that the investigation by our local police department is ongoing at this point, and we do appreciate their efforts. I have seen a few posts throughout the day from people who have stated our situation is the very reason they prefer not to make their Pagan faith known. And, while I certainly respect their own choices, I can tell you that I would never have known the level of happiness and peace I do now if not for having made my own choices both public and well-known. Too, if we are unwilling to get to “reveal” ourselves for the people we are – to include the spiritual paths we walk, we will never diminish the level of stigmatism for all of our brothers and sister. Normalizing our faith sometimes requires courage; more often doing so provides more opportunities for celebration. If we had the opportunity, what I would like to do is to educate the individual(s) responsible for these incidents and to have them do community service within the Pagan community. Chances are, it would be quite the eye-opening experience for them.”
We will keep you posted on this incident as further developments occur. We wish safety for Kyrja’s family, and that justice be brought to her attackers. For those wanting to know more about Kyrja’s work writing children’s books, you can visit her web site, or Facebook page.