They hear it in their pulpits of hate on Sunday morning. The world has heard it for 1600 years that pagans are evil. We have a lot of brainwashing to dispel and eliminate. America was created so that everyone can be free to believe what they want. Don't let anyone convince you otherwise. Europeans are much more accepting of pagans, but I believe It's primarily baptists that spread the hate here in the U.S. Their preachers need to stand up and teach tolerance and acceptance.
I am going to agree with this comment and the very first comment. Maybe your friends felt betrayed (for a lack of better words) that you weren't honest with them. Religion/Spirituality is always a difficult discussion. What I mean by honest, I mean open.
Here's a thought: ask them. Ask them if its an issue. But I can understand if that would be difficult. That might be asking for confrontation. Maybe try educating them?
My two cents.
People are afraid of the unknown, and unfortunately most people don't think for themselves because the prospect of getting to know who they really are is too unsettling. What you have done by coming out of the broom closet is shake their perception of who you are, which shatters their understanding of the universe at large and puts everything in question (believe it or not). They had you pegged as "friend who does...", but now you are "person we thought we knew who is now a pagan and...what does this mean?" "Can we trust ourselves or anything we thought was real if this could be hiding in plain sight?" It's easier to not deal with the source of the nagging questions, i.e. avoid, avoid, avoid.
I am professional massage therapist. Most of my clients don't know who I am outside of my office, although there are a few that do. I know that if the fundamentalists that I work on ever found out, they'd be running out of my office like the devil himself was after them, even though they've been laying on my table, appreciating that I can take their pain away and make them better, and know that I am a good person (or should know) for years.
When I was a child adults were afraid of me...not because I had a set of beliefs but because I did things they didn't think a child should do...like talk about death and the afterlife. My "otherness" frightened them. This used to hurt my feelings a LOT. I could not understand how they could be afraid of me...me who never harmed another living thing on purpose, who has a kind heart and a generous soul. I'm over it now. Just remember. This has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.
The best thing you can do is just be yourself and find others of like mind who appreciate you for who you are. Like others have said before me, they may not actually be true friends, and if they are, they will start to ask you questions when they are (hopefully) ready to hear the answers. Good luck. i know this takes courage and you are risking a lot.
People fear what they don't understand and try to rationalize everything to fit into the conforms of society.. if you break those rules that society has put in place then you become not only different but an outcast.., those who associate with you will be stigmatized... basically what that boils down to is that people are like sheep....
I agree with Dave S.
There is nothing you can do, you have not changed, you are the same. People have a different perception of who we are, and that is that we are evil, since for generations they have been taught that we "pagans" are evil.
Your money was good then, you were good enough for baby sitting. You are still good for baby sitting, your money is just us good and green as theirs.
Don't judge them, go about your life, let them take the first step to come to you. You have done nothing wrong. I put it this way; "if what I do, "no harm, do as you will" bothers them, then they were not true friends. If they are true friends they will come around.
Many blessings to you and may the Goddess guide in your path.
I agree with Dave S.
"There is nothing you can do, you have not changed"
I don't think the issue is that he has changed, but that maybe they feel like they don't really know who he is, and a persons religious belief does make up a large part of who they are.