Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Via The NYT - Use of Wiccan Symbol on Veterans’ Headstones Is Approved
To settle a lawsuit, the Department of Veterans Affairs has agreed to add the Wiccan pentacle to a list of approved religious symbols that it will engrave on veterans’ headstones.

[. . .]

Though it has many forms, Wicca is a type of pre-Christian belief that reveres nature and its cycles. Its symbol is the pentacle, a five-pointed star, inside a circle.
I suppose that if we are truly going to advocate freedom of religious belief and recognize the religions of soldiers then the religions of all soldiers should be recognized. It is discrimination if we do not.

I was surprised by this statistic quoted in the article:
There are 1,800 Wiccans in the armed forces, according to a Pentagon survey cited in the suit, and Wiccans have their faith mentioned in official handbooks for military chaplains and noted on their dog tags.
This statement, however, doesn't surprise me at all.
“I don’t think witchcraft is a religion,” Mr. Bush said at the time [1999], according to a transcript. “I would hope the military officials would take a second look at the decision they made.”
The decision Bush alludes to in the quote is the decision to allow Wiccan soldiers to worship at Fort Hood, Texas.

I'm sure there are many people who view Wicca as witchcraft, maybe even some who practice it, and I will admit that I personally know next to nothing about it. But I just get tired of continually hearing people make assumptions, judgments, and condemnations of religions that they know little or nothing about or that they do not even attempt to understand.

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