Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Wiccan Soldiers Unworthy?

Yesterday the widows of two combat veterans sued the government for not allowing Wiccan symbols on their husbands’ military headstones. Apparently the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs allows families to choose from 38 authorized headstone images, which include commonly recognized symbols for Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism and the smaller religions of Sufism Reoriented, Eckiankar and the Japanese faith Seicho-No-le.

I decided to write about this because it simply amazes me. Whatever happened to the idea of religious freedom in this country? Frankly I don’t think it’s coincidental that the Wiccan religious symbol is a pentacle (a pentagram inside a circle) and it’s banned while these other small religions that I’ve never even heard of are given the a-ok by our “Christian” government. I myself am Catholic and I don’t know tons about the Wiccan creed, but I do know that they’re not devil worshipers and even if they were so what? If someone dies serving this country and they want a pink elephant inscribed on their headstone then I think that’s the least this nation can do for them. Obviously, I’m being slightly facetious about the pink elephant to make a point (so please no comments trumpeting my blasphemy-hee hee), but seriously why is our government ignoring the first amendment in order to tell the family of a deceased military serviceman, “sorry, but his religious symbol is unacceptable to decorate his grave”? It's moves like this by our government that make me question just how free the land of the free and the home of the brave (except Wiccan brave evidently) is.

One further note, on doing research for this post I came across this quote from our fearless leader, who was then governor of Texas,
"I don't think witchcraft is a religion. I would hope the military officials would take a second look at the decision they made." G.W. Bush (R), as Interviewed on ABC's Good Morning America, 1999-JUN-24. (At the time the military had ruled it would be allowed). He disapproved of giving Wiccan soldiers the same religious rights as other military personnel. Now why doesn’t that surprise me?!


Anonymous msdemmie said...

Well said, if they are good enough to fight for their country, to die for their country m they are good enough to be afforded due respect and dignity in death and that includes the religious emblem of faith on their gravestones.

11/15/2006 2:06 PM  
Blogger Leo said...

Well said to you too Ms., thanks for stopping by.

11/15/2006 9:26 PM  
Anonymous Gem said...

If they're going to allow crosses and such, they need to allow any religious symbol the family wants on there. Period. I don't care if it's the FSM, religious freedom is religious freedom. I argue all the time with my fellow church members (yes, I'm a conservative Christian) that the Ten Commandments and teacher-led prayer do NOT belong in school. Otherwise you'd have a wall full of religious tenets in order to include everyone, and prayers to the All Father/All Mother in the classroom. As much as my conservative friends wouldn't want a Wiccan leading their kids in prayer, neither does an athiest want a Christian leading theirs. They think I'm nuts.

11/16/2006 9:46 PM  
Blogger Leo said...

Well Gem I don't think you're nuts, I think your open-minded and logical. It's refreshing to meet a conservative Christian who thinks for themselves and values the rights and freedoms of all people. Thanks so much for the comment.

11/16/2006 10:53 PM  

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