Sunday, April 22, 2007

Godless Heathen Gets Some Respect


I originally posted on this last July, then kinda lost track of the proceedings cuz, well, I've not been a wiccan for decades, so don't keep on up such news. I am however one who strongly supports the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, so when the question of whether the Gov allowed alternative religious symbols on the graves of fallen soldiers was raised by Sewmouse on Kvatch's site, I immediately went to searching teh internets for follow-up.

After checkin' on Shakespeare's Sister's post from July (nothing new since then,) I did a li'l Googlin' which turned up this hopeful news:
First government-issued Wiccan plaque dedicated
Scott Sonner
Associated Press
December 6, 2006

RENO - Friends and family of a Nevada soldier killed in Afghanistan more than a year ago plan to gather at a veterans cemetery today to dedicate what they say is the first government-issued memorial plaque in the country to include a symbol of the Wiccan faith.

The multicultural, interfaith service for Sgt. Patrick Stewart of Fernley will include blessings by American Indians, Jews, Christians and Wiccans, said the Rev. Selena Fox, one of the Wiccan organizers of the memorial.

"There's quite a diversity of people who are going to be there," Fox said Friday before leaving her home in Wisconsin for the trip to northern Nevada.

"People are flying in from across the country to attend the dedication," she said.

Stewart's plaque was installed last week on the Veterans Memorial Wall at the Northern Nevada Veterans Cemetery in Fernley, about 30 miles east of Reno.

The Nevada Army National Guardsmen and four other soldiers died Sept. 25, 2005, when their Chinook helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan.

Since then, Stewart's widow, Roberta, has been fighting to make the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs recognize the Wiccan pentacle - a five-pointed star enclosed in a circle - for plaques and headstones at veterans' cemeteries.

Citing its jurisdiction over maintenance of the state cemetery, the Nevada Office of Veteran Services issued the plaque in September while Stewart's family and others continue a legal battle with the VA.

[The rest of the article...]
Unfortunately, that seems to be the gist of it so far.

Whenever Faith and Politics intersect, Human Rights will always fall by the wayside. It really is just a part of our homo nature which Reason is only incredibly slowly making a thing of our past.

But so it goes with a process as slow and natural as evolution, whether biological or its extension, bio-cultural.

L8

4 comments:

  1. That's an encouraging report. Few things would offend me more than to see a religious symbol placed on the marker of an agnostic or atheist soldier. Seems to me that everyone's personal beliefs should be accorded a measure of respect, especially if that someone has given their live in the service of their country.

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  2. I don't suppose they'd allow a rude gesture on mine? If I were killed in one of Bush's wars, that would be my symbol of protest for eternity.

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  3. Dig it, Frog. The important thing isn't what they believe(d) but that, regardless of our thoughts 'bout it, we respect their constitutional right to (have) believe(d) it. As you say, what one does is FAR more important at any rate.

    LOL! Mary! That Shake's thread addresses your question/submittal quite readily and Sis herself addressed the actual Legal point on the matter: Wicca is a "Recognized" religion, thus the man should get his symbol on his marker.

    RAmen!

    (Alas, no Pastafarianelia is yet qualified for such service. Silly humans . . ,-)

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  4. Thanks for the update. A little bit of progress there.

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