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July 10th, 2006

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01:43 pm - Fighting for freedom. Ish.
Just stumbled across this lovely July 4 story about a US Army soldier killed in combat in Afghanistan:
At the Veterans Memorial Cemetery in the small town of Fernley, Nev.,… [t]here is no memorial for Sgt. Patrick D. Stewart.… because Stewart was a Wiccan, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has refused to allow a symbol of the Wicca religion—a five-pointed star within a circle, called a pentacle—to be inscribed on U.S. military memorials or grave markers.

The Washington Post
It's enough to make you think that dying to protect a country founded on religious freedom really isn't all that worthwhile...

(4 comments | Leave a comment)


Date:July 10th, 2006 05:44 pm (UTC)
Oh fucking lovely. I'm telling you, Canada's looking better all the time.
[User Picture]
Date:July 10th, 2006 06:25 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately, it's probably a simple cost/benefit analysis on the VA's part:

Wiccans in positions of influence < Right-wing Christians who think that's a Satanic symbol in positions of influence; ergo

Shit we'll take if we don't do this < Shit we'll take if we do

A bureaucracy is not inherently malicious, but it is inherently cowardly.
[User Picture]
Date:July 11th, 2006 12:00 am (UTC)
This is interesting, because the chaplains that I've spoken with through my work as an ombudsman with the Navy have said they've had service members of such faiths and they welcome them just the same.

Also keep in mind that the Dept of Veterans Affairs is the not the same as the military. It's a separate entity. Service members have to choose to participate in the VA programs. It's not automatic.

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