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"My Primitive, Irrational Belief's Better Than Your Primitive, Irrational Belief!"
Nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah! That's essentially what the wives of dead Wiccan vets are being told. From a story in the Detroit Free Press by Dennis Camire and Stephanie Clary:

Roberta Stewart is upset with the VA for not allowing a pentacle -- a circle with an inscribed five-pointed star -- to be used on a plaque for her husband, Nevada National Guard Sgt. Patrick Stewart, who was killed in Afghanistan last year.

She was told the symbol was not among the 38 emblems of faith recognized for use on VA headstones and memorials.

"Our pentacle represents our spirit and our soul," she said. "It's my eternal connection to my husband."

Wiccans have been fighting nine years for VA recognition of their nature-worshipping faith.

The VA recognizes symbols for Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Native Americans, Sikhs and atheists. In 2003, the VA approved the American Humanist Association's emblem of spirit, a stylized human figure with arms stretched upward.

The problem, Wiccans say, is misinformation accusing Wiccans of practicing witchcraft and worshipping Satan. Part of the problem: Satan-worshipers use an upside-down pentacle as one of their symbols.

Sharona Angel, a teacher of Wicca in Waikiki Beach, Hawaii, and other Wicca followers emphasize that their religion is peaceful and focuses on a central tenant that they must not harm others. They believe in psychic energy and practice their faith through meditations, rituals and other observances.

Hell, plenty of religions advocate nasty, nefarious, and even deadly action against other people. It doesn't preclude their symbols from being represented in the cemetary.

Posted by aalkon at November 15, 2006 11:43 AM

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Comments

Guess I won't hold my breath for them to approve Floating Purple Vagina iconography.

Posted by: Melissa at November 15, 2006 8:38 AM

I suppose the pirate fish is out of the question too.

What I've never understood about this whole issue is what difference it can possibly make to VA officials what symbol is on someone's gravestone? Does the thought of a pentacle two thousand miles away scare them? Stupid.

Wicca, by the way, has been recognized as a valid religion by the Army since 1978, with formal recognition in 1996. Which makes the VA 28 years behind the times.

Posted by: Kimberly at November 15, 2006 5:36 PM

"the American Humanist Association's emblem of spirit, a stylized human figure with arms stretched upward."

... and armpits shaved, no doubt.


I have no idea what I'd want on my own gravestone. How about "Life was just one thing after another. Death is a caberet."

Posted by: Eternal Lena at November 16, 2006 12:00 AM

Out of the frying pan.

Posted by: Norman at November 16, 2006 3:07 AM

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