Gays in the Military.

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    May 16, 2007 10:41 PM GMT
    I was watching the news and they where talking about the VA gave the go ahead on the Wiccan Pentacle being on headstones of fallen soldiers. I'm in the Military and Wiccan so this touched home for me.
    Do you think this is a step in the right direction for our armed forces or not?

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    May 16, 2007 10:44 PM GMT
    Hun? Where di you hear that? I work for the VA and I visit jmy surrogate dad's grace at a Va cemetary.. Are you sure?
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    May 16, 2007 10:47 PM GMT
    CNN.
    MADISON, Wisconsin (AP) -- The Wiccan pentacle has been added to the list of emblems allowed in national cemeteries and on government-issued headstones of fallen soldiers, according to a settlement announced Monday.

    A settlement between the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Wiccans adds the five-pointed star to the list of "emblems of belief" allowed on VA grave markers.

    Eleven families nationwide are waiting for grave markers with the pentacle, said Selena Fox, a Wiccan high priestess with Circle Sanctuary in Barneveld, Wisconsin, a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

    The settlement calls for the pentacle, whose five points represent earth, air, fire, water and spirit, to be placed on grave markers within 14 days for those who have pending requests with the VA. (Watch what the headstones might look like Video)

    "I am glad this has ended in success in time to get markers for Memorial Day," Fox said.

    The VA sought the settlement in the interest of the families involved and to save taxpayers the expense of further litigation, VA spokesman Matt Burns said. The agency also agreed to pay $225,000 in attorneys' fees and costs.

    The pentacle has been added to 38 symbols the VA already permits on gravestones. They include commonly recognized symbols for Christianity, Buddhism, Islam and Judaism, as well as those for smaller religions such as Sufism Reoriented, Eckankar and the Japanese faith Seicho-No-Ie.

    "This settlement has forced the Bush Administration into acknowledging that there are no second class religions in America, including among our nation's veterans," said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which represented the Wiccans in the lawsuit.

    The American Civil Liberties Union said the agreement also settles a similar lawsuit it filed last year against the VA. In that case, the ACLU represented two other Wiccan churches and three individuals.

    VA-issued headstones, markers and plaques can be used in any cemetery, whether it is a national one such as Arlington or a private burial ground like that on Circle Sanctuary's property.

    Wicca is a nature-based religion based on respect for the earth, nature and the cycle of the seasons. Variations of the pentacle not accepted by Wiccans have been used in horror movies as a sign of the devil.

    Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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    May 16, 2007 10:50 PM GMT
    Sorry I missed up on the Topic guys, I just woke up feeling a bit under the weather.
  • BlackJock79

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    May 17, 2007 12:13 AM GMT
    The U.S. Military does keep a record of military members religion. I still have my "dogtags" with my religion on them, Baptist. I also have other personnel records with my religion on them.
  • BlackJock79

    Posts: 437

    May 17, 2007 12:55 AM GMT
    Somebody does, cause I can show you my paperwork and dogtags... I can't see it just being a field just kept by the respective services, unless things have changed since I've gotten out.
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    May 17, 2007 1:24 AM GMT
    Nope things haven't changed, I can pull home my ERB right now and it will show my race and everything and if I go to the DOD site I can find the same things.
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    May 17, 2007 2:35 PM GMT
    im totally for it- i was a practicing wiccan all through highschool- though have since returned to the judeo-christian background in which i was raised, studying kabbalah and ancient theurgy, as well as medieval grimoires and esotericism. very spiritually fulfilling for me, though exactly how so is a loooong discertaion, so i'll spare you lol. suffice to say, Wicca is an official religion- the fastest growing religion in America- and the presence of witches in the military will occur whether you adorn their headstones with the symbol of their spirituality or not. seeing as in those cases, the witches have DIED defending our nation, it's only fair to honor them in death. what's the alternative- leaving the headstone of another religion over them, or leaving a blank headstone? that just seems wrong...
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    May 17, 2007 2:43 PM GMT
    the pentacle as a symbol has been soiled by the agenda war of the church over the ages, and by hollywood. stood upright, it represents the quintesessence of spirit crowning an interconnected world of matter- earth, water, air and fire. it was a pythagorean symbol of beauty and perfection in nature, as the intersecting bars divide eachother into the golden mean repeatedly. there is also kabbalistic numerological significance in the symbol- in judeo/christian mysticism, it represents Jesus or the divine/enlightened man- the man crowned and filled with holy spirit, or rather, with spirit interwoven into his earthy being. it is a symbol of natural beauty, perfection, balance, sanctification of material things, ect.

    INVERTED, it stands for matter over spirit, and has been used by the church of satan to represent the corruption of the spirit by materialism and hedonism.

    its a shame that such an ancient and powefully GOOD symbol has been ruined by misuse in the media and by the judgemental ignorance of the church throughout the middle ages, but there ya go lol
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    May 17, 2007 9:59 PM GMT
    I think you should be able to have whatever you want engraved on your rock. America is full of different religions, and was founded on the freedom to choose which religion we belonged too. I see the Military as part of the state and I thought we tried to keep a seperation of church and state.
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    May 17, 2007 11:11 PM GMT
    Religion should not be on headstones in a military cemetery, period. I, as a rational, intelligent, science based thinker decry all religion as inherently condeming, and a panacea for weak-willed individuals afraid of mortality. That said, I don't begrudge those their beliefs per se, just don't force me to fight in your war for your insecurities. Leave mine blank of dogmatic screed.
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    Jun 08, 2007 4:31 AM GMT
    well hummm. fredom of religon not from it. as far as what is place on your head stone I direct your attion to the words YOUR HEAD STONE. you may be laid to rest in government provided plot for servece renderd but it is still your plot and your stone and as such can have what ever you and your loved ones want placed on it. See First Amendment.
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    Jun 08, 2007 7:00 AM GMT
    I am only surprised when there are problems related to this. I had a friend (army) who showed me a chaplains guide once. It surveyed objectively many religions including eastern, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Wicca, Satanism, and many more. Apparently they have to be prepared to deal with the many you may run into in military service.

    Here is something from the army website .. You don't have to be a member of any particular faith. Notice the 3rd one.

    CHAPLAIN REQUIREMENTS

    1. You must obtain an ecclesiastical endorsement from your faith group. This endorsement should certify that you are:
    1. A clergy person in your denomination or faith group.
    2. Qualified spiritually, morally, intellectually and emotionally to serve as a Chaplain in the Army.
    3. Sensitive to religious pluralism and able to provide for the free exercise of religion by all military personnel, their family members and civilians who work for the Army.
  • shutoman

    Posts: 504

    Jun 08, 2007 12:53 PM GMT
    Sorry, Kilroy, but as an atheist myself, I can't help but look upon the statement...

    "I, as a rational, intelligent, science based thinker decry all religion as inherently condeming, and a panacea for weak-willed individuals afraid of mortality"

    ...as dogmatic screed.

    It's their headstone, if they want to profess their religion on it, let them. I don't have to agree with them.
    Steve
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    Jul 03, 2007 1:55 AM GMT
    I don't see any issue with it myself. It does open up a pandoras box of what becomes 'official' recongized symbols and what doesn't.