Left of Center: By Yukkione: Bronze Star ok for Fallen Soldier, but Symbol of His Religion not Allowed on His Memorial.
Bronze Star ok for Fallen Soldier, but Symbol of His Religion not Allowed on His Memorial.
Friday, July 07, 2006
Time : 11:22 AM


Sgt. Patrick D. Stewart, a practitioner of Wicca, and ancient religion died and was posthumously given the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.
The article I will quote here mention the following information, but I suspect the actula numbers are much higher.

Wicca is one of the fastest-growing faiths in the country. Its adherents have increased almost 17-fold from 8,000 in 1990 to 134,000 in 2001, according to the American Religious Identification Survey. The Pentagon says that more than 1,800 Wiccans are on active duty in the armed forces.
Symbols for 38 other faiths are accepted for memorials and Federal courts have recognized Wicca as a religion since 1986. Part of the problem is that many ignorant individuals think that Wiccans are involved with Satanic worship and rituals. In fact Wicca predates the Judeo/Christian Mythology, and the concept and belief in Satan is not part of their belief structure. Most of Wiccan rituals revolve around the cycles of nature, such as equinoxes and phases of the moon. Wiccans often pick and choose among religious traditions, blending belief in reincarnation and feminine gods with ritual dancing, chanting and herbal medicine.

Retired Army Chaplain William Chrystal, a United Church of Christ minister who was chaplain of Stewart's National Guard unit, has strongly backed Roberta Stewart's request.
"It's such a clear First Amendment issue, I can't even conceive of why they are not granting it, except for political reasons," he said. "I think the powers that be are afraid they'll alienate conservative Christians if they approve a symbol that connotes witches and warlocks casting spells and brewing potions."
I would just like to say that Wiccans , and I'm sure other religions should enjoy the same right to post their religious symbols on their memorials as any other faith. These men and women did after all fight for freedom of religion, freedom of speech and the right to peacefully gather. When we deny the rights of the few, we tarnish the good of the majority. Please read this short article and please leave a comment on this one. Thank you.

posted by Yukkione at 11:22 AM | Permalink |

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Comments for Bronze Star ok for Fallen Soldier, but Symbol of His Religion not Allowed on His Memorial.
Could the fact that it's growing so fast have anything to do with it? Funda-MENTALS can't impose their theocracy on Americans if they have rejected the Christian church in droves.

Oh, by the way, good to see you back, and hope your feeling okay.

thanks alot Lew. I missed all you guys even though it's only been a week or so. This is an important issue for many peoople. My Wife practices one of the many personal forms of Wicca, so religious freedom the the truest sense is important to us. unfortunatly for many on the Christian right, religious freedom just applys to them.

I about flipped out when I read a "Christian" rant on this issue - they said, it was good enough that they allowed a Wiccan in the graveyard and that if they put up the symbol, it would desecrate the whole place! I was appalled at their ignorance and primative superstitions. My daughter also practices wiccan and I find it so close to nature that I can relate to it.

Seems we need a few more people like you good folks. I got quite a chuckle from the extreme negative reaction this has brought on. If "they" only knew what Wicca was all about... (sigh) Kids, keep your heads out of the sand. My name is Chris and I'm wiccan. :)

Cool, Chris. One of the most beautiful and rational religions- and female-oriented. I've only recently started to read more in depth about it, thanks to some helpful, open new friends.

Thanks, Amy. (wink)

thanks you all for your wonderful comments. Chris, I don't think I've seen you here before so welcome to you and thanks for you comments as well.

i posted this on may 28th.

believe me i can relate

to answer your question about the houses in my post. I don't think it is a pulti home. Most of them here are in the same area and in this area in the pix, they are all different builders. Of course they copy one another to a point, so it could be a wannabe pulti.

My home is not in the pic. My home was built by a NY guy who came down here loaded with cash and quickly got rid of it, going back to NY for the most part, broke. We were made a real offer we couldn't refuse and we, not being stupid didn't. Hell of a deal, as they say!

I am heartened to see more people come to the side of the minority here - of course, this is a blog for the non-trad anyway, but acceptance still feels great! Thank you, Liz, for the wink and thank you Chris for visiting and saying your piece, and thank you LOc for posting this article - the subject has been my cause celebre for some time now. Brightest blesings to you all! )O(

"Most of their rituals revolve around the cycles of nature, such as equinoxes and phases of the moon."

One can argue that these are quite similar (or even identical) to the practices of the early Christians. Also, Camille Paglia (and others) has written extensively on the pagan roots of Catholicism.

What we are seeing here on the part of the U.S. government is pure idiocy.

Sirona- great to see you! Where's your link????? :)

Liz, honey, I believe you know who I am...:D I didn't want to log LOC off blogger.

As for the fact that the equinoxes mirror xtian holidays, that's no accident - nearly ALL of the ancient holidays and symbology was taken over by the Roman church in order to subvert teh country folk into following their ways. Ask a priest to explain easter eggs and the easter bunny and watch him squirm. There remains only one holiday that they were unable to subvert. It is still celebrated widely as May Day in many cultures. Enjoy the bigotry visited upon us by the xtian right on a daily basis!

Thanks for this information. This really makes me mad. It is SO SO wrong to deny such a small thing to one who has given the most precious thing he has, his life.
I'm sure it has everything to do with not pissing off the evangelical ignoramuses.
I went to a few Wiccan services in the past and it was no big deal, actually, very moving, beautiful and natural.

Indeed I do Sirona...Indeed I do.

I think you should call for a blogger log revolution! Time to evoke some matriarchal authority!!!!!

hehe... I don't mind being logged off.

I'm a Republican, and I agree with you guys completely on this. Christian extremists think they are entitled to everything and need to seriously chill out.

All religions are equal:But some are more equal than others.

This is especially true when some religous groups are constantly f***ing the corporate terrorits in power.

I so agree LOC. I think it's a travesty that they haven't allowed the symbol. I'm sort of a pantheist and practice a little of everything except fundie, but it's not a religious issue. It's an established religion and the guy defending the right to its practice in an immoral war. The least they can do is allow him to wear the symbol of his faith on his grave.

Sorry to hear you haven't been feeling well. I'm just getting back on my feet after a bout of bad health myself. Hence my long absence.

First off - glad to hear you are feeling better, LOC. Now - did you by any chance monitor Shakes Sis's comment thread regarding this subject? It generated a great deal of heat - especially when one poster labeled Wicca as 'silly'. There is a great deal of intolerance out there these days - over everything. And people seem to believe their individual opinion - no matter what it is - should be the majority opinion. I blame the every-growing list of hate-mongers for hire. Coulter, Malkin, Limbaugh, Savage, Beck, Reagan - I could go on and on - but you know who I mean. These people always identify themselves as 'conservative' 'Republican' and advocate violence and anarchy. Because they are not removed from public airways - forced to fester their runny little hate sores privately like all other KKK wannabes - people who share that hatred listen, hear these appalling things said aloud, and feel they too can give voice to their own dyspeptic murmurings – terrible things formally kept silently unto themselves. And this goes way beyond not allowing an American soldier who the right to be buried as he and his family sees fit. License has been issued to bigots everywhere – license granting them rights of exclusion. It used to be law that you cannot exclude someone based upon prejudice. Its eroding, folks. Listen to the talk around you. My husband says he hears openly racist conversations at his workplace – and he works in a multi-cultural environment. The people saying these things no longer care if they are overheard – by anyone. I hear similar things from my neighbors. I sincerely hope this soldier gets the headstone he deserves – but I wouldn’t count on it anytime soon. Not while hate and exclusion remain the order of this particular Congress and administration’s day.

If we were not such big fucking hypocrites in this country we would honor his each and every personal wish!

Theocracy...Giddy up!

These people would say the same things about a spirit worshipping Native American! They would say the same thing about a Jew! They would say the same thing about a homosexual!

Idiots...

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