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  1. #1
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    Wiccan symbol OK for soldiers' graves

    Wiccan symbol OK for soldiers' graves


    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 likeVideo)

    "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.




  2. #2
    Rhino's Avatar
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  3. #3
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    I'm incredibly glad to hear this.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ducky View Post
    I'm incredibly glad to hear this.
    Me too!
    Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

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  5. #5
    Retmilleo909 is offline Banned
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    Everyone to his own choosing, as for me I accept Christ, who died for our sins on a cross at calvary, so that we may inherit life eternal.

  6. #6
    Rhino's Avatar
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    Not everyone believes the same thing. I think we went over this in a different thread. I think the Military should have grave markers for a person of any (or no) faith who died for their country.
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then someone isn't thinking." -Gen. George S. Patton

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    Retmilleo909 is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhino View Post
    Not everyone believes the same thing. I think we went over this in a different thread. I think the Military should have grave markers for a person of any (or no) faith who died for their country.
    I agree. However, is wiccan (witchcraft) a true religion or is it a set of beliefs, such as voodooism?

  8. #8
    Ducky's Avatar
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    For those who practice it, it's a way of life. There's no distinction between daily life and their faith.
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  9. #9
    phantasm is offline Corporal
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    I'm a little split on this, but I'm leaning more towards if someone wants to defend our country, let them have whatever religious marking on their tombstone that their family wishes (or that matches their religion).

  10. #10
    Rhino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Esteda View Post
    I agree. However, is wiccan (witchcraft) a true religion or is it a set of beliefs, such as voodooism?
    What's the difference?
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then someone isn't thinking." -Gen. George S. Patton

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by stokerress View Post
    Too each is too his/her own.

    Yep, if that's what your'e into, fair enough. No problems
    "Contrary to popular belief, you will not rise to the occasion, but will fall to the level of your training"

 

 

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