Friday, June 02, 2006

Are you a good witch, or a bad witch?

I came across this and found it rather ... interesting.

A soldier's family wants to have a Wiccan symbol on his tombstone. He died fighting in Afghanistan last year and was a follower of the Wiccan religion. However, Wicca is not a religion recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs. So, officials of the state of Nevada are having to lobby to get the family's wishes fulfilled.
"The Veterans Affairs' National Cemetery Administration allows only approved emblems of religious beliefs on government headstones. Over the years, it has approved more than 30, including symbols for the Tenrikyo Church, United Moravian Church and Sikhs. There's also an emblem for atheists — but none for Wiccans."

Should there be? It would seem only a matter of time before Wicca is recognized if they aleady have recognition for the atheist. This is, of course, one of those church & state issues. If they do it for one they have to do it for everyone, whatever the it is. Or they can do it for nobody.

From the Christian standpoint this seems almost un-American. Yet, America has changed. I'm confident that the founders of our country would not have been on board with policies such as this, but the way the country's policies are set up ensure them. Freedom of religion in the 18th Century was not the same as it is now. Back then, they really didn't want discrimination based on a particular flavor of Christian thought. But if the principle is applied across the board, this is/was inevitable. If it's unlawful to discriminate based on religion, it's unlawful to discriminate based on any and all religions, even atheists.
"Stewart's widow, Roberta Stewart, said she's hopeful she'll receive permission to add the Wiccan pentacle — a circle around a five-pointed star — to her late husband's government-issued memorial plaque."

I'm sure she will get her wish. In short, and as odd as it sounds, this action is quite American. It's not at all Christian, but it's just another reminder that we're NOT a "Christian" nation. But, then again, we never really were.


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