November 14, 2006, - 2:32 pm

Let Them Have it: On the Wiccan Vets & Their Tombstones

By Debbie Schlussel
In June, I wrote about Wiccan veterans who are fighting for recognition by the U.S. Armed Forces. They want the right to have the Wiccan pentacle on tombstones in military cemeteries, and are fighting the Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Cemetery Administration over it.
And now some widows of Wiccan military vets are suing over it.
Many Wiccans served with honor, and some died while fighting terrorists, including Patrick Stewart, who gave his life in Afghanistan.


Wiccan Pentacle

Even though I do not believe in witches and don’t identify or empathize with religions that do, it’s absurd that we allow crescent symbols on the few Muslim military graves, but won’t recognize these people. The facts are these: The IRS already recognizes the Wiccan religion, and the U.S. military already recognizes and sanctions the use of 38 religious symbols on tombstones, including the atomic whirl for atheists.
There is no reason our government should be saying that these men who served their country and fought extremists can’t have their religious symbol on their tombstones, while the religion of the men who took their lives and that of 3,000 Americans on 9/11 gets full recognition at Arlington National Cemetery and beyond.
If we let some have their crescent, there is no reason why we cannot let others have their pentacle. Read my complete take on the story.

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4 Responses

Debbie youíre absolutely right. Like you, I donít believe in Wiccan practices and I don’t identify or empathize with religions that do either. And when it comes to who is loyal to, and willing to fight and die for the U.S., it should not matter what symbol is on their headstone.

Rocky on November 14, 2006 at 3:45 pm

Wow, a post I actually agree with! Yes, of course the soldier’s choice should be honored – I don’t care if it’s a cross, a Star of David, a pentacle, or an upside-down pentacle for satanists. These people gave their service for our country – our country that values and upholds religious freedom. It would be the heart of irony if a country founded upon religious freedom denies the expression of religious freedom in its final honors to these brave men & women.

titletown on November 14, 2006 at 4:42 pm

One can in fact make a better case of not allowing islamic symbols then wiccan ones. To a muslim, loyalty towards islam preceeds everything.

Witch-king of Angmar on November 15, 2006 at 5:16 am

The fact that the IRS allows charitable status to the Wiccans means nothing. Exempt Organizations Division approves pretty much any application for charitable status. It is only when the charity fails to live up to the requirements that it will then be stripped of its status. A good example of this was the Church of Satan case. Their application was approved, causing great outrage, soon thereafter there was an investigation and it was determined that they had failed to meet the requirements, and they were stripped within a year or two of there original application approval.
Please dont bootstrap your argument with a meaningless fact.

GrimReaperxxx on November 15, 2006 at 10:33 am

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