A Wiccan fallen soldier denied his religious right

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by ember, Mar 10, 2006.

  1. ember

    ember ~*~ Tree hugging dirt worshipper ~*~

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  3. Pandora

    Pandora New Member

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    I don't fully understand the reasoning in the article. Wicca IS recognized by the U.S. Army. The link will take you to a "web copy" of the page in the U.S. Military Chaplain's Handbook explaining Wicca as a RELIGION.
    http://www.religioustolerance.org/wic_usbk.htm
    While I can't find the press release right now, I read last year that the Army finally had two Wiccan chaplains. The Army indicated that until that time, no Wiccans had applied to BE chaplains.
    Something just doesn't seem right about this article. . . .
    JMHO
     
  4. ember

    ember ~*~ Tree hugging dirt worshipper ~*~

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    Pandora,

    Thanks for posting that link. Very interesting. You are right...something isn't right about this. Maybe the hold up is because the symbol is not recognized by the department of Veteran Affairs, ya know? Maybe a case of the 'right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing'. Whatever the reason, they need to fix this, pronto! The man absolutely deserves to have his religious symbol on his memorial plaque. He gave his life for that right.
    Boy, we sure have evolved from the days when they burned "witches" at the stake, huh!

    I'm glad to see that society has become a little more excepting of Wiccans. Wiccans are slowly losing the stereotype of "devil worshippers". I always thought that was a silly thing to think any way...considering that Wiccans don't believe in the devil as the devil is a christianity belief in the first place. How can one worship something one does not believe in? :waitasec: :)
     
  5. vanillasky

    vanillasky New Member

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    The VA will allow a family to order a marker without an emblem, and they can have one engraved by a memorial dealer at their own expense. In my former line of work, I have seen this done.


    Here is some reasoning behind why they have not added it to the list:

    In an 2004-AUG article on Wiccans in the military published in Knight Ridder Newspapers, reporter Randy Myers interviewed Mike Nacincik of Veterans Affairs. Nacincik said that the department authorizes 38 emblems, but does not allow one for Wiccans because they don't meet the emblem requirements. The government policy insists on:

    - A written request from the recognized head of the religious group,
    - A list of national officers, and
    - A membership tally.

    None of these are possible, because Wicca, like other Neopagan religions, Native American Spirituality, New Age, Santeria, Vodun, and other decentralized and/or aboriginal religions, has no recognized head, no national officers and no membership lists.

    Information
     
  6. ember

    ember ~*~ Tree hugging dirt worshipper ~*~

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    SimonSays,

    Very true! I didn't know the requirements, but yes, that would be hard, nearly impossible, to get accomplished. Many Wiccans practice solitary these days because of lack of good covens to belong to or the covens they have come across are more into the "theatrics" of the religion rather than the actual base spiritual belief...jmo...:)
     
  7. BhamMama

    BhamMama Former Member

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    And like Native American Spirituality, it is totally misunderstood.

    To the point that they even say NAS...which is a crock. It's not neopagan, it's non existent! There is not *A* native religion. None that are considered a religion at any rate by those outside their cultural and social circle. That would be like saying every NDN is the same and believe me we aint.

    No one person can speak for that NAS so it will never be accepted thank goodness. Good thing that tribes take care of their own and will either forego the United States burial or have additions to said ceremony that is culturally correct for them.

    All my wiccan friends practice alone. They've been very good to explain things to me though. I've never been around people who are so giving of themselves and of their beliefs.

    And before anyone jumps me. I am a card carrying American Indian who majored in Native American Studies, yes, I do have a clue, and no there is no one religion for all American Indians.
     
  8. blueclouds

    blueclouds Former member

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    This is insane. AND CRUEL. Wiccan is as valid a belief system / religion as Catholics, Muslims, Jehovahs and the like. That's terrible AWFUL. Poor man :(
     
  9. Bobbisangel

    Bobbisangel New Member

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    Even if someone else is paying for the headstone doesn't the family get to decide what they want written on it like a person does when they are paying for a headstone themselves? It wouldn't seem right that someone else determines what is written. A lot of the time a family or spouse/parent has certain things that they want written. I know I did.
     
  10. vanillasky

    vanillasky New Member

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    Unfortunately, not with VA markers. They're pretty strict. In my experience, they would not even approve applications if the family wanted a nickname on the marker instead of their given name under which they were enlisted.

    For example... Robert Smith has gone by Bobby Smith his whole life, and Bobby Smith is what the family requests to be on the marker. They will not approve the marker... it has to be Robert Smith.
     

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