V.A. Victory for Wiccans

American Wiccans realized a rather large victory yesterday, over a very small symbol. Wiccan soldiers can now have the pentacle on their headstones, thanks to a settlement reached with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (Read more at CNN.) The “Available Emblems of Belief for Placement on Government Headstones and Markers” page on the Veterans Affairs website has already been updated with the addition.

In all honesty, as a Canadian, I haven’t been following this whole situation too closely. I have always understood the gist of it, but I never really understood why it was an issue. By that I mean, why is any government agency allowed to dictate which religious symbols are acceptable? And especially, why is this happening in the case of something as personal and meaningful as a headstone? Yes, there are the arguments that these are official government headstones, in government cemeteries (which isn’t always the case). But if these are government sponsored headstones, what happened to the separation of church and state? The practice should either be to allow no religious symbols or to allow them all. Anything else makes it seem like the government is ruling on the acceptability certain religions.

Regardless, it is a wonderful victory for American Wiccans. The families of soldiers who gave their life in service of their country should never be made to suffer so. My thoughts are with them all as their loved ones finally get the respect they deserve.

BTW, thanks CNN for the clarification about devil worship… Geeze. One battle at a time, I guess.

1 Comment

One Response

  1. Susan says:

    I think that the reason the “Government” is involved in this because once a person is in the military here in the states, they receive death benefits in that they will pay for the funeral and burial costs of the enlisted or veteran and their spouse, so yes of course whatever they want on the stones would be under question by the military…I can understand it anyway, but it didn’t make it right, but at least now it has been made right.