In honor of Memorial Day here in the US I thought I would pose this question. What do you think of winning the fight with the Veteran's Administration to allow the pentacle on the list of the emblems of beliefs? What do you think of other symbols such as that of Druidry being added to that list?
Is this good for Paganism? A step in the right direction? Or just another drop in the pond for recognizing Paganism as a religious movement?
For those in other countries, do your Pagan soldiers have more or less of a struggle with their religion and the military?
I believe whatever you want on your grave marker you should be allowed to have it. My hhusband is Druid and and a marine. He wants a Thors hammer or Tree of Life symbol on his. These men and women fought long, hard battles for our country, they bravely served even during non-war times, lets honor them how they would want it.
My son was in the Gulf war. My heart goes out to every one of those kids fighting over there. I know what those families feel! I wish that those kids were all home!!! Now on to the other subject; Paganism is a religion just as old as any recorded or for that matter prerecorded religions. It has always been a most wonderful balance throughout the ages. Pagan, Druidic, and Celtic symbols should be as welcome as any others not just in the Military but in every part of our environment. Most of our modern day organized religions obtained their infastructure and symbolism from the more ancient ones. Countless people wear crosses, what about us? I myself wear a pentagram under my shirt. Any that do happen to see it by accident usually think that I follow the devil. Why don't these Rhode Scholars just do a little bit of homework!!!!!! Blessed Be
Ancientflaxman, that has got to be so annoying. I remember once many years ago a woman I worked with actually pulled my necklace out from under my shirt and said something like "Oooh, pretty star." LOL...At least she didn't think I was evil.
I agree with you both. I think the VA should foot the bill for any symbol as well as the major religious symbols they already cover. Not only does it honor the soldiers, it helps to legitimize our different faiths.
First, and just as an aside, you might have already read some things on/about Mike Weinstein. He's become the leading whistle blower and campaigner against the influence of fundamentalist evangelicals in the US military.
it's quite an interesting article that I've linked below. Even though it's not specifically to do with paganism, it is to do with the military position on dealing with non-christians witin the armed forces.
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Thank you Michelle and Gaye for posting. I will definitely read those links Gaye. I vaguely recall reading about Jeremy Hall but need to brush up on his story.
I strongly support separation of church and state, but I also understand the tradition of wanting a symbol of your faith on your headstone. You are right that it should be either/or not my way or the highway.
I think it would be a much harder fight to remove all of the religious symbols from the list, so the majority is going to have to compromise and allow alternatives.
I agree that all-or-nothing must be the policy in order to maintain an impartial stance. As for the importance of the battle, I believe that every fight is of import. Every battle we engage in not only puts us in a realistic light in the public eye, but brings us closer to having equal rights. We must always remember that we are equal to all other religions on paper, but we need to make an effort to make that a reality.