Fallen for the Greater Glory of God(s) and Country
This is probably going to get the Christian right rather ruffled. According to the Washington Post (Hat Tip: Wonkette), the federal government has finally accepted witchcraft into the list of accepted religions for soldiers. At least for those who are beyond disciplinary action.
The widow of a soldier killed in Afghanistan saw a Wiccan symbol placed on a memorial plaque for her husband Saturday, after fighting the federal government for more than a year over the emblem.
Roberta Stewart, widow of Sgt. Patrick Stewart, and Wiccan leaders said it was the first government-issued memorial plaque with a Wiccan pentacle, a five-pointed star enclosed in a circle.
More than 50 friends and family dedicated the plaque at Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Fernley, Nev., about 45 miles east of Reno.
They praised Gov. Kenny Guinn (R) for his role in getting the Nevada Office of Veterans Services to issue the plaque in September. The agency cited its jurisdiction over the state veterans’ cemetery.
For those that don’t follow this that closely, Wicca is today’s ‘white witchcraft.’ Just making my life easier, I’ll just quote the Wiki article.
Wicca as a religion is primarily concerned with the priestess or priest’s relationship to the Goddess and God. The Lady and Lord (as they are often called) are seen as primal cosmic beings, the source of limitless power, yet they are also familiar figures who comfort and nurture their children, and often challenge or even reprimand them.
According to Gerald Gardner the gods of Wicca are ancient gods of the British Isles: a Horned God of hunting, death and magic who rules over an after-world paradise, and a goddess, the Great Mother (who is simultaneously the Eternal Virgin and the Primordial Enchantress), who gives regeneration and rebirth to souls of the dead and love to the living. Gardner explains that these are the tribal gods of the witches, just as the Egyptians had their tribal gods Isis and Osiris and the Jews had Elohim; he also states that a being higher than any of these tribal gods is recognised by the witches as Prime Mover, but remains unknowable, and is of little concern to them.
I feel really schizophrenic on this. (Maybe I’ve been cursed?)
On the one hand I support this. Wiccan was Sgt. Stewart’s belief or at least he professed to follow it. Even though he is beyond caring, his widow, family and friends seem comforted by this. That’s a good thing. At the same time, it shows that the Christian crusaders haven’t completely taken over the entire Pentagon. Thus this soldier gets a pentacle, which is made up of 5 triangles placed on the edges of a pentagon, (Hmmm. Coincidence? I think not!) on his grave.
On the other hand, a ‘new age’ belief, claiming some kind of historical background to a past that never existed, gets my dandruff up. Look. The European witch hunts (of which 25% of the victims were men) had little or nothing to do with magic. They were often carried out for economic reasons and victims included both social outcasts and local political leaders. Dispite what modern witches want you to believe they had no basis in some kind of worship.
The ‘ancient gods of the British Isles’ are a product of modern fantasies. You might as well worship Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s fairies – they are just as real. (You do? Never mind.) So while all you Wiccans are out having fun, hugging trees and flinging crystals about, the rest of us will be saving our money for the next iteration of iPods and forming a frenzied following of Paris Hilton. Go ahead, curse me for it. I dare you.
But one thing you won’t have to do – curse the Christian crusaders. As soon as this gets around, I’m sure they’ll have a collective heart attack.