Last fall, Patrick Stewart of the United States Army, gave his life for his country in Afghanistan. He died in the line of duty, helping free a country from an oppressive religious, dictatorship. He has been honored as one of our country's heroes- except for one small detail. The US Department of Veterans affairs won't allow his grieving widow to put a symbol of his faith on his memorial plaque. Because his symbol of faith is a pentacle.
Wicca is a religion recognized by both the united states military and government. Military chaplains are trained in how to provide religious counseling to pagan soldiers. To the best of my knowledge, christianity, judaism, islam and even atheism are all accepted by the government and the families of soldiers of those faiths are allowed to place symbols on their faith on their memorials when they give their lives for their country. Why is paganism so different? Why is the united states department of veterans affairs going against the constitutional right of freedom of religion???
Apparently the only consolation they had for his widow was a statement that said "the department has received two requests recently to recognize a Wiccan emblem of belief. When we make a decision on those requests, the affected parties will be notified."
Hello? What's the issue here? Did we forget about the constitition. Emblem of belief. Wiccan (which is a religion). I do believe this falls under the category of religous freedom! Since when do some religions get freedome to express themselves and some don't?
It just really really gets my goat that this man stood up and died for his country while trying to bring freedom to people that was basically being religiously abused because as americans, we value our freedoms. And this man's widow cant even have the freedom to honor him and his beliefs. It's unconstitutional and un american. I must say, I am disgusted.
Don't get me wrong. I am a bi-sexual, pagan conservative. I believe in this country, I support the troops and I love that I was born in the greatest democracy on the planet. But because I love this country, I will defend to my death your right to say what you want and worship who you want, even if I don't agree. There should be no argument on this point. The man is a hero, and deserves a heroes honor and rememberance, no matter what his religious affiliation is.