This post ran in the Humanist News blog today:
The New York Times reported today that the Bush Administration filed a settlement agreement that will allow the Wiccan Pentacle to be inscribed on government-issued memorial markers--such as headstones, grave markers, and memorial plaques--for deceased veterans. The religious liberty watchdog group, Americans United, had originally sued the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in November, citing evidence that the VA refused to recognize the Pentacle due to bias toward the Wiccan faith.
The VA isn’t the only one to show bias against Wicca. In 1999, while he was governor of Texas, George W. Bush appeared on “Good Morning America” to talk about Wiccan soldiers being allowed to worship at Fort Hood: “I don’t think witchcraft is a religion," he said. "I would hope the military officials would take a second look at the decision they made.”
In an Americans United press release, AU legal director Ayesha N. Khan commented, "It is rank hypocrisy for this administration to claim publicly that it cares about religious freedom and equality but then to quietly and deliberately discriminate against a minority faith like Wicca.”
Bravo for Americans United. If the government is going to sanction some religious symbols they must recognize them all. Let’s hope this principle is kept in mind the next time someone tries to erect a Ten Commandments statue on a courthouse lawn.
(BTW – the VA has recognized the Happy Humanist as an approved symbol for government memorial markers since 2001.)
Having read this blog for...maybe a year now, I realize they claim to be about freedom from religion, but in reality, they are about freedom from Christianity. I felt this post pointed that out quite well, so I commented. The writers for the blog usually respond politely enough, but recently other readers have been trashing me. I sure am glad Christians are the only "intolerant" people! Anyway, I'll let you know what happens.
This blog claims that a belief in God is foolish, yet it seems you spend more time arguing about God than anything else. If it is so obvious that God does not exist, why does a belief in him threaten you so?
Does this post really make sense to you? You commend a Wiccan religious symbol being approved/accepted, yet you rail against the 10 Commandments being displayed? Does that not tell you something? If there is nothing to this "God thing", why does it get under your skin so badly?
In this great country, you are free to despise the faith that made it great and you are free to share your opinions. I try to understand your beliefs (or at least where you are coming from), and that is why I visit here. But I am continually amazed that it doesn't seem odd to anyone that such a simple "foolish" faith bothers you so much so as to consume so much of your time and energies.
But I do appreciate the honesty in this post. You are not so much about freedom from religion as you are about freedom from Christianity. That's not what you claim you believe, but that is what the content of this blog often seems to show. Ever asked 'why'?