No freedom of religion for Wiccan soldier

News & Politics

The National Guard had no problem taking Wiccan Patrick Stewart when he decided to serve his country. They even listed Wicca on his dog tags.

Now that he's been killed in action in Afghanistan (remember Afghanistan?), however, they refuse to put his religion's symbol on the headstone. Right now, the stone remains blank:

[His widow, Roberta] said she had no idea the pentacle could not be used on her husband's memorial plaque until she had to deal with the agency after the death of her husband. "It's discrimination," she said. "They are discriminating against our religion."
According to The Pagan Veterans Headstone Campaign: "thirty-eight different "emblems of spirit" allowed on veterans' headstones, and despite the fact that there are thousands of Pagan veterans and hundreds more currently serving today, none of those are the Pentacle..."

Among the recognized faiths: The Aaronic Order, The American Atheist Association, The Konko-Kyo Faith, Sufism Reoriented, The Tenrikyo Church, Seicho-no-ie, The Church of World Messianity, The United Church of Religious Science, Eckankar, The American Humanist Association, The Izumo Taishakyo Mission of Hawaii, and Soka Gakkai Int'l.

According to Wikipedia, the Pentacle was actually, at one time, a Christian symbol for the five senses [corrected from "seasons" -- duh -- thanks to a charming commenter...]. (BoingBoing)

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