Family denied Wicca symbol on headstone

For Wiccan soldier, death brings fight:

Nevada officials are pressing the Department of Veteran Affairs to allow the family of a soldier killed in Afghanistan to place a Wiccan symbol on his headstone.

Federal officials so far have refused to grant the requests of the family of Sgt. Patrick Stewart, 34, who was killed in Afghanistan in September when the Nevada Army National Guard helicopter he was in was shot down.

Stewart, of Fernley, who was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, was a follower of the Wiccan religion, which the Department of Veterans Affairs does not recognize.

The Veterans Affairs’ National Cemetery Administration allows only approved emblems of religious beliefs on government headstones. Over the years, it has approved more than 30, including symbols for the Tenrikyo Church, United Moravian Church and Sikhs. There’s also an emblem for atheists — but none for Wiccans.

For the record, I view Wicca the same way I do any other religion. But that puts me in a distinct minority, as very few people actually regard all religions and religious beliefs equally – either any symbol is acceptable or none should be. Where the hell does the government get off “approving” religious symbols for soldier’s headstones? How is that not a law respecting the establishment of a religion?

The first amendment is truly dead, if it was ever alive in the first place.

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One Response to “Family denied Wicca symbol on headstone”

  1. Dan Says:

    What I wonder is what symbol did they “authorized” for atheists ?

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