The Debate Is… Re-Created

That’s right! The fight from our last post rages on, pitting those who believe the Wiccan pentacle should adorn the graves of their loved ones against the commentators who are desperately trying to create some important issue to talk about!

Daniel at Getreligion is the next to fill that vital need:

The problem with the article, as Eden noted to us, is that there is no mention of the possibility that widows and other family members of GIs might find a pentagram offensive…

Is this a perspective that ought to be addressed in the news story? Are there families of soldiers out there that would find it offensive to see a pentagram on the tombstone next to the one of their beloved one?

Indeed! Should the reporter have interviewed someone with a viewpoint that a guy on a blog just made up? What a burning question!

Now, there could be some person who has a valid reason to oppose this change. I’m not sure what it could be, but I’m open to hearing it. It seems, though, that some people want to inject some drama into this by trying to stir up some sort of controversy. It might make things more exciting, but I don’t find it particularly respectful to the soldiers or their families.

Fortunately, we do find a person in the comments who actually believes this is a bad idea and has a reason:

So “no pentagrams” is just another restriction by the government. If you want the free funeral you play by their rules. If you don’t want to play by their rules they don’t have to pay for your funeral.

You can understand his point. I mean, people risk their lives to protect their country, and some fringe nutjobs think that deserves special treatment. Next they’ll be wanting special “military funerals” or something.

Fear not, though! I will continue to sift through the news. If the VA or another group announces some valid reason that stems from actual conviction, I’ll let you know.

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Published in: on November 18, 2006 at 12:43 am  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hmmm…. Aren’t some medals made in the shape of a star in a circle?

  2. Indeed! Plus, with all these privileges floating around, someone will no doubt want some special “uniform” on which to wear them!

  3. To add my ignorant comment to the mix, isn’t the real issue here one of economic expense? I’m guessing (I have no clue as to whether I’m right or not) that the military has its free-to-those-who-request tombstones being made by some independent contractor who has been able to set a very modest price on the premise that there will be no special orders. That people can’t just say “I want the Vanderbilt Commodore logo on my tombstone” and the company has to produce a mold to accommodate the request. This could be one of the reasons behind the argument that there is no centralized Wiccan authority (though it also helps as a delay tactic). There is the fear of a slippery slope here where the government would have to pay for people to have whatever they request from a rose-centered cross to Elvis holding a lamb in one arm and a guitar in the other while riding a Harley-Davidson. I’d really be interested in how Atheists got an “official” symbol since they would also face the charge of no centralized authority. More than likely they were willing to band together just for the official recognition. Much as I suspect the Wiccans will do.

    (They already got the marvelously talented and gifted Laurie Cabot to be named the ‘official Witch of Salem’. What else do they want? The same respect and freedoms as other major religions? Please! No system of social coherence based on a common group of beliefs or attitudes concerning an object, person, unseen being, or system of thought considered to be supernatural, sacred, divine or highest truth, and the moral codes, practices, values, institutions, traditions, and rituals associated with such belief or system of thought is worthy of such respect unless they have subjugated or persecuted another such system of belief. Its a valid criteria since in order to engage in such behavior it must reach a certain number of adherents and be centralized enough to issue such intolerant dictates. Much of modern Wicca seems based on tolerance of other belief systems and variations of their own. That’s not faith my friend, that’s fashion. And fashion rarely breeds fascism. So where is the implied threat designed to influence government to treat them with the same respect as other potentially bloodthirsty religions? I just don’t see it.)

    Lastly, I think the issue could be resolved rather easily if we just didn’t have our secular government paying for religious symbols to be placed on tombstones. Or, for that matter, paying for religious chaplains within the armed forces. It comes dangerously close to trying to manipulate religion to justify what ultimately are secular goals. Imagine the chaos and social disintegration if we were to pay for multi-religious chaplains in our public schools? If it isn’t good for our children, why is it good for women and men willing to die to protect our freedoms?

  4. Steven H.,

    This is just your customary Templar obfuscation and misinformation. No doubt you have some scheme to mystify the other Steven and teach some youngster how to confound their enemies. Really, you’re just jealous because the Clerks Templar lit out with all the good stuff when de Molay got it.

    Everyone else, pretend as if this makes sense.


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