Thursday, April 26, 2007

VA Comes to its Senses

The Department of Veterans Affairs settled a lawsuit in Wisconsin and will finally include the Wiccan pentacle among religious symbols allowed to be displayed on veterans' grave markers. I thought this was pretty ridiculous back when I heard they had to file a law suit in the first place just to resolve it. Seems like a trivial thing for the VA to get persnickety over when we're talking about grave markers for people who willingly chose to fight for their country.

Here's an excerpt from an AP article listed on

The lawsuit argued that the VA's refusal to act on requests to permit the symbol on veterans' grave markers violated Wiccans' constitutional rights of freedom of speech, religion and due process.

The lawsuit also said it made no sense for Wiccan symbols to be banned from grave markers when Wiccan soldiers can list their faith on dog tags, Wiccan organizations are allowed to hold services on military installations, and the Army Chaplains Handbook includes an explanation of the religion.

The list of allowed symbols is here on the VA's web site. More on the widely misunderstood Wicca religion here. Info on the pentacle here.

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