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April 24, 2007

FALLEN U.S. SOLDIERS ALLOWED WICCAN SYMBOLS FOR THEIR HEADSTONES

Finally one aspect of Democracy is working in our country - the freedom to actually worship what you wish (outside of the heavily favored Judeo-Islamic-Christian faiths), AND show it publicly.

A news story just out regarding fallen U.S. soldiers who are Wiccan. A VA approval was just passed allowing deceased American soldiers of the Wiccan faith to display their symbols proudly upon their headstones. Primarily this symbol is the pentagram within a circle.

The addition of Wiccan acceptance goes along with 38 other religous symbols the VA now allows on gravestones.

Read the Yahoo News story at -
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070423/ap_on_re_us/wiccan_soldier

This ought to be a hard kick in the groin for most hardline Conservative Judeo-Christians. Moreso for the fact that many of them believe that we are involved in the Iraq war to both spread Democracy, and to "preserve our Christian heritage" as a country. Accepting Wiccan belief as something bigger than a second-class religion, goes greatly against the grain of the Religious Right, much as the concept of gay marriage as well.

But that's what Democracy is all about, isn't it? The right to free religious worship without persecution... as well as freedom of speech (as in, speaking out against the war). Well, some see it that way. Unfortunately, many who support the war have a different view of what Democracy and our freedoms represent. But that's another discussion for another time.

As an added note -
One mistake the news story makes concerns the difference between the words pentacle and pentagram. The true origin of the word "pentacle" is not known. By the original meaning, a pentacle often had no connotation to "five" in older texts. It was in fact a magical talisman, which was usually worn. Often (usually) a pentagram (five-pointed star) was incorporated within the pentacle. In this case, the symbol allowed for use upon the fallen soldiers' headstones is in fact a pentagram within a magical circle.

Regarding Christianity (just to add this to modern day Christians) -
Pentagrams were more often used by Christians in the past, to represent the five wounds of Jesus. In Medieval Christianity, the pentagram also represented the five senses. This would seem unthinkable today. But in fact it was due to misunderstandings and misinterpretations that the symbol became associated with Satanism.

Pentagrams more often are associated with Nature, usually as the heavens or elements, as well as a symbol for Man (head, four appendages, and torso).

Written by Philip Anderson

Philip Anderson is a musician, in addition to being a writer/photographer. He has performed as a guitarist/vocalist, as well as songwriter, in several bands over the past 20 years. As a writer and photographer, he has been published by several magazines and in several books, and had his works appear on television.

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