Wiccan Gets Symbol on Plaque!

I’m putting this in the MPSIMS because I’m not looking for a debate, nor am I complaining. I’m just passing on the news.

Warning: The actual file is a PDF. If you prefer not dealing with PDF, please wait until tomorrow and read it at the Stars & Stripes. If you don’t mind PDF, go to the Stars & Stripes Electronic Paper and click on the image for the Pacific Edition (of 16 September 2006). The story is on page 4.

Here’s the highlight:

I kind of like this part, too:

Oh, plaque. I thought you said plague.

The thread title makes much more sense now.

Last year in Bucheon, I went to get my teeth “scaled” (that’s what they call teeth cleaning here). At the end of it, the dentist gave me a special toothbrush for cleaning hard-to-reach areas. The box the toothbrush was packaged in had printed in English “Gentle on your Plaque.” Yeah, right. You must be very kind to the Black Death.

My son is dead, now go get the thingee he wanted on his tombstone fool.

Some people are just idiots.

This happened here in my state, not too far from where I live.

And I always get fumed up when this woman speaks out, mostly because I was Wiccan for eight very long years and she is NOT Wiccan (I’ve met and talked to the woman - she claims to be Wiccan, and performs spells, but other than that - not Wiccan. Kind of like how a lot of Christians aren’t really Christians, in that they don’t practice what they preach), and second, because Wiccans do not, under any circumstances, have a cornerstone on the pentagram.

There are several religions that use the pentagram in their workings (the least of which is the Church of Satan, albiet an inverted one), and most of them have been around farrrr longer than Wicca. I resent that the Wiccans in this area are trying to make themselves out to be the Sole Repository of All Things Pagan (this may be different in other parts of the country, but around here, it’s the way most Wiccans are - at least, the ones that actually come out and talk about their religion). I also resent that most of them aren’t happy unless they’re being persecuted (once again, that’s how things are here - if it’s different elsewhere, please let me know).

Now, on to the actual topic - if this soldier was truly a religious Wiccan, I am happy that he got his religion, to some extent, represented on his grave. If he’s anything like his wife, I’ll just let Karma do it’s work.


Did you not see that bit in the OP about not looking for a debate?

:dubious: What? Ok, funeral rites mean nothing to me but they have to most humans since we became…human. Symbols have carried weight since we became human. So the parents want him to be buried in according with the rites he embraced? And that makes them idiots? :dubious: :dubious: :dubious:

I don’t want to start a debate but insulting grieving parents without due cause rubs me the wrong way.

Forgive me, please. I seem to have been unclear.

The ‘fool’ in this case is the government person who would not allow the family to mark the grave as they wished.

I thought he was calling the VA people who denied the symbol idiots.

According to the Stars & Stripes article, about 1,800 servicepeople identify themselves as Wiccans.

This seems like an underutilized resource.

With 1,800 armed Wiccans working for Uncle Sam, can’t we get some kind of spell cast on Osama bin Laden? If not a death spell, at least make his beard fall out.


Yep, that’s what I meant.

Ah. Sorry. I guess it was the use of the term “thingee” that threw me. I withdraw my :dubious: .

Here’s a good article on why the US Government has been denying Wiccan and Pagan requests to get their symbols* on gravemarkers, even though Wicca is recognized as a religion by those same offices.

I used to be up in arms about this myself, until I looked at the number of religious markers they *do *approve. They are obviously not shy of approving “weird” religions. There’s some on here that even I’ve not heard of:
No symbol.

  1. Latin Cross - Christian; generic.
  2. Wheel of Righteousness - Buddhist.
  3. Star of David - Jewish.
    Other: Shown on the back of the form are:
  4. Presbyterian cross.
  5. Russian Orthodox cross.
  6. Lutheran cross.
  7. Episcopal cross.
  8. Flaming chalice: Unitarian Universalist.
  9. United Methodist Church cross.
  10. Aaronic Order Church.
  11. Latter-day Saints: Angel Moroni with horn.
  12. Native American Church of America: Teepee with three feathers.
  13. Serbian Orthodox: cross.
  14. Greek Cross: similar to the Red Cross.
  15. Baha’i: 9 pointed star.
  16. Atheist: A stylized symbol of an atom with the letter A in the center.
  17. Islam: A crescent and star.
  18. Hindu symbol.
  19. Konko-Kyo faith.
  20. Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (now called the Community of Christ): A child between a lion and lamb.
  21. Sufism reoriented symbol.
  22. Tenrikyo church symbol.
  23. Seicho-no-ie symbol.
  24. The Church of World Messianity symbol.
  25. United Church of Religious Science symbol.
  26. Christian Reformed Church: Cross and triangle.
  27. United Moravian Church: Lamb carrying flag.
  28. Eckankar: Stylized letters “EK”
    29: Christian church - generic: A cup.
    30: Christian & Missionary Alliance: a cross, chalice, crown and pitcher
    31: United Church of Christ: a crown, cross and world symbol
    32: Humanism: a stylized image of a human.
    33: Presbyterian Church, USA: A flaming cross
    34: Ixumo Taishakyo Mission of Hawaii: A hexagon surrounding a symbol
    35: Soks Gakkai International - USA: A complex symbol
    36: Sikh: The Khanda symbol; three swords and a rink
    Listed separately because of copyright restrictions:
    –United Church of Christ.
    –Christian Science: cross and crown.
    –Islam: Five pointed star.

So there had to be some basic beurocratic reason for this, not religious persecution. And there was. Basically, it boils down to this. Until the Fall of '05, to apply for approval for a new grave marker to be added to the list of possibilities, one had to fill out an application and provide:

  • A written request from the recognized head of the religious group,
  • A list of national officers, and
  • A membership tally.

Wicca, like many neopagan religions, doesn’t have these things. The Church of Wicca does, of course, as they are incorporated and 501c3 and duly noted as a church and all, but thousands of people are “Wiccan” without belonging to The Church of Wicca. Why The Church of Wicca hadn’t gone ahead and pushed the paperwork through, I don’t know.

Anyway, in '05, they changed the rules to require “historic information about the religion and other documentation supporting the use of a specific faith symbol.”
*tashabot, what icon or symbol would you have them use? For that matter, what symbol should neopagans use? Should there be a separate one for Asatru (hammer seems obvious there), Thelemic, Dianic Wiccan, CAW, Theodism, Norse, Germanic not otherwise specified, Celtic, Druid, Slavic, O.T.O., Discordian, Egyptian Recreationist, Egyptian, Greco-Roman, Santeria, Ifa, Voudoun, African/Cuban/Carribean not otherwise specified, 101 flavors of Native American, New Age, etc.? Some of those have obvious or copyrighted logos, but not all. What about eclectics - which is probably the largest group of all?

At what point does putting a different, unrecognizable symbol become decoration, rather than a meaningful reminder of the person who has passed, or a political statement about variety of beliefs and tolerance?

It should also be noted that it’s always been permissible to obtain the grave marker from the VA and pay to have your own symbol put on it. What’s different here is that the VA finally did it for the soldier, just like they do for everyone else.

I’m glad the government is finally allowing his grave to be marked in accordance with his beliefs. Now it’ll be really interessting to see what happens when a Hindu or Buddhist soldier wants a swastika on eir gravemarker.

Since you quoted the entire post before yours, you had two opportunities to see Item #2. Take a third look at it.

Are you saying that the wheel of righteousness is a swastika?

Take at look at this site which shows all the available options. Number 2 doesn’t look like a swastika to me. Nor do any of the others.

What did you not understand from my posting? There is already a Buddhist symbol put on the markers. For you information, while the swastika is a common symbol of Buddhism, it is hardly the only symbol used.

No, the Wheel of Eight is separate from the Swastika. The Swastika does have a long history in the Hindu/Buddhist traditions though, but it’s not “the symbol” of the religion the way a cross is “the symbol” of Christianity. Some Tibetan sects and Jainists put a lot of emphasis on the Swastika, but I don’t think to the point where it would become an issue for burial in a national cemetary.