This brings us to an article last week in the WaPo, but one that did not get a lot of National Airtime:
- Administration Yields on Wiccan Symbol
Pentacle to Be Permitted on Tombstones in U.S. Military Burial Grounds
By Alan Cooperman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 24, 2007; Page A12
Facing lawsuits by veterans and their families, the Bush administration relented yesterday and agreed to allow the Wiccan pentacle -- a five-pointed star inside a circle -- on tombstones at Arlington National Cemetery and other U.S. military burial grounds...for nearly a decade, the department had refused to act on requests for the pentacle, without a clear reason.
In yesterday's legal settlement, the VA agreed to grant all the pending requests within two weeks and to approve new ones on an expedited basis for 30 days...The settlement stipulates, however, that the plaintiffs must not keep or disclose any documents handed over by the government during the discovery phase of the lawsuit. Lawyers familiar with the case said that some documents suggested the VA had political motives for rejecting the pentacle.
The war against Wicca was an attempt to slip into the mainstream ideas that the average Joe/Josephine would reject if they substituted Cross for Pentagram (religious tolerance in America is mixed but improving). The “faith-based” inmate ministry is another example of this.
When Judge Robert Pratt ruled against the InnerChange Freedom Initiative, American Enterprise Institute Professor Joseph Knippenberg agreed with him. Some major points:
- There is no comparable secular or religious program elsewhere in the Iowa prison system. Inmates who want a long-term comprehensive rehabilitation program have no other choices.
- The living conditions and privileges afforded InnerChange participants are sufficiently superior to those afforded the general prison population as to be incentives to join the program. In effect, inmates are rewarded for their participation in a religious program.
Why does the idea of freedom of conscience so offend the Dominionist. That is for my next entry. The answer may not be what you think.