Saturday, April 28, 2007

Headstones and Head Games

As previously stated, my Dominionist friends do not have the votes to force their will on an informed electorate, at least not for the moment. To accomplish their goal of overthrowing our Democratic Government, they need to chip away at it bit by bit. Freedom is not something that disappears in an instant, the gradual removal of civil liberties must be done slowly, so people can get use to them without realizing they are gone (frog in a pot method).

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.
For almost ten f*cking years the VA played games with the Wiccan Veterans, because a strong Dominionist Policy exists in the Republican Congress and the Presidency, low keyed, but always targeting minority/poor/marginal groups who often do not have majority support. So ingrained was this naked bigotry that the lawsuit against the National Cemetery Administration went all the way up to oral arguments before they caved in. The NCA knew that it did not have a legal leg to stand on and it still insisted on delaying the inevitable (at the cost of $225,000 of your taxpayer dollars for legal cost). Meshungina!

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.
Did the Mark Earley, President of Interchange deny this. Hell no, he was proud of it! And while acknowledging that IFI's program is "faith-based" Earley attempts to down play this idea, insisting that that Muslims, Wiccans, and Druids have all graduated from the program, which does not require inmates to convert to Christianity.

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.

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