Sunday, December 24, 2006

Tikun Olam In Action, Stand Up & Be Counted

Jewish Wiccan priestess Paula Johnson writes of one victory for legal recognition of pagans and witches of all flavors:

In spite of the December chill, more than 75 people came together to attend the public dedication of Sgt. Patrick Stewart's plaque on the Wall of Heroes in Fernley, Nevada. In addition to family and friends from the local area were Pagans from other parts of Nevada and from other states, including Utah, Florida, California, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Ohio. They gathered to honor Wiccan war hero, Sgt. Patrick Stewart who was shot down in Afghanistan on September 25, 2005. Earlier this year, when his widow, Roberta Stewart attempted to order his memorial plaque from the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) her request was denied. The reason, she was given, was that her husband's emblem of religious belief, the Pentacle, was not one of the 38 symbols of belief approved by the US Department of Veterans Affairs for inclusion on the memorial markers it issues.

Roberta Stewart finally was able to lay her beloved husband to rest, on December 2, 2006, more than a year past his death. This happened because the Governor of Nevada, Kenny Guinn, intervened and provided a memorial plaque with the Pentacle on it, saying that Sgt. Patrick Stewart had died for his country and that was all he needed to know.

read the full article

May G-d bless the struggle for legal recognition of the pentacle as a sacred symbol with success. Amen. So mote it be.

Related article, Stand Up And Be Counted:

Some people believe that if we stay silent and burn enough candles the bigotry will magically go away. But the last time we ignored the religious intolerance, it was called the Burning Times. It is time to stand up and be counted.

read the full article

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