Sunday, March 12, 2006

An issue worth supporting

This is an issue that goes back quite a while, but keeps coming back to the front burner as we keep racking up casualties overseas: the Veterans Administration will not permit symbols of Pagan faiths on the tombstones of fallen veterans. Here is a Stars and Stripes article on it: "Wiccans wait for VA to allow symbol on headstones at national cemeteries ",

Although the headlines specifically mentions Wiccans, the VA will not permit Thor's hammer or any other Pagan symbols, either. It's not like adding a few more symbols would be a hardship for the VA; they already have 38 different symbols, including our own chalice, and even symbols for Humanists and Atheists... but not for Pagans or Neopagans. Their reason for not accepting such symbols is such a thin veil as to provide no cover at all for open bigotry.

I've already spoken to my Congresswoman (well, her office anyway) and gotten a local conservative talk radio show to discuss it- and even here in the Bible Belt, all the callers said a fallen hero should have whatever the Hell he wants on his tombstone. But lone voices haven't done much good for the last 8 years, and no famous Hollywood names or church groups or social organizations are lending a hand.

It occurred to me this would be an excellent issue for UUs to see if they have any muscle to flex in the arena of public opinion- a clear fairness issue like this should be an easy sell for UU congregations to get interested in, and with the soft place America has in her heart for Veterans, it should be an easy issue to push with the public. This would let us know where we stand as a force for good- if we couldn't get this silly rule changed, we'd know what chance we have with the grandiose proposals the GAs keep putting forwards.

No comments: