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icymist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-02-06 06:52 PM
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Politics, Politics. How a Popularity Contest has Sabotaged our Veteran's B
Edited on Sun Jul-02-06 06:53 PM by icymist
Politics, Politics. How a Popularity Contest has Sabotaged our Veteran's Benefits

Like many Americans I have been following the developments of the Pagan Headstone Issue. And like many other Americans I am a little confused about what the major malfunction is, in getting Pagan symbols approved for use as headstone insignias for authorized personnel. Rona Russell, a long time member of MPN and the head of the Isis Invicta Military Mission applied for the Wiccan Pentacle in 1997, and our community has been in a tug-o-war over this issue with the Department of Veterans Affairs, from that point on. As of late, this story has hit the national news media. As a fallen soldier, more than qualified for all posthumous services offered to vets by the VA, a man dead in a recent<1> war has made it clear through his family, that he wishes to collect his due. He wanted his headstone to reflect his Wiccan faith.

<snip>
According to a Covenant of the Goddess members FOIA request, this is the break down of symbols approved while Pagans waited for rejection letters from the VA over this issue.



The Christian Missionary Alliance symbol was approved in July of 2002

The United Church of Christ symbol was approved June 13, 2003

The Presbyterian Church symbol was approved October 9, 2003

The Izumo Taishakyo Mission of Hawaii symbol was approved, March of 2004

Soka Gakkai Buddhist symbol was approved in April of 2004

The Sikh Symbol was approved May 25, 2004

Other symbols that were approved during this time, without exact dates listed, are the symbols for the American Humanist Association and the Muslim Crescent and Star.<3>

All of this, while Isis Invicta received a letter stating that no new symbols were being approved due to the VA changing their regulations concerning the submission and acceptance of new symbols. The FOIA<4> paperwork also states, according to Reverend Kestra that VA regulations in use at the time, were not applied equally to all groups making similar requests, meaning some groups received preferential treatment while IIMM and other Pagan groups were put off indefinitely.
http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=usok&c=words&id...
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