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Monday, October 23, 2006

Wiccans Want Their Star On Vets' Graves

Pete Pathfinder Davis has been fighting for nearly a decade to have the emblem of his faith engraved on the headstones of veterans buried in federal cemeteries.

But the application he filed in 1997 with the Department of Veterans Affairs for use of the pentacle — a five-pointed star surrounded by a circle — is still pending.

Davis and other Wiccans, who sometimes describe themselves as pagans or witches, say it is time for the VA to recognize their religion, which worships nature and employs the practice of "magick."

The battle over grave markers gained a higher profile recently with a dispute over a Wiccan serviceman's headstone in Nevada and a lawsuit filed Sept. 29 on behalf of two churches and three Wiccans. The federal suit seeks to compel the VA to provide Wiccans the same recognition it affords 38 other groups, including atheists, who can have symbols of their beliefs sandblasted onto headstones. Full Story

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