Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Beltane and the Pentacle

Success in the Veteran Pentacle Quest!

Over at Witchvox, there's a fascinating article by Selena Fox documenting her successful lawsuit against the Veterans Admin. This article is a must-read for anyone interested in church/state issues. The VA's foot dragging turns out to be motivated by bold-faced religious discrimination:

...As part of discovery, the VA was required to turn over additional internal emails, memos, and other documents which it had failed to release to us through our Freedom of Information Act request.

Hmm, interesting that the VA held back documents, but it gets worse:

...The VA turned over more than 30, 000 documents to our AU attorneys...Buried in the "blizzard" of paperwork, our AU attorneys found several documents that were additional evidence that VA officials had blocked Pentacle approval because of prejudice against the Wiccan religion.With this additional evidence of discrimination, our preparations for court intensified...our attorneys...issued a subpoena for the internal documents that the VA still had not turned over to us...

Soon, the VA had to deal with three separate lawsuits! Here's the happy ending:

...Then, in early April, our attorneys drafted an amended complaint that we planned to file in the Federal District Court of Western Wisconsin on Good Friday, April 6. As part of this process, our attorneys sent a draft to the US Department of Justice (DOJ) attorneys representing the VA. Shortly after DOJ attorneys saw this amended complaint draft, they quickly began negotiating a settlement of our lawsuit with us through our AU attorneys...

So, the the actions of the VA were even deemed unconstitutional by the Dominionist bible thumpers over at the DOJ! The entire "Pentacle Quest" episode demonstrates what's best in Wiccans and Pagans: people coming together to correct ignorance and intolerance.

Selena makes a request:

...Please join us and other Wiccans, Witches, and Pagans of many paths around the world in a special day of Quest remembrance and celebration on Tuesday, May 1. Place offerings of flowers on your home altars, at Pagan shrines, and community ritual sites in sacred thanksgiving and joy for this victory, and in remembrance of living and deceased Pagan veterans and their families. Please let the Lady Liberty League know about your victory celebrations you have held and/or will be holding at Beltane, Memorial Day, and other times. Email: with Quest Victory in the subject line.

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