Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," Pagan and patriotic since 2005! I'll venture a guess that there aren't many Druids in the Daughters of the American Revolution, but there are some. At least one. That's me. I pay my dues every year.
You all know that I have trouble linking, so if you want to read the editorial I'm going to rant about today, just biff on over to The Wild Hunt to get all the details.
A journalist for the Chicago Tribune has suggested that religious tolerance, particularly of minority religions like -- oh, let's just pick one -- WICCA, might have contributed to the violent shooting at Fort Hood. Never mind that the shooter was a Muslim, or that he was unbalanced. Fort Hood has a reputation for multi-faith tolerance. Our friend at the Chicago Tribune thinks such tolerance in the military is a big, bad idea:
“Fast forward to 1999, when an Austin, Texas newspaper published photos of a Wiccan ceremony at Fort Hood. Theologically conservative Christian clergy joined with indignant Congressmen to protest the Army’s acceptance of Wiccan practice. As reported in Hannah Rosin’s contemporaneous account for The Washington Post, these clergy threatened to disrupt the protests, going so far as to call on Christians not to enlist or reenlist in any branch of the military until Wicca was banned from military posts. But the Army brushed off the threatened protests. Again, according to the Washington Post article, Fort Hood spokesman Lt. Col. Ben Santos said at the time that as long as a religious minority does not interfere with discipline, the military will help it find an off-base leader and a place to practice its beliefs … in light of the fact that the Army and various government agencies appear to have disregarded warning signs about the shooter’s contact with religious radicals who have since praised his murders, a tragic irony bubbles to the surface: might the emphasis on religious inclusion and interfaith acceptance have allowed the sinister to walk, undaunted, disguised as the spiritual?"
(Jason at "The Wild Hunt" added the emphasis. And the italics. Now I can't turn off either. I stink at computers.)
We at "The Gods Are Bored," whether we can adjust font or not, do not approve of using religious beliefs as a qualifier for military service. First Amendment issues aside, this is just ridiculous. It's an all-volunteer military force these days. Are you going to turn people away because they're Wiccan?
I know this is an incredible reach, but go along with me for a minute. If an invading army is advancing upon New Jersey, bayonets fixed, I personally will not care if those defending me are Christians, Jews, Pagans, atheists, or Believers in Alien Abduction. Thank you, soldier, for defending me. May your deity or deities bless you.
And with no due respect to the Chicago Tribune editorialist, Tom Levinson, I would simply ask: Has there been a single case of Wiccan violence against fellow Christian soldiers in the history of the U.S. military? Hey, we know how much press that would get if it did happen. So it hasn't.
Patriotism is not solely the province of certain kinds of Christians. That's what is wonderful about America. You want an all-Christian military? Go dig up Richard the Lionheart and set him in charge again. Medieval mindset and all.
I'm Anne Johnson, N.S.D.A.R. 723499, and I approved this message.