Feeds

Pentacles to honour US's fallen

Department of Veterans Affairs settles headstone lawsuit

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The US's Department of Veterans Affairs has bowed to requests to allow pentacles to be "added to the list of emblems allowed in national cemeteries and on goverment-issued headstones of fallen soldiers", AP reports.

Eleven families across the US had issued a lawsuit demanding the right to honour their fallen sons with the five-pointed star. The VA decided to settle "in the interest of the families involved and to save taxpayers the expense of further litigation", a spokesman explained.

The settlement also agreed to the VA stumping up $225,000 in attorneys' fees and costs and that the pentacle be "placed" on the grave markers within 14 days.

We should point out that the pentacle in question indicates affiliation to the Wiccan religion, and not the Aleister Crowley Appreciation Society. The five points represent earth, air, fire, water and spirit, and the symbol joins those of Buddhism, Christianity, Eckiankar, Islam, Judaism, Seicho-No-Ie, and Sufism Reoriented* on a list of 39 which the VA "permits on gravestones".

Reverend Barry W Lynn, boss of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which represented the Wiccans in the lawsuit, trumpeted: "This settlement has forced the Bush Administration into acknowledging that there are no second class religions in America, including among our nation's veterans."

Wiccan high priestess and plaintiff Selena Fox said: "I am glad this has ended in success in time to get markers for Memorial Day."

The VA settlement also satisfies another lawsuit brought last year by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of "two other Wiccan churches and three individuals", AP notes. ®

Bootnote

* No, Jedi does not feature on the list, in case you were wondering.

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
LightSquared backer sues FCC over spectrum shindy
Why, we might as well have been buying AIR
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.