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The story of the Pentacle fight in Minnosota

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  • Paula/MamaCat
    http://www.startribune.com/614/story/1023601.html Veterans rally for right to show their faith Wiccans and pagans gathered in St. Paul to get the U.S. Veterans
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 25, 2007
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      Veterans rally for right to show their faith
      Wiccans and pagans gathered in St. Paul to get the U.S. Veterans Affairs Department to use the pentacle on military gravestones.
      By Pamela Miller, Star Tribune
      Last update: February 25, 2007 – 1:23 AM
       
      Retreat facilitator's past as sex abuser resurfaces
      Oblivious to an icy, spitting wind, Vietnam veteran Al Hensel held high an American flag as he and three fellow vets marched Saturday into a circle of birdseed laid out in front of the State Capitol in St. Paul .
      Hensel, 53, of Minneapolis , who served in the Marine Corps from 1971 to 1973, was among about 150 pagans and Wiccans who rallied Saturday to urge the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to add the Wiccan pentacle to the list of 38 religious symbols approved for use on military-cemetery gravestones and other markers. Participants -- women and men, old and young -- came from Minnesota , Wisconsin and Iowa .
       
      "We have served our country, too, and everyone should have the right to have their religious symbol on their gravestone," said Hensel, who follows the Wiccan faith, a set of traditions that is in turn part of the diverse and eclectic Earth-based spiritual tradition called paganism. "This is my church, and I love it."
       
      The armed services do recognize the Wiccan religion and permit its listing on soldiers' dog tags, participants pointed out.
       
      Hensel and fellow veterans Don Ament, Jim Mosser and Corinne Ravenwald were prominent in a ritual that ended with formation of a human pentacle.
       
      The pentacle, a five-sided star set in a circle, is "as important to us as the cross is to Christians and the Star of David to Jews," Mosser said. It symbolizes the integration of body and spirit and the five elements -- earth, air, fire, water and spirit -- and must be pictured with one point up, two down, participants said.
       
      An upside-down pentacle is sometimes associated with Satan-worshipers, a group that Wiccans and pagans want no part of, several Wiccans said.
       
      In 2001, the American Religious Identification Survey identified 274,000 Americans who call themselves Wiccan or pagan. Minnesota has several thousand, observers say.
       
      Courtney Morton, 28, of South St. Paul , came with friends from the Circle of Phoenix, which she described as a Twin Cities "Wiccan teaching circle." Morton said "it's only fair" that the pentacle should be on the department's list. "It's a matter of religious freedom," she said.
       
      The nationwide effort to have the pentacle approved began a decade ago, said Penny Tupy, spokeswoman for the Upper Midwest Pagan Alliance. Most recently, Wiccan widows of veterans sued the agency to force it to address applications for approval of the pentacle. A U.S. District Court judge in Madison , Wis. , recently denied the agency's request for a delay and set a trial date for June.
       
      The issue gained national prominence when Sgt. Patrick Stewart, a Wiccan from Nevada , died in combat in Afghanistan in September 2005.
       
      Jill Medicine Heart Combs told the crowd that her Wiccan husband, Gerwin Dee Combs, who served in the Army from 1979 to 1986, lies gravely ill in an irreversible coma in an Ohio hospital. Combs wept as she spoke, saying that her husband would want an emblem of his faith on his gravestone. "We must speak out against religious prejudice," she said. "I know Gary would want me to be here."
       
       
      Pamela Miller • 612-673-4290 • pmiller@...


      "You laugh because I'm different.
      I cry because you are all the same."

      For northwest Illinois and southwest Wisconsin Pagans:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Four_Winds_Sanctuary/


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    • Rev. Eric Roberts
      You might want to look at stuff and make sure extraneous material isn’t getting pasted in hehehehe: Last update: February 25, 2007 – 1:23 AM Retreat
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 26, 2007
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        You might want to look at stuff and make sure extraneous material isn’t getting pasted in hehehehe:

         

        Last update: February 25, 2007 – 1:23 AM

         

        Retreat facilitator's past as sex abuser resurfaces

        Oblivious to an icy, spitting wind,…

         

         

         

        From: Pagan-Headstone-Campaign@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Pagan-Headstone-Campaign@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Paula/MamaCat
        Sent: Sunday, February 25, 2007 8:50 PM
        To: pagan-headstone-campaign@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [Pagan-Headstone-Campaign] The story of the Pentacle fight in Minnosota

         

         

        Veterans rally for right to show their faith

        Wiccans and pagans gathered in St. Paul to get the U.S. Veterans Affairs Department to use the pentacle on military gravestones.

        By Pamela Miller, Star Tribune

        Last update: February 25, 2007 – 1:23 AM

         

        Retreat facilitator's past as sex abuser resurfaces

        Oblivious to an icy, spitting wind, Vietnam veteran Al Hensel held high an American flag as he and three fellow vets marched Saturday into a circle of birdseed laid out in front of the State Capitol in St. Paul.

        Hensel, 53, of Minneapolis, who served in the Marine Corps from 1971 to 1973, was among about 150 pagans and Wiccans who rallied Saturday to urge the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to add the Wiccan pentacle to the list of 38 religious symbols approved for use on military-cemetery gravestones and other markers. Participants -- women and men, old and young -- came from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa.

         

        "We have served our country, too, and everyone should have the right to have their religious symbol on their gravestone," said Hensel, who follows the Wiccan faith, a set of traditions that is in turn part of the diverse and eclectic Earth-based spiritual tradition called paganism. "This is my church, and I love it."

         

        The armed services do recognize the Wiccan religion and permit its listing on soldiers' dog tags, participants pointed out.

         

        Hensel and fellow veterans Don Ament, Jim Mosser and Corinne Ravenwald were prominent in a ritual that ended with formation of a human pentacle.

         

        The pentacle, a five-sided star set in a circl e, is "as important to us as the cross is to Christians and the Star of David to Jews," Mosser said. It symbolizes the integration of body and spirit and the five elements -- earth, air, fire, water and spirit -- and must be pictured with one point up, two down, participants said.

         

        An upside-down pentacle is sometimes associated with Satan-worshipers, a group that Wiccans and pagans want no part of, several Wiccans said.

         

        In 2001, the American Religious Identification Survey identified 274,000 Americans who call themselves Wiccan or pagan. Minnesota has several thousand, observers say.

         

        Courtney Morton, 28, of South St. Paul, came with friends from the Circle of Phoenix, which she described as a Twin Cities "Wiccan teaching circle." Morton said "it's only fair" that the pentacle should be on the department's list. "It's a matter of religious freedom," she said.

         

        The nationwide effort to have the pentacle approved began a decade ago, said Penny Tupy, spokeswoman for the Upper Midwest Pagan Alliance. Most recently, Wiccan widows of veterans sued the agency to force it to address applications for approval of the pentacle. A U.S. District Court judge in Madison, Wis., recently denied the agency's request for a delay and set a trial date for June.

         

        The issue gained national prominence when Sgt. Patrick Stewart, a Wiccan from Nevada, died in combat in Afghanistan in September 2005.

         

        Jill Medicine Heart Combs told the crowd that her Wiccan husband, Gerwin Dee Combs, who served in the Army from 1979 to 1986, lies gravely ill in an irreversible coma in an Ohio hospital. Combs wept as she spoke, saying that her husband would want an emblem of his faith on his gravestone. "We must speak out against religious prejudice," she said. "I know Gary would want me to be here."

         

         

        Pamela Miller • 612-673-4290 • pmiller@...



        "You laugh because I'm different.
        I cry because you are all the same."

        For northwest Illinois and southwest Wisconsin Pagans:
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Four_Winds_Sanctuary/

         


        Check out the all-new Yahoo! Mail beta - Fire up a more powerful email and get things done faster.

      • Paula/MamaCat
        Sigh. Yeah, saw that after it was too late. This is what I get for trying to hurry and get things posted before the weather totally wiped out our isp, was
        Message 3 of 3 , Feb 27, 2007
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          Sigh. Yeah, saw that after it was too late. This is what I get for trying to hurry and get things posted before the weather totally wiped out our isp, was trouble enough trying to get on for the little bit of time I was on.
          sorry to all for that, did kinda make ya sit up and take notice, didn't it??
          mama Cat, trying to hide her head.....

          "Rev. Eric Roberts" <woad@...> wrote:
          You might want to look at stuff and make sure extraneous material isn’t getting pasted in hehehehe:
           
          Last update: February 25, 2007 – 1:23 AM
           
          Retreat facilitator's past as sex abuser resurfaces
          Oblivious to an icy, spitting wind,…
           
           


          "You laugh because I'm different.
          I cry because you are all the same."

          For northwest Illinois and southwest Wisconsin Pagans:
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Four_Winds_Sanctuary/


          8:00? 8:25? 8:40? Find a flick in no time
          with theYahoo! Search movie showtime shortcut.

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