I have to admit when I first read this email I kneejerked hard, and got really pissed. because this is important to me and will effect me at my time of death. I am a disabled veteran of the Viet Nam era, and Gulf War I, When I calmed down and took the time to google this article (which was in the new york post not the times) I was gratified to find it a very clear straightforward reporting of the facts only. No insinuations, no colorful metaphors, no inflammatory or disparaging remarks at all. If this has hit MY pagan inbox, how many others will get this, read it and respond angrily without doing even minimal research to ascertain the truth? I am ashamed at my original reaction to this email.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, April 27, 2007 10:20 AM
Subject: New York Times Has become Sleazy
From: Pagans United
Date: April 27, 2007
Subject: Shame on the New York Post!
Contact: Laura Roberts (laura@pagansunited. com)http://pagansunited
On April 24, 2007, the New York Post ran a story by AP columnist Scott
Bauer, entitled Something Wicca This Way Comes, on the settlement
reached between Circle Sanctuary and the Department of Veteran's
Affairs in Circle Sanctuary v. Nicholson (case 06-C-0660-S) . This
article was accompanied by a New York Post "representation" of what
the headstones of Pagan soldiers may look like. (The representation
can be viewed at: http://www.webnik
. com/post. jpg )
As I am sure you are aware, Circle Sanctuary v. Nicholson was the
result of a decade long battle between Pagan Americans and the
Department of Veteran's Affairs for inclusion of the Wiccan emblem of
faith, the Pentacle, to the list of acceptable emblems of faith for
government headstones and grave markers. According to the most recent
Department of Defense statistics, there are more than 1,800 service
men and women on active duty that identify themselves as Wiccans. This
statistic does not include Pagan veterans or those on active duty who
have decided for personal reasons not to disclose their faith.
The representation that accompanied the article by columnist Scott
Bauer did these brave souls a great injustice. Our Pagan soldiers,
just like their Christian, Muslim and Jewish counterparts, lay their
lives on the lay every day so that "journalists" such as those at the
Post can enjoy freedoms such as those that allowed them to print such
a disgusting display of ignorance and intolerance for all to see.
These soldiers deserve our appreciation and respect; not the derision
they were given by the blatant misuse of their religious symbol, the
awarding of "black hearts" and the referral to them as witches "who
knew the stakes" as was done by the New York Post on April 24, 2007.
"The editors of the New York Post and Scott Bauer would do well to
research their facts before besmirching another person's religious
beliefs. I can guarantee if someone had done something like this with
another faith's symbol, it would hit the news like gangbusters. There
simply must be an end to such ignorance and intolerance. Let our
warriors rest in peace with the honor and respect that their service
to this country demands" Laura Roberts, founder Pagans United.
Pagans United would like to encourage all of our brothers and sisters
to stand up for our service men and woman and tell the New York Post
that such ignorance will not be tolerated and that an apology to Pagan
soldiers is owed by the Post. Letters to the editors can be sent
directly to the post by sending an email to: letters@NYPOST. com
The New York Post should be deeply ashamed of the disgusting display
of hatred and ignorance this "representation" showed. Editors of the
Post owe our Pagan service men and women a heartfelt apology and
should retract this awful representation immediately.
Furthermore, it should be noted by the New York Post that members of
Pagans United and the greater Pagan community will no longer tolerate
such ignorance by "journalists" of any stripe and will honor their
service men and women by standing up for their rights and respect when
people such as those at the New York Post make such shameful and
"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but rather by those moments that take our breath away."
"All Gave Some,,, Some Gave all, and for those who have fought for it,, Freedom has a flavor the protected will never know."
"We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm!"
~ George Orwell