[ExI] US "Air Force recognizes several distinct forms of neo-paganism"

Mike Dougherty msd001 at gmail.com
Tue Feb 2 03:46:15 UTC 2010

On Mon, Feb 1, 2010 at 6:47 PM, Damien Broderick <thespike at satx.rr.com> wrote:
> "When I first arrived here, Earth-centered cadets didn't have anywhere to
> call home," said Sgt. Robert Longcrier, the lay leader of the neo-pagan
> groups on base.

Earth-centered cadets... didn't have anywhere... to call home.

Is this in comparison to space cadets?  Or is it illustrating a
problem with location or availability of communications equipment?  Or
maybe it's about the alienation of earth-centered cadets feeling
isolated... from their earthican center?

> "Now, they meet every Monday night, they get to go on retreats, and they
> have a stone circle."

On monday night, the earth-centered cadets go on retreats to a stone circle?

> Academy officials had no tally of the number of Wiccan cadets at the school
> of 4,500, but said they had been angling to set up a proper space since the
> academic year began.

I can tell you the "angling" of a stone circle is 360 degrees, no
matter how many bi- sects there are.  Or maybe while on their monday
night retreats they go fishing?  I'm not sure how that is a productive
way to get work done.

> "That's one of the newer groups," said John Van Winkle, a spokesman for the
> academy. "They've had a worship circle on base for some time and we're
> looking to get them an official one."

What criteria is used to make a circle official?  Is a qualified
someone going to measure diameter and circumference to a high degree
of precision before making a declaration?

> The Air Force recognizes several distinct forms of neo-paganism, including
> Dianic Wicca, Seax Wicca, Gardnerian Wicca, shamanism and Druidism,
> according to Pagan groups that track the information.

That's pretty impressive considering most of the time members of these
groups can hardly recognize each other.

> It isn't nearly as comprehensive when it comes to sects within other
> religions. The academy still does not recognize, for instance, the massive
> gulfs between Catholics with guilt problems and those without; or the
> distinct practices of Jews who keep kosher, those who eat bacon, and those
> secretly wish they could.

And what would these group be "officially" recognized as Whole Guilt
Catholics vs Skim Catholics or Bacon Jews vs Fakin Bacon Jews?

> "(We) haven't gotten that far yet: First we have to get a date, and then
> once we get a date for the dedication ceremony we'll see who's going to be
> available for it," he told FoxNews.com.
> "Once we get a date that's going to be the real driving force for who's
> going to attend."

Much like high school students deciding if they'll attend a sophomore prom...

I wonder if we could get the Air Force to recognize our Holy
HotTub-based religion and declare an officially sanctioned meeting
place on base?  You know, to be fair and completely "tolerant."

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