Sunday, September 2, 2007

WHAT SYMBOL ARE YOU?

"The Veterans' Administration (VA) will provide, upon application, a headstone or marker for the unmarked grave of most deceased veterans."

This from a religious tolerance website article on lawsuits trying to force the VA to add the Wiccan symbol to its list of approved icons for vet's gravestones.

They will also provide an emblem of the religious affiliation of the deceased, taken from an approved list.

There are 38 symbols on the list so far. I'm thinking: given the wide diversity of the list, how can the VA possibly object to a Wiccan symbol?

Here is the list:

VA form 40-1330 states that certain optional items, which "may be inscribed at Government expense," may include "an authorized emblem reflective of one's belief." Section 11: "Desired Religious Emblem" gives the applicant five options:

bulletNo symbol.
bullet1. Latin Cross - Christian; generic.
bullet2. Wheel of Righteousness - Buddhist.
bullet3. Star of David - Jewish.
bulletOther: Shown on the back of the form are:
bullet4. Presbyterian cross.
bullet5. Russian Orthodox cross.
bullet6. Lutheran cross.
bullet7. Episcopal cross.
bullet8. Flaming chalice: Unitarian Universalist.
bullet9. United Methodist Church cross.
bullet10. Aaronic Order Church.
bullet11. Latter-day Saints: Angel Moroni with horn.
bullet12. Native American Church of America: Teepee with three feathers.
bullet13. Serbian Orthodox: cross.
bullet14. Greek Cross: similar to the Red Cross.
bullet15. Baha'i: 9 pointed star.
bullet16. Atheist: A stylized symbol of an atom with the letter A in the center.
bullet17. Islam: A crescent and star.
bullet18. Hindu symbol.
bullet19. Konko-Kyo faith.
bullet20. Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (now called the Community of Christ): A child between a lion and lamb.
bullet21. Sufism reoriented symbol.
bullet22. Tenrikyo church symbol.
bullet23. Seicho-no-ie symbol.
bullet24. The Church of World Messianity symbol.
bullet25. United Church of Religious Science symbol.
bullet26. Christian Reformed Church: Cross and triangle.
bullet27. United Moravian Church: Lamb carrying flag.
bullet28. Eckankar: Stylized letters "EK"
bullet29: Christian church - generic: A cup.
bullet30: Christian & Missionary Alliance: a cross, chalice, crown and pitcher
bullet31: United Church of Christ: a crown, cross and world symbol
bullet32: Humanism: a stylized image of a human.
bullet33: Presbyterian Church, USA: A flaming cross
bullet34: Ixumo Taishakyo Mission of Hawaii: A hexagon surrounding a symbol
bullet35: Soks Gakkai International - USA: A complex symbol
bullet36: Sikh: The Khanda symbol; three swords and a rink
bulletListed separately because of copyright restrictions:
bulletUnited Church of Christ.
bulletChristian Science: cross and crown.
bulletIslam: Five pointed star. 4
I'm also thinking: Eckankar? Sufism? Seicho-no-ie?? I wouldn't recognize Seicho-no-ie if I met it on the street. I have to think that, as religions go, Wiccan is more mainstream than any of these. But that's just me.

Can you find yours? And just what IS the "Lutheran Cross" anyway? Are all of the synods on board with this?

11 comments:

Lutheran Lucciola said...

I'm glad you don't know what the "Lutheran Cross" is either, because I was wondering what I was missing!

Do they mean Luther's rose?

"Wiccan"....I remember when that word was an insult, meaning you were a white-light, neo-pagan nerd. Don't get me started. ;-)

Bruce Gee said...

Wiccan is very big here in Madison, WI. Especially I associate it with a kind of hard-charging feminism/naturism organism thingy organization that has made its presence known over the last couple of decades.

Never heard of a pagan nerd before. Pretty cool in a bizarre, fallen sort of way.

Out of curiosity, if not Wiccan, what would the chic, in-the-know pagan want to be known as?

Back in the unredeemed day, I did Hindu stuff, so the paganism I refer to in my title is generic.

Theodore said...

Elkanor is a Sci-fi religion. Other galactic civilizations are pacifist and have put the earth on quarentine until its people can learn to live in peace. In the 1940s members of the galactic cultures revealed to a group of earthmen a rather large book of spiritual material (much is directly anti-Christian). The purpose of this material is to help the people of earth become "cultured" so that the whole earth can one-day belong to the galactic civilization and enjoy a better life.
I will take heaven. It is better and more certain of fulfillment.

Lutheran Lucciola said...

Hi, Bruce!

What I was refering to, is how "Wiccan" used to specifically mean a more Garderian type thing, and if one was coming from an ethnic thing, (anything from strege to the African traditions, or the like), calling someone Wiccan meant you were calling them boring, basically.
Now "Wiccans" are saying they don't even do spells, apparently. So it's just a new age earth religion thing.

It may sound confusing to folks why this gets on my nerves. On one hand, yes, if they are not doing spells or any type of sacrificing, that is good. But it cracks me up that this is now considered "witchcraft". These people are fooling themselves.

I probably will be writing a post on this later on, because the audience I am targeting for talking to are the non-Wiccan practitioners, like what I was. Strege, Romani, Yoruban, Santeria, Vodoun. etc.

I could tell the "Pagan" you were using for your title was the generic meaning of the word. But I liked your blog anyway!;-)

Bruce Gee said...

Theodore:

Was the book called the Urantia book? I used to own a copy. Lots
of gnostic "Christian" material. Interesting how focused on
Christianity many of these cults are. That is, redirecting
Christianity toward something else.

Bruce Gee said...

LL: Interesting. I'll keep an eye on your blog.
Have you ever read The Beautiful Side of Evil? By Joanna Michaelson (sp?). It is a wide-ranging but fascinating story of one Christian's past involvement in non-Christian meditation and the doors it has opened.

Lutheran Lucciola said...

No, I never heard of that book. The person is saying they like the non-Christian meditation stuff?

The only thing I can say I appreciate, from all my training, is the ability to concentrate very well.

scott said...

Since no one else answered- You can find the Lutheran Cross in with all the others here:

the application


Here's just the Lutheran Cross: Lutheran Cross

Lutheran Lucciola said...

I have never seen that cross before. They just put the heart and rose inside another cross.

I don't get it.

That angled one on the LCMS website is the most common one.

Bruce Gee said...

Ah, thanks Scott.
The "heart and cross" was part of a pin that an ELS church I belong to had made and distributed. I never connected it with "the Lutheran cross" however. Any idea how far back it goes? Is it sixteenth century or something more modern?

Bruce Gee said...

LL: no, the doors that are opened are evil.