Networks like ABC have hyperventilated about the "outrage" of "endangering" soldiers with rifle sights with "secret Bible codes" on them. They worried about Christian proselytizing on the campus of the U.S. Air Force Academy. Will these TV reporters notice as the Air Force responds to the liberal-media complaints by opening an outdoor chapel space for Wiccans and Druids?
If Christians in the military were emblematic of George W. Bush, would the media suggest that this great Pagan Opening is symbolic of the Obama era?
From an offical Academy press release:
The Air Force Academy chapel will add a worship area for followers of Earth-centered religions during a dedication ceremony, which is tentatively scheduled to be held at the circle March 10....
Tech. Sgt. Brandon Longcrier, NCO in charge of the Academy's Astronautics laboratories, worked with the chapel to create the official worship area for both cadets and other servicemembers in the Colorado Springs area who practice Earth-centered spirituality...
The presence of diverse worship areas reflects a sea change from five years ago, when reports surfaced alleging religious intolerance at the Academy. Sergeant Longcrier became Pagan shortly after arriving at the Academy in 2006 and said he believes the climate has improved dramatically.
"When I first arrived here, Earth-centered cadets didn't have anywhere to call home," he said. "Now, they meet every Monday night, they get to go on retreats, and they have a stone circle. ... We have representation on the Cadet Interfaith Council, and I even meet with the Chaplains at Peterson Air Force Base once a year to discuss religious climate."
Earth-centered spirituality includes traditions such as Wicca, Druidism and several other religious paths that, while relatively new, trace their roots to pre-Christian Europe, Sergeant Longcrier said. Gerald Gardner founded the first Wiccan tradition in England in 1952, with neo-Druidism following in the early 1960s.
Some Earth-centered traditions involve the worship of gods and goddesses, whereas others may involve only one deity or none at all. Reincarnation is a popular concept, as is rebirth and celebrating the cycle of the seasons.