A few years ago my business partner and I were doing business at an active duty Army post. We were selling knives, swords, some tactical items and some similar related items. We’d have a fair amount of Wiccans approach us. They did so in a guarded manner that we quickly understood.
Now prior to our becoming vendors at the base, there had been an incident where a Wicca “site” had been vandalized. Quickly the commander announced that such actions would not be tolerated on his post. He also put a Military Policemen out there for guard against any further incidents.
This got in the news. Even a “Republican” congressmen from out of state came to protest the commanders actions.
There were protestors, but not as many ANTI-PROTESTERS. They quickly out shouted the congressmen and the protestors. Well, the congressmen got “some” press but nothing really to write home about.
So there had been some press about “Wiccans” at the base. Seems that they were not just limited to that base but could and can be found around the world. And not just in the military.
Well, as I said we were selling blades and other items. And the Wiccans would approach us in a guarded way. We saw them as customers and tried to fulfill their needs. We even started to carry some nicer or more artistic items to accommodate them.
Well, one day, my business partner got into a conversation with a Chaplain. Seems that he really got off trying to (for lack of a better term..) “dick around” the Wiccans.
He was asked about one soldier who wanted to place some crossed knives or daggers in his room. This was a Wiccan symbol, ergo, a religious symbol.
The Chaplain being a Major (O-4) went to the regulations and guidelines. Seems that the size of the symbol or knife/dagger had to be of a size that could do no “harm.”
Like, you can’t kill someone with a cross. I mean they use to nail people to the damn things…
Anyway, the Chaplain took that and ran with it. The troop was allowed to have the “Wiccan” symbol in his room. BUT…it had to be a really really some one.
The Chaplain really thought he did the troop over by getting to use the regulation to, in what he thought, was a way to screw the soldier over. And he really relished what he did.
Of course, to my business partner and I, we thought it was not only childish, but petty, and in a way, discriminatory.
What is your view on this matter?