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Upper-Midwest Pagan Alliance


									Upper Midwest Pagan Alliance
1595 Selby Avenue • Suite 204 St. Paul, MN 55104

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Supporters Gather at the State Capitol for Wiccan Veterans Religious Rights
MINNEAPOLIS, MN, February 13, 2007 – The Upper Midwest Pagan Alliance, a Twin-Cities-based religious tolerance organization, will be sponsoring a community ceremony at the State Capitol mall in St. Paul on February 24, 2007 at noon to raise awareness about religious discrimination at the US Department of Veterans Affairs. The Department of Veteran’s Affairs has been actively pursuing policies that are discriminatory and harmful to veterans and infringe on the religious freedoms guaranteed by the US Constitution. The VA has been denying religious designation to adherents of the Wiccan faith by not allowing the emblem of their faith to be placed on the headstones and memorial markers of deceased veterans. Although the VA has approved the emblems of 38 other religions and belief systems to be included on the headstones of deceased veterans, including symbols for the Tenrikyo Church, Eckankar, Izumo, Taishakyo, Sufism Reoriented, and even Atheism, it refuses to approve the use of the Wiccan symbol, the pentacle, an interlaced five pointed star within a circle. During the public ceremony at the Capitol, participants will add cloth ties to a pentacle sculpture, which will be later displayed in regional businesses. Afterward, those present will form a large, pentacle design, as a symbol of the importance of this issue to Veterans, and dedication to the issues resolution, and in support of religious freedom. Participants representing many different faith groups and organizations from around Minnesota and other states will be present to help support the religious freedoms for all our veterans. The Pentacle Rights Ritual is open to the public. All who honor our veterans and the rights they have guarded with their lives are invited to attend. ### The Upper Midwest Pagan Alliance is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting religious tolerance and accommodation through public education and grassroots community activities. For more information, contact: Dr. Todd Berntson • (952) 220-2633 • •

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