UNITED STATES – November 11th – the “11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month,” as noted by former TWH journalist and veteran Cara Schulz – is a federal holiday in the United States for reflecting upon the sacrifice and honoring the work of those who have served the country in the US Armed Forces: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Navy, and Marines. Prior to being formally named Veterans Day in 1954, during the Eisenhower Administration, the day was known as Armistice Day. Armistice Day continues to be celebrated around the world in commemoration of the end of World War I. 2018 marks 100 years since that cease fire. Today is often celebrated with poppies. Poppies symbolize eternal sleep, as present in Hellenic and Roman religions; this symbolism is echoed in The Wizard of Oz where magical poppies were used to cause sleep.
UNITED STATES – Every year, Nov. 11 is a day set aside to honor those who have served in the five branches of the armed forces. Flags are flown; parades are held; ceremonies are attended. Nov. 11 was chosen because, on that day in 1918, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the allied nations and Germany during the first world war.
TWH – The tensions between bloggers and the Patheos company continued this week as former Patheos writer John Halstead announced that he and others would be demanding that their material be taken off the site. Their joint letter begins: “We the undersigned former and current Patheos Pagan contributors hereby request that you remove our names, likenesses, and our intellectual property, including our writing, art, and images, from your site. We previously gave Patheos license to publish our writing, but Patheos is no longer the company that we contracted with.” The letter continues on to list the writers’ grievances and detail why the group feels that Patheos is no longer the company that it once was. In its conclusion, the letter says, “We should not be forced to affiliate with or be seen to support, through our work, organizations which are inimical to our values and which, in many cases, are hostile to our existence…”
Currently eighteen bloggers have signed the document.
BUTLER, Mo. – The Sacred Well Congregation (SWC), a universalist, independent, non-evangelical Wiccan Church, announced it ise an Ecclesiastical Endorsing Organization (EEO) for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This designation means they are now able to endorse qualified clergy from Wicca and Earth-Centered Spiritualities who wish to apply for chaplaincy positions with the VA. This marks the first time that any Pagan group has been approved as an Ecclesiastical Endorsing Organization for the VA. In a message on its official Facebook page, SWC said, “This is a tremendous breakthrough, and will enhance our standing with professional chaplains organizations such as COMISS [The Network on Ministry in Specialized Settings, formerly known as the Coalition on Ministry in Specialized Settings] and [Association of Professional Chaplains], as well as strengthen our position as we move forward in our endeavors to secure status as an EEO for military chaplains.”
Rev. David L. Oringderff, Executive Director of Sacred Well Congregation, said that due to his military background, most of his work and advocacy for religious freedom has been with the DoD and VA.
TWH – Today marks Memorial Day in the United States. It is a day to honor the many men and women who have died in military service. According to a news report on ABC, the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans together state that at least “1.2 million people have died fighting for America during its wars dating back 241 years.” The VA has a breakdown of the losses per conflict since the American Revolution. In a recent post, blogger John Beckett wrote, “Let us remember our warrior dead.