Department of Defense adds Heathen and Pagan religions to recognized faith groups

UNITED STATES – The Department of Defense (DoD) has added several Heathen and Pagans religions to its recognized faith groups list after a multi-year effort by Heathen and Pagan religious organizations and individuals. The DoD added or updated just under 100 religions to its document: Faith and Belief Codes for Reporting Personnel Data of Service Members. Being listed on this document allows Pagan and Heathen military members to accurately communicate their religious preference, rather than being designated “Other,” and grants them associated benefits and protections. Four of the religions added to the document include Heathenry, Asatru, Seax Wicca, and Druidry. The Army had already recognized The Troth, while the Air Force had already recognized Heathenry and Asatru.

Pagan Community Notes: AAR, Pentacle Quest, Parliament of the World’s Religions and more

ST.PAUL, Minn. – Pagan, cultural anthropologist, and artist Murphy Pizza has been elected president of the Upper Midwest Region of the American Academy of Religion (AAR). Over the year, local AAR chapters hold their own meetings across the United States, separate from the national event. The Upper Midwest region held its meeting March 31-April 1 in St.Paul, Minnesota. It was during that meeting that Dr. Pizza was elected to the new office. She has previously been serving as Vice President, and is now taking on a new leadership.

Widow Roberta Stewart shares her new battle with Gastroparesis

In 2006 Roberta Stewart made headline news when she found herself at the epicenter of the Veteran Pentacle Quest. During that time she publicly stepped forward as the widow of a fallen soldier to speak out for religious equality under the law. In 2013 Roberta finds herself, once again, speaking out to the public and the media. However, now she has a different opponent – Gastroparesis. Many remember Roberta Stewart as the wife of Sgt.

Thor’s Hammer Approved For Veteran Headstones and Markers

In 2007, after a decade-long struggle, Pagan and Wiccan organizations succeeded in getting the Pentacle approved for military veteran headstones and markers. After that victory, in July of 2007, a rally was held to start the push for two more symbols: the Druid Awen and the Heathen Thor’s Hammer. Two Heathen organizations, The Troth and the Asatru Folk Assembly, were represented at that rally, and from it a wider movement to get the Thor’s Hammer approved emerged. Now, after a six-year journey which included some inter-organizational tensions within the Heathen community and a U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs rule change, it appears the symbol has finally been approved. The updated emblems list is the only place where this addition is noted.