Airforce Academy supports Pagans, still not cool with gays

In the wake of accusations of religious intolerance, and the fear of a subsequent drop in admissions applications, the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs has for some time been reaching out to cadets of non-Christian sentiments, including Pagan and Wiccan faiths. But just don't let on that you're gay, because Don't Ask Don't Tell is still up in the air and could be reinstated any second.

Even though a federal court ruling commanded the military to repel Don't Ask Don't Tell recently, the Obama administration urged a federal judge to uphold the ban on gays serving openly in the military, at least for the time being.

Meanwhile, according to Airforce Times, Wicca is the largest religious practice in the academy after Christianity; therefore, it makes sense that the academy would embrace, or at least try to embrace -- though with varying amounts of success; a wooden cross was found deposited at a Pagan worship site on campus -- their constituency of Pagan believers, or risk losing a substantial amount of bright students and future leaders.

Gays, on the other hand, are still at risk of being discharged if their sexual identity is exposed. Gays can't be themselves in a military environment, but Pagans can. It seems the Christian extremists can only tackle one bigoted agenda at a time. Maybe it's because gays can still be saved, whereas Pagans are a lost cause? Who knows?

Straight Pagans at the academy can relax a little, knowing their beliefs are "officially" accepted, which is great, but gay Pagans -- and gays of any faith -- still have to hide a major part of who they are. So much for tolerance.

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Ben Dayton
Contact: Ben Dayton