Sunday, January 31, 2010

I Thought We Learned This Stuff In Fourth Grade

So I was all set to rag on the Air Force Times over capitalization issues,

The Air Force Academy will add a worship area for followers of “earth-centered religion” — pagans — with a dedication ceremony scheduled for March 10.

A stone circle located on a hill overlooking the Cadet Chapel and visitor center will join Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist sacred spaces at the academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Tech. Sgt. Brandon Longcrier, a pagan who worked with the chapel to create the circle, said he did not encounter resistance to the idea.

“There really haven’t been any obstacles for the new circle,” he said in an Air Force news release. “The chaplain’s office has been 100 -percent supportive.”

But then,

Longcrier said earth-centered spirituality includes traditions such as Wicca and Druidism. Wicca is the largest religious group in the Air Force after Christianity.

So apparently their theory is to capitalize specific forms of Pagan spirituality, such as "Wicca" and "Druidism."

But there's still a problem. "Christianity" gets capitalized and that's an umbrella term for a variety of spiritualities, such as Methodists, Episcopalians, and Baptists, just as Paganism is an umbrella term for a variety of spiritualities such as Wicca, Druidism, Asatru, etc. Similarly, Judiasim gets capitalized, although that's an umbrella term for Hassidism, Reformed, Orthodox, etc. forms of Jewish spirituality.

It's not that complicated, people. Either capitalize all the umbrella terms or none of them.

Meanwhile, this new worship space is an important step forward for Pagans, especially at the Air Force Academy, which has recently been in the news as a bastion of the fundification of our military. And, wow, Pagans are the second largest group in the Air Force? Who knew?

Amazingly enough, The WaPo, which has a horrible record reporting on Pagan events, shows how it's done.

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