Air Force Academy adapts to pagans, druids, witches and Wiccans

In the still of a cold November evening, a small gathering of pagans, led by two witches, begins preparations for the coming winter solstice. But these are not just any pagans, and this is not just any setting. They are future officers of the United States Air Force practicing their faith in the basement of the Air Force Academy’s cadet chapel.

Their ranks are slim. According to the academy’s enrollment records, only three of 4,300 cadets identified themselves as pagans, followers of an ancient religion that generally does not worship a single god and considers all things in nature interconnected.

Still, the academy this year dedicated an $80,000 outdoor worship center — a small Stonehenge-like circle of boulders with propane fire pit — high on a hill for the handful of current or future cadets whose religions fall under the broad category of “Earth-based.” Those include pagans, Wiccans, druids, witches and followers of Native American faiths.

Witches in the Air Force? Chaplain Maj. Darren Duncan, branch chief of cadet faith communities at the academy, sighs. A punch line waiting to happen, and he’s heard all the broom jokes.

For the record, there are no witches among the cadets this year. But the two spiritual leaders for all Earth-based religions — one a civilian, one an Air Force reservist — are witches and regularly cast spells, which they say is not so different from offering prayer. There also are no druids this year. But there could be next year.

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One Response to “Air Force Academy adapts to pagans, druids, witches and Wiccans”

  • notsure:

    ok NWO give us the “new” religion already. The world somehow gets more bizarre and unpredictable everyday. I would have never in a million years figured the military would give recognition to “earth based” religions. The fact that they call it “earth based” is kinda funny when you consider other religions most likely didn’t come from earth. Maybe soon they will refer to Christianity as “space based”. Haha “religion: the original space based weapon”.

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