Friday, July 12, 2013

No Orchids for Satan

Fascinating little piece of governmental incunabula: did you now that you can get the "Atheist" symbol on your Veteran's Affairs headstone?


There's something like 57 symbols the VA will carve into the rock that let's people know where your personal worm-buffet is scheduled. All the biggies are there, of course; cross, star, crescent, the wheel of samsara for Buddhism. Hell, the various flavors of Jesus-pesterers all have their various flavor of execution device available; I had no idea, but hokey smoke, Bullwinkle, there's more flavors of Christianity than there are at Baskin-Robbins.

Some of this stuff reminds me how little I know of what people believe.

For example; what the hell are "Kohen Hands"?

Live long and prosper, then. Except the whole "being dead" thing, of course.

But it's pretty impressive the tolerance the VA shows for who gets what on their last set of dressing-up clothes. You want Baha'i? You got it. Sikhism? Jainism? No problem.

Or the Hammer of Thor, or the what-the-hell-is-Eckankar "EK" symbol?

Done and done.

You notice that the poor Satanists, however, have to content themselves with the pentacle of Wicca, which, as my Satanist pals remind me, ain't the same thing.

Anyway, just a little oddity for Friday.


Swanditch said...

Minor corrigendum: the Buddhist wheel is the Wheel of Dharma (=Truth, Teaching, something like that), not the wheel of samsara. The Buddha's first teaching is called the Setting in Motion of the Wheel of Dharma (Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta), and the eight spokes symbolize the eightfold path. I see that a number of slapdash sources call it the "wheel of samsara", but that wheel has 6 or 12 spokes, for the 6 realms or the 12 links in the chain of dependent origination. Unlike Christianity, Buddhism does not make an image of suffering its central symbol!

Anyway, the one that weirds me out is #57 - Sandhill Cranes. What in hell religion is that? Cornhuskerism?

Leon said...

Waitasec, you're telling some northern barbarian gets a symbol, this eastern revolutionary (that everyone won't shut up about) gets more than half of the symbols...

And not one for mighty Iuppiter Optimus Maximus? That's it, I'm writing my congressman. If I had one.