In an incisive piece over at Trans/Missions, Meghan McCarty wades into a tangle of facts and frames concerning the recent push—perhaps more cosmetic than ingenuous—for religious tolerance in the US armed forces:

Stories broke this week concerning a Wiccan stone-circle established at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs—that bastion of evangelical Christianity. But what exactly was the story? That depended on which media outlet you turned to for the news.


USA Today religion reporter Cathy Lynn Grossman highlighted the striking contrast in U.S. military policy with her headline: “Wiccans in uniform? Yes. Gays? Not yet.” Grossman describes the “whiplash” of the week’s military news, with resistance to gays in the service on one end of the spectrum and the Wiccan circle on the other, presumably more forward-looking, tolerant end.

But if you had happened to come across the item in Wednesday’s Los Angeles Times, you would have read about the large wooden cross, made of railroad ties, that was discovered at the heralded Wiccan circle two weeks ago.

To be fair to the outlets that omitted that detail, the academy had not yet made the erection of the cross public–most likely because it didn’t fit into the narrative of improved religious tolerance that the news media seemed all too eager to report.

Read the entire article at Trans/Missions.