USAFA Pagan Circle has Christian History
A blog by a USAFA cadet reaffirms prior comments that the new pagan circle at the US Air Force Academy is in an area frequented for other purposes, and even has a unique spiritual history.
The area is collectively referred to as the “LZ,” and the clearing has been used–for years–as a station on the hill for which to conduct “training” for fourth class cadets. The author of Wonderings and Wanderings has a post on the 14th of January that says his squadron used the LZ for training–3 days before the “cross incident” occurred (which, incidentally, was also a long weekend). At the time, no one knew that it was intended to be a pagan circle.
Another quote, after he hears about the controversy and realizes what it is about, is telling:
I discovered it’s actually an earth-centered religion/Wicca worship center. That’s rather ironic, because it was one of my favorite places to pray last year, and I know some of my friends have gone up there to worship under the stars. It’s a great place to watch the sunset – God’s sunset.
Apparently, there’s a pretty big controversy about a cross that was placed up there, leaning on one of the rocks. First of all, I’m pretty sure I saw crosses there – like the one described – long before the earth-centered religious people set the rocks there. Second, it’s entirely possible that the cross-placer didn’t know it was an earth-centered worship center. It could just as easily be a God worship center, like it was before for me and others, without the rocks.
His commentary is consistent with others who have had or heard about similar experiences on the LZ. (The LZ has also been used for a variety of other purposes, some more nefarious than others.)
He does agree that if the cross was placed as an affront, it was not an appropriate thing to do. However, his observations highlight the fact that the pagan circle was not fully-known among cadets; that it was placed on a site frequented for other purposes; and that the site itself was used by Christians for their own private worship. Even so, he expresses a supportive perspective for the freedoms of the pagans, an admirable and fairly common reaction, though hardly the face that is being put on Academy Christians right now.