The U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs reports that it has set aside space for the followers of “Earth-centered” religions such as Wicca and Druidism to have worship.
Tech. Sgt. Brandon Longcrier, NCO in charge of the Academy’s Astronautics laboratories, worked with the chapel to create the official worship area for both cadets and other servicemembers in the Colorado Springs area who practice Earth-centered spirituality.
“Feel free to check the site out, but treat it as you would any other religious structure,” he said.
The stones that now form the inner and outer rings of the circle once sat near the Visitor Center, where the chance of erosion made the rocks a safety hazard. The 10th Civil Engineer Squadron moved the rocks to the top of the hill in spring and early summer. Once finished, the circle will also include materials from a smaller circle that Sergeant Longcrier briefly set up in Jacks Valley.
The space will be dedicated March 10.
Religious freedom has been a big bone of contention at the Academy over the past five years since allegations of Christian bias arose there. Now, the Academy reports, there are “Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist sacred spaces.”