Although I did not see this particular development anywhere in the public media, it came across on the Circle Sanctuary (http://www.circlesanctuary.org) news group.
President George Bush personally called Roberta Stewart to apologize that she was not invited to the meeting held in Reno, Nevada yesterday for families of fallen soldiers. He also told her that he admired her spirit and thanked her when she accepted the invitation.
Now, you may know that I am not the biggest Bush fan in the world, but I call it like I see it and I see this as a good and noble and right thing to do. Thank you Mr. Bush, sir, for doing the right thing and restoring my faith that there must be a decent human being inside you somewhere. I realize that that sounds as much like an insult as a statement of apprecitation, and I'm sorry for that, but like I said, I'm not a big fan. I wouldn't invite the man out for drinks, but I'd be polite if I encountered him at the bar.
Follows is the entire article sent out to the Circle Sanctuary News Group. In case you can't find it elsewhere:
(Note particularly the highlighted section that brought tears to my eyes. Thank the Gods that I have not had to face the challenges Mrs. Stewart has. I am not sure that I am a strong enough person to go through what she has.)
President Bush Apologizes to Wiccan War Widow Roberta Stewart
At midday today, President George W. Bush met by phone with Roberta
Stewart, a Wiccan from Nevada and member of Circle Sanctuary. The
president apologized to Roberta for her not being invited to the meeting he
held in Reno, Nevada on Tuesday with families of Nevada soldiers killed in
Reports about Roberta not being invited to this meeting began appearing in
the media yesterday and have continued today:
In the press articles, both Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans
United for Separation of Church and State, and Rev. Selena Fox, senior
minister of Circle Sanctuary, called for the president to apologize to
Roberta Stewart, and to give equal respect to soldiers and their families
regardless of their religious orientation.
During the phone call, the president said that he admired Roberta for her
spirit and thanked her for accepting his apology. He also offered his
condolences for the loss of her husband, Sgt. Patrick Stewart, who was
killed in action in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan on September
Following her phone meeting with the president, Roberta told Selena: "I am
thankful that President Bush offered his condolences and his apology. This
has helped bring some much needed closure for me regarding this recent issue
as well as the struggles I have endured in the Veteran Pentacle Quest
seeking to have my husband properly honored."
Both Rev. Fox and Rev. Lynn have expressed their appreciation for the
president's phone meeting with Roberta:
Rev. Fox: "I am glad that President Bush provided this support to Roberta
-- it has helped remedy this recent problem as well as helped heal the
stress that Roberta has endured since her husband was killed in action.
It also is a positive development for Wiccans and other Pagans who are
serving and who have served in the US military and their families in the
quest for equal respect and equal rights in society."
Rev. Lynn: "The president has done the right thing, and his apology to
Stewart should be commended. All veterans of war, regardless of their
faith, should be honored and treated with the utmost respect, especially
from their commander-in-chief. We are pleased the president recognized his
slight of Stewart was wrong."
Americans United for Separation of Church and State has issued a press
release commending President Bush for apologizing to Roberta:
Rev. Lynn interviewed Roberta for his Culture Shocks show shortly after the
President apologized to her. The show will broadcast today and will be
archived on-line tomorrow: http://www.cultureshocks.com
FOR MORE INFORMATION, contact:
Rev. Selena Fox: 608-924-2216
Executive Director, Lady Liberty League
Angie Buchanan: 847-456-4833
Public Relations Director, Lady Liberty League
Paula Johnson: 954-471-1435
Media Relations Coordinator, Lady Liberty League
Background information on the Veteran Pentacle Quest Success: