Air Force Academy Accommodates Earth Religions

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The U.S. Air Force Academy is designating a worship area for Pagans, Wiccans and other Earth-centered religions.

The academy has placed a double circle of stones on a hill near the Colorado Springs, Colo. campus.

The academy said Monday that staff at the academy chapel worked with Tech. Sgt. Brandon Longcrier, a follower of the Pagan tradition, to set up the site. He is the noncommissioned officer in charge of the academy's astronautics labs.

"Being with nature and connecting with it is kind of the whole point," said Longcrier, who sponsors the group. "It will dramatically improve that atmosphere, the mindset and the actual connection."

Academy chaplains say the outdoor site is part of an effort to foster religious tolerance and defend the constitutional guarantee of religious freedom.

The academy already has worship facilities for Christians, Muslims and Jews.

A formal dedication for the site is scheduled for March.

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