Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Church, State, and Schools

It's the Christmas season again, and no doubt the zealots will soon be out trying to wipe any trace of the holiday from our schools. I guess I can accept that (but not understand why) someone might be offended by a creche in the office, but I have no doubt we'll be reading about "no Christmas trees, no decorations except snowmen (funny if it came from Arizona), and no menorahs, either". It's like some people refuse to accept that there is a secular holiday also known as Christmas. As I said to some folks at school yesterday, unless someone can show me where in the Bible it mentions that the Christ child was born under a pine tree and wrapped in swaddling...garland, there can be no objection to the religious content of the decorations we put up. The tree is a small, lighted one with fiber optic strands which change color at the ends--very religious, no? And if someone wants to put up a full size tree, I recommended there be no angels, 'wise men'-looking decorations, stars, or anything else on it that might give the slightest ammunition to an anti-religious zealot.

Coincidentally, there is a law with a (slightly) related component working its way through the Congress. Go to this Library of Congress web site to get this information about prayer at specific schools:


National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006
(Engrossed Amendment as Agreed to by Senate)


    (a) In General- The superintendent of a service academy may have in effect such policy as the superintendent considers appropriate with respect to the offering of a voluntary, nondenominational prayer at an otherwise authorized activity of the academy, subject to the United States Constitution and such limitations as the Secretary of Defense may prescribe.
    (b) Service Academies- For purposes of this section, the term `service academy' means any of the following:
      (1) The United States Military Academy.
      (2) The United States Naval Academy.
      (3) The United States Air Force Academy.

As I said, the law in question is still working its way through the Congress. I hope this section stays when it passes, and I state here my total amazement and shame that something so simple and unobtrusive has to be enshrined in law to protect it.


Anonymous said...

I never ceases to amaze me the pride Christain zealots take in the holiday they stole. Just something in the nature of thieves, I guess.

The only person of historical significance born on Dec. 25 was Isaac Newton.

Even the stories surrounding the storied birth of the christ-child place the event in the spring.

Christians simply abducted the Pagan Solstice holiday of Saturnalia and claimed it as their own. Nice ethics there! They should have a Commandment that goes something like: Thou shall not steal.

Nevertheless, Christian zealots look askance at non-Christians when the non-Christians discuss "Christmas" celebrations they might be having (that don't center on religion). "How dare they celebrate MY holiday!" Your STOLEN holiday, that is.

It's like white folks complaining about what Native Americans do on American soil that is clearly the property of the White Man.

Darren, I missed your blog entries supporting the right of Wiccans and Satanists to use school grounds to promote their religions. I'm surprised that you support that, but apparently you do.

Oh, and the one you wrote decrying the nuttiness of the anti-Halloween crowd. Wackiness run amock!

Please post a link on this response thread so I can go back and read those posts. And I apologize for missing them the first time around.

Darren said...

Anonymous, it would be welcome if you would respond to what I wrote instead of what you would like me to have written. At what point do you see in this post *any* request to celebrate a religious holiday? As I reread it I see not wanting somebody's anti-religious zealotry to get in the way of purely *secular* decoratons.

Your anti-Christian tirades would grow tiresome if they held any meaning or value at all.

Darren said...

I'd have sworn I wrote a post about anti-Halloween nut but can't find it. Maybe I just planned to but never got around to it.

As for Satanists and Wiccans, the law says they can use the schools like any other group. I myself would draw the line at the NAMBLA crowd since the very nature of their organization is an advocacy of illegal acts. For the same reason I wouldn't allow al-Qaeda to use the property. Liberals? Don't like 'em, but until they're illegal they can use the school.

That's my opinion on the matter.

Anonymous said...

But what about the Coast Guard Academy??

The Merchant Marine Academy???

Darren said...

What about them? They're apparently not covered under this law.

Does the Merchant Marine Academy still exist?

Darren said...

The US Merchant Marine Academy still exists, and is still at Kings Point, NY. It falls under the Department of Transportation.

The Coast Guard Academy is located in New London, CT. The Coast Guard fell under the Department of Transportation until 2003, when it became part of the Department of Homeland Security.

I did some reading on the USMMA's web site. I knew nothing about the USMMA or the US Merchant Marine itself; after reading that site I now know *next to* nothing :-)