Friday, February 15, 2019

Is This A Church/State Separation Issue?

Several years ago one of our senior classes had its "senior breakfast" in the large meeting hall of a large nearby church.  Crosses were on the walls and everything, and I wondered if anyone was going to complain about having a semi-official school function (paid for by the senior class and not supervised, if I recall correctly, by school administration) at a church.  I did not hear that anyone complained.

That isn't the case with a nearby elementary school that sent students to an outdoor camp that is owned by a religious organization.  According to the short video at the link, the camp hosts over 4000 public school students each year.  One parent complained:
I am essentially being forced to support a religious organization.  While it does not teach Christian teachings, their mission is a Christian one and I really have no choice in the matter."
I disagree.  You could take that stick out of your butt and not be such a bigot--especially when you acknowledge that they're not proselytizing at all.  While you're at it, go enjoy a sandwich at Chick-fil-A.

Camp officials also say they don't teach anything religious, adding that their curriculum (which appears to be environmental) is secular.  When a small number of parents complained to the district, the district's legal counsel "thoroughly reviewed and vetted those concerns and found them to have no legal merit."  And this is the Sac City school district, not known to be even the slightest bit conservative- or Christian-leaning.


Mrs. Widget said...

Where I am in the south, a local church helps with out school. They have a lunch for use during PD before the year starts, lets the district use the building for PD when buildings were being renovated and brings food to the lounge on occasion

Ellen K said...

Complaining can become a habit. It can also be a means to publicize a person or an idea. I think most protests are more ads than anything else.

Anonymous said...

1. I love how you think public school districts can be characterized by how politically conservative and how Christian they are.

2. Thank God for Florida, where they’ll arrest 11-year olds if they refuse to stand for institutionalized flag worship.

Anonymous said...

In middle school, my son went to YMCA camp with his class. It was over night, and the kids did a number of science related activities. No problem, even though the YMCA is officially a Christian organization. On the other hand, how would you feel if a school activity were hosted at a Muslim facility, even if no proselytizing was involved?

Darren said...

1. The district's stance (or lack thereof) on Christianity is absolutely germane to this story.

2. The boy was arrested for not following the directions of school administration *after* not standing for the pledge. I grant that the kid should not have been required to stand, but that doesn't justify his later actions. Also, his reason for not standing was clearly not his but of idiot adults. None of the adults in the Florida story come out looking good, none of them.

Darren said...

While it wouldn't excite me, if I were told there was no proselytizing going on, I'd let that go--and sue like Hell if I found out later that there was.

Darren said...

Mrs. Widget:

My school district once held a PD in the huge meeting hall of a local church. I don't recall that anyone complained. The constitution doesn't require govt to be hostile to religion, it only requires that govt not intervene in or establish a religion.