Skip to comments.Scrapping School Religious Holidays Solves Nothing
Posted on 12/25/2010 8:28:41 AM PST by Kaslin
In a recent column for USA Today, Boston University religion professor Stephen Prothero argues that public schools should do away with giving students days off for religious holidays because honoring Christian holidays in this manner is unfair to other religions.
As I read the First Amendment, writes Prothero, using taxpayer dollars to prop up Christianity and Judaism at the expense of Hinduism is unconstitutional, whether the number of parents who wont send their children to school on [the Hindu festival of] Diwali totals 80 or 800.
Prothero suggests that those who agree with him should clamor to have every religious holiday under the sun celebrated in our public schools, in which schools would thereby be overwhelmed and forced to honor none of them as a matter of fairness.
One would hope that USA Today, which presented this article as a half-page, quasi editorial would let someone write a similarly placed piece reminding us of the need for renewing our moral values at Christmas, and to add their shock when Christmas parades, holidays and greetings come under fire from militant secularists.
Nevertheless, it is always amusing when folks, typically college professors, drape themselves in the Constitution when they want to do away with something they dont like, and in the process, ignore the rest of the Constitution that, were it adhered to, would have prevented the very problem theyd like to solve.
Nowhere in our Constitution is there a mandate for a centralized public education system to begin with a system where the Federal Government spends $70 billion per year dictating which attitudes, values and beliefs ought to be drilled into every American students mind. Perhaps our Founders realized that a one-size-fits-all approach to education, whereby the ruling class was the final arbiter, was dangerous to all of our liberties and not just those laid out in the First Amendment.
Nor did our Founders establish a school system whereby American families are taxed into oblivion and essentially forced to enroll their children in government schools schools they must pay for regardless of whether they use them or not, and regardless of whether they even have children or not. Schools, incidentally, where students are told to check their religion at the door under some bizarre interpretation of the First Amendment.
Constitution aside, Protheros suggestion that we should do away with school-sanctioned religious holidays is hardly a solution. Its a false notion that we can respect everyone by respecting no one, as he suggests. Telling the 76 percent of Americans who are Christian that observance of their holy days must be scrapped in deference to the 0.4 percent of Americans who are Hindu might seem fair within the confines of the Boston University Religious Department. However, in the real world, this doesnt hold up to anyones idea of fairness.
Those who wish to make a point by invoking the Constitution need to understand that they cant pick and choose from the document like its a cafeteria line. The Constitution is only as strong, and as rational, as the sum of its parts. So while its true that our Founders never intended a government mandated religion, its equally true that they never intended a coerced government education system in which all children are prohibited from practicing or exhibiting any religious beliefs.
(Yeah, I know the whole point of these “debates” is for our "betters" to decide for us and then assume the power needed to bring us to heel.)
Remember when Time magazine had the pic of Newt Gingrich as the Grinch, because he wanted to balance the budget? Turns out, all the Grinches and Ebenezer Scrooges (before the ghostly visitations) are from the Left. Whether it’s Pelosi and Reid pushing their Socialistic agenda after losing big in the recent elections, or miserable, unhappy, busybody fuddyduddies wanting to ruin Christmas, lookl like the Democrats and the Left want to eliminate fun and enjoyment out of American lives.
Nothing more than a day or a week off for vacation because probably 90% or more of families and faculty (Christian or not) wouldn't show up even if school was in session
Somehow I don't think diwali or loy krathong have the same draw in America and the same potential absenteeism
He doesn't suggest schools cancel days off for the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr, if we can't take a day off for the death of every ethnically venerated figure, then none of them.
If not for holidays schools would have to find some other reason to stand down once in a while and let families spend time together
Merry Christmas. This the season to be Jolly.
They DO, however go directly to destroying the minds of children by indoctrinating them with satanic (the anti-thesis to Christian is anti-Christian - thus anti-Christ ... Satanic) worship of self, Gaia, Mao, obama, the state ... etc., etc.
Screw you perfessah .. you have unintelligible, meaningless words and I am your enemy.
Hey ‘’professor’’, check this out. A few years back the city of Paterson NJ, closed the public schools on Ramadan. Paterson has a large Saracen(muslim) population. Yup. The school board closed the schools to honor the demon prophet. Maybe you can tell me ‘’professor’’, when is the last time any public schools anywhere in the US closed on St. Patricks Day?
Have you ever noticed that it is always one person that complains about something and the authorities cave in to that one person because they don’t want to hurt his or her pathetic little feeling. Instead of sticking up for the majority and telling the person live with it
Another baseless opinion by an uneducated dolt who does not know the difference between Freedom OF religion and freedom FROM religion. If this “professor” gets his wish, he will be deemed OBSOLETE.
From his webpage, this clown got his PhD in the "Study of Religion" from Harvard.
Someday perhaps our country will not be burdened with fools from Harvard.
Of course not.
For one thing, MLK Jr. is probably BU's most famous plagiarist graduate.
There are other considerations, too, not exactly unique to BU.
I idn’t know the birthday of Martin Luther King was a religious holiday
make that didn’t
Boston, and Suffolk county celebrate a public holiday - "Evacuation Day"
- every March 17.
It's quite the Hibernian affair, a parade, a political elite and not-so-elite breakfast, etc.
Evacuation Day as a public holiday is a bone of contention between public employees and the taxpayers of MA.
Another ‘perfessur’ who needs to have his tenure broken & his job ended.
These self-appointed experts make me sick.
Most working people treat it as another paid day off, or a wage multiplier that day.
Prothero is in my opinion an edicated IDIOT. If he were an educated man he would understand the US Constitution is a written instrument,as such it’s meaning does not alter. That which it meant when it was adopted-it means now.” If true in 1905 when Justice David Brewer wrote for the unanimous supreme Court South Carolina v. the United States. and I believe it was True then it necessarily must have been true looking back to when it was adopted. And if true then True even today.
Commentaries written closer to the adoption of the Constitution and Amendments have greater weight in understanding its meaning so the Idiots ascribed “reading”
of the Constitution is worthless than cow dung.
And there is that matter of the twice passed Northwest Ordinance Article III declares Religion,Morality, and Knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, Schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.The Northwest Ordinance was made in pursuance to the US Constitution and when we allowed the Courts to remove Religion from the equation of education the other principles Morality,and Knowledge could not stand alone. And as Joseph Story wrote in his commentaries when the first Amendment was adopted the general if not universal sentiment in America was that religion,and especially the Christian Religion should receive encouragement from the State ... an attempt to level all Religions or make it a matter of policy to hold all in utter indifference would have created universal disapprobation if not universal indignation.”