I got a call today from one of the district’s gadflies. I’m not going to name her, for fear of a future defamation lawsuit, but she is infamous among the district’s circles – she’s continually challenging the district in its practices concerning its immigrant students. I had to tell her several times to stop yelling at me – in a nice way though. She started railing about how the district decided to observe Armenian Christmas only because of the money, and should have instead opted to take off April 24, to observe the Armenian Genocide, but didn’t because they don’t lose money on that day. Then she started yelling about, what if the ACLU heard about the district’s decision?!
Eh. Don’t even get me started about the ACLU. Anyway, there was a time when I didn’t celebrate Christmas. I belonged to a church that took a staunch opposition to the Roman Catholic Church (most Filipinos are Roman Catholic) and therefore did not celebrate Christmas my whole life. So I’m sort of used to saying “happy holidays,” but would still slip and say “merry Christmas.” It was not sweat off my back though, it’s not like I ever got in trouble or something. And if someone said “merry Christmas” to me, I didn’t get offended. The whole debate, to me, is getting ridiculous. We are worrying about the wrong things.
I remembered that whole debate after reading this story on the wire, about how the same dude in the Bay area who sued to take “under God” out of the Pledge of Allegiance is now suing to bar a prayer at Bush’s inaguration. It’s actually the second time he’s done it:
Michael Newdow notes that two ministers delivered Christian invocations at Bush’s first inaugural ceremony in 2001, and that plans call for a minister to do the same before Bush takes the oath of office Jan. 20.
In a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Newdow says the use of a prayer is unconstitutional. The case is tentatively scheduled Jan. 14.
Last year, the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals tossed the same lawsuit, saying Newdow did not suffer “a sufficiently concrete and specific injury.” But the decision did not bar him from filing the challenge in a different circuit.
My knee-jerk reaction to the story was that this guy needs to get a hobby. I’m not sure what makes a prayer unconstitutional, seeing as how most public functions are begun with a prayer and our currency all has the name “God” on it. Or maybe that’s his next stop? Huh. Good luck, buddy.
But honestly, in a Bible study the other day, someone mentioned that the “separation of church and state” was not necessarily to protect the church from influencing the state, but to prevent the “federal government from meddling in the religious affairs of states.” This real long post from the Slow Decline goes into it in detail:
For years the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has been pushing an agenda to ban any use of Christianity in any public place. Their argument is that the founders of the Constitution added the establishment clause to keep religion out of “state affairs.” Hence, the term “Separation of Church and State” was born. Here‚Äôs a fun fact: no where in the establishment clause of the American Constitution does the phrase “Separation of Church and State” appear.
In fact, did you know that, “The First Amendment to the Constitution reflected this attitude: The federal government was prohibited from meddling in the religious affairs of the states. The First Amendment‚Äôs declaration that ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ was intended, according to historian David Hackett Fischer, to preserve religious freedom in Virginia and Pennsylvania and to guarantee that the religious establishments that existed in Massachusetts and elsewhere would be safe from outside interference‚Ä¶Each denomination and colony was vigilant against interference in its internal affairs by others (meaning other colonies feared that a central government might force each individual colony to conform to a single denomination Christianity).” (Woods P.2-3)
Anyway. That was just my thought for the night before I conk out.