Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Holiday Decorating and the US Constitution Part 2

Yesterday I posted a blog about decorating public buildings (including public schools) with holiday symbols. I proposed that this should not be done, being unconstitutional and non-inclusive. I expected some strong feelings about my post, both for and against my ideas. And I looked forward to the discussion. What I got instead was silence. Sort of.

With the exception of one lone commenter (Thank you, mrichme), nobody seems willing to post their ideas. I did, however, get quite a few individuals send me private messages stating their views. And they varied...some in agreement, some not. And one person has been involved in a back and forth with me since the blog was posted (we do not agree but can still have a conversation and I hope still maintain respect for each other).

I find myself today most disturbed by this behind-the-scenes discussion on the subject. And I wonder when we all got so afraid to air our differences, to put forth our ideas, to discuss controversial topics. We seem quite willing to talk about education and technology. But why are we afraid to discuss government and religion? And when will we realize that by not talking, we are creating the very thing we try to hard to prevent? When we stop talking, when we say certain topics are off limits, we create walls to hide behind. We create fear. We create enemies.

I have a clear belief about whether or not we should be putting up religious holiday decorations in school. But so do you. Don't be afraid to speak your mind. This is of freedom of speech (amazingly, the same amendment as the one cited in my first blog). We live in a country where we are allowed and encouraged to speak up. Why hide?

1 comment:

GingerTPLC said...

I must've missed your first post, because I do feel strongly about this. I agree with you; it's highly inappropriate unless you are including all holidays all year round. To celebrate Ramadan and Hanukkah right at Christmas time and try to squeeze in a Chinese New Year when it may have been months away is simply ludicrous.

If someone wants to celebrate a holiday, then celebrate them all, all year round, in the interest of education. And that's done in Social Studies class!

Otherwise, let's leave religious education to the family community where 1) it belongs and 2) they actually do a better job!

So there you go Lisa! I'm always there for a strong argument against bringing religion and state-sponsored activities together.