Barry, as you know, many graduation ceremonies are held in churches around the country every year. The reason for this is simple and has nothing to do with religion: the church facility, in many communities, provides the space needed to accommodate students, parents and friends for the graduation gathering.
Unfortunately, with your lawsuit in Wisconsin, you’re creating a constitutional showdown that is off base. You cite that your plaintiffs are not comfortable attending the graduation ceremony in a building where they disagree with what you call the church’s ‘conservative viewpoints’ on a host of issues. Okay. But this is a graduation ceremony – not a church service. There will be no preaching. No evangelizing. It seems to me that you and your clients don’t like the theological teachings of this church. That’s fine. But, that has absolutely nothing to do with using the facility to host a graduation ceremony. By holding the graduation ceremony at the church facility, the school district is not ‘endorsing’ any religious viewpoint.
When I discussed this issue on Fox & Friends today, I used a sports analogy that is also commonplace in communities across the country. What happens when a Christian school has the ‘home court’ advantage and hosts a public school team for a basketball game? Should the game be cancelled because some students don’t want to play in a gym in a Christian school? Should we cover up religious symbols in the gym? How about the uniforms? What if the Christian school has a religious symbol on its uniform? Should they cover that up, too? Of course not.
And, what about using churches as polling places? Voting precincts are set up in the middle of neighborhoods – communities – specific areas where people live. And, not surprisingly, that’s where churches are located too. Is there anything wrong with that?
Come on, Barry, you want to make this Wisconsin case a church/state issue when you’ve really admitted it’s a theological issue. Would you have filed suit if the church in question supported same-sex marriage or embraced liberal theological teachings?
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