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Switch to Forum Live View Wednesday "Church Night" and No Meat in School Lunches During Lent?
3 years ago  ::  Mar 10, 2011 - 6:17PM #1
costrel
Posts: 6,217
I seldom visit this board, but in the interst of keeping this board alive, I thought I would post this little problem that manifested itself this week out here on the plains. With all of the snow days that schools have had, there was a discussion about whether or not district basketball games should be held on a Wednesday if school was cancelled on the previous Tuesday. Out here, Wednesday is considered "church night," the night when schools do not have any extracurricular activities so that children can attend catechism and other religious education classes. What made this week's Wednesday even more problematic was that it was not just a Wednesday, but Ash Wednesday. So -- should public schools in predominately-Christian communities take Christian holidays and the need for religious education into consideration when they schedule extracurricular events?

On a similar note, should school districts in predominately-Catholic communities continue to cater to the religious requirements of Catholics by not serving meat in school lunches on Ash Wednesday and every Friday during Lent?
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3 years ago  ::  Mar 11, 2011 - 1:07PM #2
TPaine
Posts: 9,054

Mar 10, 2011 -- 6:17PM, costrel wrote:

I seldom visit this board, but in the interst of keeping this board alive, I thought I would post this little problem that manifested itself this week out here on the plains. With all of the snow days that schools have had, there was a discussion about whether or not district basketball games should be held on a Wednesday if school was cancelled on the previous Tuesday. Out here, Wednesday is considered "church night," the night when schools do not have any extracurricular activities so that children can attend catechism and other religious education classes. What made this week's Wednesday even more problematic was that it was not just a Wednesday, but Ash Wednesday. So -- should public schools in predominately-Christian communities take Christian holidays and the need for religious education into consideration when they schedule extracurricular events?

On a similar note, should school districts in predominately-Catholic communities continue to cater to the religious requirements of Catholics by not serving meat in school lunches on Ash Wednesday and every Friday during Lent?



According to the Constitution the government (federal, state, & local) are secular institutions. Public schools, as government institutions, must remain neutral in all church and state issues. They should not have to organize either their schedule or lunch menus to satisfy any sectarian belief. On the other hand, students should not be required to attend school events on so-called church nights, and school cafeterias should offer optional meatless meals for students on Ash Wednesday and Fridays during Lent as long as non-Catholics have an option that contains meat.


The author of the Bill of Rights, James Madison, made it quite clear that he supported Jefferson's Wall of Separation between church and state.

"Every new and successful example, therefore, of a perfect separation between the ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance; and I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Government will both exist in greater purity the less they are mixed together"-- James Madison (Letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822)


"What influence in fact have ecclesiastical establishments had on Civil Society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the Civil authority; in many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny: in no instance have they been seen the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wished to subvert the public liberty, may have found an established Clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just Government instituted to secure & perpetuate it needs them not." -- James Madison: Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments, 1785


"The civil Government, though bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability, and performs its functions with complete success, whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people, have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church from the State" -- James Madison (Letter to Robert Walsh, Mar. 2, 1819)


"Strongly guarded as is the separation between religion and & Gov't in the Constitution of the United States the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies, may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history" -- James Madison: Detached Memoranda, (circa 1820)


"The experience of the United States is a happy disproof of the error so long rooted in the unenlightened minds of well-meaning Christians, as well as in the corrupt hearts of persecuting usurpers, that without a legal incorporation of religious and civil polity, neither could be supported. A mutual independence is found most friendly to practical Religion, to social harmony, and to political prosperity" -- James Madison (Letter to F.L. Schaeffer, Dec 3, 1821)


"Experience witnesseth that eccelsiastical establishments, instead of maintaining the purity and efficacy of Religion, have had a contrary operation. During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution." -- James Madison, A Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments, addressed to the Virginia General Assembly, June 20, 1785


"When it shall be said in any country in the world, my poor are happy; neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them; my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars; the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive; the rational world is my friend, because I am a friend of its happiness: When these things can be said, then may the country boast its constitution and its government." -- Thomas Paine: The Rights Of Man (1791)
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3 years ago  ::  Mar 12, 2011 - 3:38AM #3
davelaw40
Posts: 19,669

Tpaine, no kid in Houston would ever get in trouble for missing school for Passover or Ramadan as to the specific query-regardless of its basis-if its the custom for schools to Sports free on Wednesday nites-there is no reason to change the custom  just because its orgin was originally a relgious one-most schools that do that also let out early and parents use those Wed. afternoons for eyedoctor and dentist appts. Plus, secular groups such as scouts also use those Wed. nites.

Non Quis, Sed Quid
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3 years ago  ::  Oct 12, 2011 - 11:52PM #4
Roodog
Posts: 10,168

Mar 10, 2011 -- 6:17PM, costrel wrote:

I seldom visit this board, but in the interst of keeping this board alive, I thought I would post this little problem that manifested itself this week out here on the plains. With all of the snow days that schools have had, there was a discussion about whether or not district basketball games should be held on a Wednesday if school was cancelled on the previous Tuesday. Out here, Wednesday is considered "church night," the night when schools do not have any extracurricular activities so that children can attend catechism and other religious education classes. What made this week's Wednesday even more problematic was that it was not just a Wednesday, but Ash Wednesday. So -- should public schools in predominately-Christian communities take Christian holidays and the need for religious education into consideration when they schedule extracurricular events?

On a similar note, should school districts in predominately-Catholic communities continue to cater to the religious requirements of Catholics by not serving meat in school lunches on Ash Wednesday and every Friday during Lent?




Meat or no meat is an instance in which the the First Amendment is utterly unenforcible.


If the schools do not serve meat, they violate the Establishment Clause, if they do serve meat they violate the Non Interference Clause.


Either Way the First Amendment is violated.

For those who have faith, no explanation is neccessary.
For those who have no faith, no explanation is possible.

St. Thomas Aquinas

If one turns his ear from hearing the Law, even his prayer is an abomination. Proverbs 28:9
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