A Milwaukie news story reveals another instance in which persons are so determined to overthrow religion that they would put their entire community into physical discomfort to do so:
Judge Declines Immediate Elmbrook Ruling
By Diane Pathieu
BROOKFIELD – It’s a fight over whether public schools can use a church auditorium to have graduation ceremonies.
Many parents like having the Elmbrook School District graduation ceremonies at Elmbrook Church because the large auditorium has padded seats and is air conditioned. “It’s just an excellent facility for hosting something like this,” said mom Karen Reichert.
But some disagree and say a public school should not use a church facility to have a graduation event. “This is a clear violation of the Constitution, a clear violation of the separation of church and state,” said Alex Luchenitser, litigation counsel for Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
“These students and family members are being forced to graduate in the sanctuary of a church underneath a huge cross that dominates the sanctuary. They’re sitting in pews with bibles and hymnal books right in front of them.”
“They are being forced to graduate in a religious environment, and that is an egregious Constitutional violation.”
However, some schools have used the church for years.
Brookfield Central High School chose Elmbrook Church as its graduation site in 2000, and Brookfield East first decided to use it in 2002.
School officials say they chose the church because other spaces are too small or too expensive for the large event.
“(The schools’) gymnasiums were small and couldn’t accommodate all the people coming to the graduations,” explained Elmbrook School District Superintendent Matt Gibson.
“They were hot. They were stuffy. They were not air conditioned. Parking was an issue, and frankly, it’s less expensive for the district to rent a venue than to stage it within the school, with the custodial overtime, the take down, the set-up, etc.”
Right now, school officials say they don’t have a back up plan if the ceremonies have to move from the church.
The first graduation ceremonies take place at Elmbrook Church next weekend.
U.S. District Judge Charles Clevert Jr. heard arguments Friday on the Elmbrook School District’s plans. He declined to immediately rule but promised to issue a decision before graduation practice next Thursday. If the decision comes that late and the district loses, it would give school officials a day or two to find a new site.
I just don’t understand what kind of mentality could drive someone to demand their school district pay more taxpayer money for a cramped space with no parking, no air conditioning, and uncomfortable seats. Do the primary persons causing the lawsuit own a large venue that lost out on the contract?
My initial reaction was that “well, the church ought to donate its space for free” … but that wouldn’t change anything, and even an altruistic non-profit religious organization has to pay for the power to run all those air-conditioners and the janitors to clean the auditorium after the grubby citizens soil it, right?
Maybe the root of the problem isn’t an infringement with their interpretation of “church and state”, but the glaringly obvious fact that these anti-religious people are INTOLERANT OF OTHER’S BELIEFS. Think about it … for all the claims of “intolerance” made against the faithful, who most publicly attacks the diversity or religious beliefs and practices? I don’t know of any screaming throngs of hetrosexual Christians or Jews or Muslims who march outside gay clubs, chanting against them and displaying their heterosexuality. I don’t know of any Sikhs or Buddhists who sue to have religious icons of other faiths removed.
The truth … the hidden reality … is that persons either raised in a faith or “converted” to a faith are actually more tolerant of any religious beliefs than those who left or never belonged to one in the first place. This is largely because persons of faith know the legitimacy of their spiritual beliefs and the changes wrought upon their lives by it. They know how perverted one must be to rob another of that satisfaction and joy.
The anti’s, however, know no such joy, and in their skirting of religious devotion have contorted the whole thing into perceived dens of hatred and judgement … when the only judgement they really receive is the searing of their own conscience.
I am a “devout” member of my church … a Christian faith … and my particular religion is a daily thing, or an hourly thing … not one which worships one day a week for two hours and then goes back to the non-religious life. i say that … not to “one up’ my religious neighbors of other faiths, but to suggest that, of the plethora of religious sects out there, mine is probably representative of one who would more likely notice symbols and items that are not part of my belief, and therefore, buy the “standard’ imposed by those combatting the faithful, i should be more offended than other church-goers.
In my church, we don’t ‘worship” the cross, we worship Christ. We are reverent about his crucifixion, but focus more on the gifts of repentance and eternal life he gave us as a result of his teachings and his atonement for our sins. Ouyr churches do not prominently display a cross. Would i be offended while attending a college graduation in a mega-church with a giant cross looming overhead? Not in the least bit.
To take it a step further … would i be offended to attend such a function in a synagogue or monastery? (Not implying such would be open to this sort of activity, but if they were …)? Not in the least bit. In fact, i would be just as “offended” (or not so) participating in the ceremony in a smelly gymnasium decorated with nothing. In all honesty, i welcome opportunities to “see hiow the other half lives’ when i attend functions (funerals, concerts, speeches, friends’ religious mileposts) in other religious places. It enriches my knowledge of the customs and beliefs of my neighbors, and my national family … my community.
The idea of living in ignorance of my neighbors, or of being intolerant of their beliefs is terrifying. I can’t comprehend telling them their sacrifice is not good enough when they donate time or space or money or sound systems or robes or a parking lot …
This kind of hatred and censorship and division and elitism and bigotry that is spread by these sick and shallow individuals is why communities are no longer “close-knit”. That leads to our states and our nation not being “one nation”. Citizenship is dead in these people … how DARE they blaspheme against God and soil our constitution with their vain claims!