It's that season again. The culmination of years of education summit in this annual tradition we call graduation. Students have been counting down the hours until they can wear the graduation robe, walk across the stage, and receive their diplomas. There's definitely a sense of accomplishment coupled with an air of freedom. "Finally, I can move on to the next phase of life." one student told me.
Parents of High School students have been counting the hours in fear that they're loosing their little babies. It's the unknown creeping in our lives and causes us to mount the family film reel in our mind. We remember the first steps, the first bike ride, the first day on the bus, and the times we just cuddled with our little ones in that big chair in the living room. It's a whirlwind of emotions.
The day is quickly approaching. Parents with emotions, students feeling the finish line approaching, administrators looking forward to the break in the year, and who should show up….THE ACLU.
A school in Connecticut is not only trying to pull off a graduation for all those involved, they're having to deal with the ACLU's latest probe into the separation of Church and State. It's not a case of praying at graduation. It's not even some evangelistic effort. No, the issue now…where should we meet?
The school checked out the local Civic Center, as their gym isn't big enough to hold all the students, moms and dads, and grandparents. The Civic Center is going to charge $70K, so the school went shopping for another venue and landed at the local local mega-church.
The church is big enough. It has giant T.V.'s so families can see their kids up close. It's comfortable. It's ideal. The church charges $16K for the use of the facility, probably to cover all the utility charges. In any event, it seemed like an easy choice for school officials.
However; the ACLU claims there will be people offended for having to walk in a building with certain religious symbols. REALLY?
We've now evolved into a society whereby the buildings we use for graduation are offensive because there's a beautiful stain glassed window. Or wait, maybe we're offended because the carpet is plush and clean. Or maybe it's because the bathrooms are super nice. No…it's gotta be the smooth traffic flow in the parking lot, the ease of finding comfortable chairs, or possibly…just maybe…someone was just down right offended that the church is even there, and they saw their chance to attack.
When are we going to drop this non-sense. I mean really! If you're offended because the building your school uses for graduation happens to hold religious services in it on Sundays, you've got bigger issues that religion. Come on people. If we really want to have peace and live together honorably, maybe we can lay down our 'rights' for a second and let our kids graduate in a building that suits our needs.
It sure seems like the church was willing to let the school use the facility for a super reduced rate. I'm amazed at how the church gets beat up everyday trying to abide by all the rules of separation of church and state, yet the ACLU has the freedom to criticize, sue, and make the church arm up a team of lawyers to defend itself. In this case, it's pretty clear who was offering the hand of peace to the community, and it's a slap in the face to have to put up with this nonsense.
Nobody's saying you have to attend that church.
Nobody's trying rook you into some cult.
Nobody's even trying to tell you a message of religion.
No, the administration is just trying to find a building that will suit the needs of your student's graduation program, and a natural easy venue is a church down the street. Give it a rest. This is ridiculous.
You can check out the article here at USA TODAY.
May we be a people who can grow up.
May we allow for people to experience joy, even if it happens in a place we don't agree with.