November 8, 2012 in slideshow
As always, thanks to all those who contributed to October’s etcetera: Charlene Lutz for helping to facilitate the discussion (and Jon Zachman for valuable behind-the-scenes input); the Good Work Collective for the building; Aroma’s for the coffee, and everyone for attending!
November’s etcetera topic is “Outlawing Christmas: Do National Religious Holidays Have a Place in the Public Square?” How do we handle the public expression of religious belief in a nation of both diversity and freedom? Perhaps more importantly, what role should the state play in allowing (or disallowing) religious expression on government property? Our speaker will be Steven M. Jentzen, an attorney who has participated in landmark cases in family law, land development, free speech and religious liberty.
Public organizations approach the private celebration of religious belief in different ways. Though the constitution allows for the expression of faith in schools during the celebration of religious holidays, it’s not always easy to know when governmental institutions cross the line from accommodation to promotion.The State of New Jersey has quite a list of religious holidays that students are allowed to miss, though the humungous list at the University of Washington puts theirs to shame. On the other hand, Harvard has been far less inclined to jump on the holiday bandwagon when it comes to any type of public accommodation for private beliefs. And courthouse lawns? Yeah, they’re divisive.
This aspect of the church/state controversy will be the topic of this month’s etcetera (November 29, 7:00, at the Good Work Collective). In preparation for this meeting, here are some links with a variety of perspecites on the issue. Read the rest of this entry →