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October 12, 2004

Separation of This Church and State

Along the lines of Spain's recent discoveries of what it means for a Catholic nation to elect socialists, some reports from within our own shores ought to make their way onto folks' watch lists. The first comes from WorldNetDaily, which does, to be fair, tend to pounce a bit too hard on such stories:

Bob Knight, director of the Culture and Family Institute, says if it becomes law the legislation could be used to "muzzle public discussion of homosexuality and even someday silence pastors."

Knight commented, "It's a very dangerous bill, because it adds 'sexual orientation' to hate-crimes law, and it greatly expands federal jurisdiction. ...

Wrote Knight in a WorldNetDaily column: "Homosexual activists have redefined any opposition to homosexuality as 'hate speech.' Laws already criminalize speech that incites violence. It's easy to imagine a scenario in which any incident involving a homosexual can be blamed on people who have publicly opposed homosexual activism."

The source and subject matter of that item suggest that, apart from overall opposition to hate-crime laws, it's just something on which to keep an occasional eye. In contrast, the source for the second item, Bill Quick, is not usually one to stoke Christians' fears:

During the next few weeks, multicultural trainer Afeefa Syeed will bring third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students from a Muslim academy in Herndon, Va., to nearby public schools to share the practices and beliefs of their holiest month, Ramadan.

Syeed and the children will present the call to prayer in Arabic, display prayer rugs and offer tastes of dates. In countless other classrooms across the country, similar efforts will be made to educate students about the time of fasting and spiritual reflection for adherents of the world's second-largest religion.

Ramadan, which likely will begin Oct. 15, depending on the sighting of the new moon, is making more appearances in public school classrooms, thanks to a series of new teacher training initiatives, an increased fascination with Islam and the assurance that schools, if careful, can educate impressionable children about religion without crossing a constitutional line.

Posted by Justin Katz at October 12, 2004 12:31 AM

Before educating on an "exotic" religion, may some of them impressionable five year olds should be educated on their own religion. Although, the last thing I would want is some public school bureaucrat deciding what is "true" Catholicism.

Posted by: c matt at October 12, 2004 11:04 AM

And where will the ACLU be on this issue?


Posted by: smmtheory at October 13, 2004 2:48 AM