Xmas Oops

This is a textbook example of blind Christian privilege:

School Board members Mike Martin and Russ McUne said Thursday they felt Finch had overreacted.

“There were 18 songs on the program, of which one has a sacred theme to it and 17 don’t. Really, the complaint should go the other way: The program was too darned secular,” said Martin, who was in the audience. “To change that program for one person is almost a violation of everyone else’s rights.”

I’m all of a sudden less comfortable with Martin on the school board, if this is his understanding of things.  It’s a public school program.  It should be secular.  End of story.  And I can all but guarantee that while there might have only been one person who said something, there were others in the audience who did precisely to avoid comments like Martin’s, which is not exactly what I’d call ‘welcoming’ to non-Christians.

Note:  I don’t have any issue with people spontaneously choosing to sing a song.  That’s their right.  But that’s also very different than having it be sponsored by the school.  Martin, as a board member, should know better, regardless of his personal beliefs.

A bit scarier than that, though, is the idea that rights are determined by majority.  That’s dangerous – and in case it’s not obvious why, what would happen if a majority decided that all entrances into the school had to include steps?  Anyone with limited mobility would be excluded – but “to change the entrances for one person is almost a violation of everyone else’s rights,” by Martin’s logic.  (And if you think this example doesn’t work, say so and I’ll bring one up that includes race.)

I hope the Superintendent makes a point of having a friendly conversation with Martin regarding why, regardless of what Martin thinks in private, this kind of thing doesn’t help the district.

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4 Comments on “Xmas Oops”

  1. Susan Says:

    I hold up a glass of sparkling grape juice to an increased amount of spontinaeity for parents at Christ…er I mean Winter programs the coming year.

    ….and the spontaneous lighting of the cross on the hill above Lebanon, since evidently it would be politically incorrect for the City of Lebanon (who took charge of the cross years ago) to light it :o).

  2. DPirate Says:

    It isn’t the case that the, or any, school ought to be secular. What the school ought to be is whatever the school board has decided.

  3. Dennis Says:

    Um, no. That’s a terrible idea, both because it easily becomes the tyranny of the majority and because it violates a few decades of Supreme Court precedent involving the separation of church and state.

    Whatever the school board decides? Are you serious?

  4. purveyor of all evil Says:

    What’s sad is how much press this has gotten, and how rediculously one sided and inaccurate the information reported has been.

    For starters, either Mr. Martin cannot count or is outright lying. There were 20 songs originally planned for the program, take out ‘Silent Night,’ and that still leaves you with 19. Top it off with the fact that a total of 18 out of the 20 are centered around the Judeo-christian holiday of christmas.

    Mr. Martin has very carefully used language to intentionally delude his audience and make a blatant falsification. There was only one “sacred song” in the bunch, but that wasn’t the original complaint. The original complaint that was lodged with principal Finch was that the school was legally required to have a diversified program if ANY “sacred songs” were included in the programming. There wasn’t enough time at that point to completely rearrange the program to bring it into compliance with the law, so the acceptable compromise was that MY children wouldn’t be required to sing songs exhalting praises to a deity that I do not believe in. Incidentally, the song whose lyrics were altered, yeah, that wouldn’t have passed muster under ANY legal circumstances.

    Moving on beyond obvious ideological obstruction, the parental reaction was completely rude and entirely out of bounds. Irregardless of their opinion on the matter, if they had a grievance with the way the principal handled the situation, they should have taken it up through appropriate channels, LIKE I DID. They should have had a conversation with the principal and if they didn’t like that outcome, filed a formal written complaint.

    What’s even more eggregious is that there is a schoolboard member who is actively condoning direct insubordination of the principal’s decision by a volunteer. The people who coordinated this action were not simply parents in the audience, they were working as volunteers in assisting with coordinating the children, including MY children, and encouraging them to participate in an overt act of defiance against the school. I think the principal of this particular point should send a chill down anyone’s spine, irregardless of ideological position.

    There’s more, but I’ve got stuff to do…..

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