Through the filter of time … a repost that may still be interesting to you from two years ago.

In an essentially Christian society, we expect governmental or other social organizations to disrespect non-Christian belief systems. An example of this is the widespread positioning of official holidays on Christian holidays, but never unless by coincidence on, say, Jewish or Muslim holidays. The birth of Christ day is usually a day off. Spring break is often positioned along side Easter Sunday. and so on. A non-Christian religious person could get annoyed.

It is also the case that an atheist might be annoyed by any kind of deference to any kind of religious observance. An atheist might well say something like “We all deal with personal conflicts in life … one has to pick between observing whatever your religion happens to require and other aspects of secular society. If you need a day off, take a personal day.”

I find it interesting when these two perspectives come together into one obscure and difficult to interpret conflict. My old friend Laurie sends along this story from Alaska:


Jewish holiday request denied

The state organization that oversees school sports has refused the Anchorage School District’s request to move a … cross-country meet to the Sunday after Yom Kippur to avoid clashing with that Jewish high holy day.

At the time, Superintendent Carol Comeau voiced displeasure with Anchorage coaches’ joint decision to hold the tournament that day, saying the city is now a multi-ethnic community and cultural values should be respected. A spokesman for the coaches replied that kids have to learn how to make tough choices in life, including between their religion and their sport.

The article goes into great detail about moving this meet to Sunday, or to Friday, what to do in general about this sort of policy, and so on.

What is not mentioned in the article is that the meet cannot be held on Sunday unless everyone who goes to the meet is put to death for violating the Sabboth. Unless, of course, the Sabbath actually starts on Friday evening, in which case if the meet is moved to Friday, anyone who stays late on that Friday will have to be put to death for violating the Sabbath.

But what the heck, there will probably be a certain number of menstruating women at the event, going around and touching stuff, making everyone and everything unclean. No one will have to be put to death for that, but a lot … and I mean a lot … of bulls will have to be sacrificed. It could get messy.

Unless,of course, the rodeo is in town, then maybe they can work something out…

Comments

  1. #1 mark
    June 20, 2009

    Years ago, Maryland state employees had more holidays, including Good Friday as well as Christmas plus some odd Maryland holidays. At the time it was really a benefit because we could do the shopping and take care of the business we could not attend to on Sunday, because the state’s Blue Laws kept the stores closed.

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