There was quite a bit of discussion when it was announced that Duke University was going to allow a Muslim Call to Worship on campus. The right was against it. The left was orgasmic. Then, Duke announced that they were going to cancel the program.
Duke University receives federal funds. It started out as a religious institution with links to both Methodist and Quaker. The name was changed when the Duke family donated a heck of a lot of money to it. It is no longer a religious based institution. It is famous for its Gothic chapel. That’s nice. But, while all institutions of higher learning have some sort of chapel, if they receive federal funds there should be no endorsement of any religion. Allowing a Muslim Call to Worship is an endorsement of a religion.
It doesn’t matter what the religion is. We live in a country where, due to the Establishment Clause, there should be no endorsement of religion in a public setting, including providing footbaths, etc. for any religion. Hugo Black wrote:
“…The “establishment of religion” clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the federal government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect “a wall of separation between church and State.”…”
I happen to be a fairly devout Christian, in a heathen sort of way. I have a small collection of crosses. I like traditional icons, as art. I wear crosses and religious medallions. I’m writing books about my faith. This said – I don’t want my faith rammed down the throat of anyone. I don’t want it forced on anyone. While I have no problems with the outward display of religion in a public setting, I completely disapprove of ANY prayer in public schools, meetings, or institutions. It is an implied endorsement of that religion, over another.
If I had children, who were going to public school, I would be one of the parents demanding an end to prayers in that school. Why? I don’t want someone teaching my child something of which I don’t approve. I don’t want equal time for other religions. If religion must be taught – and it should be required for all graduating high school students – then it needs to be in a comparative religion class, and taught as history and sociology – not as faith.
Along this line, I think that no outward display of religiosity should be allowed in public schools or universities which receive public funding. This includes prohibiting the wearing of any religious jewelry – outwardly. It includes no religious costume, hats, scarves, body coverings of any kind – unless as a fashion statement.
Julie Ann wrote:
Boy do I agree!