Feb. 22, 2007
A suit was filed on Tuesday in Pennsylvania by the Alliance Defense Fund on behalf of a 10 year old boy whose freedoms of religion and free speech were violated. During a Halloween celebration, officials at Willow Hill Elementary School in Glenside, Pennsylvania informed the boy that he could not wear a crown of thorns or tell others that he was Jesus.
Alternatively, school officials said that, because his garb included a robe, he could identify himself as a Roman emperor or some other religiously neutral figure. Since both the boy and his mother found the pagan elements of Halloween offensive, they did not want to celebrate Halloween in the typical manner; however, the mother of the boy also did not want her son to feel isolated from his schoolmates simply because he was not wearing a costume.
As I take stock of the situation, I cant help but chuckle in amazement at the brazenness of school officials. The purported reason for prohibiting the boys costume was that it was in violation of a school ordinance against the promotion of religion.
Apart from the fact that such a policy is no more than a facade for promoting virtually anything but Christianity, the school was not promoting religion by allowing the child to wear a costume. The school did not sanction the costume, obviously did not show support for the custom, and certainly did not give it undue preference over the myriad other costumes present among which were the typical devils and witches.
Upon closer examination, I think what you will see is that religion is defined very narrowly by many secularists: religion = Christianity. Toleration is all-inclusive, with one small exception Christians.
Why do I get the feeling that a Ghandi costume wouldnt have elicited the same response?