Julie Muhlstein wants to know why it is OK for one student to wear a “God is dead” T-shirt for the yearbook, and another can’t perform “Ave Maria” for graduation. (Wednesday column, “Say what you want, but can you give it some thought first?”)
Tell me, Julie, do you believe that merely signing the Emancipation Proclamation gave African-Americans equality?
While the T-shirt is a clear expression of free speech, the other case involved the performance of an anthem piece of a religion that sectarian zealots have successfully sustained for over 200 years as the clearly primary religion of this country, which is supposed to forbid such a thing. Tax-funded public schools are ipso-facto an arm of the government and the legal precedents are manifest. The Supreme Court won’t hear the issue because it already has.
Allowing this performance would be the religious equivalent of a row of glowering robed Klansmen lining the pathway to the polls. Just listen to these partisans howl when someone suggests that the word God does not belong in our legal oaths or on our money. It looks to me like at least another 200 years before someone will dare to run for public office if there is any chance someone will discover they are an atheist.
The only thing unclear to me is what about religious freedom these people are afraid of.
Harold R. Pettus