Letter to the Editor: Let's make the Holiday More Inclusive at the High School

ACLU Club members at Benicia High want expanded holiday decorations.

The American Civil Liberties Union does not associate itself with any political party or any religion. As a chapter of the ACLU, Benicia High’s ACLU is here to fight for the rights and liberties of all American citizens and ensure that everyone is treated fairly. The issue of the Christmas tree on a public school campus is not a matter of public opinion or preference; it is a matter of upholding the law in order to provide fair treatment for all. If the tree was purchased using public funds and set up by a class funded by the government, then there are implications that the government is favoring the Christmas holiday, and therefore, the Christian religion. The problem then becomes about context. The tree was placed center-stage in the quad, implying that it holds greater importance than other decorations. If the tree was accompanied, however, with decorations from all holidays, with the intent of educating students of all the holidays celebrated in December, then it would be permissible. A group of symbols representing the different December holidays would together represent the freedom of religion allowed here in the United States.

Benicia High School’s ACLU wants to make every student feel welcome at school. We do not want any student to feel alienated by only acknowledging one specific holiday celebration. The Founding Fathers’ Bill of Rights insured Americans the freedom to practice whatever religion they chose, and that should be celebrated. At an educational institution, what better way is there to celebrate the winter season than to educate the students about other cultures and their own civil liberties? The Benicia High School ACLU encourages an extension of the holiday decorations, rather than a removal.


Erin Robertson and Aidan Harley

Presidents, Benicia High School’s American Civil Liberties Union

Old Dog December 09, 2011 at 11:21 PM
"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." Mohandas Gandhi
Bruce December 10, 2011 at 12:48 AM
I suppose if you define the word very broadly, you could say anything you want about who was or wasn't Christian among the Deist founders. But it would be inaccurate and dishonest. You can't call a Deist a Christian merely because he is tolerant of Christianity. The bottom line for most Christians is whether or not you believe Jesus was the messiah who was crucified and resurrected as a substitutionary atonement for sins. Surely that is the only reasonable definition of what a Christian is? All of these men - Jefferson, Paine, Franklin, Madison, not to mention John Adams and many others in the founding generation - rejected the central tenet of Christian faith, in no uncertain terms. It's not a stretch to call them non-Christian when they weren't Christian! If anything, your trying to paint a Christian cross on the Deist foreheads of the Founders is a stretch, merely because these men were "Christian friendly." I mean, I have a lot of friends and colleagues who are gay that I respect very highly. I suppose you could say that I'm "gay friendly," Robert. Does that mean I'm gay?
Robert Livesay December 10, 2011 at 04:26 AM
I believe you are talking about Christians when you are not one yourself. At least that is what I getting from your comments. I may be wrong. Christians no how to judge a Christian, someone who is not Christian can not make that judgement. They are biased in there feelings.. Read the Constitution. Many reference to the Lord. Now can you day who's lord? I guess you can, but it will not fly.
Old Dog December 10, 2011 at 05:48 PM
Whenever i can't convince someone, i begin to babble.
Robert Livesay December 10, 2011 at 08:07 PM
You do good job if it.


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