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Does anyone else see a disconnect here?

August 23, 2012 - Diane Speer
Most work days, I spend my first few moments in the office checking a couple of online news sites to see what's going on in the world outside of Northeast Michigan. Often, as I read through the day's headlines, I shake my head in disbelief over the scathing claims made daily by politicians on the left, right and all points in between, or by the heinous acts of crime that the human race continues to carry out upon one another.

Some days it just doesn't pay to try and keep current. Admittedly, it can be downright frustrating and depressing. Earlier this summer I read a story out of Tulsa, Okla., about a police captain who was suspended and demoted for refusing to attend a service with his fellow officers at an Islamic Center. No one seemed to object to the religion-related directive made by a governmental agency, save the police officer directly impacted, who has since filed a discrimination lawsuit. There was no clamoring by the American Civil Liberties Union or any atheist watchdog group about this man's individual rights being trampled upon or by a lack of separation of church and state, two oft-touted arguments by these groups.

Today, the first story I pulled up online took an entirely different track. A high school football team in Georgia is under fire for allowing several churches in the community to feed the team a pre-game meal on game days. A Wisconsin-based group (Freedom From Religion Foundation) has accused the school/coach/team of violating the First Amendment of the players by allowing the churches to provide food to the players. The FFRF is demanding an immediate investigation.

And then there is last week's headline story about the president of an American Atheists group who appeared on Fox News Channel where he publicly denounced the inclusion of the World Trade Center cross in the new memorial at Ground Zero. As a reminder, the cross is a group of steel beams found amid the World Trade Center debris following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks which resemble the proportions of a Christian cross. Many found hope in this symbol, but again, the objection revolves around the need for separation of church and state (public funds were used to build the memorial) and seemingly choosing one religion over another.

Does anyone else besides me see a disconnect here?

There is no loud cry sounded over what appears to involve a non-separation of church and state issue as well as discrimination against an individual's rights in regards to the Islamic faith, while at the same time there are repeated attempts to squelch any public display of or reference to the Christian faith. I don't claim to have it all figured out, but it would seem to me that the same standards should be applied to both faiths, instead of apparent and heavily weighted attempts by certain segments in our society to create a marked and visible absence of the Christian faith within our nation.


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