Intolerance...No one is safe.
Here are a couple examples.
First we go to Medina, WA:
Medina Elementary School officials took down a Christmas-themed "giving tree" Monday after a parent complained about its religious connotations.
Chris Metzger, office manager at Medina, said the spiral, lighted Christmas tree with a star on top was up for about a week before it was removed.
The tree had mittens on it with a different gift idea attached to each. The idea was for students to take a mitten, get the gift listed, wrap it up and return it to school along with the mitten.
After the tree was taken down, the mittens were taped to a counter in the main office so the gift-giving could continue.
"Now we just have a giving counter," joked Metzger, who knew that putting up the tree was "kind of iffy" because of a district policy that provides direction on the place of religion in the curriculum.
It was a friggin tree, not a nativity scene, not an alter....A tree. Oh My GOD, it had a star on top!
Last time I looked you didn't have to be a member of a Christian church to have one, and this was for a good purpose: Giving. Well hopefully the table stays, unless maybe someone objects to it being a Professional wrestling prop and complains its too violent.
Next we go to Glendale, WI:
Religious-liberty attorneys have contacted a Wisconsin school district that consistently forbids Christian Christmas carols from being sung in music programs but finds nothing wrong with Hanukkah songs.
A statement from Liberty Counsel tells the story of Barbara Wheeler, whose 9-year-old daughter attends school in the district. In 2003, when the district's music programs excluded religious Christmas songs, Wheeler complained about their absence. School officials said they would get back to her, but they reportedly never did.
Last year, Wheeler voiced complaints to the district in mid-November, but school officials said the songs already were set.
This year, when the school's music program contained Hanukkah and secular Christmas songs but no religious Christmas songs, Wheeler again objected.
That's when the mother was referred to the district's written policy:
"Music programs given at times close to religious holidays should not use the religious aspect of these holidays as the underlying motive or theme. No songs should be sung which contain dogmatic religious statements."
According to Liberty Counsel, Frances Smith, the district administrator, says the Hanukkah songs are more cultural than spiritual and thus are OK to sing.
Tell that to a practicing Jew, that his or her faith is just cultural. Even as their songs are permitted, they are subtly insulted.
Last, we go to the UK:
School bans girl from wearing cross.
A mother accused her daughter's school of discriminating against Christians yesterday after the teenager was suspended for refusing to take off a crucifix necklace.
Sam Morris, 16, was sent home from Sinfin Community School in Derby for breaking a school policy that bans jewelry.
Last night her mother, Debra, said that Sikh children were allowed to wear a steel bracelet, known as a kara, for religious reasons and said her daughter had every right to express her faith.
Education officials were unrepentant, however, and said that Sikhs are required by religion to wear items of jewelry, whereas Christians are not.
Mrs Morris, 37, said: "Sam has worn this necklace for more than three years. No one has told her to take it off before, and she doesn't want to remove it.
But just to show that intolerance is an equal opportunity employer, here is an odd bit of intolerance from the other side of the faith aisle.
From Palm Coast FL;
Witch says fellow pagan out to get her
It was close to midnight on Sunday and Jill Pagan -- who practices paganism and calls herself a witch -- was getting settled into bed when she heard a crash. It sounded like something might have fallen.
Upon investigation, Pagan discovered that her home's white aluminum door had a large gash in it. And just to the right, a large chunk of concrete was sitting in a flowerpot with a note attached to it by rubber bands. She immediately recognized a handwritten note in an ancient language called Theban, which she said is used almost exclusively by witches.
Pagan called a Flagler County sheriff's deputy to her family's home, but no report has been filed on the incident, sheriff's office spokeswoman Debra Johnson said Monday.
Pagan later translated the message as, " 'You've been warned. Stop what you're doing,' " she said Monday. And it was a way to scare her, her husband and daughter.
Pagan thinks the suspect is someone known to the local pagan community ---- perhaps another pagan familiar with Theban script.
All I can say is that bigotry is on the rise in the world. In the name of tolerance it has become vogue to be intolerant. The last example may not totally fit that definition, but in practically all arenas there is this stubborn streak of bigotry and hatred towards those who disagree with you, and I refuse to marginalize it by claiming its the liberals, or the conservatives, or the atheists or the Christians or whatever identifiable affiliation you want. The trouble is that rather then trying to live together in harmony and respect, it is turning into a titanic shoving match, where every new move sets Newton's 3rd law into operation: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, which is similar to my last blog, on action and consequence. These all may seem like trivial and harmless examples, but as they build up we get to a point where the reactions become retribution and revenge, otherwise known as overreaction, and take on a life of their own increasing in scope and magnitude. That draws amplified counteractions and on we go. Lather, Rinse and Repeat.
And all of this is ironically happening while they take down signs that say "Peace on earth and good will to mankind"...that's too religious of a message.