“Group threatens to sue schools that use Elmbrook Church for commencements”

by thoughtfulconservative

UPDATE: Tim points out in the comments:

In addition, at past graduations, the church displayed banners reading “Leading Children to a Transforming Life in Jesus” and “Lord of Lords,” and church personnel distributed religious pamphlets and other materials to graduating [public school] students and their families.

That would seem a bit more of an issue, don’t you think?

Indeed it would. But I found the above quote only in the story at the Americans United web site and at none of the news stories which reported the story.

That’s not to say, the AU version is wrong. And it does show the kinds of problems which can occur and Elmbrook Church should be mindful of.

But it is contradicted by the superintendents, who may also have their own agenda.

Via NewsWatch on JSOnline.com

A national organization that advocates separation of church and state is threatening to sue three Waukesha County school districts and a technical college if they do not stop using Elmbrook Church for their graduation ceremonies.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State sent letters to the Elmbrook, Mukwonago and New Berlin school district as well as Waukesha County Technical College, asking them to move graduation ceremonies to secular locations this year.

You know, I get the separation of church and state thing. I don’t want Christianity, or any other religion, for that matter, to be the official religion of this country.

I also understand that some people might be offended by different things that people would like to do, Nativity Scenes on City Hall grounds, prayer in class, etc., even though my personal beliefs say that this would be beneficial.

I can’t quite get around this, however. Here’s is a large auditorium, centrally located, ideal for holding commencement services, but unacceptable. Why?

Moving graduation to the church from Mukwonago High School’s gymnasium means more family members have been able to attend the annual event.

But I suppose someone, sometime might see a picture of Jesus, I guess.

You’d think that by the time they graduate, their parents would have sufficiently taught them so that they would be resistent to the temptation to convert just by having a commencement inside a church.

Americans United sued four public high schools in Florida several years to try to get their graduation ceremonies moved from a church. A judge refused to move the ceremony, arguing the lawsuit was filed too close to the ceremonies. The schools later settled the lawsuit with the organization and moved their graduations to non-church locations.

So it will happen here, too.

What am I not seeing here?

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7 Comments to ““Group threatens to sue schools that use Elmbrook Church for commencements””

  1. Question: The schools don’t have auditoriums, or a fieldhouse? We did in West Bend.

  2. Additionally, from the JS Online article:

    School officials said that other than a large cross that hangs above where students receive their diplomas, little is religious about their commencements.

    That would be good, except for this:

    In addition, at past graduations, the church displayed banners reading “Leading Children to a Transforming Life in Jesus” and “Lord of Lords,” and church personnel distributed religious pamphlets and other materials to graduating [public school] students and their families.

    That would seem a bit more of an issue, don’t you think?

  3. Tim, regarding your first, I think they do but Elmbrook is larger and allows for more families. My HS held it in the football field except in rain when they moved it to the gym and limited family to 2 or 4 (it’s been awhile).

    Re: your second the banners would be more problematic. I must have missed that. Thanks for pointing it out.

  4. The 30-foot cross wasn’t enough for you? If it was a 30-foot Satanic symbol, that wouldn’t raise anyone’s ire?

  5. Probably someone’s, John, don’t these things always?

    But if the building is suitable and nothing else is there, I wouldn’t mind at all.

  6. Tim….
    You are misinformed. My son recently graduated from Brookfield Central. No church members handed out ANY materials to the graduates’ families. Prior to holding commencement in the church, it was held in the gymnasium at Central — hot, stuffy & bleacher seating only (hard on the back & posterior). Plus each student only received two tickets, so families had to choose between both parents attending, or having grandparents or siblings attend.
    Graduating seniors are heading out into the world. If they aren’t ready to be exposed to all sorts of ideology (including Christianity, which is probably one of the LEAST harmful things they will encounter)….then perhaps they are not ready for graduation.
    Are you writing from personal experience, or just parroting something you read on a website???

  7. I’m finding this to be a really lame issue…these groups that are around that are working on taking God out of our government buildings, currancy, schools, etc. are getting on my nerves…now to fight to keep high schools from holding a HS Graduation in a church that is setup like a beautiful large auditorium is totally ridiculous! Get over it “Americans United for seperation of church and state”!!! To me you are not true Americans if you don’t believe that our country was founded on Christianity and we want it to stay that way….if you don’t, than I suggest that you move to Canada…or better yet, Mexico!!

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