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?
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.
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?