what a week. the previous seven days were overrun by sickness, brief hospital stints, recovery, near-fatal exams, and getting my laughter back. what a week. i’m proud to have survived it, and thankful that spring break will be showing its glowing self soon. fishing and target shooting with my dad in the boondocks, a mission experience with my switch kids, and seeing some old friends are sure to refresh me for what is left of this semester. then, of course, the two papers i also have to knock out will snap me back to academic reality. oh well. sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the bug.
i have a deep and important favor to ask of y’all. my presentation over public schools’ accommodation of religious practices for my church/state class is swiftly approaching, and i’m dying to hear some outside opinions on a few issues i’m examining. i would love, love, love to hear your thoughts, so please share them with me in a comment if you get a spare moment!
- some public schools with significant muslim populations are now providing rooms for students to perform their obligatory prayers in and are being excused from class periods to do so. is this at all a promotion of religion, or is this accommodation acceptable?
- the university of michigan’s deerborn campus has pledged $25,000 of student fee dollars to construct foot-washing stations in bathrooms for muslim students who must perform this ritual cleansing before prayer. walking a fine line, or promoting safety and sanitation for those who would otherwise be forced to wash their feet in sinks?
- christmas programs are a longstanding tradition in many schools, filled with both secular symbols and faith-based carols. should kwanza and hanukkah programs also be held? is a “christmas” concert or program a violation of the establishment clause?
- the head scarf, or hijab, that many girls in islam are required to wear has become a hot-button issue with public american schools. an elementary student in muskogee, oklahoma, was suspended several years ago for violating her school’s head covering policy with her hijab, and her plight was eventually supported by the federal government. should religious wear be exempt from these policies?