Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Separation of Church and State Part 3

Today we look into part three of the Separation of Church and State debate by asking the question…do current standards impose on one’s religious practice?

A press release sent by Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue’s office on the afternoon of December 2nd, announced plans for a “holiday tree” lighting ceremony at the governor’s mansion. Thirty minutes later, a second release went out reading: “It is, in fact, a Christmas tree.” Religious conservatives have objected to the use of the term “holiday tree,” saying it seeks to minimize the Christian origins of Christmas. (The Daytona Beach News-Journal, 12/4/2005) I am not religious, nor conservative, and yet I agree that changing a “Christmas Tree” to a “Holiday Tree” is politically INcorrect. Christmas is a religious holiday, not an American holiday like Thanksgiving. Unfortunately it has become such a commercialized holiday that many non-Christians celebrate Christmas in one form or another.

The next point this brings to fruition is the question of company’s giving everyone off for a religious holiday. I will probably kick myself for saying this, but I do not think any company should give off for a religious holiday, including Christmas. However, company’s should give more available days off that people can use as floating holidays so whatever their religion, they can take those days off without penalty. Although a company’s employee base may be predominantly one religion, and therefore most people will not be working there on a particular day, employees who do not observe that day should not be penalized by having to take that day off and not a day that they do observe or having to use their personal/vacation time in its place.

Being conscience and considerate of all people’s views and beliefs is key. “If you want to be free, there is but one way; it is to guarantee an equally full measure of liberty to all your neighbors. There is no other”-Carl Schurz (1829-1906)