Saturday, September 1, 2007

What's The Difference?


DENVER — A student who said she was told she wouldn't get her diploma unless she apologized for a commencement speech in which she mentioned Jesus has filed a lawsuit alleging her free speech rights were violated.

The school district contends its actions were "constitutionally appropriate."

Erica Corder was one of 15 valedictorians at Lewis-Palmer High School in 2006. All were invited to speak for 30 seconds at the graduation ceremony. When it was Corder's turn, she encouraged the audience to get to know Jesus Christ.

...and this from the San Diego Union-Tribune:

A San Diego public school has become part of a national debate over religion in schools ever since a substitute teacher publicly condemned an Arabic language program that gives Muslim students time for prayer during school hours.

Carver Elementary in Oak Park added Arabic to its curriculum in September when it suddenly absorbed more than 100 students from a defunct charter school that had served mostly Somali Muslims.

After subbing at Carver, the teacher claimed that religious indoctrination was taking place and said that a school aide had led Muslim students in prayer.

An investigation by the San Diego Unified School District failed to substantiate the allegations. But critics continue to assail Carver for providing a 15-minute break in the classroom each afternoon to accommodate Muslim students who wish to pray. (Those who don't pray can read or write during that non-instructional time.)

Continuing - from World Net Daily:

The Kansas City International Airport has added several foot-washing basins in restrooms to accommodate a growing number of Muslim taxicab drivers who requested the facilities to prepare for daily Islamic prayer, WND has learned.

The move concerns airport police who worry about Middle Eastern men loitering inside the building. After 9/11, the airport beefed up its police force to help prevent terrorist attacks.

"Why are we constructing places of worship for them inside our airports?" said an airport official who requested anonymity. "Why are we catering to their rituals? We don't do it for any other religion."

Other major airports also are dealing with increased demands from Muslim cabdrivers.

.... cabbies at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport recently caused a stir when they refused to carry passengers possessing alcoholic beverages or accompanied by seeing-eye dogs. Alcohol is forbidden in Islam, and dogs are considered unclean.

There are approximately 250 taxicab drivers operating at KCI Airport in Missouri, one of the largest airports in the U.S., linking some 10 million passengers between mid-America and other U.S. cities. Approximately 70 percent of the drivers are of Middle Eastern heritage and practice the Islamic faith, sources say.

KCI Airport Police are responsible for the cab drivers, including the holding areas of the building. The KCI Aviation Department, which oversees the police, recently expanded the taxicab facility restroom area to include the construction of four individual foot-washing benches.

The cost of the project is not immediately known. A spokeswoman for the engineering department said she could not break out the figures.

KCI Airport Police Capt. Jim Harmon declined comment, explaining, "This is a touchy subject."

He referred questions to the KCI Aviation Department.

In a cleansing ritual known as ablution, Muslims are required to wash their feet before praying to Allah five times a day. They often complain that public restroom sinks do not accommodate their needs. Floor-level basins make it easier for them to perform their foot-washing ritual.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations has pressed government agencies and businesses to install the foot basins in restrooms.

This also from World Net Daily:

The Transportation Security Administration – created after 9/11 to safeguard America's airports – is providing Islamic sensitivity training to 45,000 airport security officers so they'll know what to expect when Muslims fly from the U.S. to Saudi Arabia to participate in the annual "hajj," or pilgrimage to Mecca.

"We put out information telling everyone that hajj is coming; this is the time frame; individuals are going to be traveling with these types of items," TSA spokesman Darrin Kayser told the State Department's USINFO Web site Tuesday. Calling it "cultural sensitivity training," Kayser added that airport security officials need "just to be aware that they may also be praying."

Ironically, just last month six Muslim imams were ejected by federal authorities from a US Airways flight in Minneapolis because they were deemed a potential security threat. Among the various behaviors that unnerved fellow passengers was the group's prayers in the airport prior to their flight.

Welcoming TSA's Islamic sensitivity training is the Council on American-Islamic Relations....

So, how is it we can put foot washing basins in airports with taxpayer dollars, provide Muslim kids with a 15 minute break for the express purpose of praying that Allah grants their elders the power to wipe this nation and Israel from the map, so on and so forth - but a girl simply expresses to each of the attendees at her high school graduation he desire that each of them come to know Christ - a knowledge that leads to a life of charity, upstanding citizenship, and virtue - and she, as valedictorian, is not allowed to receive her diploma until she apologizes?

It also appears taxpayer dollars can go toward "sensitivity" training for Federal employees. None of the aforementioned concessions to Muslims violates the First Amendment's "Separation Clause" in any way?

Am I the only one that sees a rank double standard here?

I've stated before, our nation's history is rich in Christianity - and there is nothing unconstitutional about allowing free exercise of it or any other religion. Study history, and you'll see that the Separation Clause of the First Amendment was to protect free exercise, not to drive religion from public life. But it has become a tool for irreligious bigots to do just that - unless, of course, the religion is Islam. Islam has become a vehicle for millions of people around the world to plot the destruction of the West and the comforts and freedoms we enjoy. We'll go out of our way to allow them (on our nickel) to practice the religion they use as an impetus to kill us all. But don't mention Jesus in a public forum. That's unconstitutional.

Questions to ponder:

  • Had Corder implied that each in the audience should praise Allah and The Prophet, bow toward Mecca five times a day, etc; would the Leftists on the school board be holding her diploma hostage then?
  • Had Pat Robertson and his associates pounded on the table of the TSA and the KCI Aviation Department demanding a place for Communion and that head scarves be banned from the airport, you think they'd have been accommodated? Or would they be laughed out of the country by the New York Times Editorial board? Has anyone ever considered sensitivity training for college professors with regard to dealing with the beliefs of Evangelical Christians in the classrooms?
  • Why are we obligated to provide special services to Muslims, to tolerate their differences with our religions, when they are not obligated to do the same (i.e., seeing eye dogs)?
Christianity its part of our heritage. Practicing it freely and discussing it publicly is not unconstitutional. Corder is owed a huge apology from this school board.

And couldn't taxpayer dollars that go toward foot washing basins and sensitivity training be better used for, say, bridge repair?

Double standards abound, indeed.