NEWS BLOG (WSAU) The Madison-based Freedom From Religion Foundation has been asking questions about Good Friday. They’re asking communities where government offices are closed today to consider changing the name of the holiday to ‘Spring Holiday’.
This is the same group that’s filed lawsuits over Christmas displays on public property.
If you follow their reasoning, having a day off for Christmas shouldn’t be allowed either since even non-religious people celebrate Christmas by shopping and gift-giving. Good Friday is different since it is a religious holiday only.
There are some communities that will give in to the Good Friday change, not wanting to spend money on a lawsuit. They should resist. It’s reasonable that religions that are widely practiced in the U.S. have their holy days as holidays. As a kid in a mostly-Jewish neighborhood in New York, I can remember schools being closed on Yom Kippor. Good Friday is no different. It’s a stretch to say that closing government offices on major religious holidays violates separation of church and state.
Our Constitution says only that government cannot establish an official state religion. It’s the courts that came up with the concept of separation of church and state. The legal standard has always been ‘freedom of religion’ not ‘freedom from religion’. Hopefully the courts remember the difference.
Operations Manager, Midwest Communications-Wausau