The flyers were handed out at public schools and referenced an Easter egg hunt at a nearby Christian church. So, some Muslim parents get an outrage twofer: They can claim bias against Muslims and play the old atheist trick of claiming that passing the flyer out at public schools violates the separation of church and state.
The Daily Caller:
The Muslim parents assert that the flyers – emblazoned with the word “Eggstravaganza!” – violate the separation of church and state widely ascribed to the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, reports the Detroit Free Press.
Students at three Dearborn elementary schools received the flyers. A large number of Muslim students attend the schools.
The “Eggstravaganza!” is scheduled to take place on April 12 event at Cherry Hill Presbyterian Church in Dearborn.
The flyer urges students to RSVP “to secure your free spot,” note the Free Press. The associated imagery includes a festive bunny and some eggs.
The event will feature a traditional Easter egg hunt as well as an egg toss and a relay race.
“It really bothered my two kids,” parent Majed Moughni told the Free Press. “My son was like, ‘Dad, I really don’t feel comfortable getting these flyers, telling me to go to church. I thought churches are not supposed to mix with schools.”
Right after the page break, I am calling BS on that parent.
If his kid said that, my name is Mohammed. Besides, the flyer isn’t telling anyone to “go to church.” It’s inviting kids over to have some fun. And how can these secular symbols of Easter be defined as “religious”? Maybe the Muslims think that Christians worship bunny rabbits:
Pastor Neeta Nichols of Cherry Hill Presbyterian noted that the event has absolutely nothing to do with religion.
“It’s designed to be an opportunity to invite the community to come for a day of activity,” she told the Free Press. “There is not a religious component to this event.”
Greg Lipper, a lawyer at Americans United for Separation of Church and State, proclaimed his concern that the flyer is advertising an Easter egg hunt that will occur at a church. In his view, “context matters”—and it matters even more when young kids are involved.
Of course Mr. Lipper is “concerned.” No doubt it’s time to do a little fundraising and what better way to rake in the cash than turn something innocent and fun into something malevolent and evil?
As for the parent, Mr. Moughni, he claims to be very concerned that teachers, who draw salaries from the public purse, are handing out the flyers:
Moughni said he’s concerned about “using school teachers paid by public funds … to pass out these flyers that are being distributed by a church. I think that’s a serious violation of separation of church and state.”
Not even close, Mr. Moughni. He’s stretching the point beyond breaking. In fact, public schools are part of a larger community and have a duty to serve that community. If that means making flyers announcing a secular church party available to all students, then they are fulfilling their mandate. If public school teachers actually handed out the flyers — something that wasn’t made clear in the article — they would simply be fulfilling their mission to engage the community.
If Christians were going to be doing any proselytizing in the Muslim community, they wouldn’t use pagan symbols and secular-themed parties. But looking under the bed for Christians and pretending to be outraged by innocent gestures of community involvement seems to be the best way to get media exposure.
After all, we wouldn’t want to offend anyone, now would we?