Church and State

Today is a day to feel proud.

Our first African-American President took the official oath of office for his second term.  Our first Latino Supreme Court Justice gave the official oath to our Vice President.

Today is a day to celebrate.

But we are not celebrating.  We are not celebrating because today is Sunday. “Tradition” demands that when the inauguration day falls on Sunday, the Christian sabbath, all ceremonies and festivities be delayed until Monday.

With so many major violations of our constitutional guarantee to separation of church and state tarnishing our daily lives, perhaps this rather minor infraction shouldn’t bother me.  But it does.

It bothers me because the presidential inauguration, an event we witness but once every four years, is the only day we set aside to honor our constitution in public for all to observe, here at home and around the world.  Violating the constitution, it’s a funny way to show honor.

It bothers me because it favors a single religion, admittedly one that is not my own.  Of course, Christianity is the dominant faith in our country.  But when you consider the people who are Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, or Atheist and the people who are Christian but do not keep Sunday as a day of rest and prayer, there would not seem to be a groundswell of demand for the delay.

It bothers me because the move to a weekday diminishes the number of citizens who will be able to view the events.  Most adults will be at work where their jobs do not allow access to television or the internet.  Most children will be at school where their teachers may not have flexibility for the extra-curricular happenings.

Yes, today all of us can feel proud.  And tomorrow, some of us can celebrate.

© 2013 Jaclyn Schrier. All rights reserved.

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