The Newaygo School Board in Michigan has foolishly and unanimously voted to keep a display of the Three Wise Men (presumably heading to see Jesus) on the roof of Newaygo Elementary School.
The 6-0 vote suggests that board members are convinced judges won’t see the display as religious, but rather as a secular symbol of wisdom.
There was one caveat with their vote:
School board president Vince Grodus said he, “would however like to authorize Dr. Mathis to consider ways to potentially refine the display so it better reflects our purpose as Newaygo Public School District.”
So… make it more secular so the District doesn’t get in trouble?
That implies the current display is religious, which is what Mitch Kahle of the Michigan Association of Civil Rights Activists (MACRA) has been saying ever since he wrote a letter to the board urging them to take it down. At the time, he said the display “is clearly designed to convey the Christian nativity story.”
Superintendent Dr. Peggy Mathis said in response that there was nothing religious about it. She thought the focus should be on the “wise” part of “wise men” and not the surrounding story of who they are and what they’re doing. She bizarrely said the men were “described as the scientists of their time.” (I promise you no museum outside of Kentucky has a display dedicated to the scientific achievements of the guys who brought presents for Jesus.)
It should be telling that comments on every local story about this display include Christians saying the District needs to defend their religious holiday. Anything less would be a form of religious persecution. They know this is a religious display. Why doesn’t the school board?
As I said before, if Mathis wants to promote wisdom and science, she could put up a display honoring actual scientists. Instead, she supports this advertisement for Christianity.
MACRA plans on pursuing a lawsuit, saying on Facebook, “The lawyers are coming…”
What an irresponsible decision by the school board and everyone supporting them. This is bound to backfire, and they’ll have only themselves to blame for it.
(Thanks to Andrew for the link)