A news article prompts this post. In my last post I set out my views about why I think it is important to maintain a separation of religion and public government in America. I believe that because our country has developed a very large mix of spiritual and religious beliefs in the last couple of decades so that any government imposed religious views are discriminatory towards conflicting religious views. We are all citizens. We have religious freedom. We have the right not to have someone else's religious views imposed upon us by government. Whenever government adopts a position favoring a religious viewpoint it violates the rights of other citizens.
With that in mind I read that a group of parents who belong to the Seventh Day Adventist Church are suing the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association over alleged religious discrimination. Their complaint is that the tournament takes place on Saturday and their church believes Saturday is the Sabbath Day. They argue that their children can't participate as a result and they complain the Association refused to restructure the state volleyball tournament in Yakima. So, should a public agency of government revise a schedule to accommodate a particular religious belief of a religious group?
I am reminded that in 1965 the great Sandy Koufax refused to pitch in Game One of the World Series for his team the Dodgers because it was Yom Kippur, a Jewish holy day. Instead, Koufax attended synagogue. Without their pitching ace they substituted Don Drysdale instead and he had to be pulled from the game. The Dodgers lost to the Minnesota Twins 8 -2.
Note that Sandy exercised his religious rights not to play on a religious day because of his beliefs. He did not insist the schedule of the World Series be changed to accommodate his personal beliefs to the discrimination of everyone else with different religious beliefs. Consider all of the differing beliefs of Catholics, Protestants, Hindus, Muslims and all the conflicting ones within each of these religions. Should government be obligated to structure itself so as to not conflict with any of these religious ideas? I don't think so. However, nor should government have the right to force people to do things that are contrary to their personal religious beliefs unless it can be demonstrated there is a significance to the rest of us. There should not be allowed the right to drive 100 mph on highways because there is a religious belief because it endangers everyone else.
I think this lawsuit illustrates why we should not mix religion and government.