The Elmbrook School District in Wisconsin rented a local church building for high school graduation ceremonies. This practice made sense for everybody–neither high school had a big enough, air conditioned, indoor space with enough seating for graduation. The district superintendent approved the practice and parents and graduates supported it.
So, what is the problem? Apparently, being inside a church building will contaminate and possibly even infect the poor children who are forced to graduate in the church. Or so says the “Americans United for the Separation of Church and State,” whose title might more clearly be “Americans United for the Separation of Brains from Common Sense.” This secularist group sued the school district, accusing them of creating a hostile religious environment. The 7th Court of Appeals agreed, saying that having graduations in the church could cause the graduates to..
…perceive the state as endorsing a set of religious beliefs.
If that is true, then perhaps the graduates ought to return to grade school. But I have confidence that these young people are much smarter than that. I trust that they actually do understand that their school is separate from the church and that they are renting the church for comfort and convenience. Particularly since the graduations have absolutely no religious tenor–not even a prayer.
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is defending Elmbrook School District as they take this fight to the Supreme Court.