Friday, December 02, 2005

Season 4 "West Wing" Shoutout

From The Athens Banner-Herald:
"inally, not that television should provide a nexus for debating the issue of separation of church and state, but an episode from the fourth season of the NBC show "The West Wing" is at least somewhat instructive on this point.

In the episode, the president's personal aide asks his boss how the Red Mass - an annual Roman Catholic Mass celebrated in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere for judges, lawyers and government officials - can be reconciled with the clause in the First Amendment to the Constitution prohibiting a governmental establishment of religion. The Washington, D.C. Red Mass is attended by Supreme Court justices and other government officials, sometimes including the president.

On "The West Wing," the fictional president answers his aide by saying, "And so how isn't it a constitutional issue? It is, but sometimes you say, 'Big deal.'"

And so it is with students, teachers and staff in public schools occasionally saying "Merry Christmas" to one another.

Such conduct may raise a constitutional issue. But, sometimes, you say, "Big deal."

Or, "So what?"

Or, "Don't we have bigger things to worry about?"

Oh, and just one more thing - Merry Christmas."

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