Sunday, April 16, 2006

The Religious Right

Today is Easter, or as some would say, "Easter Sunday," as if Easter ever comes on any other day of the week. Prior to this, we had Good Friday and Holy Saturday. Holy Saturday sounds made up, like "Elite 8" had to be made up to go between "Sweet 16" and "Final 4" in the NCAA basketball tournament so that there would be a named stage between two major events.
We celebrate several major Christian holidays in America. They are not National holidays, since the United States does not have National holidays. Rather, they are legal holidays, because businesses are free to be open or closed if they wish. The government, however, is always closed.
I wonder how the growing populations of Islamic, Buddist and Hindu feel (really feel, not what they tell Diane Sawyer) about all this Christian holiday celebrating that we do? They're all tax-paying citizens - at least by today I hope they are - but they don't get a sniff when it comes to having time off for their own celebrations.
We're closed on Christmas, Good Friday and Easter, but if you want one of your non-Christian days off, you'll have to do it on your own. But how to know which days? Thankfully, the New Jersey Deptartment of Education publishes a list of "Religious Holidays Permitting Pupil Absence from School." If you're of the Baha'i faith, your kid can stay home on Friday for the First Day of Ridvan, but he'll need a note and he will miss a real day of school, while his fellow Christian, and Christian tolerant pals are studying American history. This is followed by the ninth and twelfth days of Ridvan, the Declaration of the Bab and the Ascension of Baha'u'llah.
A nice scam would be to pick a religion with lots of extra days off, declare that your kid is of that faith, and sign him out of school a few extra times. If you can't afford nice gifts for Christian Christmas, it will probably make your kid feel better about life, and a day off in spring is better than a fleece jacket in December.

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