A recent issue of the Herald advises of the Council Rock School Board being lobbied by Muslim students to change the school calendar, recognize the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, and provide such as a day free from school.
I relate to the students’ desire for time off, which is becoming a noteworthy American inclination, antithetical to the Protestant work ethic that built what we still enjoy, but the board’s response is surprising, as they indicate a plan for complete acquiescence to the request, asap.
Although it may seem like a small deal, it’s a piece of a bigger picture; it’s more relentless egalitarian pursuit of universal outcome equity, an activity which has stolen and re-ascribed the word fairness, replacing our former traditional values of liberty, merit, and freedom. And nationally recognized holidays are what normally closes a school, as doing so allows for a recognition of a nation’s common concerns and matters of importance.
A day off from school is a product of agreeing to commonly recognize and revere a certain matter, as one nation. The national holidays are supportive of a nation’s culture; if you change them, you change the culture – you change the nation. We are doing this, diminishing Washington and Lincoln from their former autonomous named holidays to the amalgamated Presidents Day, with our only remaining national holiday that bears an individual’s name being that ofMartin Luther King Jr., coming as it does, to prime us for Black History Month.
This type of national uniformity of calendar is one of the small components in having a nation, and although I am generally a local control advocate, I think a board may choose to take a step back and move with deliberation here.
This approval is a slippery slope; actions can set precedent for the next individual or group seeking their brand of equity. You also have the practical counter argument such as parents who would like to see their kids attending class and the question of foregone learning to add another holiday.
But I am not sure that today we have the room to consider the practical, when faced with the potential of being called a bigoted racist – a term whose utility is to blindly and absolutely win the argument for any minority person or group who wants their way. It is in fact this type of outwardly inclusive consideration that 25 years ago introduced schools to Kwanza, which downcast our kids into holiday pageant, replacing all indications and activity relating to Christmas at school, which has left people more apart, with a constant subconscious narrative that we shouldn’t offend. And to do this we step back; a type of chipping away of culture and society – or at least of traditional American culture and society – yes there is a distinctly American culture – more destruction in the name of the holy grail of equity.
A nation is its people, and the standards that exist among those people – some things are allowed, and some things are not allowed. Once all is allowed, it’s not much of a nation, but a type of chaos. And standards have been very successfully targeted in this country, greatly corrupting and diminishing our institutions, to the degree that the American characteristic now providing the greatest communal bond is that all have a Netflix account and Amazon Prime, a ruthless and efficient marketplace, but no shared values, and little highlighting of goodness, honor, or constructive creativity, all formerly paramount.
Interestingly, a quick glance at another column in this same BCH, we are told that America is not a nation founded on Judeo / Christian principles. This radical belief reveals one basis for the chipping away. Any basic reading of the founding documents, including the Federalist Papers, makes clear; in fact, recognizing such as a requirement, along with a reasonably well informed electorate and an honorable political class, and we are 0 for 3 today.
America was and still is a Christian nation, and with such being foundational is not recognized, then chipping away at is not only allowable but rational, and here we are.
There are two ways to look at this seemingly local issue: one is to simply see the “fairness” of closing the school so that one small group is favored with any associated cost borne by all, and the other is to see it as a reduction in the values and standards that allow us to have commonality, and be a nation.
Across the country, the jury is out. And with no bulwark – no opposition to this progressiveness – it will win, as it always does, as progressivism is easy thinking, and supported by passion, and only highly deliberate, strong, and intentional conservatism slows it and may beat it.
But generally, such efforts are late, radical, and come with much, much cost.
Dan Gilligan lives in Milford, N.J.