Constitution aside, Prothero’s suggestion that we should do away with school-sanctioned religious holidays is hardly a solution. It’s a false notion that we can respect everyone by respecting no one, as he suggests. Telling the 76 percent of Americans who are Christian that observance of their holy days must be scrapped in deference to the 0.4 percent of Americans who are Hindu might seem fair within the confines of the Boston University Religious Department. However, in the real world, this doesn’t hold up to anyone’s idea of fairness.
Those who wish to make a point by invoking the Constitution need to understand that they can’t pick and choose from the document like it’s a cafeteria line. The Constitution is only as strong, and as rational, as the sum of its parts. So while it’s true that our Founders never intended a government mandated religion, it’s equally true that they never intended a coerced government education system in which all children are prohibited from practicing or exhibiting any religious beliefs.