In Wisconsin, a lawsuit will be filed today against the mayor and the City Council of Green Bay president by the Madison-based Freedom from Religion Foundation who opposes the nativity scene the city placed at the entrance of City Hall.
If you ever watched West Wing, one of my 5 favorite shows of all-time, President Bartlett was asked by one of his young aids how the president speaking to Supreme Court justices at Red Mass did not create a separation of church and state problem. (Red Mass is a Catholic Mass celebrated annually by Catholic and non-Catholic lawyers and judges, the most prolific of which is the Red Mass held in October before the Supreme Court’s fall session. The Mass held is to seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance in the administration of justice in the coming year.) President Bartlett said: “And so how isn’t it a Constitutional issue? It is, but sometimes you say, “Big deal.” It was the intention not to have a national religion, not to have anyone’s religious views imposed on anyone else, and not to have the government encourage a national display of piety as a substitute for real action.”
I realize that many have valid arguments to the idea that any intrusion into church and state is a slippery slope. But at some point, do we have to sweat all of the small stuff? Is anyone really offended by a nativity scene or “In God We Trust” on our currency?
I think we need more people saying “big deal” in our culture today. But I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the Freedom from Religion Foundation is not going to be listening.