Just finished reading an interesting post over at Civil Commotion, over the decision to remove the Cross from the 300-year old Wren Chapel, at the College of William and Mary. I am Christian, but don't think you have to be a Christian to find this problematic at the very least. The charter itself establishes the school's history as a school with Christian traditions, and it's not really a violation of church-state separation to keep those traditions. The main argument in support of this change is the fact that this school has become non-denominational, and receives public support:
“In order to make the Wren Chapel less of a faith-specific space, and to make it more welcoming to students, faculty, staff and visitors of all faiths, the cross has been removed from the altar area,” Engimann said.
The cross will be returned to the altar for those who wish to use it for events, services or private prayer. Student tour guides have been directed to pass any questions or complaints about the change on to administrators.
Interesting argument, but wrong. The thing is, if the cross has to be removed except for private sectarian gatherings, what principle allows the cross to remain at all, since the school is non-denominational? Is it non-denominational only some of the time? The logic doesn't hold. The fact is, the cross represents the tradition of the school, much like the name of the city of Corpus Christi, Texas. This ruling by the college seems wrongheaded, and a betrayal of its traditions. Besides, couldn't you leave the cross up, and allow other faiths to use their respective religious items for their sectarian events? Again, this is a wrong-headed ruling.
Don't get me wrong, Bob Felton runs an interesting blog, yet I must say his anti-religious hostility is problematic for obvious reasons.