Parade or Religious Procession
The St. Patrick’s Day Parade took a new turn this week when this year’s grand marshal stated that the parade was about Irish culture “and religion,” making the parade into some type of religious procession throwing into doubt the legality of having public institutions march in a country where there is a separation of church and state.
Let me clarify. Can the police and fire department march in their public uniforms thereby implicitly advocating a religious cause. Let’s take it a step further and speculate about the appropriateness of public schools marching in a religious event.
Parade organizers like to say that everyone is Irish on the day of the parade but can that be true now that religion has entered the equation adding the marginalization of Jews, Protestants and Muslims to the list of those already disenfranchised by the parade. These people now join the LGBT community that has been blocked for years from marching under their own banner in a city that is one of the Gay capitals of the world.
Can taxpayers’ money be used to police the parade now that it is a religious event in light of our separation of church and state? Going beyond this do progressive New Yorkers want their tax dollars going to support an event that now divides people because of their religious or sexual orientation. Imagine being left out as others celebrate. Imagine you are all alone in a nation where equality reigns supreme. Just imagine.
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