Last week, I posted about a ceremonial “pinning” ceremony that takes place when nursing students graduate from Colorado Mesa University. It’s a way of welcoming them into the profession. But at CMU, when those graduates stepped off the stage, they were given a Gideons Bible.
There was no good reason for this, other than the lazy excuse of “tradition.” But if administrators were opening the door to Christians, then I guess atheists and Satanists could get on board, too, right?
The Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers sent a letter to the school explaining what their options were. Simply put, the school could allow giveaways of any and all religious materials or they could say no to everyone.
It appears that the school’s President, Tim Foster, has finally decided to say no to everyone.
In an email that was forwarded to me, Foster explained:
… I have had additional discussions with Health Sciences faculty and nursing students. I have sought legal counsel and researched legal precedent. I have listened to the divergent viewpoints of others. Taking all that into consideration, the Bible give-away at the pinning ceremony will be discontinued.Though the presentation of Bibles to graduating nurses by the Gideons at the pinning ceremony is a long-standing, international tradition and the pinning ceremony itself does, in fact, have religious roots, it is important to remain focused upon and to celebrate the accomplishment achieved by all of our graduating students at the December 2015 Commencement.
It’s a simple response to a not-so-complicated issue, but it’s the right decision. Good for CMU for correcting a tradition that never should have started in the first place.
***Update***: The Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers are also celebrating the school’s decision.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Jon for the link)