My friend Marc Randazza, a First-Amendment attorney, has a sweet piece up at CNN about officially-recognized religious holidays.
I wish the headline were different: “Why schools should observe ‘Day of the Dude'” (a reference to The Big Lebowski) is going to cause lots of people to click through to something less seemingly absurd. In fairness, absurdity is exactly the thing Marc was going for with his argument — in a good way. Follow along:
Schools in New York City have decided to observe two Muslim holidays and close schools for them. After all, for decades, kids have gotten Christian and Jewish holidays off.
But that’s the wrong approach, Marc argues:
First of all, virtually every recognized religion is practiced in New York City. Unfortunately, now only three of them have some kind of “officially acknowledged” status. Christians, Jews and Muslims have their holidays off, but what about New York’s other religions? What about my religion? March 6 has long been “The Day of the Dude,” and as a Dudeist minister, should I not demand respect for my beliefs, by insisting that the school district “take ‘er easy” on that date every year?