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Monday, September 17, 2012

Another Attack on Religious Freedom - Loveland school seizes rosary beads from student, says they’re ‘gang symbol’ | | Denver Breaking News, Weather & Sports – FOX 31 News in Denver, Colorado

Below is an article and video I came across in my wanderings.  Where is the apology for this blatant attack on Christian Faith and Feelings? I suppose if this young man had brought a gun to school and murdered his teachers and classmates in reaction to this insult to his religion THEN an apology would be issued for religious insensitivity? Oh, no let's not fool ourselves. This was an attack against Christianity, Not Islam so there will be no apology.

The school says that this young man who wears his rosary is showing support for a gang that he has no affiliation with or who for that matter has any affiliation with any gang. His affiliation is with the Catholic Church. This young man is a good student and a faithful Catholic and has never been in any trouble other than making the mistake of wearing his rosary to school.

Can you imagine the outrage and gnashing of teeth that would be going on if the school had demanded a Muslim remove some symbol of their religion? Where is the ACLU here? Oh, you won't see them unless he were ALLOWED to wear his rosary. Where are we going??? What is happening to us?

By the way. One small but interesting sidebar. As I typed this not once did my auto spell check give me the red underscore when I did not capitalize the word Catholic as it does when I neglect to capitalize the word muslim. It's the little things...

Loveland school seizes rosary beads from student, says they’re ‘gang symbol’ | | Denver Breaking News, Weather & Sports – FOX 31 News in Denver, Colorado  by ,

LOVELAND, Colo. — A student is questioning whether his faith or his fashion is under fire at his high school in Loveland.
Thompson Valley High School officials have confiscated his rosary beads twice since school started three weeks ago.
And he says they never told him, or his family, why.
“They tell me I can’t wear them,” says Manuel Vigil, showing us an identical rosary to the one seized by his school.
The junior says he wears rosary beads to protect himself from harm.
But his school district thinks the religious necklace will harm students.
“That’s typically not what we want for a safe environment for school,” says Thompson Valley School District spokesperson Margaret Crespo.
The district says they can be affiliated with gangs, and disrupt learning.
“Are you in a gang? I ask Vigil. ‘No. I’m not in a gang,’ he says. You’re a good student?  ‘I’m a good student,’” he says.
The 16-year-old says he and his family are strong Catholics.
“I use them for prayer. I feel safe when I have them on.”
The district says it gave Vigil options before seizing the beads.
“We’ve given you two opportunities to take it off or to put it inside your shirt. That’s not something you’re interested in doing. You’re not giving us an alternative than to remove it,” Crespo says Vigil was told.
But Vigil says he only got a demand.
“If he would have given me that option, I would have put it in my shirt,” he says.
Vigil’s classmates agree putting a bad label on a good symbol is wrong.
“If it’s for religious reasons he should be allowed to wear it. We have religious tolerance in this country,” says a freshman student Jack.
“It’s a necklace. Girls wear necklaces all the time and they never get them taken away,” says junior Rachel.
“They can say anything they want is disruptive.  Just ‘cause they say it, doesn’t mean it’s true,” says freshman Adam. None of the students wanted to give their last names.
Vigil says how ironic he’s getting in trouble for being a good and faithful person.
“I could see if I was out doing gang activity, but I’ve never been in trouble with the law, never been in trouble at school,” says Vigil.
The bigger problem the district says is Vigil’s rosary had 13 beads per section, instead of the traditional 10.
That 13, they say, can be associated with the Sureno’s gang.
But Vigil didn’t know that.
Plus, on some religious websites we also found several rosaries featuring 13 beads.
His other confiscated rosary, by the way, has 10 beads.
He’s tried to pick them up from the office. But the school says they’ll only give them to a parent and his mom can’t make it during school hours because of work.

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