What is enough?

Nicole Daughhetee

Nicole Daughhetee

Life As I Know It

By Nicole Daughhetee

I would hazard to guess that most of my readers know that I can be feisty and passionate when I feel strongly about a particular issue, and this happens to be one of those times.

Let me preface what I am about to write by saying that I can completely understand why the majority of the SDPC Board of Trustees  and the SDPC don’t want to get involved in litigation with the folks from the Freedom from Religion Foundation.

If the district has to fork out fistfuls of money to engage and fight a legal battle, that money is going to have to come from someplace else in the budget — or so I would imagine. Attorneys don’t bill clients on the cheap.

As a parent of two elementary-aged daughters who are just beginning their educational careers, I loathe the thought of more teacher cuts, slashes to programs like art and music, foreign languages or other “non-necessity” courses, all because the SDPC has to come up with a way to fund litigation.

That said, while I have had to maintain a position of objectivity at recent SDPC board meetings, my personal views are no different from the mass of concerned Pickens County residents who have vocally and passionately taken a stand against the FFRF, threatening to sue the district if prayer is removed from the agenda at regularly scheduled meetings.

One person — one anonymous person — has complained about the student-led invocations that were part of the traditional opening of SDPC board meetings. Clearly, there are far more people willing to come out and support student-led prayers than there are opponents who are vocal.

Again, I understand that the board cannot make decisions about Constitution law on the basis of majority rules, yet at the same time I find it terribly annoying that the FFRF has nothing better to do than to bully Pickens County into giving up a meaningful tradition because it is offensive to one person and a group of other people who neither live in Pickens County nor attend SDPC board meetings.

Perhaps the district should invest in some high-quality earplugs that can be offered at each meeting along with the agenda. Anyone who is offended by a benign prayer for guidance and wisdom can put in the ear plugs so they don’t have to listen, or, as trustee Ben Trotter suggested, they could leave the room long enough for everyone else to participate in the prayer.

The more I have thought about this issue, the more strongly I feel about fighting it and taking a stand for something Pickens County, as a whole, appears to support with such vehemence.

The pastor at our church did a study on Revelation this fall, and it would seem as though the prophesies are aligning just as God said they would. As a society we are moving further and further away from God, pushing all traces of Him out of our public lives. We can’t say Merry Christmas because it is offensive — yet without the birth of Christ, we wouldn’t have a Christmas to celebrate.

If I encounter something during the day that I find offensive — a song on the radio, a program on television, a conversation of which I’m not a part — I turn the station or tune out the conversation. It’s that simple. I don’t expect everyone else to conform to my sensitivities.

In the same way, I find it unfair that we, as a community, should have to abstain from prayer, remove a tradition from our community, because it is “offensive” to a small, non-vocal minority.

When do we say enough is enough?