What I Got From Santa This Christmas
December 25, 2007 – Sitting at one of Boyne Mountain’s Grills, a little sign was noticed: “No Alchohol Christmas Day”. The sign drew a response of “That’s not right. That’s a clear violation of church and state.” To which I replied “Why not? Who says it is because of religious reasons. This is America and I’m sure we won’t see such a blatent violation of church and state and if they do it on other holidays like Memorial Day and the Fourth of July (at which point I was allready realizing that it was highly unlikely and my voice started to become slightly hushed) then it’s fine. You know there are many fatalities during holiday times because of drinking.”
We then decided to ask the bartender who informed us that it was strictly for Christmas in respect of the holidays (to put it in a milder manner) and believe me I had to ask for confirmation .. like 3 times or so. Apparently the law is strictly enforced as well with undercovers trying to solicit drinks from bartenders and the fines are quite steep.
So there it was and I sat there in a bit of shock, pinching myself occasionally, rubbing my eyes, cleaning my ears and thought about banging my head against the wall but the pains from pinching myself were still radiating and I decided against it. How could Michigan do this to me? I mean this wasn’t some little moment of silence that gets slipped into an elementary school, nor was it declaring a religious holiday as a national holiday for economic reasons (understandable from my point of view and I really enjoy the day off) – this was a clear violation of separation of church. And while I understand that most businesses couldn’t function having to let off the majority of their employees for Christmas, in this case the employees were working and this businesses livelihood was being handicapped. I mean come on, people .. for the sake of capitalism!
This had to be the ultimate blow. I mean I spent a good year in the former Yugoslavia debating socialism and capitalism/democracy (yes, I know I don’t live in a pure capitalist country but it is based on capitalism) arguing how you can have a separation of church and state while having freedom of religion and how the two combined are absolutely necessary for a succesful system – even being warned by higher ups to tone it down (nice to know that at the age of 14 I was a threat – hee hee). I’ve spent a good amount of time with the rest of Americans condemning backwards judgments in countries which either have no separation of church and state or countries that have no freedom of religion and here in my own backyard .. OMG .. here – of all places!
I mean even though This is England happens to be my favorite Clash song – This is NOT England. Although, come to think of it even our Northbrook, Illinois mosque is not allowed to play the Ezan even though church bells may ring throughout the town (including the one half a block down). Heck, we can only turn on the lights of the mineret for limited hours during Ramadan while mega-lit billboards line up along the stretch of I-294 in Northbrook. Still somehow those are things that are blatent intolerance and if we chose to spend astronomical amounts of moola could have had turned towards our favor in higher courts (most likely) – the constitution doesn’t say that freedom of religion is expense free (heavy sarcasm).
And so this Christmas, what I got from Santa was a slap in the face. Anymore religious laws in our states that I should know about so that this doesn’t happen again – I mean it’s a little wierd for a Muslim to get anything from Santa.