A school district in Maryland recently decided to remove all references to religious holidays from its calendar, including those days on which there is no school. The decision came as a response to petitioning from Muslim groups (including the Muslim Brotherhood-linked CAIR) to close schools on certain Islamic holidays. The conundrum, argues Eugene Kontorovich, is the inevitable result of the “Menorah Principle,” which presents a misunderstanding of religious equality:
[T]he demise of conventional, innocuous Christian public observances, the obvious consequence of what I have called the “Menorah Principle”—the notion that religious minorities must share equal, not pro-rata, space with the majority religion—makes public (i.e., governmental) religious symbolism effectively unworkable. In a nation with a multitude of religions followed by less than one percent of the population, giving everyone a turn will in the long run render public religious displays of any kind either meaningless, incoherent, or excessive. . . . If Christmas is an official national holiday, then why not the twelve days of Kwanzaa and the month-long Muslim festival of Ramadan? Even the calendar year is a scarce resource: if we honor all the special claims of the diverse U.S. populace, the many holidays would leave little time left for work or school. Unless society draws a line—and the only obvious place to draw it is at Christianity—an unmanageable tumult will ensue: gridlock in the public square.