public school baccalaureates

The not-so-biblical biblical baccalaureate
GetReligion, a blog dealing with religion in media, commented Tuesday on a story out of St. Louis that Lindbergh High School will be having two baccalaureates this year.
Baccalaureates, traditionally, are religious services held before graduation. After the division between church and state became more defined, school-sponsored baccalaureates overall disappeared. Some regions, including St. Louis apparently, continued to sponsor them but usually excluding religious content.
The students debated and disagreed on how to proceed with the services this year. The result: two baccalaureates. One a “biblical baccalaureate”, the other included prayer and reflections but of a particular relgious standpoint.
Despite being in the Southern Bible Belt, my high school did not hold a baccalaureate and in my case, my parish held a baccalaureate Mass for all graduates of all levels from all schools in town.
The parties sponsoring the “biblical baccalaureate” did not want to hear readings out of the Quran or other texts during their service. They wished to include all students but did not want an interfaith service.
Except at religious-operated schools, I do not see the purpose of school-sponsored baccalaureates, except one that is willing to reflect all of the various relgious viewpoints of the students, if that’s possible.






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