Separation of Church and Mail



One man. Two boys. Twelve kids.

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26 Responses

  1. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    “Separation of Church and State,” or more formally the Establishment Clause and the conceptual limitation of governmental power which that clause communicates, does not require that the government feign ignorance of the existence of religion or religious institutions, nor does it compel the government to prohibit its employees from engaging in religious expression or activities because those employees retain their rights of free speech and free exercise notwithstanding Federal employment.

    In my opinion, the Establishment Clause requires that the Federal government not endorse one religious view over others. A postal employee dressed in religious garb on a day when the dress code is relaxed to allow Halloween costumes would not be interpreted by a reasonable non-Catholic person interacting with that governmental employee as an endorsement of Catholicism by the government.

    TL/DR: Come on. It’s Halloween.Report

    • Avatar NewDealer says:

      I’m going to issue a concurrence

      Now if they were using Halloween as a pre-text to evangelize that might be a different story.Report

    • Avatar Vikram Bath says:

      those employees retain their rights of free speech

      Do they retain that right *while* they are working though? A school principal can’t read a sermon to the school merely claiming that he is expressing his personal religious beliefs as a private citizen. There are limits on his behavior in the course of performing his job.

      That said, I also concur with your ruling. A costume worn in jest is certainly not endorsement of a religion. If anything, I think Catholics have more of a right to object.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:

      In case it wasn’t clear, I’m 99% of the mindset that this is totally fine. It was just curious to me (which was the initial title of this post… but I wanted to go with something slightly more specific to the subject). It being the day before Halloween also stood out.Report

  2. Avatar Cascadian says:

    I suppose someone could argue that dressing as a nun for Halloween, not just a sister of perpetual indulgence, as a government worker would be similar to dressing in black face. I’m not going to make that argument but I could see how someone could get their panties twisted.Report

  3. Avatar j r says:

    My guess is that anyone dressed as a priest or a nun is not engaged in anything close to an act of prosetylization. If anything, it leans to sacrilege.Report

  4. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Is Halloween like Christmas and Cinco de Mayo now in that it lasts for a danged week?Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

      Halloween is Christmas. (Oct 31 = Dec 25. Or 185 in base -10.)Report

      • Avatar Rod says:

        Awesome. And I had never before even considered the notion of negative bases, but I see how that works.

        So when are you going to write up that post about raising numbers to complex powers? Still can’t wrap my head around that but I’m sure it will be a Homer doh moment once you explain it.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        My current excuse for infrequent posting is that I just started a new job and it leaves me no free time. That should be good until Thanksgiving or so, and I’ll need either to invent a new one or attack the backlog of posting ideas, whichever is easier.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        By “new job,” he means baseball season’s over, so he has to start researching his team for next year’s rotisserie league.Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch says:

        next year’s rotisserie league.

        Roasted Big Papi; yummmmmy.Report

  5. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    I think you can probably argue that choosing such unoriginal costumes is unconstitutional.

    And even if it’s not technically against the framework document, I think you can make a case that the Founding Fathers would have surely come up with something more clever and topical.Report