GARDEN CITY, L.I. (Dec. 4)
An interfaith group called today for a ban on religious celebrations of any kind in Long Island public schools during the Christmas- Chanukah season, the Easter-Passover season or any other religious holidays. Catholic, Jewish and Protestant leaders joined in the recommendation which was issued by the Long Island Interfaith Council and sent to the administrative heads of the 110 public school districts in Nassau and Suffolk counties.
Religious neutrality, the Council statement said, meant “not only that the school should show no preference for one religion over another, but also that it should refrain from the promotion of any and all religions.” The group defined “religious celebration” as worship of any kind regardless of whether conducted by a clergyman religious exhibits or displays except as part of the study of another subject in the curriculum; and the presentation of religious music, except when presented for its musical rathe than religious content. The Interfaith council also opposed “the substitution of ‘winter season’ celebrations for a religious observance” which it called “a profanation and secularization of what truly is a period of religious significance for Christians and Jews.”