Cherokee County was threatened with a lawsuit if they went ahead with plans to hold high school graduations in a local megachurch building by Americans United For the Separation of Church and State.

The county’s board unanimously voted to go ahead with those plans and risk the suit.

I say: good for them!

First, it just makes good financial sense. The church only charges a few thousand dollars for the rental of its facility as compared with tens of thousands for other venues. In these cash-strapped times, that’s the right call.

Second, the level of discomfort some people have with religious symbols just bewilders me. Is a cross — in and of itself — really so offensive and threatening to the non-Christian that they suffer mental and emotional harm simply by being in its presence?

This isn’t just a problem for non-Christians, either. I know some Christians who are offended by the Muslim woman’s hijab (head covering) as a religious symbol.

What’s the common element here? These people aren’t reacting to the symbol itself, but are reacting to their own notions of what it means. To the Jewish student, the cross may be a symbol of anti-Semitism. To the Christian woman, the hijab is a symbol of Islam’s oppression of women.

Neither notion is a reason to avoid all contact with those symbols. Would it kill us to endure a little discomfort with these symbols to come together a little more closely as fellow citizens?

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