The Right Coast

March 15, 2006
B'gosh and Begorrah, Have a Happy ... uh ... Green Day!
By Gail Heriot

My friend Bob Gaglione of the Gaglione Law Group here in San Diego reports that his daughter, who is Vice President of her school's student council, was helping to plan a St. Patrick's Day Carnival for the students. She and her fellow members of the council were told by the school's administration that the name "St. Patrick" could not be used in the event's name. It's against school rules--too religious, you see. They therefore worked hard to find an acceptable alternative name for their lunchtime event and came up with one--"Green Day."

Green Day? Perhaps we can re-name all of our religious holidays for the color scheme they suggest. Thanksgiving can be Brown Day, and Christmas can be Red & Green Day. I can think of no better way to drain these celebrations of any real color than to do exactly that. It's the "Party Store" vision of religious celebration: It's all a question of getting the right color cocktail napkins; beyond that, any excuse for a party will do.

What's odd is that anybody would bother to pick on St. Patrick's Day for this purpose, since it has long ago been drained of its religious significance and become essentially an excuse for hitting the bars (and in some cities for a nice parade). Is it necessary to send the further message to young people that all reference to religion must be obliterated not matter how unobstrusive? (If there's one thing I find annoying, it's a puritanical atheist.)

The latest word is that the event has now been moved to March 31, and that yet another name has been selected--Lucky Lunch. All I can say is this: Patrick, if you're listening to all this foolishness, I hope you have a sense of humor.