Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Gangs, Rosaries, and Apostacy

There is something here that just doesn't seem right.

From the Dallas News.

Dallas school officials have reversed course and decided to allow students to display rosaries at school following a complaint from a Seagoville High School student.

School leaders told Tabitha Ruiz last month that she must remove or conceal the rosary she often wears around her neck because it is considered a gang symbol and violated the school district’s dress code. Tabitha, 16, said the policy violated her religious freedom.

The Liberty Legal Institute contacted the district on Tabitha’s behalf last week and called for the school board to scrap the rule, said Kelly Shackelford, an institute attorney.

Jon Dahlander, a Dallas school district spokesman, confirmed Wednesday that students, including Tabitha, will now be allowed to wear rosaries. He declined to comment on what prompted the change.

Tabitha’s mother, Taire Ferguson, said she’s happy her daughter will now be able to proudly display her rosary.

“She shouldn’t have had to hide it,” Ms. Ferguson said.

School leaders had said they banned rosaries because the Dallas Police Department identifies them as gang symbols, but a gang unit officer said just because a student wears a rosary doesn’t mean he or she is in a gang.

The Catholic Diocese of Dallas said rosaries are not meant to be worn as jewelry. Tabitha, who was raised Catholic and is now a nondenominational Christian, said she finds comfort in wearing it.

“I am happy that I can wear it,” Tabitha said Wednesday. “I don’t have to hide it anymore.”

It is a shame that a sacramental had become a gang symbol. There is also a Hispanic tradition of wearing the rosary, but this girl has apparently renounced the Catholic Church in favor of non-denominational Christianity. Leaving aside the ironic nuance that Roman Catholicism is the one and only non denominational Christianity, why would an apostate want to wear a rosary?

There is something that is just not right here. I hope and pray that her attachment to the rosary leads her back to the Church.