DEARBORN , Mich., April 7 (UPI) –Muslim parents in Michigan are upset that a public school district is handing out flyers promoting an Easter egg hunt because they feel it is a violation of the separation of church and state.
Three elementary schools in the Dearborn Public Schools district handed out flyers advertising the April 12 “Eggstravaganza!” event last week.
“It really bothered my two kids,” Muslim parent Majed Moughni told the Detroit Free Press. “My son was like, ‘Dad, I really don’t feel comfortable getting these flyers, telling me to go to church. I thought churches are not supposed to mix with schools.'”
The event, which is set to take place at Cherry Hill Presbyterian Church, will feature an egg hunt, relay race and egg toss.
“It’s designed to be an opportunity to invite the community to come for a day of activity. There is not a religious component to this event,” said Cherry Hill Pastor Neeta Nichols. “Part of our ministry in Dearborn is to invite the community to let them know we’re here. We’re offering various kinds of programming, fun opportunities, so what we can be engaged with the community.”
According to the DFP, “Moughni and others are worried that churches are trying to convert their youth through the Dearborn schools.”
Greg Lipper of Americans United for Separation of Church and State thinks that Moughni is right to be concerned.
“It would be one thing if this were an Easter egg hunt in an otherwise secular setting,” say, the White House Easter egg hunt, he said. “But this invitation was for an Easter egg hunt at a Christian church — and so the event has much clearer religious connotations. Context matters.”