Colorado Students say tournament schedule is discrimination

A local high school basketball team may miss out on a first-ever championship because the athletic association will not accommodate their religious beliefs.

The Herzl-Rocky Mountain Hebrew Academy’s boys team is just one win from the playoffs.

However, even if they keep winning, they may not be able to get to the championship because one of the tournament games is set for a Saturday afternoon.

The students’ religious observance of the Sabbath won’t allow them to travel to Sterling for that game.

“It’s disappointing. I’m a senior and we’re not going to have anything to show for it at the end of the year,” said Desi Rotenberg, one of the students.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture

13 comments on “Colorado Students say tournament schedule is discrimination

  1. sarahsnemisis says:

    They could travel the day before and arive before sunset on Friday, keep sabbath in the hotel, play the game provided it is after sundown on saturday.

    Is it that hard?

  2. libraryjim says:

    according to the story, the game is Saturday afternoon. That’s what makes it difficult. Plus it looks like the league already made accomodations to one religion, as their by-laws forbid any games on Sunday.

  3. Sidney says:

    If the team makes it that far and faces forfeit, I bet they’ll reschedule the game.

  4. Dale Rye says:

    Re #3: I wouldn’t bet on it. If the Colorado authorities have been following a certain story from Great Britain, they will recognize that making adjustments in a “neutral” policy to accommodate a religious minority can deeply offend the secular majority. Why risk the same kind of firestorm in this country?

    The sentiment “If Jews want to be real Americans, they need to give up their peculiar habits and act like real Americans” doesn’t lie that far below the surface. The “Gentlemen’s Agreements” setting quotas for Jewish participation in academia, country clubs, and major law firms were openly in force well into my lifetime. Just because the focus of American Nativism has moved to Muslims and Mexicans really doesn’t get Jews and other minorities off the hook.

  5. Irenaeus says:

    Worldpeas [#1] has a good approach: hold the game Saturday night if a suitable venue is available.
    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    “Making adjustments in a “neutral” policy to accommodate a religious minority can deeply offend the secular majority. Why risk the same kind of firestorm in this country?” —Dale Rye [#4]

    Federal, state, and local governments in the United States have made numerous accommodations to Orthodox Jews (e.g., allowing Jewish military personnel to wear yarmulkes and Jewish prisoners to have kosher food)—all without firestorms.

    If tournament organizers moved the game to the evening, they would not provoke even a light drizzle.

  6. Irenaeus says:

    PS: Maybe the reason we avoid that sort of “firestorm” is that we don’t have that sort of militantly secularist majority.

    A majority of Americans take a positive view of religion and are willing to support others’ religious freedom. May it remain so!

  7. Tired of Hypocrisy says:

    Nobody is entitled to play a tournament game when they determine it should be played. So, this team has to decide what’s important to them–a day on the calendar or a chance to win the championship. Either way, most people will respect their decision.

  8. azusa says:

    It’s what you call an o vey match.

  9. David Fischler says:

    They probably won’t make it that far anyway–everybody knows Jewish men can’t jump. 🙂

  10. drummie says:

    #7, This is not about a “day on the calendar”. It is about their religion. There is no aspect of law being invoked here. The Jewish team has to make the decision, no one is forcing them either way. It is their choice. The Archbishop of Canterbury situation as regards Sharia is much different. His solution would be to force the game to be held when the Jewis team could play, probably to Sunday knowing that we as a secularized culture see not problem playing a tournament or traveling on Sunday and will not make a decision based on Christianity but on what feels good, playing the game. I have to respect the Jewish team for upholding their religion. They are not forcing it on the rest of us, but living it in their life.

  11. Sarah1 says:

    RE: “If the Colorado authorities have been following a certain story from Great Britain, they will recognize that making adjustments in a “neutral” policy to accommodate a religious minority can deeply offend the secular majority.”

    Naw, Dale Rye . . . the athletic association — [i]association[/i], which is voluntary — is quite different from the law of the country in which we live.

    As you well know.

    A generally cheap, tawdry attempt at scoring a point, but thankfully a failure.

  12. recchip says:

    How quickly we forget. Remember “Chariots of Fire” and Eric Liddell. He gave up his chance at the Olympics to avoid running in a heat on a Sunday. He was pressured by the “Authorities” (including a future King of England) and he withstood the pressure. He was supported by the knowledge that he was doing the right thing.
    When I was in Graduate School I pushed North Carolina to do away with “Blue laws.” I did not propose doing away with the Sunday Prohibitions, I simply pointed out that they needed to be extended to Saturdays as well to accommodate our Jewish brethren. I worked with a young man who was my best friend (he was jewish). I supported him in his faith.

    Guess what, he is now a Christian (I give God ALL THAT GLORY!!) and he has told me that my willingness to support his Jewish faith (i.e. that of Our Lord, the Apostles, etc) allowed him to “seek the messiah.” (Hold on here, my eyes are filling!! OK) Some of the rest of his family members are “pentacostals” and they informed him AT THE FUNERAL that his Jewish Grandfather was “Roasting in Hell!!” (Nice Christian love, huh?).

    We must make sure that we always make a distinction between the way we look at Islam, Hinduism, Buddaism, Mormanism, etc none of which worship our God and the way we look at Judaism which DOES WORSHIP OUR GOD!!
    /end soapbox!!

  13. libraryjim says:

    The reality of Eric Liddell’s story is a bit different from that of the movie, which inserted all that to make for more conflict in the story. He knew well ahead of time the schedule for the track events and signed up for the ones that would not cause a conflict with his faith. I seem to recall that one of the events he missed was one he wanted to run, which would have caused some consternation, but it was nowhere near what the movie showed.

    It’s still an inspiring story of a man who is more committed to his God than to the glory of a sport. Check out his life story and his lasting influence at the web site for [url=]the Eric Lidell Centre[/url].