Adams gives his take on Moorestown High School’s mascot.
Elijah Gamber’s letter, published in the Moorestown Sun on Nov. 28, suggested that our schools should get rid of the Quaker mascot for two reasons. First, the Quakers are a religious group and second, it’s “cultural appropriation.” I respectfully disagree.
In the first place, our country’s constitution says that the federal government may not establish a religion. That means the federal government won’t name or finance a national religion, and that’s all it means (malfeasant court decisions notwithstanding). The first amendment was never meant to outlaw displays of the Ten Commandments in courtrooms or Quaker mascots.
In any event, the mascot isn’t there to promote anyone’s religion. It’s being used as a symbol of our town, and everyone who’s lived here for a month or more knows that.
Secondly, this notion of “cultural appropriation” is nonsense. The Quakers were a brave, gentle and genteel people, and I believe that their folkways still influence the local culture in Moorestown. We ought to celebrate the people who founded our town. We could learn a thing or two from them.
Moreover, the practices and accouterments that make our lives safer and more pleasant were copied from cultures all over the world. We copied our number system from India, our type of writing from Sumeria, printing from Germany and (most of us) our religious beliefs from the Hebrews. We even copied rock ‘n roll from Little Richard.
Humans have copied the things that work best and the things we fancy most from other cultures throughout history. No one culture could ever have invented all of the wonderful things that we take for granted today. Without “cultural appropriation,” we’d have no way to heat our caves this winter.