Oh Good Grief! School District Censors Charlie Brown Christmas
There are some days when this anti-Christmas nonsense is enough to make you deck somebody’s halls. The latest yuletide lunacy comes from Johnson County, Kentucky, where the school district has censored an elementary school presentation of “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” The district also ordered other schools to remove all religious references from their upcoming Christmas productions. At one school, “Silent Night” was replaced with a Christmas version of the “Whip/Nae Nae” song.
There are some days when this anti-Christmas nonsense is enough to make you deck somebody’s halls.
The latest yuletide lunacy comes from Johnson County, Kentucky, where the school district has censored an elementary school presentation of “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”
The district also ordered other schools to remove all religious references from their upcoming Christmas productions.
At one school, “Silent Night” was replaced with a Christmas version of the “Whip/Nae Nae” song.
Yes, good readers — apparently that is a real thing.
“How do you go from ‘Silent Night’ to the ‘Whip/Nae Nae’?” one distraught grandmother asked me. “We’re not at all happy about it.”
Teachers at W.R. Castle Elementary School were directed to remove the moving scene where Linus shares the true meaning of Christmas by reading from the Gospel of Luke.
Superintendent Tom Salyer confirmed to me that the entire passage was excised from the program after the district received a single complaint.
“We’re not reading that, sir,” Salyer told me. “It disappoints me that we have to do this.”
The superintendent, who said he is a church-going man, said he was simply following the advice of school district attorneys.
He posted this message on the district’s website:
“In accordance with federal laws, our programs will follow appropriate regulations. The U.S. Supreme Court and the 6th Circuit are very clear that public school staff may not endorse any religion when acting in their official capacities and during school activities. However, our district is fully committed to promote the spirit of giving and concern for our fellow citizens that help define the Christmas holiday. With core values such as service, integrity, leadership, and commitment, our staff and students will continue to proudly represent our district as recently demonstrated by our many student successes.”
Allow me to cut through the bureaucratic malarky and interpret the superintendent’s message through the language of Charlie Brown:
“WAH, WAH WAH, WAH, WAH WAH, WAH.”
Baptist preacher Tom Winston has been manning a picket line outside the local high school hoping the Grinches inside will reverse their ban on the Baby Jesus.
“If you take Christ out of the Christmas play, it’s only a play,” the pastor told me. “That’s the bottom line.”
The district’s religious cleansing of Christmas caught the attention of Alliance Defending Freedom, a law firm that tackles religious liberty issues.
They wrote a letter on behalf of a parent whose daughter is a cast member in the show, urging the district to reconsider the censorship.
“There is no violation of the so-called ‘separation of church and state’ by allowing children to learn about theater and the origins of Christmas through participating in a stage version of this beloved program that contains the same religious elements as the television version,” ADF Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco wrote.
“Moreover, students may learn about the religious origins of Christmas as part of school activities without offending the Constitution,” he added.
Pastor Winston said it’s time for people of faith to take a public stand and demand the district do the right thing.
“We should not be backing down,” he told me.
Good grief, America. What’s next — banning The Great Pumpkin from Halloween?
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