‘Tis The Season’ … Another School Seeks To Ban Christmas Carols

When I was a little girl, some of my favorite Christmas memories were when our church would gather us all up, throw us in a van and take us Christmas caroling. I grew up in a small town in Oregon and we always seemed to have a lot of snow right around the holiday season. We would bundle up in our coats and scarves, put on our snow boots and start the journey. Being that it was a small country town, we had to be hauled around in vehicles as our closest neighbors were usually about a quarter of a mile away. We could not feasibly walk from house to house to share our Christmas music because of the distance and the time that it would take to reach them. So we stumbled in and out of the cars and gathered outside the doors of our friends and neighbors homes and proceeded to bring them some Christmas cheer. It was fun for us as often times they would give us cookies and candy and even hot chocolate to warm us up after we sang for them. We never worried as to what we would sing as we had such a variety of songs to choose from. We could go to many homes in one night and never have to sing the same song twice. Sometimes we had requests and we would oblige. But never did we think as children, that we would at any time, have to worry about offending someone with a simple Christmas song. After all, it was Christmas, a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.

My how times have changed. Since that time, we no longer go to Christmas parties. We now go to the employee Holiday party. We don’t watch our children perform in the Christmas program at school as they now perform in the Holiday program.

Earlier this month in Wisconsin, Wausau West High School’s elite choir was informed that they would be given some new restrictions regarding the music that they could perform. They usually perform at approximately a dozen or so Holiday concerts during the month of December. Their choices were limited to: 1) include five secular (non-religious) songs for every faith-based carol or 2) hold a concert without any Christmas music or 3) postpone concerts in December.
The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), however intervened and declared victory when the Wausau West High School choir resumed practice later this month and were allowed to resume without restrictions, their Christmas programs which was to include religious Christmas music.

Now it seems that another school district is picking up the fight and is seeking to ban religious Christmas songs from the Holiday programs that will be performed in their district. In New Jersey, the superintendent of Bordentown Regional Schools sent a memo to parents on October 18, 2013 informing them that their children will not be performing Christmas carols at their Holiday concerts this year. This prompted the ADF to once again become involved. The ADF issued a warning to the school district that the “rich and wonderful diversity” is to include Christianity as well. This was in response to the superintendent, Constance J. Bauer’s letter in which she stated that “It remains the District’s mission to celebrate the rich and wonderful diversity of our children and community and hope that the joy shared through our numerous winter programs will continue to be [a] cherished part of your family traditions.”

What is baffling to me is that many of our family traditions include the celebration of Christmas with music not only of Santa and reindeer, shopping, snowing, chestnuts and jingle bells, but of the birth of Jesus as well. How do you take “Christmas” out of Christmas?

It’s not certain how this case will end up. The ADF is prepared to take this case all the way to the Supreme Court if they must. They have a record of going the distance when it comes to religious freedom. But how a holiday that has been set aside for the purpose of a religious nature has even come to this is beyond me. Christians recognize other holidays celebrated by those of different faith and although we don’t “celebrate” those holidays, we respect them and allow them to celebrate without interference. We wish you the very happiest of holidays, whatever it may be, filled with family, good food and lots of traditional music while you celebrate the holiday associated with your faith. For us, we will be bombarded with Christmas carols all over the radio and in the malls while we do our Christmas shopping. We often complain when we hear them over and over again… everywhere we go. However, it just wouldn’t be the same if we had to have Christmas without them.

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