Monday, December 06, 2004

Christmas in Danger? Hardly

While CNB prides itself on being aware of major goings-on, evidently there was news that the CNB NewsRadar (patent pending) missed: Christmas is in severe danger of being eradicated.

Don't believe your old pal, the CNB? Ask Chicago lawyer Andy Norman, who, in his words, is out to "save Christmas from the ACLU." "It's not the grinch that steals Christmas anymore, it's the ACLU because they have this concept that you can't have any bit of religion on state property or you're violating the First Amendment and that's wrong," said Mr. Norman.

"ACLU bluster has cowarded many fine teachers and administrators, causing them to miss or underutilize the wonderful artistic, historical, cultural, musical and sociologic educational opportunities which Christmas presents to our children," Mr. Norman has further stated.

At the risk of sounding elderly (no offense to the elderly): fiddlesticks. This vicitmization-of-the-majority crap is unconvincing, especially in light of the recent election, and its misleading focus upon the effect of Evangelical Christian voters.

For Christmas actually to be under fire, rather than solely exist in the rabble-rousing of a vocal group with an agenda (CNB is distrustful of those, whether on the right or left), something would have to occur to actually affect Christmas -- e.g., a governmental entity would have to change the officially recognized holiday of Christmas to "Winter Solstice" or something like that (which, if these people paid attention to theology, would be more accurate). However, these folks are angry because schools are not having kids sing songs involving Christ. (As a helpful hint, CNB understands that there are several churches of various Christian sects still open for business. Check your yellow pages.)

If the problem were that other religions were getting more time than Christianity, then I understand the point -- that could be seen as favoring one religion over another (of course, that has been the problem for other religions and this was the attempt to resolve the issue). However, Mr. Norman says that the problem in one school is that "The program has cleansed itself of all references to Jesus and the Christmas story. None of the other religions had their songs affected." His point would seem potentially valid, until you look at the list of songs: "Do You Know About Hanukkah?" and "Celebrate Kwanzaa" (sounding more like cursory summaries rather than celebratory songs) - the Christmas songs were "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "Good King Wenceslas." Evidently, Mr. Norman's beef is with the absence of the word "Christ," which would then mean "Do You Hear What I Hear?" and "We Three Kings" (among others) would not be Christian enough.

Would Mr. Norman feel fine if there were separate, but equal (sound familiar?), pageants for each major religion? Is his complaint only that he feels Christians are getting slighted? Why is he not mad that there was no song concerning Ramadan? Isn't Islam considered worthy of religious liberty, freedom, and equality?

It would seem that Mr. Norman and his comrades have a fairly narrow view of religious liberty. Why not just call it "pro-Christianity" and be honest? There is no pejorative connotation with such a label (quite the opposite in the current political atmosphere), and at least we wouldn't have to deal with pretending these folks are equally concerned of religious freedom for all.

By the way, for an accurate view of what the ACLU actually thinks about religion in schools, look at its website.