Just saw my first “War on Christmas” story for 2012, from a group called ‘Arkansas Society of Freethinkers‘ doing the annual secularist freak-out.
But as you read this, remember: the repeated refrain we hear in the media is that there IS no such ‘war’, and that it’s a contrived creation of the “Christian right” and Fox News.
“This isn’t about Charlie Brown or Christmas, it’s about the separation of church and state,” Anne Orsi, the vice president The Arkansas Society of Freethinkers, said in her statement voicing opposition to the actions taken by the Terry Elementary School in Little Rock, Ark.
The school should not have taken the children to see this play, regardless of giving the option to attend. Not because it violates the Constitution or breaks freedom of religion, but because the state should not have any say in the spiritual or religious education of our children…
…While some parents might not mind a little Christianity in their children’s education, it would be wrong to insert a religious view into a public school, a place where diversity and impartiality should exist.
Impartiality? In Public Schools? Really? When I no longer have to worry about my 6th-grader being taught how to use a condom in class, I’ll start to believe the “impartiality” thing.
But my big question is for the protesting group: Why is the ‘Arkansas Society of Freethinkers‘ (love that name, by the way) all flustered by school children potentially finding out what Christmas is actually about? After all, wouldn’t that fall under the heading of “teaching”?
It’s a fact that far too often our public schools fail to educate, instead seeking to inculcate…and they despise competition. BUT, I need to applaud the school in question here: it would have been all too easy for them to cave and choose not to attend the play. Big-time kudos to Terry Elementary School of Little Rock, AK, for daring to challenge the intolerant Left this time around.
Of course, this isn’t a new fight. The producers of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” were against including the “offensive” speech prior to its first airing back in 1965.
The producers agreed to include a Nativity scene to represent Sparky’s feelings, but by the time the script was finished, (producer Lee) Mendelson realized he had included an entire minute-long speech directly from the New Testament. This led to the biggest arguments between [Charles Schulz] and the producers, with Mendelson insisting that the special was an “entertainment show” and the speech would scare off advertisers by narrowing its audience.
Obviously, the scene survived. In fact, Linus’s recitation was hailed by critics such as Harriet Van Horne of the New York World-Telegram who said, “Linus’ reading of the story of the Nativity was, quite simply, the dramatic highlight of the season.”
So, why the outcry? Why the continued, eternal attempts to marginalize even the most innocent references to this national holiday?
You’re going to get tired of me saying this (heck, I’M tired of saying it), but the answer is culture.
This whole hubbub is yet another example in the secularists battle to change Freedom-OF-Religion into Freedom-FROM-Religion, and it’s one of the primary fronts in our current Culture War.
These incidents are as dependable as my Timex: they happen every year.
Christmas has become a touchstone for our society. Does the mere mention of it offend you? If so, you’re probably a pompous, supercilious, arrogant, unreasonable jerk. Notice I didn’t say atheist, because I know of too many atheists (and Jews, etc.,..) who adore Christmas, including all of its religious implications. No, the sort of folks who get their panties in a twist over this are bent on destroying every last vestige of our historically conservative, Judeo-Christian culture.
And our answer to these attacks should be pretty simple: don’t apologize, and don’t back down.
Our history is what it is, and to deny our history is to deny ourselves. Honestly, that’s our biggest problem nowadays: we too often deny who we are. This is why my recent post of the speech by Bill Whittle is so important: we need to proudly, confidently pronounce what we believe as conservatives & Americans. Not in the negative, insulting and consistently nasty way that Progressives seem to do, but rather in the positive living of our lives, …which MUST include our media.
As ‘Charlie Brown…‘ shows, we need MORE entries into the culture which are good in their own right, not marginal ones that merely contain “good” messages. Consider such classics as ‘Chariots of Fire‘, ‘The Incredibles‘, ‘Ben-Hur‘, ‘Groundhog Day‘, ‘Cinderella Man‘, ‘Soul Surfer‘, ‘The Patriot‘, ‘Master & Commander‘, ‘Gran Torino‘, and all three of the ‘Lord of the Rings‘ movies. EACH film was excellent, and EACH contained Conservative or Christian themes (& sometimes both), but they didn’t bludgeon the viewer with them.
They sought to entertain first, and ended up nudging the culture just a touch to the Right as a result.
Heck, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life‘ is still one of the most watched movies each year at this time, and its message is hardly subtle.
The culture war is here and it’s being waged every day: in businesses, shopping malls, movie theaters, libraries, schools, and city council meetings. It’s everywhere we are.
We either face up to it and engage, or shrink away from it…and lose.