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War Against Christmas Competition 2002 [II]: "Silent Night" Not Illegal! (It's Just Treated That Way.)
Also see: War Against Christmas 2001
Only fifteen abolishing days left before [cult celebration deleted]!
Janet Hodson sends this classic: "Schools' holiday concerts selective: Teachers try not to offend kids from varied backgrounds," by James McCurtis Jr. in the Lansing State Journal, December 8, 2002 [Archived here, apparently only for seven days] -
public school music teachers say they are being
selective and cautious when it comes to holiday carols
"Songs such as 'Silent Night' or 'First Noel' will not be part of Holbrook's winter concert on Monday. Instead, Holbrook students will perform 'Let it Snow' and 'Jingle Bell Rock.'
"They also will sing a song about Kwanzaa, an African-American celebration during the holiday season.
There is of course no legal basis for this hysterical purge. And in fact the State Journal story acknowledges this:
isn't illegal to sing religious holiday songs in public
schools, [Wendy Wagenheim, communications director
American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan] said.
"'What [schools] need to do is develop a balance in the kind of songs they are teaching to children,' Wagenheim said. 'Select songs that you know will not make anyone feel uncomfortable.'"
"For instance, 'Silent Night' might make a Muslim or Jewish student feel uncomfortable, Wagenheim said.
Ms. Wagenheim's "feel uncomfortable" standard is pretty silly too, needless to say. It suggests that Muslim and Jewish students cannot appreciate much of Western art, because it is profoundly informed by Christianity. But her comment is valuable as a frank statement of the importance of immigration policy. Immigrants from non-traditional sources, she says in effect, get a veto power over the American majority's activities. Apart from anything else, this represents a dramatic cultural deprivation. "Jingle Bell Rock" (which we can't be bothered to link to) is not a substitute for "Silent Night."
All is not yet lost. A non-Christian California reader writes:
"I have enjoyed VDARE.COM for some time now. I thought you might be interested to see that my hometown, Huntington Beach, CA, is swimming against the tide to maintain Santa and Christmas. A little good news to cheer up all VDARE.COM's readers. I knew there was something good about Orange County besides the weather! ["Santa Program on Ho-Ho-Hold Till Next Year," by Jennifer Mena, Los Angeles Times, December 6 2002 – free access, registration required – is a charming 1950ish story about the city's search for suitable Santas] I'm not Christian (call me a simple God-fearer) but it angers me to see the culture and the history of the U.S.A. attacked and denigrated year after year. Our nation is Christian; I welcome and accept this fact and wouldn't want it any other way. May God continue to bless America."
And Mrs. Kerri Jones writes us from Portland, Oregon:
"Hey guys, you're late to the party; I've been
fighting the battle to save Christmas for ten years now.
It's nice to have some company.
"My first experience with the loss of Christmas was at Oregon Episcopal School where my children were enrolled. As a room mother, I noticed that the Christmas party which I was responsible for planning was being referred to in all printed material as a "Holiday" party. After going through the appropriate channels of school administration and being told that this was done to be sensitive to the Jewish mothers who had lobbied for this change at the school, I decided to appeal to the Episcopal Bishop of Oregon, President of the Board of Trustees, the Right Reverend Robert L. Ladehoff. In his response to my assertion that the word "Christmas" was important and meaningful and that by dropping its use we were losing a piece of our tradition, he wrote:
'I have no idea what traditionally happens at the OES Christmas Party. If it is a party celebrating the coming of Christ, we need to call it a Christmas Party. If it is a party that focuses on the secular aspects of Christmas, it might be more honest to call it a Holiday Party. I am sure you and I have both been to "Christmas" parties that did nothing to honor Christ.'
"Talk about laying down his charge to uphold the faith and Anglican traditions!… My children were promptly removed from OES and placed in the Catholic School system where Christmas is still considered respectable. This incident happened in December 1992.
"Being exposed early on to hostility towards Christmas and those of us who celebrate it, I have been keenly aware of all the little ways that Christmas is disappearing from our public life. It is no accident, it is a concerted effort by those among us who hate Christians and their traditions. It is not about tolerance of others, that is merely the fig leaf the Christian-haters use to hide behind.
"When the City of Portland and the media started referring to the Christmas Tree at Pioneer Square as the "Holiday Tree," I called the City and was told by an employee of Commissioner Jim Francesconi that this was done so that "Jewish children would not feel left out." I patiently explained that by doing so, the Christian children were being robbed of their traditions. She seemed to understand and was unexpectedly sympathetic. (Obviously, this bureaucrat hadn't been told what to think, yet.) She didn't seem to know who had made the decision and referred me to the operators of Pioneer Square. Pioneer Square referred me back to the City. In other words, I was given the run-around. My husband wrote a letter to the office of Jim Francesconi and every other office that might have any input, as well as every media outlet. He received no response from anyone. It's a complete stonewall; they are shoving this down our throats and we have no say in it.
"On the bright side, I do think people are beginning to wake up and realize that we have to take Christmas back... now, before it is too late. Christians make up the largest religious group in the nation. We are the ones buying everything and keeping the retailers in business. These people need to feel our message in their bottom-line.
"If "Holiday" doesn't sell, "Christmas" will come back!
"I am only one person, but I do my bit by:
- always buying explicitly "Christmas" cards;
- buying out Madonna and Child stamps at the post office and use them unabashedly on all mailings (I remember one year using them into February)
- greeting people with "Merry Christmas!" (most people don't seem to mind);
- thanking retailers for having the word "Christmas" on their advertising or for playing explicit Christmas music in their stores. (I did this today at Meier and Frank and they were happy to hear it. The lady I talked to said, "I'm so glad you called to tell us that, we hear complaints about our music, so please call back during the business hours and tell our Human Resources Department.")
- sending a Christmas card to Portland Mayor Katz to wish her a "Merry Christmas" and tell her how much I enjoy the "Christmas Tree" in Pioneer Square
- And finally, taking a minute to write a note to those retailers who are asking for my business but don't seem to understand the reason I might be buying from them.
"This is a note I sent to the online card service Blue Mountain last week:
'Why are you
marketing "holiday" ornaments when these are items that
are intended to be used on Christmas trees? Why not
call them what they are, Christmas ornaments? I'm
turned off by Blue Mountain's obeisance to political
correctness... it is oh soooo boring and old! Get hip,
get with it, dare to jump the fence of the PC ghetto you
are currently existing in.
'It would be painless and a vast improvement to your otherwise great site. Besides that, the only people who object to the use of the word Christmas do so because it contains the word "Christ." Celebrate Chanukah this weekend and Christmas thereafter! Be cool, don't succumb to religious bigotry!'
"Thank you again for taking up this cause. You speak for many and can be a force for much good.
Mrs. Jones's effort seems to have worked: Blue Mountain now offers a Christmas Card option - after "Hanukkah" and "Season's Greetings," but ahead of "Kwanzaa" and "New Year"!
December 09, 2002