War on Christmas: Cleveland (And NATIONAL REVIEW) 1966

Having done a Thanksgiving piece, I'll do an early War on Christmas piece. Early not only in the sense that it's still November, but in the historical sense—it's from 1966. And it's from the old National Review.

Very much the old National Review, since the same issue had articles supporting the Rhodesians, the South Africans, and explaining the rationale behind the bugging of Martin Luther King: "Mr. James Reston reveals that the telephone of Dr. Martin Luther King was tapped during Selma, so that the authorities might know just how riotous were his intentions." 

Anyhow, here's an early ranging shot from the Cleveland ACLU in the War On Christmas:

Season's GreetingsNational Review, December 27, 1966

The American Civil Liberties Union of Greater Cleveland says the singing of Christmas carols in public schools may be a violation of the principle of separation of church and state. Associated Press.

The logic's indisputable:
  With prayer anathematized, to sing
A carol in a public school
  Is obviously worshiping.
The public school is meant to be
  A pluralistic citadel.
We mustn't threaten tiny tots
  With echoes of Emmanuel.
Therefore, eschew the sacred song;
  (The Principal abhors a row).
Sing "Rudolph," if you must, and say
  An Xmas prayer for Harold Howe.

W. H. Von Dreele

 

The Harold Howe mentioned was Commissioner of Education in the Johnson Administration (Southern legislators called him "U.S. commissioner of integration"), and prayer had only recently been banned from schools.

It shows you how long this has been going on.