Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Parents Win One for Christmas

Despite the ongoing atheist war against Christmas, here is one recent victory we can celebrate. In Wausau, Wisconsin, a public high school choir made plans in October for their December concert. As usual, the program included several religious Christmas carols. This year the district superintendent objected, saying that the Christmas carols were an endorsement of a religious holiday. There had been no complaints, but she said she thought the songs were insensitive. She claimed they were a violation of the First Amendment. She told the choir director he had three choices. He could include only one religious song for every five secular songs, he could eliminate all holiday music, or he could cancel all the December concerts, including visits to nursing homes and grade schools. The choir director disbanded the choir in protest.

Parents were irate and went into action. They packed the next school board meeting to complain. They called the policy anti-Christian and pointed out that court rulings are on their side. Federal courts have consistently ruled that school choirs may learn and sing religious songs, as long as students are not forced to sing or hear them.

The school board voted to cancel the superintendent’s decision and return to the old policy that allows school principals, rather than the superintendent, to have the final say on the choir’s songs. So, the Wausau choir is performing its original list of songs this week, including Silent Night and Joy to the World.

This superintendent’s behavior is not an unusual example of the ongoing war on Christmas. But it’s encouraging how quickly she was overturned and the Christmas battle was won by parents. Parents need to be ready to stand up for Christmas carols, and should know that the courts are on their side of this battle.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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