Friday, December 7, 2012

Atheists gettin' in the Christmas spirit

By censoring and threatening to litigate, that is.

Church Calls Off ‘Charlie Brown’ Christmas Show Amid Controversy


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (CBS Charlotte) - A church caught at the center of a controversy regarding a school trip to see their production of “Merry Christmas Charlie Brown” has decided to cancel the show. 
The Agape Church in Little Rock, which had initially intended to present the show to school children on Dec. 14, released a statement to KATV regarding their decision, signed by Pastor Happy Caldwell. 
“[B]ecause of what this issue has become, as a church, it is not our desire to put hard-working, sacrificial teachers and cast members in harm’s way,” the release stated.
Instead of matinees for school children, a public performance will be offered at the church on Dec. 15. 
The trouble reportedly stemmed from an invitation to first and second grade students at Terry Elementary School to see the Christmas production. 
“Merry Christmas Charlie Brown” is the stage adaptation of the classic 1965 Peanuts cartoon, “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” The source material includes a retelling of the Nativity story from the Gospel of Luke, which is told by the character Linus in an iconic scene from the movie.

A parent who felt the trip was inappropriate reached out to the ASF to voice her concern with the show’s religious connotations, which reportedly differed from her own, the station learned. 
From there, a campaign was launched to cancel the class trip. 
“We’re not waging a war,” LeeWood Thomas, a spokesman for the group, told KATV. 
“We’re basically calling a foul against the separation of church and state.” 
The organization took offense to both a planned field trip to a church with religious affiliation, and to a school-sanctioned presentation of religious material, the station additionally reported. 
Representatives of the Little Rock School District had planned to go ahead with the trip before news of the show’s cancellation broke. 
“The teachers wanted to provide a cultural opportunity through a holiday production and are supported by the superintendent and the principal,” said school district spokesperson Pamela Smith was quoted as saying to KATV. “The school district does not support or promote religious affiliations.” 
In their release regarding the termination of the Friday showing, the church thanked the school for its intentions. 
“In the wake of some controversy over our Christmas production offered to schools, Agape Church wishes to salute the courageous stand that the Terry Elementary Principal made in not succumbing to the pressure of one complaint voiced to the Arkansas Society of Free Thinkers and media,” Caldwell said in the release, according to the station. ”We applaud the support that the Little Rock School District has shown … and agree with their position that attending the matinees was not a constitutional issue.”

It's just as well. Canceling this unconstitutional offensive Charlie Brown Christmas Show school trip will leave the little kiddies more time for constitutional inoffensive activities like singing Obama songs and practicing putting condoms on bananas in their sex ed class. 

26 comments:

  1. True God-fearing, Jesus-loving American ChristianDecember 7, 2012 at 7:04 AM

    Boohoo, why are these evil atheists waging a war on Christmas? Christians are so persecuted in America.

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    1. Christians are absolutely persecuted in America.

      Parents had the option of not signing the permission slip. So, if they didn't want their kids to go, that was their choice, but they really wanted is for NO ONE'S kid to go.

      Usually the militant atheist jerks say that they wouldn't have a problem with religion if it weren't on public property, solely because of feigned reverence for the Constitution, which says nothing of the sort. But in this case, the mildly religious play is being performed at a church, but it's still unconstitutional because there are public schoolchildren in the audience. Consult your extraconstituional Lemon Test. Which tenet does it violate?

      And remember--there is no war on Christmas, there is no war on Christmas, there is no war on Christmas. Keep repeating it.

      TRISH

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    2. @TRISH: I believe one of the mothers said that she was afraid that her child might be teased if she opted out. No actual teasing yet, but there might be teasing, and so no one can go. The Constitution clearly states that anything that might lead tykes to tease each other is unconstitutional.

      I wonder what they think happens to Christian students on a daily basis in public schools when we are mocked and our religious beliefs are essentially unspeakable, when "God" is swear word except--ironically--in cases when the Lord's name is being taken in vain. I was in the public schools once, and not all that long ago. I know what it felt like. To say that I felt ostracized is an understatement. Summarily rejected is more like it, from the teachers on down.

      I wonder if the mother realizes that the kid who ruined the play for everyone else might get teased. Well, that would assume that the mother's stated rationale was an actual reason, rather than an excuse. I don't buy it for a moment. She simply has to explain why the opt-out provision isn't good enough. The real reason is because even if she opts her kid out, other kids might still be able to attend and she can't have that, so she makes up some baloney about teasing that still hasn't materialized, but might.

      I guess that's it now. Opt outs are no longer allowed. So we can't teach sex ed anymore, even with an opt out provision, because the kid whose parents object might get teased for opting out, so no sex ed for anyone.

      Joey

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    3. When I was a kid we took a field trip to see the Nutcracker, which is less religious but unmistakably a Christmas ballet. Still unconstitutional? Let me check my Constitution here...

      "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;"

      Nope. No conflict with the Constitution because it's not Congress, no law is being passed, and no religion is being established.

      How did we get from the aforementioned text to "Kids are prohibited from attending a Christmas play even if it's totally optional?"

      Ben

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    4. Come on folks!
      What about that constitutional amendment that says
      "All children have the right not to be teased in the playground and this supersedes all the rights heretofore mentioned."?
      After all that is what the revolution was about!
      The founding fathers were upset at the colonial government's agents teasing their kids at school.
      'No taxation while there is teasing' was the cry!
      We loyalists (and French, and many tribes), on the other hand, were infuriated by this as our prime reason for being in North America was to tease the colonials and specific groups of native kids about their accents and funny clothes.
      It was that lack of teasing that made us see your leaders as seditious.
      Obviously this is the REAL division that lead to revolution and successive sidings in wars.
      Come on now!

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    5. Opting out isn't always possible with a lot of the lessons the Left wants to impart in our children.

      TRISH

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    6. @TRISH: You're not allowed to say "the Left!" That makes you a black helicopter, tin foil hat conspiracy theorist. It's on the long list of words and phrases that the Left (oops) prohibits us from using. Other such words include Chicago, golf, apartment, sin, homosexual, and Oriental.

      One day we should all decide to stop allowing the Left to dictate what words we may use. Just tell them to stick it in their ear and use whatever words we want without shame.

      Joey

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  2. Militant atheist so-called free thinkers try very hard to ruin Christmas every year. I have come to the conclusion that they can only succeed if we let them. Blow it off, don't worry about it.

    I agree with the priest here, Fr. Jonathan Morris: >>If our Christmas is going to be all about getting upset at people who are trying to take away our Christmas, isn’t that silly, too?<<

    >>You guys look so angry about this War on Christmas, you guys — I can tell.<<

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/catholic-priest-tells-fox-hosts-you-guys-look-so-angry-about-this-war-on-christmas/

    Stay vigilant but don't let Christmas become a fight every year. We still do Christmas the old fashioned way in my house, and it's still about the birthday boy not presents or lights or music.

    JQ

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    1. You and Father Morris have the right sentiment, JQ. The anti-theists act this way usually so they can provoke a reaction and then say that we're acting "un-Christian." It's their favorite tactic.

      TRISH

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  3. I have to note: Our local schools (middle school and high school both public and Catholic) have a trip to Toronto for the kids. They will be (with permission and a modest fee) travelling two hours each way into the big smoke to watch a performance of Handel's Messiah and have a Christmas dinner at the Black Creek pioneer village - a kind of collection of mid 19th century structures into a mock town. 'Christmas by candlelight' is the name of the event. Our family (including my late Dad) did it a couple of times. Really fun stuff.
    The school play at our local public (grade) school is Dickens's 'Christmas Carol'.
    No word from the local atheist as of yet. He must be gearing up to go after Easter bunnies or church bells.
    The last we heard of him and his bus-in pals efforts was when he attempted to prevent thee Gideons from giving out free bibles (again, with a slip) at the local high school.
    He had some success at first with the school officials (threatened a suit), but the city council reversed the decision due to the permission slips and the fact the bibles were given out after school hours (ie after the bell) when all sorts of community efforts an initiatives are permitted in the commons. The council also noted the sex ed options that you folks have brought up.

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  4. Poor Christians. It becomes and harder for them to expose non-Christian children to their fairy tales. That's so unfair. I feel really bad for them.

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    1. First of all, it's not a fairy tale. And second of all, the parent had the option of not sending the child. This was forced on no one. This is not a question of forcing children to see a play that their parents don't want them to see, but rather preventing children from seeing a play that their parents did want them to see. And then they hide behind the constitution which doesn't even say what they have twisted it to say.

      Try again, Troy.

      Joey

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  5. Troy,
    I know English is not your first language.
    You may want to try reading the article again. If the kids don't want to, or parents are opposed to them going to a Church to see a Christmas play (based on a traditional cartoon) - how are the kids being exposed.
    You may want to consider this though: Why is okay to 'expose' kids to literature about fairy's tails but not have some fun with Christmas fairy tales (like Santa) if both issues are ONLY with parental consent?

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    1. I apologize for my poor English, crusader. It's only my fourth language. I did get what you mean by fairy's tails though. Bad boy, crusader.

      I just have to laugh at the Christians' persecution complex. Personally, I have no problem at all with public school kids being exposed to aspects of their Christian cultural heritage. Our government funds the schools of all creeds and I'm fine with that. The local socialist government in my town happily pays for the big Christmas tree in the town square. Hundreds of years of war between Catholics and Protestants have instilled some much needed mutual tolerance over here.

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    2. "I just have to laugh at the Christians' persecution complex."

      I laugh at the atheists' persecution complex. No one's rights are being violated here.

      Last Christmas we had an atheist group sue because a banner reading "Merry Christmas" was stretched across a street. That was supposedly "unconstitutional." We had a group of carolers thrown out of a post office because of a mythical separation of church and state. Did you know that singing Christmas songs at the post office is prohibited by the First Amendment to the Constitution? Yeah, I kept looking but I couldn't find that clause either. Three years ago, a second grader in Massachusetts was sent to the office, and eventually to counseling, because he drew a picture of Jesus on the cross. Apparently there were x's on his eyes, indicating that he was dead (that's what people do on crosses, by the way) which meant he needed a psychiatric evaluation.

      I would recommend two books to you, Troy. One is "Persecution" by David Limbaugh, and the other is "The Criminalization of Christianity" by Janet Folger.

      "Personally, I have no problem at all with public school kids being exposed to aspects of their Christian cultural heritage."

      Obviously, you do.

      "Hundreds of years of war between Catholics and Protestants have instilled some much needed mutual tolerance over here."

      None of which rubbed off on you, I can see.

      Aren't you the one who said that white people aren't discriminated against in the United States? That tells me a lot. Troy, I grew up here and I went to the public schools. It was awful. The prevailing message was that religion is a taboo subject. Some of my teachers may have shared anti-religious attitudes, but even those who didn't were afraid of consequences if some one got "offended." Better to err on the safe side and just never talk about religion. Other students sneered at religious belief and mocked anyone who believed. Teasing, which this mother is apparently all upset about, was common, but the teasing was directed against children from religious homes. The bigotry directed against Christians in this country is unbearable. No other group would have to tolerate it.

      Joey

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    3. "I apologize for my poor English, crusader. It's only my fourth language."

      You're so smart, Troy. That's the reaction you were fishing for, wasn't it? Here's a pat on the back for ya! Good boy. If you need your self esteem bolstered, I'm always here for ya, buddy.

      Joey

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    4. The bigotry directed against Christians in this country is unbearable. No other group would have to tolerate it.

      Thanks for making me laugh again, Joey. The 5% or so non-Christians in the US must be extraordinarily powerful to make you feel that way. Yet it's nearly impossible for an openly atheistic person to get elected for public office in the US, polls have indicated. What's your explanation for this apparent paradox?


      Here's a pat on the back for ya!

      Thanks!

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    5. CrusadeRex,

      You owe me a new iPad. I was drinking a cup of coffee when I read your comment about a Christmas play based on a traditional cartoon. Laughing with a mouthful of coffee is not a good idea. I'll never get the coffee off the screen. Charlie Brown? Traditional? I take it you agree with the radio station that the gym I attend insists on playing, when they claim to play all the classics. But have never, ever played Beethoven.

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    6. Bach,

      Charlie Brown Christmas is about as traditional as a Christmas cartoon can get.
      It dates to 1965. I hate to do this to you, but that makes it 47 years old this year. It plays on North American TV dozens of times EVERY year. It has been a tradition for many, many kids for generations.
      As for the tunes....
      If you're radio station is referring to classic rock (ie over 25 years), you're lucky. You should hear the shit they play at my gym. No Beethoven there either. Not even any Beetles. Lucky if we get some 80's crap.

      Get your own iPod, Bach. You're a millionaire.
      I am poorly paid civil servant.

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    7. CrusadeRex,

      They just say 'classics' (classic raucous noise in my opinion). I was just amused you called something post '65 traditional. And I do have an iPod. I listen to audiobooks. Music is a dead loss, because the quiet parts get drowned out and the loud parts are too loud if I turn the volume up to hear the quiet parts. Audiobooks tend to be the same safe volume throughout.

      Just saying...

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    8. Troy,

      You greatly underestimate the number of non-Christians in this country. I think you think of the United States as the land of religious fanatics. We're nothing of the sort. We're quite tepid in our religious belief, bordering on hostile.

      Actually, the United States is about 73% Christian. The number of non-Christians is roughly five and a half times greater than your ridiculous figure of 5%.

      Source: http://www.pewforum.org/Unaffiliated/nones-on-the-rise.aspx

      There are some caveats that should be attached even to that number. There are a lot of people who are really only nominally Christian. They're Christian because their parents told them so, and they haven't yet converted to anything else. They are not, however, religious or spiritual in any meaningful way. I'm sure you have those people in Holland as well. Your wife? You mentioned that you got married only to please her religious parents. That's not uncommon here. I know people who baptized their children just to keep grandma and grampa happy. They will grow up checking the "Christian" box without any real connection to the faith.

      Most of these nominal Christians hold beliefs that are un-Christian, un-Biblical, or even anti-Biblical. For all practical purposes, they don't give a hoot.

      When you exclude nominal Christians, the number gets much smaller. I can't tell you an exact figure but I would guess that it's short of 50%. This fifty percent is not evenly distributed by any means, either. There are large geographical regions and social classes in which religious belief is frowned upon: the Northeast, particularly New England, the West Coast, and among wealthy people. And yes, that's where the power is. Just go to a Harvard faculty cocktail party and tell them about your faith and see if they invite you back!

      Another mistake you make is to assume that a majority cannot be oppressed. That's ridiculous. The majority of Americans are overweight, and yet overweight people pay a heavy social penalty. The heavier the person, the more severe the social penalty. That's not so different from the way religiosity functions. Plenty of people call themselves Christians, fewer yet practice it, and fewer yet have any type of fervor. The more fervor with which you practice, the more severe the social penalty. It's okay to be religious just not "too" religious. You know, because it's great that you're Christian, as long as you don't really believe that crap.

      As to atheists getting elected. While there are very few openly atheistic public officials in this country, that doesn't prove much. I think you're attempting to prove that Christians are not oppressed by demonstrating that atheists are oppressed too. Here's my explanation for why there are so few open atheists, even though the question is irrelevant. The number of atheists/agnostics in the country is about 6%. That's not a lot. They'd get elected in higher numbers if they weren't so obnoxious toward other people's faith.

      Joey

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    9. Troy, I hope I answered your question.

      Now, let me tell you why your antics drive me up the wall.

      Incidents like this one in Little Rock continue to happen. I live in this society and I know what it means to be a Catholic and Christian in an environment that doesn't tolerate it. When I was at school, when I am at work, when I was in the military, the taboo was very strong. It's something you're supposed to shut up about because "someone might get offended." For all practical purposes, people are supposed to conduct themselves in public as if they are not Christians. Those who refuse pay a price.

      Your comeback is the same old worn out one that the perpetually offended atheist always uses--how can you be oppressed when you're the majority? I think I explained that already. But here's the thing--your excuse allows you to dismiss what's in front of your very eyes.

      Just last month a six year old girl prepared a poem for Veterans Day that mentioned the word God. Both of her grandfathers are Vietnam veterans and she wrote it for them. The school forced her to remove the reference to God, citing the mythical separation of church and state that appears nowhere in the Constitution. Even the separation is supposed to prohibit school-initiated religious practice, not student-initiated religious practice. The six year old girl was a student, last time I checked. And she was censored because someone thought that saying God in school was against the Constitution. It isn't. There's a word for that and it's called oppression. We need to call it what it is.

      The incident, by the way, took place in North Carolina. That's where all the religious weirdos you're afraid of live. It must be scary living in the Bible belt. Oooooh scaaaary. All of those religious people are always running around forcing their religion on other people. If this incident is any indicator, it's the opposite.

      Now, can you defend such a thing? I don't think you can. But when faced with anecdote after anecdote like these, the atheist never admits that maybe we have a point. He simply dismisses it by saying that Christians are the majority--95%!!!!--so how can they be oppressed? Answer: we aren't the majority, we aren't 95% or even 73%, and we don't have much political power. And more importantly, it doesn't change the fact that it's happening.

      Joey

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    10. I'm so happy I live in a country where religious people are a minority.

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    11. Of course you do, Anonymous. Because you're a hate monger.

      I think you hit the nail on the head, Joey. "For all practical purposes, people are supposed to conduct themselves in public as if they are not Christians. Those who refuse pay a price."

      That about sums it up! Is there anywhere I can go and live my life as who I am? Why do I have to confine my faith to just a few hours a week when I am surrounded by other people who believe as I do?

      Then they'll tell you that they don't have any problem with religion or people of faith. Obviously, they do, or else they wouldn't demand that we hide it!

      I can't believe that this Troy fellow thought that America is 95 percent Christian. I think that's his Christian boogeyman impulse showing through.

      What we face is called oppression and we shouldn't be afraid to use that word. Don't be deterred. Anti-theist crybabies don't like that word because it's true. Keep using it.

      TRISH

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    12. There are plenty of anti-Christian bigots who call themselves Christians in order to insulate themselves from the charge that they are anti-Christian bigots. "How can I be anti-Christian when in fact, I am a Christian?" Also, they identify themselves as Christians so that they can create the illusion of controversy over Biblical teachings that aren't controversial at all. The Bible is very, very clear on a number of things, but as long as some "Christians" hold a "different interpretation" than we're supposed to conclude that the jury is still out.

      Little John

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    13. Thanks for the lengthy responses, Joey. I have my doubts about your estimates, but I hope you're right that True Christians are now a minority in the US and that Christianity is on the way out.

      Just go to a Harvard faculty cocktail party and tell them about your faith and see if they invite you back!

      Yes, they probably would consider you a bit of a nutter if you did that. Still, even for Harvard faculty it can be very good for business to be open about their faith. The Catholic evolutionary biologist Martin Nowak landed millions in grants from the Christian Templeton Foundation.

      Just last month a six year old girl prepared a poem for Veterans Day that mentioned the word God. Both of her grandfathers are Vietnam veterans and she wrote it for them. The school forced her to remove the reference to God

      Now, can you defend such a thing? I don't think you can.

      I wouldn't want to defend that. It's over the top intolerance.

      Answer: we aren't the majority, we aren't 95% or even 73%, and we don't have much political power.

      Yes, except for 35 states controlled by religious Republicans, a religious Republican majority in the House and a majority of conservative Catholics in the SCOTUS, you have no power at all.

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