Unlike the Norman Rockwell-esque family looking to trim the perfect tree, atheists are combing every schoolhouse, statehouse, and house of worship to destroy the spirit of Christmas. The latest battle in the war on Christmas took place in the heart of the Bible Belt, a place where religion rules except when it doesn’t, in my town of Little Rock, Arkansas. The target – Charlie Brown. It appears the loveable loser lost, or did he?
It’s interesting to note Charlie Brown’s creator, Charles Schulz, is no stranger to standing firm on faith. In December of 1965, when the Peanuts gang went from comic strip to the half-hour TV special, “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” network executives were opposed to the program including Linus’ reading of the story of the Nativity. Schulz fought to keep it in, saying “If we don’t tell the true meaning of Christmas, who will?”
Fast-forward to today -- Terry Elementary School in Little Rock had planned a student field trip to a local church for a special matinee presentation of “Merry Christmas Charlie Brown.” Parents were sent a note indicating the “production does expose your child to Christianity.” Attendance was optional.
Hundreds of students looked forward to the seeing the holiday classic. However, the atheist parent of ONE child called the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers who argued this was a violation of the separation of church and state. Initially, church and school officials stood firm, yet after concerns of putting “hard working, sacrificial teachers and cast members in harm's way” the matinee performance was cancelled.
The church has been flooded with calls from across the country, Christians expressing interest in the upcoming performances. Leaders say this has bonded the cast, crew, and congregation like never before.
Same hymn, different verse in Santa Monica, California. For the past 60 years, local churches have set up a nativity display in city-owned Palisades Park. A vocal minority of atheists flooded the city with applications for space permits and managed to acquire 18 of the 21 spots. After much debate and legal action on the rights of freedom of speech and religion, city officials pulled the plug on the event.
Santa Monica Christians kept the faith; the nativity scenes have been re-born on nearby private property.
According to the latest Pew forum on religion and public life, 78.4% of Americans identify themselves as Christians; just 1.6% are self-identified atheists. The vocal minority of non-believers is fully engaged in an effort to get their views in the public square.
In his book, “Culture Warrior,” Bill O’Reilly refers to those who are hostile to Christianity and traditional American values as “secular progressives.” Going on to say they are “the committed forces of the secular-progressive movement that want to change America dramatically; mold it in the image of Western Europe.”
The Atheist Empire doesn’t shy away from it, claiming, “Atheism is part of the Communist and Socialist doctrines…There is a strong belief in the values of freedom brought by a secular government.”
The problem here is that America is a predominantly Christian nation founded on biblical principals. In fact, 27 of our 56 founding fathers had Christian seminary degrees.
Biblical scholar David Barton shoots down the atheist argument in his book “The Myth of Separation.” He notes “the words separation of church and state don't appear in any official government documents authored by the founding fathers.” Adding, “this concept and these particular words were invented by an ACLU attorney named Leo Pfeffer in 1947.”
Atheists can go anywhere and look into thin air as a reminder of their beliefs. In the spirit of the season, I respect that. In return, leave our Christmas traditions alone.
Christians should continue to light up the night, if we don’t tell the true meaning of Christmas, who will?
Alice Stewart is a Republican Consultant and Radio Talk Show host on KHTE in Little Rock, Arkansas. She served as Communications Director for Mike Huckabee for President in 2008, Michele Bachman for President in 2012, and Press Secretary for Rick Santorum for President in 2012.