The angels will not be allowed to hark their herald nor will the little Lord Jesus sleep on the hay after a New Jersey school district announced a ban on all religious Christmas music.
Constance Bauer, the superintendent of the Bordentown Regional School District, posted a message online stating someone had been questioning recent musical selections for the elementary school Christmas concerts.
Pardon me, the school district calls them “winter” concerts.
My guess is that a perpetually offended left-winger became unglued when they heard that little boys and girls might be pa rum pum pum pum.
“Religious music should not be part of the elementary program(s),” Supt. Scrooge wrote in her anti-Christmas screed.
So songs about Frosty, Rudolph and mommy making out with Santa Claus are fine, but harmonizing about round yon virgin will get you put on the naughty list.
“It remains the District’s mission to celebrate the rich and wonderful diversity of our children and community and hope that the joy shared through our numerous winter programs will continue to be (a) cherished part of your traditions,” she concluded.
Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal firm specializing in religious liberty cases, fired off a letter to the New Jersey grinches - reminding them that it’s perfectly constitutional to sing “Joy to the World.”
“Schools should not have to think twice about whether they can allow students to perform Christmas carols,” said Legal Counsel Matthew Sharp. “Courts have unanimously upheld their inclusion in school productions--even when songs deal with Christian themes that are naturally a part of the holiday.”
The Alliance Defending Freedom letter explains that “every federal court to examine the issue has determined that including Christmas carols and other religious music in school choir programs fully complies with the First Amendment.”
As a result, the First Amendment requires that the district “remains neutral towards religion and refrains from demonstrating an unconstitutional hostility toward songs with religious origins.”
And besides, folks love to sing about the Baby Jesus as much as they do about hauling out the holly. A 2011 Rasmussen poll found that 79 percent of American adults believe public schools should celebrate religious holidays.
“Misinformation about the First Amendment is frequently what leads to censorship of constitutionally permissible and culturally significant songs performed during Christmas concerts,” added Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “We urge the Bordentown Regional School District to rescind this new policy and permit religious music to be included among the many non-religious songs performed at school concerts.”
Alliance Defending Freedom is urging the district to see the error of their ways and reverse the ban on religious-themed Christmas music by Nov. 1. Otherwise, I suspect they might find a lump of coal in their stockings -- along with a lawsuit.
How is it possible to have a concert celebrating the Christmas (pardon me, winter) season without singing about the reason for the season?
That’s sort of like opening a barbecue joint and telling the customers they can’t eat pork.
Perhaps the “enlightened” educators of Bordentown should take a swig or two of egg nog instead of getting their Christmas stockings in a bunch.
Pardon me, ahem. I meant to say winter stockings.
Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations. His latest book is "God Less America: Real Stories From the Front Lines of the Attack on Traditional Values." Follow Todd on Twitter@ToddStarnes and find him on Facebook.