Darryl Woods, of College Park, Ga., could not believe what he was reading.
It was a permission slip from his child’s charter school for the upcoming “holiday program.”
“We will begin rehearsing popular American holiday music (such as Jingle Bells, Feliz Navidad and Santa Claus is Coming to Town) during music class,” the music teacher wrote in the letter.
But it was the next sentence that caused Mr. Woods’ jaw to drop.
“Religious songs will not be included,” it stated.
It’s okay for boys and girls at The Main Street Academy to jingle bells, but expressing joy to the world is forbidden. It’s a classic case of Christmas censorship – in writing.
Mr. Woods called the charter school and asked to speak to Jeffrey Homan, the principal. But the principal never returned his telephone calls. So Woods, who is an avid reader of my column, decided to contact me. I returned his call.
“I’m extremely outraged to be honest,” he said. “My family and I – we’re Christians, we’re believers.”
He doesn’t understand how the school can honestly celebrate the “holiday” without acknowledging the reason for the holiday.
“Christmas is ‘Christ – mass’ – a celebration of Jesus,” Mr. Woods said. “That’s what we do.”
He said when it comes to holidays, there appears to be a double standard at the charter school. A few weeks ago the school celebrated Halloween with ghosts, demons and goblins roaming the hallway.
“It’s okay to celebrate demons but you can’t celebrate Jesus,” Mr. Woods told me.
Since Homan won’t return Wood’s phone calls, I decided to give it a shot – four times. Apparently, Mr. Homan doesn’t like answering his phone.
It’s unclear why religious-themed Christmas carols are not allowed at The Main Street Academy, but Mr. Woods has a pretty good idea.
“There’s an overt plan to remove Jesus and the Bible from public life,” he told me. “I think removing the songs about Jesus is preemptive. This is their way of not offending. So they say, ‘Let’s just take away the Christians Constitutional rights.’”
The Baby Jesus may not be welcomed at The Main Street Academy but Mr. Woods said that won’t dampen their family’s yuletide celebrations.
“This is the time we celebrate the birth of Jesus,” he said.
Sadly, The Main Street Academy isn’t the only school banning songs about the Savior. I’ve reported on similar anti-Christian censorship at schools in Wisconsin and New Jersey. All three incidents are examples of skirmishes in this cultural battle that Sarah Palin said is a war on Christmas.
“The problem many people have with Christmas is found in the word’s first syllable,” the former Alaska governor wrote in her new book, “Good Tidings and Great Joy – Protecting the Heart of Christmas.”
“The ‘war on Christmas’ is actually part of a much larger battle to secularize our culture and get rid of any remnants of Christ,” she wrote.
And as a result she said public schools are being targeted by “angry Atheists with lawyers.”
But instead of standing up to these godless bullies, spineless school administrators cower under their desks, trembling in fear as they order music teachers to do away with the manger.
Thank goodness, though, for dads like Mr. Woods – standing firm in the faith – willing to take a stand. I couldn’t help but think about him as I wrote a passage in Gov. Palin’s book.
“There is something that happens deep within you when you realize that you don’t have to be intimidated by the political correctness police,” she wrote. “You can live a life of faith, stand tall against the finger-wagging intolerants who want to fundamentally transform our country and protect our heritage while living out the values that made this nation exceptional.”
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.